Mark Steyn wrote an editorial last week that has been pretty well trashed around the liberal bloggersphere, wherein he says:
Rudy Giuliani was a brilliant can-do executive who transformed the fortunes of what was supposedly one of the most ungovernable cities in the nation. But on guns, abortion and almost every other social issue he's anathema to much of the party. Mike Huckabee is an impeccable social conservative but, fiscally speaking, favors big-government solutions with big-government price tags. Ron Paul has a long track record of sustained philosophically coherent support for small government but he's running as a neo-isolationist on war and foreign policy. John McCain believes in assertive American global leadership but he believes just as strongly in constitutional abominations like McCain-Feingold.The Giuliani adulation seems somehow misplaced, now, doesn't it? I mean, take this:
So if you're a pro-gun anti-abortion tough-on-crime victory-in-Iraq small-government Republican the 2008 selection is a tough call. Mitt Romney, the candidate whose (current) policies least offend the most people, happens to be a Mormon, which, if the media are to be believed, poses certain obstacles for elements of the Christian right.
In almost every appearance as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudolph W. Giuliani cites a fusillade of statistics and facts to make his arguments about his successes in running New York City and the merits of his views.
Discussing his crime-fighting success as mayor, Mr. Giuliani told a television interviewer that New York was “the only city in America that has reduced crime every single year since 1994.” In New Hampshire this week, he told a public forum that when he became mayor in 1994, New York “had been averaging like 1,800, 1,900 murders for almost 30 years.” When a recent Republican debate turned to the question of fiscal responsibility, he boasted that “under me, spending went down by 7 percent.”
All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong. And while, to be sure, all candidates use misleading statistics from time to time, Mr. Giuliani has made statistics a central part of his candidacy as he campaigns on his record.
(note: emphasis mine)
Well then. And on the rest of the candidates, this is just how devoid the current Republican Party is of not only ideas but ideals.
Take Huckabee and his personal 'Willie Horton':
Huckabee has also come under criticism for his handling of the case of Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist who was released during Huckabee's governorship and who subsequently sexually assaulted and murdered a woman in Missouri. Dumond's case had attracted national attention in the mid 1990s from critics of President Bill Clinton who felt the former Arkansas Governor had been too harsh with Dumond because Dumond's victim was a distant Clinton relative.
Even before taking office, Huckabee met with Dumond's wife and privately announced his intention that Dumond be set free, stating his unhappiness with the way Clinton had handled the case. Dumond was castrated prior to his trial; he stated that he was attacked by two men in his home (though district prosecutor Gene Raff suggested it was a case of self-mutilation and a urologist who'd studied the topic told the Forrest City Times-Herald that self-mutilation isn't that rare among psychologically disturbed sex offenders.)
On September 20, 1996, Huckabee publicly announced his intention of commuting Dumond's sentence based on the commutation given by Jim Guy Tucker, who had served as governor during Clinton's presidential run and had overseen the case. There was strong opposition to Huckabee's plan, leaving Huckabee in a difficult situation politically. On October 31, 1996, Huckabee met privately with the parole board to talk about the Dumond case. On January 16, 1997, Dumond was granted parole, just five months after he had been rejected.
Huckabee released a statement saying, "I concur with the board’s action and hope the lives of all those involved can move forward. The action of the board accomplishes what I sought to do in considering an earlier request for commutation ...In light of the action of the board, my original intent to commute the sentence to time served is no longer relevant." His full disclosure of the incident is described in his book From Hope to Higher Ground.
Dumond had been sentenced to life in prison until 1992, when Tucker reduced the sentence to 39 1/2 years which made Dumond eligible for parole. The parole was granted on the condition that another state take him. Wayne Dumond moved to Kansas City in 2000 and was convicted there of sexually assaulting and murdering a woman that lived near his home. Wayne Dumond died in prison in 2005.
Ron Paul is considered a crackpot by the war-firsters, even though as a Libertarian he has credentials that ought to endear him the the Right-wing of the party. Of course, the Right-wing of the party is as phony as a million dollar bill and courts large dollar donations and offers large dollar solutions in their quest for omnipotent power instead of the small government to which they pay lip service.
And McCain, as a serial flip-flopper and grudging GWBushCo sycophant, has gotten no real traction this time around. His cred was likely shot the last time around, and many consider him too old at this point.
Regardless, Giuliani, as the biggest chest-thumper and shouter, has the most to lose by his latest scandals, and it will be fun to watch his fall from grace. Between the Shag Fund story and the above smackdown of his statistical hackery, he's finally getting the attention he so richly deserves.