Ann Althouse discusses Sean Hannity's interview with Rudy Giuliani and the latter's aparent attempt to apeal to social conservatives. His points are fairly unremarkable and pretty much what we have heard from centrists for the past few decades. Easy to ignore, actually. But pay a little attention to what he says about whether Roe v. Wade was a good decision:
Where I stand on abortion is: I oppose it. I don't like it. I hate it. I think abortion is something that, as a personal matter, I would advise somebody against. However, I believe in a woman's right to choose. I think you have to ultimately not put a woman in jail for that, and I think, ultimately, you have to leave that to a disagreement of conscience, and you have to respect the choice that somebody makes.
Note, first of all, that he did not answer the question. But the disturbing thing about Giuliani's statement is not what it reveals about his policy preference -- which we knew and could be persuaded to accomodate for reasons of expediency -- but what it shows about his view of conservatives. The mere suggestion that conservatives would like to see women thrown into jail for seeking an abortion is insulting and shows a disturbing lack of engagement with conservative principles.
If Giuliani had been trying to appeal to liberal voters and had said, "Of course, I believe in a woman's right to choose, but I think women ought to be prevented from actually eating their babies," wouldn't that make you want to scream? But that is only slightly more exagerated than what he implies about the conservative position.
This is precisely the problem that Bush had with the Miers nomination. He wants to appeal to conservatives but he does not have a clear idea about what conservatives find appealing or, more importantly, why.
Note, also, that this proves that Sean Hannity is not a conservative ideologue but merely a republican tool. If he were the former, he would not have let Giuliani's slur go unrebuked. At least he could have made some comment to counteract the proliferation of this facile caricature. If you watch his show regularly, it quickly becomes aparent that he is only good at rebutting the Cynthia McKinney faction of the crazy-left. If he is confronted with a liberal (or centrist) that has a modicum of sense, he retreats to his list of talking points and waits for the commercial break. Maybe that is all we can expect of media pundits, but I confess that I have long since lost my patience with the lot of them.