There is a condition that grips the hearts and minds of politically concerned Americans (and those of other countries, I suppose, but I haven't any experience there) as elections approach, and until I come up with a better name, I'll call it "Political Desperation Fever." It manifests itself principally in a conclusion that may be stated thusly: "but we can't afford to lose this election" or alternately, "we can't afford to have ___ win." I have seen this among conservatives, but I suspect liberals are susceptible as well.
The other manifestation is the immediate corollary: "therefore, we must support ____" or we must tolerate such-and-such a compromise because...(insert first assertion here)."
So, the Fever is now focused on Hilary Clinton as the mortal peril--i.e., we cannot survive her election, that is the claim--and therefore, we must support Giuliani (or someone else, if Giuliani's campaign falters).
So there is a debate on the pages of National Review Online, with one commenter echoing an evangelical's rationalization for backing Giuliani--even before the primaries begin!--and then others critiquing the argument.
There are, of course, lots of things to talk about here: how good or bad would Giuliani be? How much credence should sensible people give to his rhetoric and promises? Even taking as a given that Hilary Clinton is awful on prolife issues, how reasonable is it to catastrophize about her election?
About Giuliani the supposed friend of social conservatives: gimme a break! The credulity with which people accept his promise that he'll appoint only sound judges to the Supreme Court is almost morally imputable--i.e., many of the people who say they believe it, I think cannot be that stupid, so they must be deliberately insincere. Giuliani has a record of appointments in New York City--consult the record; and he said, during a debate, his idea of a "strict constructionist" judge might well uphold Roe v. Wade, so that gives up the game right there.
A President Giuliani will be in a position to frustrate and weaken the prolife movement in ways a President Hilary Clinton never could, because so much of the movement must work within the Republican Party. It would be wonderful if the Democratic Party also had a significant prolife movement, but prolifers are barely tolerated in the Democratic Party. So if legislation will reach the floor of Congress, it will do so through the GOP for the time being.
The leadership within the party can be very corrupting--as we've seen with President Bush, who has led the GOP from being a party of small government and spending restraint to being enthusiastic backers of big spending and intrusive big government.* Meanwhile, remember when Bill Clinton was president, the GOP did a far better job of providing opposition to spending and advancing issues dear to social conservatives, and we made progress, far more than under the prior George Bush, or this one!
* Update ca. 2:45 pm: in fairness, the GOP had started down the wrong path before this. The GOP Congress started moving away from fiscal discipline later in the Clinton Administration, and decided--foolishly in my judgment--to make Clinton their only issue, and it cost them in 1998. But they were models of rectitude by comparison to their actions under Bush.
I have no idea what a President Hilary will be like, but it's a bit much to expect people to agree with you that you know it will be a disaster all around. Of course we know she's terrible on prolife issues--but then, so is Giuliani. At least if Hilary wins, we can hope for vigorous opposition to her.** Of course she'll name terrible justices, but to replace whom? It's not at all clear that should she get to name anyone to the court, her replacements will make things any worse (i.e., if she replaces Stevens, Ginsberg or Souter?). In any case, why assume Giuliani's will be better? It will be far easier for the GOP to oppose Hilary's nominees, than their own presidents.
** Update ca. 2:45: this is what the tub-thumpers for Giuliani specifically, or anyone trying to stampede you into desperation, hope you forget--that the President cannot do anything she or he likes, but must act with Congress. How amazing it is that the exact same political group who said you couldn't push for everything you wanted, when it was a GOP Congress and a GOP president, are now coming to you saying, hysterically, if Hilary wins, she can pass everything she wants! How stupid do they think we are?
What's more, people also forget how much progress the opposition made, during the Clinton years--on prolife issues and across the board. If you are a conservative or a Republican (the terms used to overlap), the years 1994-1999 were years of policy progress across the country. If you look at all 50 states as well as Congress, lots of GOP candidates won, taking control of state houses as well as Congress, and policies were enacted, that would please GOPers and conservatives. Meanwhile, a lot of that has been eroded under Bush.
Meanwhile, some claim Hilary's presidency will be a military disaster. Well, show me your crystal ball, and then I'll believe you know something. I think it's very reasonable the first woman president of the U.S. may feel the need to prove she's tough enough, or at least be concerned not to make a wrong move that suggests she's soft?
The bottom line is that we can, do and will survive...or not, but not on the basis of a single election. Everything does not hinge on who is president. The world will keep spinning, and if Hilary becomes president--or Giuliani for that matter--the task will be to respond and keep fighting. There are no permanent defeats...or victories, in politics--or at least, very few.