The EFM Feature

Karl at PA for Hizzoner rightly suggests we need to read the full context of Giuliani’s comments about “getting beyond” social issues and provides the full context:

AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have a question about the former platform in the Republican Party allowed abortion in the case of rape, incest, and life of the mother. I believe in that and I believe that because of the abortion issue in the Republican Party it is dividing this party so badly that we may not be able to elect a Republican president and I hope-I’d like to hear what your thoughts are on that.”

MAYOR GIULIANI: “What my thoughts are on the big question? I can tell you my thoughts on both.”

AUDIENCE MEMBER: “The big question.”

GIULIANI: “On the big question my thoughts are we shouldn’t allow it to do that. Electing a Republican in 2008 is so important to the war on terror, the ability to keep up an economy that’s an economy or growth, or from the point of view of what we believe as Republicans to really set us in the wrong direction. Democrats are entitled to think something different but I think that there will be a major difference in the direction of this country whether we have a Republican or Democrat in 2008 and 2009. On abortion I think we should respect each other. I think that’s what we should do and we should respect the fact that this is a very difficult moral question and a very difficult question and that very good people of equally good conscience could come to different opinions on it. My view of it is I hate abortion. I think abortion is wrong. To someone who I cared about or cared to talk to me about it and wanted my advice, the advice I would give them is not to do it and to have adoption as an option to it. When I was the Mayor adoptions went way up, abortions went down but ultimately I respect that that’s somebody else’s decision and that people of conscience can make that decision either way and you can’t put them in jail for it. (applause) And then I think our party, our party has to get beyond issues like that where we can have people who are very good people who have different views about this, they can all be Republican because our party is going to grow and we’re going to win in 2008 if we’re a party that is characterized for what we are for and not if we’re a party that’s known for what we are against. …” (Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Campaign Event, Des Moines IA, 4/14/07)

So, make up your own minds. What galls me is this “what we’re for instead of what we’re against” soundbite.
Why does he, for example, describe pro-lifers, for example, as being “”against” something? I could describe him as being “against the life of the unborn,” and myself as “for the life of the unborn.” Rudy makes it clear that he’s “against” throwing women in jail, though. But, don’t we need to be a party characterized by what we’re for and not what we’re against?
Of course, I’m trying to point out the obvious. His soundbite is nothing but an Oprah-esque cliche, designed to meaning nothing while sounding good. If you are “for” something, you are also “against” something… it’s simply how the world works. If you’re “for” life, you’re “against” abortion. If you’re “for” choice, you’re “against” a movement to overturn Roe v. Wade. I would even argue that you’re “against” the life of the unborn child. But note, that’s not what he said. He said he “hates” abortion… apparently so much that he’s willing to have the government pay for the procedure.
I’m “against” that, by the way. I’m also “against” the way he characterizes pro-lifers as being unduly uptight about “issues like that” and keeps describing us as people who want to “throw women in jail.”
In other words, the context does help, Karl, but only to point out our very real differences. Oh, and here’s some more context:

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