Fact Checking Giuliani on Democratic Attitudes on Fighting Terrorism

When Republicans get together to talk or debate, truth takes a holiday. Factcheck.org found several untrue statements in Sunday’s Republican debate. The most serious lies, as usual, came from Rudy Giuliani. Giuiliani has become pretty much a one note campaign, claiming that Democrats are soft on fighting terrorism and only he can keep us safe. (In other words, more of Bush/Cheney). Factcheck showed that Giuliani was wrong in his latest attack on Democrats:

Accusing Democrats of Appeasing Terrorists

Giuliani: [In] four Democratic debates, not a single Democratic candidate said the word “Islamic terrorism.” Now, that is taking political correctness to extremes.… The reality is that you do not achieve peace through weakness and appeasement. Weakness and appeasement should not be a policy of the American government.

Rudy GiulianiProperly speaking, of course, “Islamic terrorism” is two words, though Giuliani is correct to say that in four debates the Democratic candidates have not uttered the words “Islamic terrorism” together. And it is true that Democratic candidates have generally avoided making critical comments about Muslims or the Islamic faith. Whether or not that constitutes “political correctness” and/or “appeasement” is a matter of opinion which we leave to others. But Giuliani is wrong to imply that the Democrats have failed to address terrorism. Here is a sampling of what leading Democratic candidates said in one debate:

Sen. Barack Obama (June 3):…[O]n this issue of terrorism. We have genuine enemies out there that have to be hunted down. Networks have to be dismantled. There is no contradiction between us intelligently using our military, and in some cases lethal force, to take out terrorists, and at the same time building the sort of alliances and trust around the world that has been so lacking over the last six years.

Former Sen. John Edwards (June 3): As president of the United States, I will do absolutely everything to find terrorists where they are, to stop them before they can do harm to us, before they can do harm to America or to its allies.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (June 3): I am a senator from New York. I have lived with the aftermath of 9/11, and I have seen firsthand the terrible damage that can be inflicted on our country by a small band of terrorists who are intent upon foisting their way of life and using suicide bombers and suicidal people to carry out their agenda.

Crazy For God

All I’ve seen is the description for this book coming out this fall, but it sounds like it will probably become an addition to my library:

Crazy for God
How I Helped Found the Religious Right and Ruin America

Trade Cloth
304pp, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Fall 2007
Frank Schaeffer grew up in Switzerland’s L’Abri, an idealistic community founded by his parents, the American evangelicals Francis and Edith Schaeffer. By the time he was 19, his parents had achieved global fame as best-selling authors and speakers, l’Abri had become a mecca for spiritual seekers worldwide — from Barbara Bush to Timothy Leary — and Frank had joined his father on the evangelical circuit. By the age of 23, he had directed two multi-part religious documentaries and had helped instigate the marriage between the American evangelical community and the anti-abortion movement. But as he spoke before thousands in arenas around America, published his own evangelical bestseller, and worked with such figures as Pat Robertson, Jack Kemp, Jerry Falwell, and Dr. James Dobson, Schaeffer felt alienated, precipitating his own crisis of faith and eventually resulting in his departure.

Schaeffer has since become a successful secular author. He was reduced to stealing pork chops from the grocery store in LA, rather than take on any more high-paying evangelical speaking gigs.

With its up-close portraits of the leading figures of the American evangelical movement, Crazy for God is a uniquely revealing and powerful memoir, which tells its story with empathy, humor, and bite.

(Hat tip to Talk to Action)

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Republican Bloggers Back Thompson, Oppose Paul

While most years the Republican nomination battle is fairly easy to predict, this year it is difficult to say what will happen. Rudy Giuliani has replaced John McCain as leader in the national polls, but this is hardly predictive of victory for Giuliani, especially as he has many views contrary to those of Republican primary voters. This may not be very predictive either, but seeing how the right wing bloggers rank the candidates might give some clue as to how primary voters might react to them. That is far from clear as support form bloggers didn’t give Howard Dean a victory in 2004, and while things could change, This year, John Edwards’ chances for victory appear to be dwindling despite his support in the blogosphere.

Right Wing News has polled right of center bloggers as to which candidates they like and dislike. Fred Thompson is both the most desired and has the fewest votes for least desired. While certainly not predictive of victory, it might indicate, as many already suspect, that Thompson will be the front runner after he enters the race this fall. Rudy Giuliani comes in second, but his undesired ranking is fairly high.

One surprise is that Duncan Hunter comes in third, beating out Mitt Romney. As his undesirable ranking is better than Giuliani’s, Right Wing News ranks Hunter second when they combine the most desired and least desired rankings. He might be worth keeping an eye on as someone who might have a chance of catching on more with the Republican primary voters should Thompson’s campaign run into problems.

The polls also demonstrates why I’ve been writing that Ron Paul has virtually no chance of winning the nomination. Paul supporters hope that the pro-war conservatives will split the vote allowing Paul to get more votes than any other individual. His differences from other Republicans probably did allow him to get past Brownback and Tommy Thompson on the lists of most desired, but he tops the list of least desired and comes in last place when most desired and least desired are both considered.

Republican primary voters might not see things exactly as the bloggers do. I wouldn’t be surprised if Giuliani or Romney comes out ahead of Thompson, and I wouldn’t start planning on a victory for Duncan Hunter yet. However the magnitude by which Ron Paul is found undesirable by so many conservative bloggers is likely to be shared by many Republican primary voters.

Ron Paul will probably do a little better than this survey suggests as he does have a small core of support which is not represented in the blogs this survey was distributed to. Some libertarians will come out to vote for Paul, but hardly enough to matter. The libertarian faction of the Republican Party, as well as every other group which doesn’t go along with the narrow views now advocated by the party, has been greatly reduced in number and there are not enough of them to allow an upset for Paul.

In a different year Paul might pick up a little more support, although still not enough to win, from anti-war independents. However this year it appears that independents plan to vote Democratic, primarily for Barack Obama and Bill Richardson. Perhaps if Hillary Clinton is successful in making her nomination appear inevitable by Iowa more of them will vote for Ron Paul as an act of protest, but there are typically not enough independents voting in primaries where this is allowed to overcome Paul’s high negatives among traditional Republicans.

The Intelligent Giuliani

I bet Rudy Giuliani wishes he had given his daughter that lecture about how public things posted on the internet are and to be careful what you post. Until she realized the media was on to her and she took it down, Caroline Giuliani’s Facebook profile indicated she was backing Barack Obama for President. Apparently she has the brains in the family, but should her father win I hope she wasn’t counting on a government job. I hear he doesn’t like being crossed.