Last week was a tough slog for politicians with an exaggerated sense of self. Michael Harris writes:
Take Jason Kenney, temporarily Alberta’s premier until next year’s election. He was already on a bullet-train to oblivion for a host of tawdry scandals and poor decisions, including botching the response to the pandemic. Remember, this is the guy who told Albertans that the summer of 2021 would be the best one ever. The CBC later reported that at least 129 people contracted COVID-19 at the 2021 Calgary Stampede. What fun.
Now his suspended justice minister Kaycee Madu has been outed for calling Edmonton’s chief of police over a $300 traffic ticket he was given for driving through a school zone while on his cellphone.
Even deadbeat politicians understand that no justice minister and solicitor general can cross that line, and still maintain respect for the rule of law. In another political time zone, back in 1990, Jean Charest had to resign as Brian Mulroney’s federal sports minister after calling a judge on behalf of a constituent. Even Kenney, who is programmed to trivialize his own missteps and those of his ministers, should have known that Madu had to go.
And then there was the carnival at 10 Downing Street:
The antics at No. 10 do not require an apology. They require a resignation. Members of Johnson’s own party have joined the political opposition in the view that the PM has to go. But when you are above it all, when you play by your own rules, you never do the right thing. You continue to abuse power in order to retain it.
And that is exactly what Johnson is doing. It has been widely reported that the PM has set party whips on any Conservatives who express criticism of the Boss. There is even a demand to investigate the claim that Tory MPs are being “blackmailed” into supporting Johnson. As one wag put it, Tories are fighting Tories like “ferrets in a sack.” The Conservative Party could implode over this, but that’s okay with Johnson as long as he remains in the driver’s seat.
And, of course, there was the continuing saga of The Great Orange Boob south of the border:
In an 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court he had carefully stocked with conservative judges made a crucial ruling. The court rejected Trump’s bogus claim of executive privilege to hide the facts about Jan. 6 from Americans. The justices ordered that White House documents from the Trump administration dealing with events leading up to the sacking of the Capitol be released to the congressional committee investigating the matter. With access to phone logs, emails, notes, draft speeches, and conversations, the Jan. 6 committee will be able to answer a critical question. Was the Trump White House a bystander to the insurrection? Or was it orchestrating a coup?
There is a lesson there. But as Pete Seegar asked decades ago, "When will they ever learn?"