Thursday, March 01, 2007

Understanding Giuliani's appeal

Recent polls show former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani overtaking early frontrunner John McCain in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. What's especially surprising to many is that much of the change in standing is due to support from white evangelical Protestants, who now clearly favor Giuliani over McCain, despite Giuliani's historical support for both gay rights and abortion.

Perhaps the best (and certainly wittiest) explanation comes from TPM Cafe blogger Andrew Golis:

A few weeks ago, liberal writers were worried that voters would forget that when Giuliani was Mayor of New York he was a crazy, mean, dangerous authoritarian. This week the concern is that the conservative base may nominate him for exactly that reason.

In these uncertain times I'm not surprised that some people look for an authority figure to rely upon. And I find it no shock at all to find that those who seem most interested in finding certainty in the bible also seek political solace from authoritarian leadership.

Perhaps this, more than his self-described "born-again" status, explains Bush's appeal to the religious right.

If that is the case then indeed, the more dictatorial Giuliani appears, the more these folks will like him.

[H/t for the Golis quote to Kevin Drum]

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