Let he who is without sin cast the first stone – as long as the person getting stoned is a conservative. Below: a typical strained pea conservative blubbers, although not in this case about the cruel treatment meted out to Toronto Mayor Rob Ford by liberal bullies and the media. Interestingly, this tear was shed back in 2011. Below that: Spiro T. Agnew. Where’s a conservative with a way with words now that we could actually use one?
What’s the No. 1 characteristic of “conservative” Canadian politicians and their supporters at this late date in the eras of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Prime Minister Stephen Harper?
Crybabies, every one of ’em! What’s with this, anyway?
Aren’t conservatives supposed to be tough guys? Aren’t they always telling the people they cheat and beat, people all too often like the readers of this blog, to “just get over it”?
That may be their self-perpetuated self-image, just as they characterize “liberals” – that is, those of us who believe in due process, fairness, common decency and the rule of law – as sissies, or as Spiro T. Agnew famously put it, “an effete corps of impudent snobs.”
Of course, Mr. Agnew, who for a spell was Richard Milhous Nixon’s vice-president, was speaking in 1969, back when conservatives did more than grunt and bay like Ann Coulter or Ezra Levant, loudly accusing anyone who stands up to their bullying of being a bully.
Now, with enough inarticulate right-wing goombahs around that we could actually use a couple of conservatives who had a way with words, where have they all gone? Nowadays if you want to entertain yourself by slapping down a conservative who’s worth the effort, there’s almost no one left worth whacking but Conrad Black! And even he hasn’t sounded like himself since he started calling for prison reform.
No, for all their efforts to portray themselves as red meat conservatives, about all the right wing does in Canada nowadays is whinge and cry – even when they’re winning.
Really, if you’re looking for a food metaphor, it would be more appropriate to portray Canadian right-wingers like Prime Minister Stephen Harper – sniveling in Calgary the week before last about how he’s just another outsider, rejected by those effetely snobby elites with their silk repp bowties and pictures on their exclusive clubroom walls of Lyndon Johnson giving Lester Pearson a good liberal shake – as strained pea conservatives! Boo-hoo-hoo!
Of course, while they’re blubbering and stomping their well-shod little feet about how mean everyone is to them, they’re all for kicking the less fortunate in the teeth, sending them to jail for as long as possible in the harshest conditions imaginable, and accusing anyone who complains about it of wanting to hug a thug. This is called “appealing to the base.” I guess it’s where the red meat part comes in.
But when the time comes for them to take a little bit of what they’ve been dishing out, brace yourself for an ear-splitting tantrum, something worthy of a Reasons My Son is Crying cell-phone video. (“Because I wouldn’t let him drink his own bathwater.”)
And never has this tendency been more on display than in the past couple of weeks as the Ford Brothers Soap Opera has gone from bad, to worse, to excruciating.
Here’s the National Post’s Kelly McParland on Friday, choking back a sob about the victimization of Toronto’s mayor – and lauding the tears of solidarity shed by federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty for Mr. Ford and all his calamitously self-inflicted wounds.
Taking on both topics on in one wracking passage, Mr. McParland blinks back his tears as he writes of Mr. Flaherty … “His (tearful) response distinguished him from the mob that has been after Ford’s hide. If he’d made his remarks to the crude, jostling crowd that gathers outside Ford’s office at every new whiff of blood, he might have been met with laughter – as Ford was when some clod broke into cackles at the end of his public admission of drug use this week – or with a shouted, ‘why won’t you just go away?’ as another dolt demanded Thursday.” (Emphasis irresistibly added.)
“We’re not talking about anyone human here, just a target,” Mr. McParland laments. “He gets the thumbs down from the crowd, you stick a sword in him. It’s been going on for centuries.” Oh, the humanity, the humanity!
Remember, we’re not talking about someone here who has lost a loved one, been diagnosed with a fatal illness or been taken advantage of by an unscrupulous stranger. We’re talking about a big, ill-disciplined, self-indulgent, destructive, booze-addled lunk who won’t take responsibility for his own actions, like his fellow conservatives are always telling us everyone should.
But Mr. McParland is right about one thing. Sticking a sword into undeserving victims is nothing new – and, as they say in Ford Nation, it ain’t just old neither. Consider the recent victimization of a City of Toronto parks worker by some clod, some dolt, after the man was photographed – apparently, allegedly, possibly – sleeping on the job.
Sleeping on the job, mind you, not ranting and waving his arms like a deranged baboon, threatening people’s lives, carpet bombing the airwaves with F-Bombs, or inhaling clouds of crack cocaine – our concern about which, the Post soberly informs us elsewhere, is nothing more than “an intense moral panic.”
(Smoke a little pot and Mr. Harper and his enablers at the Post would like to send you to a nasty jail for a long time. Smoke a little crack in the mayor’s SUV and they want to give you a hug – or at least let you keep on doing it unremarked and un-policed as long as it diverts attention from their own political problems and keeps Ford Nation content.)
So here was Rob Ford dishing it out in October about the allegedly snoozing city parks worker: “I’m going to ask for the manager and the employee to be dismissed. We cannot tolerate this. I want people to show up to work and do their job. If they can’t do their job, there’s thousands of other people that are willing and able to do their job.”
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” we’ve been advised – but this apparently only applies when it’s a Conservative who’s getting stoned. Indeed, when conservatives aren’t doing their jobs because they’re in a drunken, crack-addled stupor, the quality of mercy is not strained!
“The pressure that has been put onto him, since Day One, since he was elected, it is not fair,” said Rob’s mama, universally quoted in approving tones. “It is not right.”
I can forgive a mother for defending her son, no matter how big a buffoon he is. (And even Mr. Ford’s family admits he’s, uh … pretty big.) But it’s harder to forgive the Chief Magistrate of the nation’s largest city, too potted to have any idea what he’s talking about, for attacking a city employee who may or may not have been asleep, who may or may not have been on a break, who may or may not have been hamming it up for a cellphone photo.
With the mayor’s office, the Senate and the PMO all in an utter shambles, discombobulated Canadian conservatives have every one turned into wailing “crack babies”! And they demand forgiveness and understanding so they can get back to insulting the rest of us for being bleeding hearts as quickly as possible.
Well, it isn’t going to happen. This is one bleeding heart that’s not bleeding all that much just now, thanks very much. To be frank, I’m enjoying the spectacle. And if the nattering nabobs of neoliberal negativism don’t like it? They can just watch me! And get over it!