Chris Alexander is only the latest Harper attack dog to be sent back to his kennel. Rick Salutin writes that there have been many of them:
The parade of Tory attack dogs has been long and luminous. It's how John Baird and Jason Kenney got their Ottawa start, fangs ever-bared. You thought it came naturally to them but as they moved up, they grew less vicious and slid out of the role while others arrived: Joe Oliver, implying environmentalists are terrorists, yet never quite at ease in the part; Julian Fantino, snubbing wounded vets, more comfortably. Dean Del Mastro. Peter Kent, formerly a smooth TV journalist who went straight for the jugular as a minister (he provoked an early, endearing Justin Trudeau obscenity in the House) yet was dumped anyway: did Harper simply not trust the type? Kent was still at it this week, falsely slagging a Syrian "terrorist," then half-heartedly apologizing.
Paul Calandra is an interesting case. He seemed a born potty-mouth. You could picture him during recess in the schoolyard. Then one question period he overreached, yammering irrelevantly about Thomas Mulcair supporting genocide against Israel as if he couldn't shut it off. Next day he was back tearfully apologizing and hasn't been the same meanie since. He still shows up on TV but without the old bile. Maintaining high rabidity levels isn't that easy for most people. (There are exceptions: Pierre Poilievre.) These guys were recruited to play a role and you don't say No to the boss.
Joining the Harper fraternity requires that aspiring rush candidates go through a nasty initiation ceremony. Ultimately, the price of admission is that you sell your soul. There have been some who, when they saw what was going on, left the fraternity house. People like Garth Turner, Bill Casey and Brent Rathgeber. But most young fools wanted a fraternity sweatshirt -- with a big H on it.
One wonders if Jenni Byrne has her own room in Animal House.