Daniel Casse in CommentaryMagazine.com makes the case:
[T]his conservative crack-up might ... be an opportunity for the next Republican presidential nominee. Reagan’s greatest strength in the late 1970’s was to free the party from a narrow coalition of business interests, Nixonian cultural conservatives, and country-club types. Realignment meant not just redrawing the political map, but remaking the base of the party, attracting a confederation of conservatives who had never really identified with the Republican party.
Because he does not fit neatly into any Republican box, Giuliani seems uniquely suited to take on the task of realignment—and break the red/blue split that forces the GOP to place all its bets on 100,000 votes in Ohio.
So does Noemie Emery who explains the problem (quoted below) and reasons why Rudy may be the solution:
Next year may see the party of the Sunbelt and Reagan, based in the South and in Protestant churches, nominate its first presidential candidate who is Catholic, urban, and ethnic--and socially liberal on a cluster of issues that set him at odds with the party's base. As a result, it may also see the end of the social issues litmus test in the Republican party, done in not by the party's left wing, which is shrunken and powerless, but by a fairly large cadre of social conservatives convinced that, in a time of national peril, the test is a luxury they cannot afford.
There's a lot of back and forth on the National Review's Corner on this topic. As one who has despised the Bush administration first and foremost for propping the Shrub up as the Great Divider, this is great news coming from the reeps.
Consider the debate within reep circles about the fate of the party and the country after 9-11, and moving through to the 2006 mid-term elections....
Oh wait, there was no debate. The reeps engaged in a huge circle jerk with everyone pointed at their lord and master - the Shrub (aka Karl Rove). Their victories were short-lived, and many reeps lost their way - big time.
I believe enough reeps now "get it." A debate about the future of the party is well underway. Where the party ends up - who knows? But at least the discussion and debate is on.
All Americans are all the richer for it.