Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The Strange Return of Stephen Harper
A few weeks ago he was spotted at an Ottawa McDonald's, trying hard not to be recognized, and apparently content to be living in well deserved obscurity.
But appearances can be deceiving.
For in fact Stephen Harper has been desperately trying to raise his shrinking profile,
As the new chairman of the right-wing International Democrat Union he has heaped praise on Viktor Orban the virulently xenophobic Prime Minister of Hungary.
He has appeared in a full page ad in the New York Times, saluting Donald Trump for pulling out of the Iran deal.
And now he is praising himself, and saluting the Con party he created, and seemingly returning from the dead.
Which has some people even wondering whether he wants his old job back.
For he seems to be suggesting that he could still "easily" be Con leader, and that he only surrendered the position for the good of the party.
Stephen Harper says he could still “easily” be leader of the Conservative Party, but he chose not to amass too much power in order to secure the party’s fortunes in the future.
Because he didn't want to turn the Cons into his "personal vehicle."
“I could have wielded a lot more power. I think I probably could still easily be leader of my party if I wanted to. I mean, I’m de facto the founder of my party,” Mr. Harper said during a 55-minute discussion at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Stanford, Calif.
Which of course is hilarious, since he spent hundreds of millions of dollars glorifying himself and moulding the party in his own image.
But the idea that he might want it back must have Andrew Scheer in a panic...
For he's no Great Leader, and no matter how hard he tries to imitate him...
Harper's message, paid for with OUR money, always seemed to pack more of a punch...
So one really has to wonder why he is raising his profile. Is it because he's hoping to replace the hapless Scheer when he goes down in flames?
But while one can't rule that out, I think Andrew Cohen has got it just about right. Harper has decided the time has come to unleash his sharp conservatism.
Two and a half years after losing power at home, Stephen Harper has found a new voice abroad. Freed of the shackles of government, he has become more loudly and sharply conservative than he was as prime minister.
Or his inner beast.
There is nothing subtle here. Mr. Harper is returning to the unvarnished, hawkish conservative he was as an academic and parliamentarian, who managed to contain those instincts in his 10 years in office. Now, he no longer has to compromise as he once did to govern a moderate, centrist Canada.
He's no longer got anything to lose. Justin Trudeau has destroyed his legacy.
He no longer has to hide his brutish views behind murky words.
And of course, that's Andrew Scheer's nightmare. For everything he does now will be compared to what Harper is doing or saying.
And Canadians will be reminded that it's still Harper's Party.
He didn't get the message they sent him, or realize that his time was over...
And neither did Scheer.
So they are both going to end up in the same place...
And all I can say is, it was always the Harper Party.
And good riddance to bad rubbish...