Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 14, 2007 / 26 Shevat, 5767

Canaries in a coal mine

By Jonah Goldberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The most interesting political matchup right now is between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani because they're running for the same voters.


Over the last 20 years, the largely accurate conventional wisdom has been that the GOP could not nominate a pro-choice politician, just as the Democratic Party could never nominate a pro-life one. Some Republicans, including Ronald Reagan and the elder George Bush, had to move from a middle-of-the-road position on abortion to the right-hand guardrail, while some Democrats who once leaned to the pro-life side of the road had to make a similar move in the other direction.


That's being put to the test this time around. Romney was a dedicated pro-choice politician for most of his career. When he ran against Ted Kennedy for the Senate, he was as pro-choice as you can get.


Now, at least partly to win over social conservatives, Romney is unapologetically pro-life, saying that he realized the folly of his ways when dealing with embryonic stem cell controversies as governor. I have some quibbles with his conversion story, but that's a subject for another column.


Then there's Rudy. He's going a different way. While tacking and trimming somewhat, he's basically staying pro-choice. Whatever his true convictions, the simple fact is that he has little choice. Unlike Romney, who had the stem cell controversy as an impetus for his conversion, Giuliani — who once almost went into the priesthood — now has no plausible excuse to switch positions even if he wanted one. You need some story, some event, to believably pull off a switcheroo of that proportion, and running for president isn't one of them. So, while he's saying the right — and Right — things about judges and judicial restraint, he's not backing off.


It seems indisputable that prior to 9/11, Romney's strategy would win and Giuliani might not even bother trying.


Of course, Giuliani's national profile expanded enormously because of 9/11. And while the press harps on that point, the more interesting part of the story lies elsewhere. The war on terror hasn't just changed Giuliani's profile as a crisis-leader, it's changed the attitudes of many Americans, particularly conservatives, about the central crisis facing the country. It's not that pro-lifers are less pro-life or that social conservatives are suddenly OK with homosexuality, gun control and other issues where Giuliani's dissent from mainstream conservative opinion would normally disqualify him. It's that they really, really believe the war on terror is for real. At conservative conferences, on blogs and on talk radio, pro-life issues have faded in their passion and intensity compared with the war on terror. Taken together, terrorism, Iraq and Islam have become the No. 1 social issue for conservative base of the party.


Note: I didn't say it's become the No. 1 foreign-policy or national-security issue for social conservatives. It's become the No. 1 social issue, at least for many of them.


Unambiguous polling data is hard to come by on this point, but the anecdotal data is enormous. From my e-mail alone, it's obvious. Books that frontally challenge Islam as a religion have become mainstays of conservative publishing. Meanwhile, Dinesh D'Souza's book, "The Enemy at Home," a passionate, socially conservative polemic calling for the American right to align itself with traditional Muslims against the domestic left and Islamic extremists, has found itself almost entirely undefended on the right for its perceived effort to "blame America first."


William Bennett, the famed "virtue czar," emphasizes the civilizational struggle more than any other and gets an enormous response from social conservatives. Even before the war on terror, evangelicals embraced Israel for myriad reasons, among them a theological affinity for the Jewish state and a faith that it is an imperiled sister democracy. Such convictions are only multiplied and personalized for these Americans by events since 9/11. At National Review's "conservative summit" last month, Romney talked at length about abortion but gave short shrift to the war, and the disappointment in the room was palpable.


That's not to say either Romney or Giuliani will win, but they're the ones to watch because they get to design their first impressions in a way other top-tier candidates like John McCain and Newt Gingrich can't. Romney and Giuliani, both immensely attractive, savvy and well-funded politicians, are in effect the canaries in the coal mine of conservative politics. If either emerges from the dark tunnels of primary season alive, it will tell us a great deal about the future of the GOP and American politics.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


To comment on JWR contributor Jonah Goldberg's column click here.

Jonah Goldberg Archives

© 2006 TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles