Harper just doesn’t get it. His bully-boy meanness, his surliness, his lack of discretion, his inclination to mislead the public to further his ideology, his intuitive pursuit of totalitarian or dark objectives have all consistently stood in his way to forming a majority government.
For the benefit of my Conservative Party readers I will simplify his plight by using a baseball analogy to describe his three years as party leader. In those three years he has been up to the plate three times. The first time he was thrown out at first base, and the last two times he managed to fluke two Texas league blooper singles – a minority defeat, and two narrow minority wins. Days after his second single, he was bloody near picked off at first base, and since then has been playing as though he was trapped and ran down between first and second – the distance between the first baseman and second baseman ever narrowing for the tag. And all because of his very own and personal errors on the field.
Most people learn or try to learn from their mistakes. They get up in the morning after suffering a setback or defeat, look at themselves in the mirror and try to figure out what happened. They talk to their wives and friends for objective advice to learn what went wrong and how they might change themselves or their tactics to avoid a similar fate in the future.
Not Harper. He still believes he’s the smartest guy in the room. He hasn’t read a helluva lot. He knows little history. His knowledge of economics is rudimentary at best and what he knows is burdened down by ideology. He hasn't traveled much. He surrounds himself with sycophants and ideologues who share his misguided views on people, events, and juvenile political dirty tricks. He fumbles, trips, runs into walls, does his pratfalls, and edges ever closer to oblivion, but he picks up no wisdom along the way. Alas, he remains the same Stephen Harper that most Canadians know and have learned to increasingly dislike.
Yesterday in the House, he was at it again. In question period while delivering a blistering attack on the government's response to the recession Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff demanded that Harper fire his finance minister James Flaherty for having misjudged the ongoing recessionary deficit. Harper’s response was vintage Harper. He replied,
“I cannot fire the Leader of the Opposition and with all the tapes I have on him, I do not want to.”
Ignatieff said that Harper’s response was the “most Nixonian” of anything he had heard Harper say and that, “Every day that goes by, he’s more like Richard Nixon.” Warming to the analogy to the deeply flawed – not unlike Harper – former President of the United States who was forced to resign over Watergate, Ignatieff said, “We are in the middle of the most serious economic crisis since the Second World War and the Prime Minister . . is wasting his time listening to tapes of me.”
Unhappily, Ignatieff is right. Rome burned while Nero fiddled. Canada’s jobless struggle and Harper listens to tapes. The country suffers while Harper tries to get the goods on his political enemies. Very sad.
Harper remains Harper. Or Nixon.
For those who might be interested in the Nixon - Harper joined at the hip phenomenon, read: http://www.agoracosmopolitan.com/home/Frontpage/2008/12/11/02900.html