Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Giuliani for President?

I have been a mind that Rudi Giuliani will never survive the gauntlet of the Republican primaries because of his tainted personal history - at least from the perspective of religious conservatives. Blogger Glenn Greenwald thinks this line of thinking is naive. He says that religious conservatives really don't care about the personal morals of their heroes as long as they support Israel and talk the language of moral values:
Two of the most admired political figures among Christian conservatives -- Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich -- have the most shameful, tawdry, and degenerate personal lives (using the claimed standards of that political faction). Yet the gross disparity between their personal conduct and the religious and moral values they espouse has not injured their standing in the slightest among the "values voters." Here, to take but one of countless examples, is how Kate O'Beirne speaks of Rush Limbaugh:
Rush's angry, frustrated critics discount how hard it is to make an outrageous charge against him stick. But, we listeners have spent years with him, we know him, and trust him. Rush is one of those rare acquaintances who can be defended against an assault challenging his character without ever knowing the "facts." We trust his good judgment, his unerring decency, and his fierce loyalty to the country he loves and to the courageous young Americans who defend her.
Rush Limbaugh has been married and "engaged" more times than one can count, has had a series of tawdry unmarried affairs and break-ups, developed a pleasure-providing and illegal drug habit, and has been caught with fistfuls of unprescribed Viagra while returning from a weekend jaunt to the Dominican Republic. But the pious and moral O'Beirne, speaking on behalf of Christian conservatives, says that they "trust his good judgment" and his "unerring decency."

The measuring stick for someone's "morality" among the bulk of Christian conservatives -- and certainly for their political leaders -- is the rhetoric someone spews, not whether their actions or personal conduct comport with the moral sermons...
He may be right. They had no trouble embracing Reagan, and they do still love Rush and Newt.

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