November 23, 2007

BUT HE HAS NO CORE AND HIS ONLY CONVICTION IS HIS ID:

The real Rudy (David Brooks, November 23, 2007, NY Times)

"I'm pleased to be with you this evening to talk about the anti-immigrant movement in America," [Rudy Giuliani said, on Oct. 10, 1996, at the Kennedy School of Government], "and why I believe this movement endangers the single most important reason for American greatness, namely, the renewal, reformation and reawakening that's provided by the continuous flow of immigrants."

Giuliani continued: "I believe the anti-immigrant movement in America is one of our most serious public problems." It can "be seen in legislation passed by Congress and the president." (Republicans had just passed a welfare reform law that restricted benefits to legal immigrants.) "It can be seen in the negative attitudes being expressed by many of the politicians." [...]

Just last year, I saw him passionately deliver remarks at the Manhattan Institute Hamilton Award Dinner in which he condemned the "punitive approach" to immigration, "which is reflected in the House legislation that was passed, which is to make it a crime to be an illegal or undocumented immigrant."

To "deal with it in a punitive way," he said then, "is actually going to make us considerably less secure than we already are." The better approach, he continued, is to embrace the Senate's comprehensive reform and to separate the criminal illegals from the hard-working ones.

These speeches are the real Rudy. These speeches represent the Rudy who once went overboard and declared, "If you come here and you work hard and you happen to be in an undocumented status, you're one of the people who we want in this city."

This is why Fred Siegel, a Giuliani biographer, accurately called him an "immoderate centrist." This is why Giuliani won 43 percent of the Hispanic vote in the mayoral race of 1997. This is why his candidacy once had the potential to renovate the Republican Party.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2007 10:35 AM
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