Alex Blaze

Which Republican would make the worst president?

Filed By Alex Blaze | November 06, 2007 1:04 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: DOMA, domestic partnership, election campaigns, Fred Thompson, judges, marriage, Republicans, Rudy Giuliani

That's the question that Kerry Eleveld asks in this month Advocate, but not in so many words. It's an interesting conversation, but it's pretty much like comparing the merits of various exurban McMansions: I'm never going to want one and they're all pretty much the same.

Eleveld's argument is built around the idea that Giuliani is somehow materially better than the rest of the Republican candidates on LGBT issues. That would mean that he would push the Democrat to speak out more to distinguish herself from him and maybe cause those Religious Right leaders split off and go third-party.


But Rudy is pretty much the same man who was mayor of New York, only this time without an electorate that cares as much about textual queer equality. On gaystream issues besides marriage, he's the same as all the other Republican candidates. He won't talk about ENDA, he's against repealing DADT, and fat chance on getting him to back nationalized health care. Throw in there that he's said he'd nominate judges along the lines of Scalia, who mocked Lawrence as making up a "right to sodomy", and a Rudy presidency would just unravel the biggest gain we've made at the federal level since, well, ever.

This is all the same as the other Republicans. On couplehood issues, Eleveld points to Rudy's website that gives vague support to some kind of domestic partnerships. But you really can't ignore his statements that civil unions go too far and the fact that we're still waiting for him to dispute claims that he's privately promised to support the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Now, the other Republicans have parsed words all around about just what they're going to do when they get in office when it comes to two dudes or two ladies marrying. Fred Thompson supports an FMA that lets states legalize same-sex marriage, John McCain has a vague "leave it to the states" plan, and Romney supports the FMA as it stands. All of this would be quite interesting if the president had any ability to legislate on marriage or amend the Constitution.

But she doesn't. Amendments to the Constitution are passed by Congress and then the states, and if Freddie's spending enough time in Congress trying to make sure every nuance of his FMA gets in there and gets passed by a Democratic Congress, I'd tell him that there's a war over there in Iraq that he'd better try and manage. And no one's talking about domestic partnerships or civil unions at the federal level, so Rudy's vague DP talk is just that: talk.

The only issue that really matter for them is would they sign a bill that came before them to repeal the DOMA. And since none of them has talked about it and they'd all be up for reelection in 2012, I'd say no. Rudy's just the same all the rest on same sex couplehood issues, no matter who his friends in NYC are.

The only thing that'd be slightly different would be the tone of the election season. Romney has shown that time and time again he's willing to demonize us to try to get votes, while Rudy would avoid the issue all together. But Rudy wouldn't push the Democrat to distinguish herself on that issue, he'd just march on with more 9/11 talk, maybe telling people who he'd like to bomb this time around.

And a third-party jump by the Religious Right? Oh, please. When 26% of white evangelicals support Rudy, more than any other candidate, Doc Dobson bloviating about leaving the party doesn't mean anything. The leaders of the Religious Right don't have the same sort of pull they did even four years ago, never had the kind of pull the media hyped them up to have had in the first place. And now evangelicals are seeing through this mean-spirited politics to look at the issues that actually affect them, like the war against Iraq and health care.

I'd eat my hat if Rudy's campaign forced same-sex couplehood issues (not any other ones!) in an attempt to steal away gay voters. It'd alienate members of the Right and wouldn't win him any points when he'd be forced to come out and say that he supports DOMA. It's just a mask to get people who see the mean-spiritedness of Romney-esque politics on his team as he promises to nominate judges that make Sam Brownback happy, and, like any masks, will do nothing to advance any agenda.

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As someone who lived in NYC during "Giuliani Time", I'd suggest anyone interested in his record check the archives of Gay City News. His dressing in drag aside, he was no real friend to the LGBT community during his tenure as Mayor. Lots of lip service, not much muscle or backbone.

One prime example of the lack of depth in his understanding - among many others - was what the NYPD did during the big Matthew Shepard vigil in '98, and Rudy's response to it.

A great quote from an Andy Humm article in the 10/25 edition pretty well sums up my opinion of Rudy's commitment to the community:

Perkins and other leaders of the religious right oppose Giuliani's candidacy because of his support for a woman's right to choose and, depending on when you asked him, some form of domestic partnerships for gay couples.

If another issue or pet project comes up, it wins for sure, and political expediency rules all.

It also bears noting that his record on AIDS issues was also questionable at best - his oft-discused antipathy toward the poor and people of color definitely was felt when it came to social services for PWAs. Ask Housing Works of the GMHC for details on that one...

Pardon, that should read "or the GMHC"

Not to mention that, even if rudy was marginally better on GLBT issues, I shudder at the thought at what he would do with Guantánamo and with civil liberties in general.

Absolutely, BGS.

The issues labeled "LGBT" aren't at the top of my list of priorities when it comes to this election, and I work on a site that specifically discusses them daily.

So I don't think Rudy's going to change many minds around these issues.

bill perdue | November 6, 2007 5:25 PM


With Democrats like these who needs Republicans.

A Republican is a baboon in a people suit with a totalitarian christian attached at the hip. A Democrat is a Republican in Drag.

actually Bill
Clinton is a republican in stag.

Take care

"Which Republican would make the worst president?"

Even though the Religious Right is wringing their hands at their lack of an acceptable GOP candidate, I still find that in the current line-up every dang one of them makes me shudder. I think the above question is sort of like pondering the loaded chambers in a revolver and asking, "Now, which of these six bullets would kill me the deadest?"

Haha, that's a better analogy than I came up with, Allen. And it took like 10 minutes for the McMansion one to hit me! And look how that turned out!