Friday, April 27, 2007

Giuliani Struggles With Principled Pandering

by shamanic

(Part #37 in the ongoing series about Rudy Giuliani's efforts to be both a maverick and the eventual GOP nominee)

Rudy Giuliani is opposed to the New Hampshire civil union bill that was sent to that state's governor's desk yesterday, according to Raw Story. But Giuliani's statement is just a form of hair splitting that may boost him among stalwarts in the New Hampshire GOP, but isn't likely to earn him much traction with the broader groups needed to, you know, create consensus around issues in a democracy.

Ryan Sager at the New York Sun reports:

"Mayor Giuliani believes marriage is between one man and one woman. Domestic partnerships are the appropriate way to ensure that people are treated fairly," the Giuliani campaign said in a written response to a question from the Sun. "In this specific case the law states same sex civil unions are the equivalent of marriage and recognizes same sex unions from outside states. This goes too far and Mayor Giuliani does not support it."

The Democratic governor of New Hampshire, John Lynch, has said publicly that he will sign the civil union law.

On a February 2004 edition of Fox News's "The O'Reilly Factor," Mr. Giuliani told Bill O'Reilly, when asked if he supported gay marriage, "I'm in favor of … civil unions."

He also said, "Marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman."

So this isn't what I'd call a huge departure for the mayor, but it's exactly the kind of legalese and hair splitting that usually drives people crazy because it never does a good job masking the fact that This Candidate Is Pandering.

I'm sure that many Republicans in New Hampshire are unhappy with the Civil Unions law that passed yesterday. I'm equally sure that many Republicans in New Hampshire are thrilled that they will soon be able to provide their families the same type of legal protections that their straight neighbors of all political persuasions have always enjoyed. Rudy chose to pander to the former, while still leaving daylight in his response to say that he's a supporter of some kinds of civil partnership. It's all just a little too clever.

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