Thursday, October 24, 2013

Neither Our Best Nor Our Brightest

Two days ago, Mike Duffy took aim at Stephen Harper. Yesterday, Pam Wallin framed the issue:

The Government, through Senator Carignan, has truly put the cart before the horse – the sentencing before the trial – and that is why it would be both unfair and troubling if his motion proceeds.

If it does, each and every one of you will seriously have to consider whether this is a place of sober second thought, or a place where anyone who enters must blindly follow a political master’s dictates.

And yesterday Stephen Harper -- that paragon of accountability -- insisted that he was demanding accountability from an old reprobate. He did not mention that it was he who appointed Duffy, and that, as The Disaffected Lib reports, in Duffy's office there is an autographed picture of Harper and Duffy with the inscription, "To Mike, my most valuable senator."

It's hard to feel sympathy for any of the principals here. This is, after all, a war among the privileged.

The next salvo will be Duffy's release of those emails -- which the PMO claimed didn't exist. But, in the end, it should be obvious that this crisis is entirely of Stephen Harper's own making. He chose Duffy and Wallin with the expectation that they would use their considerable communication skills to vanquish his enemies. Now they have declared him the enemy.

It should also be obvious that Mr. Harper is neither our best nor our brightest prime minister.


Anonymous said...

Harper, as we know, took 12-13 years (approximately 6 yrs for each) to complete his B.A. and M.A. in Econs., after having first dropped out from U. of Toronto:

Consider that the "average" student would have taken half the time (4 yrs for the first and another 2 yrs for the second degree). Also, most academic institutions in N. Am. limit the time a student can take to complete her degree to 5 yrs for a Masters and 7 yrs for a Ph.D. Wonder how Calgary allowed him to take 6 yrs for his M.A. -- special permission? Or a call from someone (Papa?) from the Imperial Oil Co., just as what apparently had happened with his first job in the mail room?

Therefore, I think his academic record also suggests that, academically, he was not also one of our best and brightest students. Lol

Owen Gray said...

Just as there is a myth abroad that Harper is an economic genius, Anon, there is likewise a myth making the rounds that he is a very bright fellow.

A very bright fellow would not put himself in his present predicament.

The Mound of Sound said...

I wouldn't gauge Harper's intelligence by his recent actions in this scandal. He seems to be in a situation largely beyond his control which narrows his options and limits his room to maneuver. It seems he's already tripped himself up.

The Conservative convention is coming up and it seems there are plenty who will gripe about the way Wallin and Duffy are being treated in the Senate.

If you had a smoking gun e-mail or two, that might be a wonderful time for it to surface, no?

This is tricky for Duffy in a tactical sense. Assuming he has this document as his lawyer and others claim, once he plays that card it leaves him somewhat empty-handed.

I think there are damned few people who think the Wright cheque happened without Harper's approval; that Wright and Perrin would do this behind Harper's back. Producing a document showing just that would be a huge game-changer. That said, there may be other documents, tape recordings, and so on that might be leaked first.

Owen Gray said...

I assume, Mound, that Duffy will hold on to the "smoking gun" until the last -- and that what he will leak first will be the emails that show Wright didn't act alone.

Duffy isn't just going after Harper. He's going after the Conservative hierarchy which empowers him.

Harper's "intelligence" is narrow. He is vulnerable because of his inability to see and acknowledge his weaknesses. And it's those weaknesses which Duffy, I think, will exploit.

Anonymous said...

I think Harper is probably of average intelligence. What distinguishes him from the herd is his ability to be an unquestioning conformist. He adopts the views of the powerful and puts himself in the service of the powerful. That quality is what makes him a dangerous politician.

Harper is an empty vessel, devoid of any original thought.

Owen Gray said...

Harper may not be a wise man, Anon. But he is a driven man. And the rich and the powerful have learned how to harness that drive.

Anonymous said...

Harper is no Conservative, never has been. Harper is a Dictator and a control freak. Harper's team is, cowed by him. They are spineless, gutless wonders.

How could anyone with, honor, decency, ethics and morals, support Harper? Shame on them!!

We went to war so, we wouldn't have such as Harper running this country. Harper most certainly not worth, our young Canadian boys dying for

Owen Gray said...

But he does like to pretend, Anon, that he is a patriot.