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Some Advise For Rudy

Rudy has a terrible problem with the Republican base on a number of issues. He could probably get away with being pro-choice and pro-gun, or pro-life and anti-gun, but he has a huge obstacle to overcome with two powerful Republican coalition partners in being pro-choice and anti-gun. Glenn Reynolds points us to a post over at the Jawa Report:

Gun control is a landmine for Rudy Giuliani. When it comes to guns, Rudy’s got a terrible track record to deal with. So far, his message sucks. Based on Rudy’s messaging on guns, I’ll guarantee you most gun owners are still actively shopping around. If Rudy doesn’t get some solid advice on guns and start listening to it, gun control could be the issue that sinks his candidacy.

This is spot on. Rudy is a candidate who, so far, offends me little other than on this issue. I think his leadership post 9/11 was exemplary. I agree with his views on Iraq and fighting militant Islam. I’m perfectly fine with him being pro-choice, because I don’t think abortion should be illegal. I’m comfortable with his position on gay rights, because I am in agreement with him here as well. I don’t like that he had an affair, but if that disqualified you from public office, we’d be without a government (maybe that would be a good thing). The gun issue, however, it’s enough to keep me from voting for him.

My advise to Rudy would be to first look at what he really thinks. Where’s his heart on the issue? That’s the first question that he needs to answer before he can take the next step. So if his heart is with restricting gun ownership, which I suspect it is, he needs to say it this way:

As someone who is a native of New York City, I have never been a fan of guns. I certainly governed that way as Mayor of New York. I know that my personal opinion on this issue is not popular among the party faithful, but you have my assurance that I will not pursue a gun control agenda as president, and I will veto any legislation from Congress that infringes on your second amendment rights. You also have my assurance that I will nominate judicial candidates that faithfully interpret our constitution and the Bill of Rights. I may not ever agree with all of you on guns, but I’m not a stupid politician, and you can rest assured that I will defend your interests as president.

There will always be the question of credibility with this kind of spin, and it might not be enough to overcome my distrust of Giuliani on this issue, but it’s still a better statement than he’s making right now. I’m looking for some honesty out of Giuliani; he’s not going to get anywhere with me by weaseling around his record. I can accept that politicians can feel one way personally, but understand their personal views don’t make for good politics. I’ll never be convinced that Bush is really, at heart, any more pro second amendment than Rudy is, but Bush knew being Republican and anti-gun was political trouble, so he tried to play the middle, while throwing us a few bones here and there. Rudy has a record though, and it deosn’t speak well to us. There’s no slithering around that.

What if Rudy is really of the opinion that gun control really doesn’t accomplish anything? Unlikely, but not impossible. If Rudy, in his heart, really isn’t in favor of gun control, here’s another way to distance himself from his record:

As Mayor of New York City, I would never have gotten elected if I ran on a pro-gun platform. In New York, you have to be anti-gun. Just like you’re not going to be pope if you’re a protestant, New York City is the Vatican of gun control, and I would have been failing my constituents by pushing a pro-gun agenda. I’m not personally a gun guy. I don’t shoot, and I don’t hunt, because – hey – I was born in Brooklyn. But I don’t plan on making gun control part of my agenda as president, and I will veto any new gun laws that come out of the Democratic congress. I will also nominate judicial candidates that faithfully interpret our constitution and the Bill of Rights, including the second amendment.

I could buy that line of reasoning, but I think Giuliani really does personally believe gun control is a useful and positive thing, and that’s really the heart of the problem. What you believe on this issue tells me a lot about how you view government, and it’s relationship with its citizens. Giuliani might be able to approach the gun issue in a way that will make me vote for him as a “lesser of two evils” choice on guns, but there’s little chance I’ll ever really trust him on it, which is a shame, because he’s someone I could enthusiastically get behind otherwise.

3 Responses to “Some Advise For Rudy”

  1. Michael says:

    So I guess that you saw him on Hannity and Colmes, I knew he was bad, but not that bad. He stated flat out that he was and still is for the AWB and restricting ownership for large cities. Nope not voting for his RHINO butt.

  2. Jacob says:

    Mayor Rudy, once a RINO, always a RINO.

  3. Sebastian says:

    I don’t think he’s really approaching the issue any better than John Kerry did. I respond much better to the honest approach than the slimy one. I might be willing to support Rudy over McCain or Romney if he just carved out an honest position on his record, and gave some assurances that he wants to move away from it, to take care of an important Republican constituency. It’s not ideal; I hope before primary time I have someone else. But 2008 isn’t shaping up to be a happy race for gun owners so far.

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