Friday, January 27, 2017

O'Leary -- Again



Kevin O'Leary  and Arlene Dickinson are having a public disagreement. He wants to be prime minister. She doesn't think it's a good idea. And she pulls no punches:

My first objection to Kevin’s candidacy is that the man I know is relentlessly self-interested and only pursues opportunities that further his fame, power or wealth.
This concern has since been confirmed when he was asked if he would leave the American show Shark Tank if he won the leadership. He said he wouldn’t, electing to commit half his energy to an American reality show.
In other words, instead of committing 100 per cent of his time to serving Canadians, he’s going to spend half of it investing in Americans, and serving his American interests.

Like Donald Trump, O'Leary refuses to divest himself of his business interests -- and he gives the impression that American interests would be at the top of his agenda.  Also, like Trump, his positions shift, according to the audience he is addressing:

I also said that Kevin shifts positions when it’s convenient. That too has been reinforced. When he’s in the United States filming Shark Tank, he calls Boston home. Now that he’s in Canada running for office, he calls Toronto home. When he’s in Montreal, suddenly he’s Québécois. It’s no wonder he doesn’t know the difference between Capitol Hill and Parliament Hill.

And, also like Trump, O'Leary lies without blushing:

I did find one of Kevin’s responses to my article surprising when he and his surrogates pronounced, falsely, that the only reason I criticized him is because I’m partisan. They even went as far as saying I’m running for office.

But he knows this isn’t true. I’ve publicly declared several times that I’m not running for any political party.

In other words, instead of being honest with Canadians, Kevin and his team chose to spread a lie in an attempt to delegitimize my view.

A recent poll suggests that O'Leary would do well against Justin Trudeau. If the Conservatives choose O'Leary as their leader, Canada -- like the United States -- will disintegrate. God help us.


Image: Huffington Post

17 comments:

Lorne said...

A carny extraordinaire is the largest praise I can heap upon O'Leary, Owen.

Owen Gray said...

Like Trump, Lorne, he's P.T. Barnum for the 21st Century. His old circus just closed down. But The Greatest Show On Earth has moved to another venue.

Anonymous said...

So O'Leary is a greedy narcissist who lies without blushing. That would make him no different than any other politician: Junior, Obama, Hillary, etc.

The only thing that can stop O'Leary from becoming prime minister in 2019 is Junior implementing rank ballot voting reform keeping his election promise. This is because conservatives make up 40% of the electorate and a false majority occurs on 40%. They will be enthusiastic about O'Leary – unlike Harper. (It's a lock.)

Of course Junior is completely disconnected from reality. Thinks he can represent plutocrats and smooth talk his way out of it. My bet: he will ditch electoral reform and get slaughtered in 2019 like Count Iggy in 2011.

In the aftermath liberals should learn this lesson: they need to offer the people more than 'look at how bad the other guy is.' They can start by offering the people something. (Other than polished turds.)

-MAGA

Owen Gray said...

They have to offer more than sunny ways, MAGA.

Owen Gray said...

Please initial your comment if you want it published, Anon.

The Mound of Sound said...

Match, meet Gasoline. If we're out to self-combust, this swine is as good as any.

zoombats in Hong Kong said...

I can't wait to see the new liberal adds with regard to O'Leary. "He's not here for you" and "Just visiting".

Owen Gray said...

He's a flame thrower, Mound. The kind of guy who could burn down the island.

Owen Gray said...

As one of the commenters here has suggested, zoombats, he's like Ignatieff -- just another guy from Boston.

Kirby Evans said...

While Trudeau continues to trade on his presentation of "sunny ways" for now, I can't imagine that honeymoon lasting much longer. It has been just over a year and he has, as expected, proven himself to be little more than Harper "lite." But it is a long jump from people feeling let down by Trudeau to people electing someone like O'Leary. As bad as the Con party is, people like O'Leary and Leitch (or any of the ultra-right leadership candidates) are fighting an uphill battle. For one thing the electorate is growing increasingly liberal in many ways (particularly the youth), and the racist, ultra-capitalist message is mostly playing to the older part of the population, and they are dwindling fast. Furthermore, Trump's victory will galvanize organizers and opposition in Canada to work hard to turn out against ultra-right candidates (particularly ones like O'Leary). Another issue is the that, know-nothing, proudly ignorant element of the population is not as large in Canada as it is in the US. And above all this O'Leary has a bigger problem - while Trump has a certain oafish charm similar to that which Rob Ford possessed, O'Leary completely lacks this sort of dumb-guy warmth that, despite their political offensiveness, both Trump and Ford could exude. It is this kind of oafish charm which ultimately, I think, led to both Trump and Ford being just acceptable enough (while still being offensive) to be electable. Both O'Leary and Leitch talk the same game as Trump (and Ford did) but they do so in very cold and calculating ways which come out quite clearly in their manners. I think (at least in most cases) populism demands a certain degree of likability.

Owen Gray said...

I liked Trump as an alternative to the corrupt history making machine that is the Democratic party. Justin seems to have blown in some insulation to a leaky house. O'Leary offers nothing, he did not make his money, he is an ego walking. -- Steve's comment -- not mine.

Owen Gray said...

I agree that O'Leary possesses absolutely no "oafish charm," Kirby. I truly hope your analysis is correct.

Owen Gray said...

As Dickinson suggests, Steve, O'Leary's all ego. Ir's all about him.

the salamander said...

.. we see O'Leary as a wonderful caretaker ConservaTory 'Leader' .. taking over with his bald pate from extremely follicley blessed, but noxiously pedantic Rona. Seeing the Party that pretends to be of Macdonald a smoking ruin under O'Leary seems apropos after Stephen Harper reinvented it as the Party of Harper in collusion with Peter the McKay. The 'safe' bet seems The sniveler Scheer, the bet that collects at least some of the Quebec & francophone ridings is Bernier. O'Toole ? who knows.. and ah here come kellie & kouvalis to truly challenge & befuddle the aging Harper faithful & of course, The Base.. its all about the Base. But O'Leary.. with all that magnetism.. and an actual wife fer gawds sake ! Well, without a shred of French, and hailing from Boston actually and unwilling to give up his tv career.. well he's the man! An absentee ruler of the disintegrating Harper Reform Rump party. Not here for you? Hell he's not even here !

Owen Gray said...

They're not exactly a stellar cast, salamander.

John B. said...

Let's not miss something that could be important on the question of O'Leary. While both of them seem to be driven by an excess of self interest, have no problem maintaining the straight face regardless of what they say and have in abundance the drummer's talent for identifying the best messaging to appeal to the customer with no sales resistance, Trump isn't guided by ideology and O'Leary is pure market libertarian. Nowadays preachers of that intellectual abomination self identify as "capitalist" and often as "conservative".

Don't make the typical consumer mistake of associating O'Leary with the brands of extremism put on display by some of the other candidates. He'll jump on it and refute it in a minute. Sales professionals refer to the tactic as "cashing in on the customer's objection". O'Leary's extremism is much more dangerous than the offensive clap-trap being offered by the likes of Leitch or Trost, and it's harder to discern. And he may be able to compensate for his lack of oafish charm through his ability to disseminate his bullshit using sentences.

O'Leary can handle the Trump comparisons and capitalize on them where they may be beneficial to his candidacy. He's quick to point out that, as a child of immigrants, he disagrees with Trump's nativist messaging. Of course he does. How could anyone expect anything other than an anti-nativist attitude from a workplace-flexibility advocate who claims that he derives much of his income from investing and thinks the slugs should work for eighteen hours and than find a place to sleep beside their work benches? It's a stock answer that he's been employing repetitively to preclude discussion of their more objectionable similarities. And as far as the social-conservative and theo-con stuff is concerned, he's probably still making his calculations. For now it's just, "I'm a business guy, you know. I know how to spell 'economy'."

I'll leave off with this: in O'Leary's world, people who work for wages or salaries are a dime-a-dozen; they're entitled to whatever freedom and influence they can earn through their participation in the marketplace. As Dickinson suggests: that's not an act; that's all that's there. There's more to say, particularly about the approaches he may take in consolidating and expanding his support, but that's all for now.

Owen Gray said...

You seem to have a pretty good handle on who the man is, John. My sense is that -- as with any good salesman -- he'll craft and change his message according to the customer he's addressing. Which makes him all the more dangerous.