Like brittle, bloodless, yet still-twitching limbs, a few extremists are detaching themselves from the Blogging Tories.
It appears that Stephen Harper has realized that most electors do not, and probably never will, embrace him, his party or his hard-right policies, and is daring to be strategic, even pragmatic. Under our ridiculously undemocratic voting system, he can rule with a comfortable majority even when 60% or so of the electorate votes against him, as most assuredly will. Harper need only bamboozle a handful of the gullible with his blue-sweater-and-kitten conservatism; the Maximum Programme can be unveiled the day after the next election. (Sauve qui peut.)
But this isn’t satisfactory to the purists, who want it all, yesterday. Some are libertarians, whose vision of individual freedom for everyone except Muslims is not, at least in their view, being given sufficient scope. The super-rich took home 30% of the new income generated between 1997 and 2007, which is precisely the way unfettered capitalism is supposed to work—libertarianism, after all, has always been a disguised form of social darwinism. But there’s still too much government, too many regulations, state intrusions here, there and everywhere. Take Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, for example, clearly on a par with Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. Hate speech remains proscribed. Nope, Harper’s a sellout.
Then there are the neo-cons, for whom the Toronto G20 policing was a dry run. Harper has not yet built sufficient prisons, restored the death penalty, legalized concealed carry, implemented a latter-day “only good Indian” policy, closed the borders to immigrants and refugees (in particular the beige ones), and sent Parliament home for good.
The candidacy of Julian Fantino proved to be a touchstone for all this discontent. He used to be one of the good guys—standing up to what George Wallace once called “the opposite race,” not taking any guff from queers and Natives, letting his men throw their weight around.
It’s all very well to feel sorry for James LeCraw now, a victim of Fantino’s publicity-seeking, but this has somewhat of an opportunistic feel about it. How many Cons really had reservations at the time about Fantino’s war on child pornography?
Fantino in fact had built up considerable Conservative street cred, but he blew it all on Caledonia. He too was being strategic, saying that his troops shouldn’t go over the top and take casualties when the feds were doing nothing about the land claim that was causing the mess in the first place. But “strategic” has that whiff of compromise about it, that old “art of the possible” pragmatism.
With Christie Blatchford, the disaffected True Blues thought he shoulda gone in there to rip and tear and civilize those Indian bastards. But the old guy lost his nerve, and now he’s headed for Cabinet. Maybe he’ll get a nice fluffy blue sweater too, and his very own kitten. That’ll make two more pussies.
Only time will tell whether these limbs are painlessly reabsorbed into the CPC spin machine known as the Blogging Tories, or will continue to twitch and claw blindly at the perceived soft underbelly of the Harper administration. In any case, it doesn’t matter much. It’s sure amusing to watch, though. Here, for example, is one of the loyalists, evidently in a bit of a panic:
And, perhaps most stinging of all, the likes of the former shock blogger “Canadian Cynic” and other Leftist Rabble who mock the BT for being just an arm of the CPC, will be proven right.
“Proven right?” Hardly. It’s self-evident: the Blogging Tories are and always have been an arm of the CPC—and so what? The obvious, however, seems to be coming as news to some of the faithful. Or—is this funny little show of shock merely strategic as well?
[sent from Milan on my LackBerry device]