Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Giuliani Drops Baby in Florida

The Virginia primary is today, and my man Rudy Giuliani is no longer in the race. He has endorsed John McCain, which is not a particularly bad decision; especially if Rudy can talk himself into the number two spot on the Republican ticket. I think a McCain/Giuliani campaign is a logical answer to the shit-slinging Democrats. But how did this happen in the first place?

In the caucus and primary strategies, everyone scrambled to take the lead early, the traditional way to get yourself voted Commander-in-Chief. Grab the number one or two spot in Iowa or New Hampshire, the media gives you tons of free air time, and the bandwagon begins to roll (Americans generally wait to see who's the popular choice before publicly declaring "that's my guy!". Except, of course, my guy Rudy, who took the remarkable strategy of deliberately holding back and devoting all his energy to his copper-toned, varicose-veined mistress, Judith. Kidding. I mean, the State of Florida. The idea did not work, and showed the political pundits inside the beltway they are, in fact, always right. This town drives me crazy.

Politics is Compromise. Give me this, and I'll give you that. Push this through, and I'll endorse what your constituents care about. Give me your lunch money and I won't beat you up after school. I had to make concessions to get behind Giuliani for President. But, here are just a few reasons why I felt Giuliani was a comfortable choice.

Balancing the budget: It is perplexing to me that not one candidate, Republican or Democrat, has promised a balanced Federal Budget. Look, it's obvious to any idiot; balancing your checkbook is a good thing. Yet, no one is willing to stand up and say they will balance the budget, like Bill Clinton did. Yeah, that's right, I'm extolling the virtues of former President William Jefferson Clinton. Forget his taste in interns; the man balanced the federal freakin' budget! If a Democrat can do it, I believe it is fair to ask Republican candidates to publicly announce their intention to do the same. After all, Republicans continuously lament "big government"; so pledge to the American people 0% growth in government spending, and real steps toward balancing the budget.

Look at Rudy Giuliani's performance as Mayor of New York. Giuliani reduced city taxes by more than $2 billion in eight years, more than any Administration in New York history. In 1998, the city’s tax burden had dropped to 7.8% of personal income—lower than in the years leading up to the New York fiscal crisis of the 1990’s. New York eliminated its city sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110 and oversaw property tax relief for condo owners. Effective December 1, 1999, the city tax rate dropped from 3.9% to 3.4% and then to 3.0% on June 1, 2001.

Under Giuliani, New York turned its $2.3 billion deficit into a $2 billion budget surplus. In his first year as mayor, he cut city spending by $700 million (3%)—the only cut since the 1970’s. In addition, his adversarial stance toward municipal unions and threats of layoffs and competitive contracting for city services helped him hold down the size of city government. He cut the size of city-funded government bureaucracy by nearly 20%—excluding the number of cops on the street and teachers in the classroom. Rudy’s record proves he can deliver a return to fiscal discipline. I like that. Not as much as a balanced budget, or a cold Guinness Stout - but I like that.

Intelligence: I think it is completely ridiculous legislation is needed, to permit information sharing between the freakin' FBI, CIA, NSA, and every other federal, state and local authority. This is what Homeland Security, the biggest bloated mess since Jaba the Hut, was supposed to do. Why not benefit from information obtained by some 600,000 local law enforcement officials? Thank the Good Lord above Giuliani favors this legislation. As a private consultant the past four years, he has advised other countries on how to deal with terrorism. When those planes hit those towers, Giuliani took it personal.

Rudy Giuliani believes winning the war on terror is the great responsibility of this decade. America cannot afford to go back to the days of inconsistent responses to terrorist attacks, as weakness only encourages aggression. Americans do want peace ultimately. But Bush's "surge" is, for the most part, doing what it is supposed to do. Terrorists declared war on us. We are simply finishing it up. And by the way, Rudy understands the phrase "winning hearts and minds". This is crucial in the endgame.

Abortion: Here is where I drastically differ from the Republican "party line". I'm not only pro-choice, I'm pro-abortion. Abortion should be allowed up to 10 years after conception. When Giuliani successfully courted New York’s Liberal Party to support him for Mayor in 1989, Giuliani became almost as pro-choice as I am. According to the New York Times in 1989, “Giuliani will fund all city programs which provide abortions to insure that no woman is deprived of her right due to an inability to pay. He will oppose reductions in state funding. He will oppose making abortion illegal.” Now, after realizing "the people we fly over" are as fanatically anti-abortion as ever, Giuliani supports reasonable restrictions on abortion such as parental notification with a judicial bypass and a ban on partial birth abortion—except when the life of the mother is at stake. He’s proud that adoptions increased 66% while abortions decreased over 16% in New York City when he was Mayor. I can live with his current position on this - for now.

Marriage: Rudy Giuliani believes, as I do, marriage is between a man and a woman. He does not—and has never—supported gay marriage. But, he believes in equal rights under the law for all Americans, so domestic partnerships which provide stability for committed partners in legal and personal matters are acceptable, as long as marriage per se is between a man and a woman. And, second woman on the weekends. Errrr . . . . I thought I had read that somewhere. Anyway, Rudy did not support Bush’s call for a constitutional ban on gay marriage either.

Judges: Giuliani appointed criminal and civil court judges in his eight years as mayor. Conservatives were uncomfortable with reports he consulted on appointments with New York Liberal Party Chairman Ray Harding. But keep in mind; Mayor Giuliani was simply dancing with the one who brought him. The Liberal Party helped him to City Hall. Remember what I said earlier about compromise?

Immigration: Giuliani favored rolling back standing restrictions on immigration and increasing the number of legal immigrants in the U.S. This is NOT good. This is an area I have real problems with the 9/11 guy. We need more restrictions, not less. Let's look to The Bahamas; the country where I spent much of my adult life. Bahamian immigration policy is simple, straight-forward, and kicks ass. Even before their independence (July 10, 1973) the country recognized that in order to survive as a sovereignty they must protect their borders. They realized every American deadbeat would love to live in the islands, doing some routine bartending job and screwing Spring Breakers. In short; a job every Bahamian is qualified to do.

So, every year I lived in The Bahamas I had to apply for a annual work permit. My position was posted in the paper, and any Bahamian had the right to say, "I can do that job". I had to hire him, train him, and document his performance. Then, I had to go before the Labour Board and explain why this Bahamian citizen could not handle my position. And then, I had to re-appear in front of the Labour Board when the man filed his appeal, usually claiming I did not train him well enough to fill my shoes. During my seventeen years there, Bahamian Immigration could pick me up and send me back to States anytime they wished, for any reason. And, while it was enormously stressful to me, the United States must adopt a similar immigration policy to survive as a nation.

If elected president, Rudy Giuliani wants to reduce illegal immigration dramatically in as little as three years. To get the job done, Giuliani said he would boost the number of border patrol agents to 18,000 from the current 12,000, and build a physical and "technological" border along the U.S.-Mexico border. "If you do this for two or three years, you'll change behavior," Giuliani has said. "If people come to the border and figure they can't get in, they'll stop." And, he has called for the immediate deportation of all illegal immigrants who commit crimes. John McCain on the other hand, supported a failed immigration bill that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for roughly 12 million illegal immigrants in the country. That "amnesty" stance has cost him the backing of many Republican party conservatives.

Giuliani's master immigration plan also included tamper-proof ID cards to all non-citizen workers and students, and a national data-base that would track the arrival and departure of every foreign visitor to the U.S. Both great ideas.

In conclusion: I will be voting for John McCain today. My main reason is the possibility of a McCain/Giulani ticket in November. That will make conservative Republicans furious, but having a man like Rudy Giuliani close to the Oval Office makes good sense to me.

No comments:

Q: Where can men over the age of 50 find younger women who are interested in them? A: Try a bookstore under fiction.