Shurely, we've seen enough proof that the government of Bush's pal Steve Harper is out of touch, out of synch, out of step and living in the neocon past of the dumb and dumber era of his idol, G.W. Bush. Shurely!
I mean, it had its own mini Abu Ghraib in Afghanistan. The military brass and the government turned a blind eye to the dark fate of detainees in the hands of the notorious Afghan security service. They then followed the tried and failed Nixon/Libby/Bushite policy of covering it up and lying about it. That, too, was exposed, giving rise to the tired policy of lies, bravado and obfuscation about our role in Afghanistan and how well it is doing - actions identical to those of the Bush administration in the wake of its disasterous Iraq adventure.
It grovelled to Quebec at Budget time not unlike Bush has grovelled to his rich pals at his Budget time. It blindly followed Bush in the abandonment of an even handed Middle East strategy. Like the United States under Bush, Canada under Harper could no longer be a credible broker of a peace in that tragic region, nor have any credibility for peace-keeping there, if and when it is required. The Harperites have pushed and tried to bully the Opposition and the Provinces just as Bush and his neocon cohorts, again to the detriment of his country, have pushed and tried to bully his country's former allies and the United Nations.
Harper's Conservatives have played hardball with negative advertising and personal attacks which appear to have been designed and created by the destructive mind of Dr. Evil himself, Karl Rove.
And where has it all led? All of this blind endorsement of the policies and tactics of someone who is destined to be considered as one of the great political disasters in modern history? It is turning out to be a very sad story indeed. Bush's pal Steve Harper's government's popularity has dwindled to less than 30% support of the electorate - just about the dismal level as Bush's approval ratings in the United States.
I mean, don't they get it?
Apparently not. Just as the Bushites thought they discovered nascent Republican storm troopers in the Stock Car speedways of the United States, the Harper Conservatives have decided once again that they should follow Bush's lead. And they are going one step further. They are sponsoring a car in the Canadian NASCAR circuit!
But that's not all. The car, a sleek white job with great big blue Conservative logos on its hood and side panels, is a leaded gas guzzler of the highest order. It consumes 125 gallons of the stuff in a 250 mile race. This speaks volumes on the Conservatives' commitments to emissions reductions or, for that matter, the whole environment.
And more yet. The sponsored car is driven by Pierre Bourque, operator of the website 'Bourque Newswatch,' a cyber-rag noted for its tailoring of news headlines at every opportunity to make Harper and the Conservatives look good and Dion and the Grits look bad. In other words, with this sponsorship deal, the Conservatives are paying Bourque off to get good media publicity. Another tried and true Karl Rove strategy.
So what else does Bush's pal Steve Harper and his cronys get out of all of this? Only the Canadian bubba, red-neck, and cracker vote - and they have had that sewed up for years already.
But their stated intentions seem to be ostensibly more ambitious than merely to kiss Bourque's backside and sew up the crackers. They are out to get Grit, Green and NDP middle class votes.
Listen to Immigration Minister Diane Finley's pitch at the race track yesterday when the Conservative car was introduced. "This is a way for the Conservatives to tap into that growing following," she said. "It's getting harder and harder to reach people through the regular media," she opined (she must have been tempted to add, 'particularly when Mr. Harper displays such contempt for it'). She went on, "Fewer people are watching the network news . . . fewer people are reading the newspapers. So we have to find new advertising outlets to reach them, to get our message through." She continued, "And the people who follow NASCAR are our kind of people. They're hard-working families, they're taxpayers who play by the rules. And those are the people we're targeting."
In other words, what the Harper Conservatives are saying is that since the broad middle class of Canadians don't follow the news or even read newspapers, the Conservatives will damn well induce them to support their cause by entering a car into the NASCAR circuit.
Come on. Even the NASCAR fans in the States have figured Bush out. The G.O.P. these days couldn't grow their support at a NASCAR race any more than they could in New Orleans. And if anything, Canadians are more cynical towards politicians than Americans. A politician in Canada throwing out the first ball of the season is more likely to be booed off the field than cheered. A Conservative logoed car - indeed, any car that bears the colors and logo of any Canadian political party - entered in a Canadian NASCAR race, is likely to be greeted not only by jeers and hisses, but all kinds of nefarious actions up to and including sabotage. Canadians will see it for what it is. An attempt at manipulation.
Anyway, for Stevie Harpy (with apologies to Will Ferrell) it is all for naught. Just as the American middle class has figured out Bush, so too are the Canadian people figuring out Stevie Harpy. As a result of this fiasco, look for a further reduction of Stevie's numbers.
There isn't any number of NASCAR entries that can save Bush or Harper, whether they are in the United States, Canada or Timbuktu.