Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Smell Of Desperation


If you want to really know what's driving the Harperites these days, Devon Black writes, consider the tactics they are using:

Twice in the last three months, Conservatives have sent individuals into Liberal events in the hopes of deliberately instigating missteps — while secretly recording the whole thing for release later.

The latest example concerns retired general Andrew Leslie, who criticized Israel's tactics in Gaza, but who also recognized Israel's right to defend itself:

So, every nation has the right to defend itself. Every nation has the right to defend its people. So keep that as a thought bubble.

Then there’s this little Chinese gentleman about 2,700 years ago who said, in Cantonese: ‘Never do what your enemy wants you to do.’ So, just keep that as a thought bubble . His name was Sun Tzu.
So what does Hamas – who’s actually guided and directed by [whos has] funding and the leadership provided mainly by Iran and Syria – what did they want Israel to do? They want Israel to, essentially, fall into the trap of igniting world opinion against them, by killing civilians.

Of course, the Conservatives exploded. Joe Oliver called Leslie's response “deeply disturbing” accusing Leslie of “(placing) blame on Israel for defending itself.” And immediately a fundraising letter went out to the party faithful.

These tactics are much like those used by Republicans in 2009:

Memories are short in politics, but for anyone who was watching U.S. politics in 2009, these tactics probably seem familiar. That was the year ACORN, a collection of organizations best known for running voter-registration drives in low-income communities, was put out of commission. Two conservative activists — posing as a sex worker and her boyfriend — tried to get ACORN staff to make damaging statements while the conversations were recorded on hidden cameras.

The selectively-edited footage, and the furor it raised in the media, forced ACORN to shut down — even though several subsequent investigations cleared ACORN of any wrongdoing.

The Conservatives are running scared. And that, writes Black, should worry all Canadians:

The first sting saw Liberal MP John McKay criticizing Justin Trudeau on tape. In the second, retired general (and Trudeau advisor) Andrew Leslie was caught holding a nuanced position on the conflict in Gaza. Neither incident seems to have held the public’s interest.

But unlike the ACORN scandal, which was triggered by activists working on their own, these two Canadian incidents appear to have been carried out by Conservative staffers: one by a former intern to Health Minister Rona Ambrose, and the other by a parliamentary assistant to MP Rob Anders.

Rather than developing a strong platform, based on reasoned principles, the Conservatives have instead focused their energies on tearing down enemies — which they apparently have in abundance. Sometimes the targets are obvious — though you have to wonder if we really need any more anti-Trudeau attack ads at this point. The Conservative base must be so well-conditioned by now that just playing that clip of Trudeau stripping probably elicits a Pavlovian response.

But when Harper lashed out at Chief Justice Beverly McLachlin earlier this year, it seemed less like calculation and more like a tantrum. Harper could have taken his government’s repeated losses before the Supreme Court with a pinch of humility and learned from the experience, the way adults do. Instead, he took cheap shots at one of our nation’s most respected institutions.

They have run out of ideas and are running on bile. You can smell their desperation.


Anonymous said...

I don't think Harper realizes, he is not the important big shot on the International scene, as he thinks he is?

At meetings of Nations, Harper is the trouble maker every time. He always manages to insult and anger, every country attending. Countries detest Harper's bullying and his hissy fits when, he doesn't get his own way.

The UN Security Council banned Harper a seat and Harper was livid. Canada used to be welcome all around the globe, until Harper that is. Then it is said? Harper didn't have an invite, to a NATO meeting in Wales?

Our Veterans are doing a tour across Canada. They are protesting Harper's treachery towards them. I plan to cheer them on. If you can't be there, e-mail your Royal Canadian Legions and let them know you support them.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I strongly suspect the General did himself and the Liberal Party (no thanks to Junior) some good by enunciating a position that agrees with what most Canadians had been thinking about the disproportionate response from the Israelis. Consider that the Liberals (and NDP) had been much criticized for towing Harper's line on the Gaza issue.

Before this, I had already written the General off (recall his charging taxpayers, albeit it being within his terms of employment to do so) some $70K to move house down the street.

With his courage to take a stand that is considerably different from that of his Liberal Party, the General had shown that he is likely not just a pushover to just tow the party lines. Unless he was genuinely entrapped, in which case one could repeat the mantra: Liberal, Tory, same ole story ...

To me, however, the Cons' attack reeked of desperation. Even some Canadians of Jewish origins are demonstrating against the Israeli disproportionate attack on non combatant civilians including babies, children and women.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Anon. Leslie is obviously a man who can think for himself. I wish we had more parliamentarians like him.

Owen Gray said...

Even though he is invited to NATO and G7 conferences, Anon, I suspect that the other leaders are getting tired of hearing from Harper.

the salamander said...

.. I patiently await the obvious question being answered by some courageous or honest Conservative re the actions of Alexandra Constantinidis, parliamentary assistant to Conservative MP Rob Anders.

Nobody seems interested in finding out if this was truly a renegade action hatched of her own initiative, with the perpetually unaware Anders caught.. unawares.

Or was their a hierarchy involved? At the very least involving a second tax payer paid public servant, ie MP Rob Anders.. and not must his aide?

And what if the entire fiasco was based on a request from Harper & Government, or from The Party? Is it possible that The Party now commands MP's or their aides?

Regardless, this is what public servants do while pretending to serve the electorate in their riding.

They plan to try and rough up potential opponents, coordinate and schedule the sting. Then aquire the neccesary hidden audio recording gear, microphone and recorder. Get to the site of the sting with some sort of credentials for entry.

And after, they transcribe the recording, liaise with potential publishers or interested parties, distribute the transcript with contextual background and with a shit eating smile, smjgly await the perceived payoff

In this case, the sage nuanced and common sense observations of General Leslie. Did the idiocy backfire? Perhaps. But more and more it becomes obvious that most of The Harper Hive are oblivious, blissed out in their evangelical exaltedness.. goin down the road to Rapture or Bust .. Rupture ....

Owen Gray said...

It's all of a piece with the robocall business, salamander -- a carefully orchestrated effort to take down their opponents by stealth.

And no one is supposed to know who co-ordinates these efforts.