A couple months back back I noted that, despite his many appealing qualities, Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani has a wildly different governing style from the hands-off, Chairman of the Board approach of Republican icons Eisenhower and Reagan.
Now Rudy has yet another Republican icon turning in his grave - this is from the Times:
“There is a Greek maxim: Moderation is the answer to everything, and any extreme is bad,” he said.
Say it with me - "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!"
I don't even want to imagine the reaction of the most famous Goldwater Girl.
MORE: The policies raised by Giuliani are interesting. Foremost, he claims to be best qualified to keep the nation safe. Fine. But I like this:
Mr. Giuliani struck other central themes as well this week on a four-day campaign swing that ended in South Carolina on Thursday. The nation must find a way to become energy-independent, he said, promising as president to undertake an effort comparable to the one that put man on the moon. He said he believed there was broad agreement that human behavior was a factor contributing to climate change.
Linking energy conservation to national security has been a Tom Friedman theme, but it still makes sense. One of my three great objections to Bush's governance is that, in the aftermath of 9/11, he did not press such a linkage. I'm happy to see Rudy do it now, but I can't imagine he will separate himself from the pack with that message.
And since you ask, my other two objections are:
- revenue neutral tax simplification is a political non-starter; simplification can only be done in conjunction with tax cuts, but Bush delivered only the cuts, thereby squandering another generational opportunity for real tax simplification, and;
- the "planning" for post-liberation Iraq was near-criminal.
Hmm. Giuliani says this about taxes:
And, he said, it is time to eliminate the estate tax and vastly simplify the tax code.
I don't think he can run on a program of tax cuts, and simplification can't happen without it. Time will tell.
I like what Giuliani is thinking, anyway. As a big city mayor he might have a record on education reform as well, but whether he wants to run on that record or away from it is not mentioned here.