Friday, July 08, 2022

Today's News: Looking for their soul

First up, some comment about what has happened to the soul of the Conservative party in Canada: Ottawa journalist Rachel Gilmore had a major article on Global News today - How close is too close to the far-right? Why some experts are worried about Canada’s MPs
She is writing about Conservative support for the Convoy, particularly from Poilievre, and how this can legitimize the far-right in Canada. As we see the United States careening toward a fascist white supremacy ditch, it gives me hope to see Canadian media stepping up and taking seriously the risk of white supremacy in Canadian politics.
Gilmore says: 
It’s unclear why Poilievre “felt that he needed to” meet with Topp, said Stephanie Carvin, a former CSIS analyst who now teaches at Carleton University.
“But it definitely was a choice with consequences,” she said — including, potentially, emboldening and legitimizing the more extreme views among the convoy’s supporters. 
...experts are starting to worry about the influence politicians could have in legitimizing extreme ideas.
 “They seem to be playing this culture war knowingly,” said Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, in an interview with Global News. 
For Balgord, what Poilievre chose to do on June 30 “wasn’t a surprise.” 
“He was positioning himself to earn the support of the far-right in his leadership race.” 
Gilmore has been doing an extraordinary job in covering Canada's far right - for example, this tweet:
Finally we see a journalist used the definite description --"zero evidence" -- instead of mealy-mouthed bafflegab. 
She is hitting a nerve, too -- here's Poilievre's hysterical reaction to her article: Scrimshaw notes how incredibly stupid and thin-skinned it was for Poilievre to issue this press release:
But why this press release matters is that the Poilievre team just tipped their hands about a very important point – they can get blown off message incredibly easily. 
A TV interview with Evan Solomon got Poilievre to confirm he’d fire the Governor of the Bank Of Canada, and now an article about Convoy ties to the far right has Poilievre invoking Trudeau’s Blackface (I’ll leave it to your imagination how those two things happened). 
It’s genuinely thin-skinned bullshit, but even more than it being thin-skinned, it’s just not a good trait in a political leader to have the political equivalent of Tourette’s Syndrome, to quote the post-Sorkin West Wing. 
Swinging at every pitch in politics is a disaster, because sometimes the right move is to avoid the trap, and this pattern of behaviour from Poilievre and his team is evidence that he doesn’t have that tool in his arsenal. 
He is as addicted to the news cycle and the Twitter likes and the Facebook views that he has to pump out this shit daily, but the problem is, sometimes you don’t have to make news. Sometimes, it’s better to sit one out, and just leave an unfriendly article alone. 
How many more people do you think saw the Global article at the core of this fight after his press release? Giving oxygen to this story is an insane idea if you’re Poilievre.
Nevertheless, she persisted. Here is a follow-up story tonight:
Undoubtedly, there is additional stuff to come on this story.
And yes, I agree with Steve:

Next up, some comment about what has happened to the soul of the Republican party in the United States: The Atlantic has a huge article out tonight by Mark Liebovich about what Trump has done to the Republican party: The Most Pathetic Men in America
Trump said and did obviously awful and dangerous things—racist and cruel and achingly dumb and downright evil things. But on top of that, he is a uniquely tiresome individual, easily the sorest loser, the most prodigious liar, and the most interminable victim ever to occupy the White House. He is, quite possibly, the biggest crybaby ever to toddle across history’s stage, from his inaugural-crowd hemorrhage on day one right down to his bitter, ketchup-flinging end. 
Seriously, what public figure in the history of the world comes close?
My former New York Times colleague David Brooks wrote it best: “We’ve got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.” 
Better objects of our scrutiny—and far more compelling to me—are the slavishly devoted Republicans whom Trump drew to his side. 
It’s been said before, but can never be emphasized enough: Without the complicity of the Republican Party, Donald Trump would be just a glorified geriatric Fox-watching golfer. 
I’ve interviewed scores of these collaborators, trying to understand why they did what they did and how they could live with it. 
 ... The courage and character of Ukraine stands in perverse contrast to America’s cowering Republican Party, whose resistance might as well have been led by the Uvalde police. 
 It remains astonishing to me that, after everything we’ve been through with Trump and everything we’re still learning, he remains anything but radioactive in his party. 
Wow, that's gonna leave a mark. I hope.

Moving on, the Ukraine war is grinding along with Ukraine gradually winning in the south and maybe starting to gain some advantage in the east.
Russia seems to be running a little short of troops: This is not an action Russia would take if it were winning. I hope Ukraine will take advantage of this. And in some Saskatchewan news related to Ukraine:

Finally, speaking of journalists, here's what we would be reading about if Lord of the Rings happened today:
Finally, this:


Anonymous said...

According to a scientific study published in the Lancet recently, Covid vaccines cut deaths by 63% in the first year, saving an estimated 20 million lives. Poilievre keeps saying vaccine mandates were wrong. He should be asked why he doesn't value Canadian lives. Freedom is more limited when you're in a box 6 feet underground than it is by any vaccine mandate.

Cathie from Canada said...

Agree. But "freedom" is their mantra - meaning freedom to be racist, sexist, etc, "free" of any requirement to be fair, or to be kind to their fellow citizens. Its a miserly definition.