Why Giuliani Is Winning
by Matt Stoller, Sat Feb 24, 2007 at 11:28:50 AM EST
Even after all his great work showing the lengths that Republicans will go to keep power, Josh Marshall still doesn't get the right:
"I'm really not convinced Giuliani can win the GOP nod as a pro-choice, pro-gay rights candidate."
Like a lot of us, he thinks that Republicans base their political judgment on issues, ie. gay rights, abortion, national defense, taxes, etc. He makes the same mistake that a lot of Democrats make, assuming that conservatives think the way that we do. They don't. They are authoritarians. Gay marriage, abortion, taxes, national security, none of it really matters to them. What they are looking for is an authoritarian to look like he's taking charge, and the way an authoritarian takes charge is to attack liberals and stomp on people who aren't like them. Giuliani did this in New York, so he's a rock star in Alabama. It's the same thing with Mitt Romney - he's not even being the least bit subtle about reversing everything he 'believed' in Massachusetts, but it doesn't matter. The right-wing base is entirely unprincipled, subduing any concerns they might have over political issues to a sheer authoritarian impulse.
According to the latest Q-poll, Giuliani is at 40%, McCain's at 18%, Gingrich is at 10, and Romney is at 7%. This shouldn't be a surprise. I spoke to a high level Republican establishment person, and she said that McCain reminded her of Dole, that even though it's 'his due', he's old and past his prime. In 1996, she said no one thought Clinton could be defeated, so the primary wasn't competitive. And the Republican establishment is McCain's base, so this is very bad news for him.
As for Giuliani, she argued that he was great 'on taxes' in New York, and that national security could be seen as the big moral issue of our time. Don't fall for the nonsensical idea that the right-wing decides their contest based on issues, or has any principles that we would recognize. To them, it's all about demonstrating a tribal authoritarianism. Giuliani does this. Ask anyone in New York who ever had to deal with him.
And please please please stop assuming that they think like we do. They don't. Right-wingers are right-wingers for a reason. If they thought like us they'd be Democrats.