It was a very sad and contrite looking Justin Trudeau yesterday, apologizing over and over again for his behaviour in the House of Commons.
And if you relied on our Con media you might think that his political career had been damaged beyond repair. Or that his sunny days were over.
But when I looked beyond most of the MSM, I found a very different situation.
One that leads me to believe that the so-called elbowgate affair will not only NOT damage Justin Trudeau, it may even make him more popular.
For although the National's ghastly At Issue panel was relentlessly negative, and summed up the reaction of many in the Con media.
I found a strange disconnect out there that suggests that the MSM is looking at the situation through a traditional lens, doesn't really understand why Trudeau is so popular.
Doesn't understand that it's not just about Justin. It's also about what he represents.
A radical change from the monstrous Harper regime, that traumatized so many people in this country...
And the deep desire of those Canadians to embrace the change and the hope Trudeau offers, and not slide back into the horror of the Harper years.
So I wasn't really surprised when I looked at social media, especially Twitter, and found that support for Trudeau was overwhelming, and that it was the NDP who was getting hammered, even by some of its own supporters.
And when I spoke to people on and off the job, especially younger ones, I discovered something else.
That many of them actually admired what Justin did. They thought it was funny, made him look like a very different politician from all those crusty hacks in the House of Commons, and made them admire him even more.
Despite or maybe even because of the way the Con media is portraying what happened...
Which did surprise me, because as I've explained before, I don't think it was a smart political move. I believe that Justin should have kept his cool, even though the Cons and the NDP have been attacking his family like a pack of rabid animals.
But then I follow politics much more closely than most Canadians.
And I thought that of all the MSM columns I read yesterday, this one came closest to explaining that phenomenon.
The international reaction has been, by and large: “Well, isn’t that cute? When Canadians fight, you can barely see anything happen on the video.”
Here at home, the incident seems unlikely to damage the Trudeau brand, either. He’s always shown a pugnacious streak, both physically as a boxer and in his tactics as a politician, and it’s one of the things many people like about him. He’s scrappy. He swears.
If Justin Trudeau were a character in fiction (which, insofar as we’re talking about him as a public figure, he almost is), his physicality and occasional boorishness would temper his usual handsome earnest cheerfulness. It’s the character flaw that makes him more well-rounded and likable. Does any of that make it OK for a prime minister to act as he acted on Wednesday? Absolutely not (as he acknowledged in his apology). But it explains why that behaviour won’t reduce his charismatic appeal.
It is a question of perception, a wild streak helps make him more than just the Prince of Selfies...
Makes him more human, far more interesting.
And maybe even as Thomas Walkom points out, a chip off the old block.
Justin Trudeau has done well politically by emphasizing his sunny ways. Wednesday’s events show there is a chippier, more dangerous side to his personality. In that sense, he really is Pierre Trudeau’s son. That will probably work for him too.
And it does explain why he drives the Cons crazy.
For the people who don’t admire Justin Trudeau, this stuff drives them crazy. Eventually, they tell themselves, everyone else will see that the emperor has no clothes. Yes, just watch him. But the more of Justin Trudeau Canadians see, warts and all, the more they seem to like him.
This frustration might help explain, in part, why the opposition parties reacted with hyperbole to Wednesday’s events. They are trying to get people to see that this is unacceptable, knowing that when it comes to Trudeau, the likelihood is that few people will care.
The filthy Cons who also don't seem to understand that the more they attack him like Rona Ambrose did yesterday, with an obscene motion accusing him of the "physical molestation" of the faker Ruth Ellen Brosseau.
The more popular Trudeau becomes, the less popular the Cons become, and the more they can expect to be attacked, by Justin's legions of supporters.BREAKING: @RonaAmbrose rises in the House to discuss the "physical molestation" of @RE_Brosseau by @JustinTrudeau https://t.co/d3fHmOc6Uq— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) May 19, 2016
Which also helps explain why although the CBC's Power and Politics panel was also relentlessly negative, and we are going to have to do something about the grubby Conservative Broadcasting Corporation.
The end result of their ballot box poll was this:
Now isn't that a slap in the faces of all those ghastly Trudeau haters?
Can't you hear them screaming in agony? And isn't it a lovely sound?
Justin Trudeau, a leader in a far more complex relationship with Canadians than the hapless Con stooges in the MSM can comprehend.
One who embodies generational change.
And one who at this point at least, unless he becomes too boring or too much like other politicians, seems destined to govern this country for a long, long time...
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