Ron Brownstein Enables Rudy Giuliani’s Deceit

Rudy Giuliani has been walking a tight rope, trying to discuss Iraq and 9/11 before Republican crowds and divert attention away from most other issues where they might disagree with him. One role of the news media is to expose politicians like Giuliani who are not entirely open on the stump. I’m surprised that Ronald Brownstein is helping to enable Giuliani’s deceit.

Brownstein reports on one of Giuliani’s tactics, the use of federalism, as if this is really a principle and not a tactic to avoid discussing the issues. Giuliani (and even more so, Ron Paul) tries to distract crowds from controversial issues by claiming they are a matter for the states, and therefore it doesn’t really matter if they disagree with the president. Disagree with me about abortion, gun control, or even health care reform and it doesn’t matter. They claim each state will just do their own thing.

Sometimes such federalism is fine. While there might be advantages in taking advantage of programs such as Medicare and the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program nation wide, there is no fundamental reason why different experiments couldn’t be managed by state governments. It is a different matter when we get into matters of principle. Those Republicans who oppose abortion and see it as murder will not be satisfied with allowing it in certain states and not others. Similarly, those of us who believe that a woman has the ultimate right to control her own body believe that she has this right regardless of whether she lives in New York or in a southern state even if ninety percent of her neighbors disagree.

While I lose interest in Ron Paul when he opposes government action by the federal government based more on state’s rights than libertarian grounds, at least I believe he is sincere in his beliefs. In contrast, Giuliani uses the concept of federalism much as other conservatives do as a matter of convenience. Republicans typically claim to support federalism when they want to ignore federal regulations, but ignore the concept when it is to their advantage. Republicans had no qualms about going to the Supreme Court in 2000 to block a recount in Florida and overrule the Florida Supreme Court. Similarly, Republicans back the Bush administration when they ignore laws in states which legalize medicinal use of marijuana and threaten to revoke the DEA licenses of physicians who prescribe it legally under their state’s laws. Giuliani’s use of federalism is just a political ploy, and I’m surprised that Brownstein allows him to get away with this.

Be Sociable, Share!

1 Comment

Leave a comment