Thursday, April 05, 2012

Bob Rae's Ridiculous Assault on Thomas Mulcair

I'm sorry to see that Liberals and the NDP are attacking each other, and that Bob Rae is calling Tom Mulcair a "mini-Harper." 

“If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind in Canada, let me just say that the era of love and good feeling is clearly over inside the NDP. It’s a new regime,” he said.

“We’ve now moved to the world where anger apparently is better than love, arrogance is now better than humility and petulance is much stronger than respect.”

Because I'd rather see the opposition parties focus all their fire on the Cons. Mulcair is no Jack Layton, but no mini-Harper either.

And although I can understand why Rae is angry at the way the new leader is asserting himself, the truth is that thanks to the NDP leadership race, Rae has had the stage to himself for months. He has had trouble recognizing that the situation has changed. 

A press secretary had already given the 30-second warning that Thomas Mulcair was about to emerge from the lobby, where he awaited his moment. Suddenly, Bob Rae, the Liberal interim leader whose eloquence and gravitas had stolen much attention during the eight-month leadership vacuum at the NDP, strode out to the microphone instead. 

A moment of confused laughter and then, as Mulcair chose to go to another microphone rather than wait for Rae to finish, a mad rush as the television cameras and all but a handful of reporters abandoned him for the real and permanent leader of the official Opposition.

Which is making him look ridiculous. And some Liberals look desperate. 

And at least the NDP isn't going around calling the Liberals separatists and "communists."

Dion, who was an observer at the NDP convention in Vancouver in June of 2011, reports that based on what he witnessed he has concluded that New Democrats and Liberals come “from different worlds.” The former Liberal leader said the NDP has a strong union tradition and a radical wing that is “almost Communist.”

Like maxi-Harper does. I mean whose side are they on? And when will the loser Dion finally call it quits? 

Which isn't to say that I don't enjoy the sight of Rae waving his arms wildly and shouting loudly during Question Period, to try to show he's angrier than Mulcair. Or firing off zingers like this one.

Mr. Harper, this kind of saying, ‘not my fault, not my job, it was somebody else’s responsibility’ might work for others. It won’t for work for Mr. Harper. He cannot now pretend that he was just the piano player in the brothel who didn’t have a clue as to what was really going on upstairs. . . 

Because anyone who calls the Cons hookers is my kind of guy eh?

But when he suggests that in his mind at least, he is still the REAL opposition leader, and the ONLY leader who can topple the Harper regime, I can't help thinking horrible thoughts.

Like what parallel universe is he living in? And him and whose army? 

A new poll suggests the federal NDP is enjoying a big bounce in popularity since choosing Thomas Mulcair as leader.The NDP boost comes almost entirely at the expense of the Liberals, who have slipped back to 19 per cent — the same all-time low they received in last May's election when the self-styled natural governing party was reduced to a third-party rump.

For these are the brutal facts.The NDP has three times the number of seats the Liberals do. Like it or not, Mulcair is the REAL opposition leader. He's beating back the Bloc in Quebec. He's putting the screws to Great Ugly Leader in the House of Commons.

A lot of Canadians seem to think he is the guy who can beat Harper, and are willing to give him a chance.

And we all need hope. Badly.

So Bob Rae should probably cool his jets, stop trying to prove he is more of a fighter than Tom.... or Justin. Take a valium or play the piano.

And do the same thing...


Lorne said...

Simon, I think the poll results say it all, and clearly are a prime motivator in Mr. Rae's attack. That being said, I would like to see a bit of his 'righteous indignation' transfer into Mr. Mulcair's Question Period performances. I know that he is keeping himself on a tight leash at this point, but showing a little bit of fire would be all to the good, I think.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's too bad you didn't object so well when it was Layton undermining the Libs. Layton was the best thing that ever happened to Harper in his ascent to power and was instrumental in getting Harper his majority. I know that little truth drives Dippers crazy but so what. Rae is only doing to Mulcair what Layton did to the Libs.

SF Thomas said...

Simon you might have missed Rae's wider point on how the NDP was operating. Mulcair had the NDP hog the entire budget response time in order to shut out the Liberals and essentially tried to marginalize them. The Liberals when they were official opposition never manipulated time response allocations to try and marginalize the NDP in this way even though they could have. This is very contrary to the idea of 'doing politics differently' which Layton presented in the last election. It isn't much of a stretch to call this a Harper-esque trick and an abuse of the NDPs power as official opposition.

Mulcair's big excuse was that the Liberals had 'nothing to say and actually agreed with the Conservatives'. That is BS and again similar to Harper's tactics to use the constant specter of a 'socialist, separatist coalition' as a scare tactic.

Simon said...

Hi Lorne...I know what you mean. Mulcair has been pretty subdued, and I would like to see a bit more of the bearded prophet breathing down fire on the Harper Cons. But you knew that eh? Still, he has gone after Harper like a prosecutor, he is trying to make the NDP a calm, rational alternative to the Con government, and one can't argue with the results...

P.S. maybe he just needs a more hotheaded speechwriter. Tom, Tom, if you're reading this, call me... :)

Simon said...

hi Mound...I beg to disagree, I have criticized the NDP and Jack Layton in the past, for all I care about is that somebody defeat Harper. You write such great posts about our threatened future, surely you must understand that. At this point I don't give a damn about partisan politics. I just think Mulcair is at this point at least our best chance to defeat the Cons, and I wish everybody would give him a chance to show what he can do. The Liberals should focus all their fire on the Cons. And so should the NDP. Fighting ourselves while the Cons torch our country, is simply inexcusable...

Simon said...

hi SF Thomas...I did say that I understood why Rae should be annoyed, and I'm not going to defend the NDP's parliamentary games. If they want to impress us, or overpower the Liberals, they should do it with their ideas, not that kind of stuff. But as I pointed out in the post, I do believe that the Liberals have been more aggressive towards the NDP than the NDP have been to them, and I hate to see either party hand the Cons any ammunition. For you know they will use it against us.
And finally, I find Stephane Dion's latest crusade to paint the NDP as being in league with the "evil separatists" extremely disturbing, and dangerous to the future of our country.
The NDP and the Liberals have a common enemy, and they must put their country before their parties...

SF Thomas said...

"I'm not going to defend the NDP's parliamentary games."

Except you did Simon, you more or less defended it by omission. You claimed "although I can understand why Rae is angry at the way the new leader is asserting himself the truth is that thanks to the NDP leadership race, Rae has had the stage to himself for months." You completely glossed over exactly WHAT the 'NDP parliamentary games' were. You presented it as if Rae is only annoyed that Mulcair stole his thunder and never actually mentioned what the NDP was doing, the fact that they abused their power as the official opposition party to manipulate all the time response allocation to the budget and cut the Liberals out of the debate. The wider point isn't about criticism of other parties it is about cheap tactics, abusing parliamentary power and trying to cut people out of the debate. That isn't a mere 'dislike of how the opposition leader is asserting himself' as you put it, this is a cheap abuse of parliamentary power to shut others out of the debate and goes beyond simply attacking/criticizing the other parties. The NDP shouldn't resort to those gutter tactics, we've seen enough of that from the Conservatives.

"The NDP and the Liberals have a common enemy, and they must put their country before their parties..."

Tell that to Mulcair and the NDP as well then, he's certainly putting his party before country and even democratic values by the time response manipulation to shut the Liberals out of the debate.

As for being aggressive or giving the Conservatives ammunition, Layton did plenty of that during when he was still alive. He actively undermined the Liberals many times. While it helped build up his own team it also helped greatly to build up the Conservatives. It isn't an illegitimate or entirely wrong political tactic for sure but it was incredibly ironic from the guy that said 'the worst thing would be if the Conservatives got a majority' did in fact help them get their majority. (Not saying Layton was a bad guy but that is the reality).


I saw Dion's claim on the NDP being soft Quebec separatists. The semi-separatist claim is maybe overblown, but he actually does have a point. The NDP have been taking a lot of 'Quebec first' stances lately and using language and press releases oriented in that manner. It is a somewhat valid criticism that if the NDP want to be a truly national party that they cannot solely defend the interests of that one constituency. (This isn't remotely in the same league as the time allocation abuses.)

I've also had some run ins with the more shall we say 'hardcore' elements of the NDP, particularly the 'socialist caucus'. While they don't dominate the entire party I am somewhat warry of

e.a.f. said...

Critizing the NDP and/or Liberals does no one any good. Right now Mulcair is the official opposition & has the best chance of getting rid of Haper & his neo cons. Politicans need to start focusing on Harper & his "goons". Once they are gone they can get back to going at each other but right now they all need to get with the agenda which is, get rid of Harper & his crew. I really don't care what the NDP thinks of the Liberals or the Liberals think of the NDP, I just want to see the backside of Harper & his neo-cons & get this country back to being Canadian.

The Liberals need to focus on their own party. If they ever want to become government again they will have to ``EARN` their way back. Name calling isn`t working your way back. Right now I don`t believe a lot of people care about what Mulcair thinks about Quebec, they just want Harper gone along with his selling off our natural resources, robo scandals, F-35, Vic Toews & his need to listen to everything, their `crime`bill. We need to ensure our OAS & health care stays in tact.

As a voter I would like to see the Liberals focus on themselves & doing their job, not focusing on the NDP. Calling the NDP names will not get them more votes.

Anonymous said...

Dion is close to being hated in Quebec, by everyone, because he is clearly of the "let's put Quebec back in its place" school of thought.

I am sorry but Quebec is not just any old province and French culture is one of the founding cultures of Canada. Ukrainians in Saskatchewan (I read some people wanted to make Ukrainian an official language) got here around 1905 only.

We are not "just another ethnic group" like Trudeau Sr. wanted us to become.

Between separatism (Harper was a member of a separatist party but, strangely, it does not bug anybody. Only Quebec's separatists are mentioned as criminals etc.) and treating Quebec like dirt, I am sure there is a middle road.