I have another take on Rudy's speech taking on the 'orthodoxies' of the Republican party.
In our society, at least in most of it, the word 'orthodoxy' comes with at least a loose negative connotation. We're open-minded, tolerant people. So to call one of a political party's bedrock issues an 'orthodoxy
', as the Times
does here, is at least to slightly prejudice the question.
As Steve notes
, Giuliani's choice of Houston is meant to echo John Kennedy's speech addressing the issue of his Catholicism to southern Baptists.
But why do Republicans need to give up these 'orthodoxies'? By and large I agree with Rudy on abortion, gay rights and gun control. But a lot of people get into politics precisely to take the opposing positions. Why shouldn't they organize their voting around these issues that mean so much to them?
It reminds me of the predictable as the seasons articles you'll read every few years in the Post and other papers asking whether Democrats are going to give up their hidebound orthodoxies of supporting Social Security or the progressive income tax or civil rights. For many of us those are precisely the reasons we're involved in politics, so why should we give them up because some frivolous oped writer who doesn't know the first thing about public policy thinks it's the hip new thing to do?
How many Democrats would support a flat-tax, pro-privatization, anti-gay rights candidate for president? And why should they? Washington's beautiful people, the froth at the top of the politico-cultural mug, look down on everybody, right and left, who's really committed politically. It's a mild embarrassment, like loud clothes or poor table manners.