Friday, May 11, 2007

Giuliani Wise In Sticking To Position On Abortion

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is setting a high standard by sticking to his position for allowing abortions, some gun control and some gay rights in his campaign for the GOP presidential nomination. It is one of several reasons why I think his campaign must be taken seriously. He respects the American voter enough to believe he or she can make distinctions and realize they may not agree with a candidate on every issue, but still come to the conclusions he is worth voting for.

Speaking to a group of Houston Baptists, Giuliani was succinct about his position on abortion:

"In a country like ours, where people of good faith, people who are equally decent and equally moral and equally religious, where they come to different conclusions about this, about something so very, very personal, I think you have to respect their viewpoint. I would grant women the right to make that choice."

Giuliani also said,"I should honest tell you what I believe. I should honestly tell you the things I can evolve on, and the things that I can't, and then you should decide."

This is not only an admirable position, but, also, I think, a practical one. I don't share the conventional wisdom that Republicans will never nominate a moderate like Giuliani is on these issues. Just like the newly-elected president of France, Nicholas Sarkozy, Giuliani has the courage of his own convictions.

By taking these positions now, also, the New Yorker positions himself well for the general election in the fall. He won't have to "move to the center" after being nominated.

Contrast this with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has slid to an anti-abortion viewpoint in his campaign, and who appears to be pandering to the views of conservatives he once profoundly and publicly disagreed with.

Giuliani, an Italian Catholic who has been married three times, and has even roomed with gays in the past, may not get the Pope's support in the forthcoming election. But we should remember, the Pope doesn't vote in American elections, and in this country we believe in separation of church and state.

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I'm disappointed in reports that such Los Angeles Times staffers as Mark Arax, Robert Salladay, David Holley and Simon Li are considering taking the buyout. All are valuable members of the Times family. This is part of what I don't like about the repeated buyouts that have afflicted the Times. The paper would be diminished if each of these people leave.

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