Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Silly Me

I have to stop projecting my own sense of what constitutes an acceptable response. Yesterday, resignation or not, I fully expected Raitt to rise prior to QP and offer some sort of apology. When that didn't happen, I thought we would surely see something during the back and forth. CBC's Susan Bonner commented after QP that the opposition seemed "caught off guard" by the Conservatives posture (I sensed that too). Not only did the Conservatives not find it necessary to offer anything contrite, they had the gall to turn it around on the opposition as though they in the wrong.

It really is amazing to see how the Conservatives react to controversy. The inability to contemplate a humble response, or see the need for some type of verbal revision is striking. People were caught off guard, because they made some basic assumptions about decency. I guess the cardinal rule was forgotten, when these guys get cornered, they get aggressive, they ignore the heart of the discussion and turn to some diversion that puts others on the defensive. There's a smugness to it all that is really distasteful, but hardly surprising I suppose. Silly me for thinking otherwise.


Raitt decided to apologize today. Doing this yesterday is one thing, doing it now, after the PMO has heard the outrage, well... I take her words as sincere, the timing, not so much. It's a sweater vest day in the PMO.


Top Can said...

Raitt reminds me of Sheila Copps during the 1980s: tough as nails, except for all the wrong reasons.

Update: it seems Raitt was making remarks about Jim Prentice also, saying he was trying to cater to the oil industry. First of all, duh! And second, how's Harper going to react to criticisms of his right hand man?

Mark McLaughlin said...

What strikes me as the biggest consequence of this whole stupid episode is that Ignatieff has defined his line in the sand as to what constitues an unforgivable sin by a public official.

I await the time that one of his caucus members, or Canada forbid, cabinet members ever utters the f-word or mentions how a national emergency might provide some politial opportunity.

He must fire them or kick them out of the party or have them hung and quartered or whatever he thinks is suitable punishment for calling the Chalk river reactor problems "sexy".

I won't be holding my breath shouldit ever happen though. Consistency has never been a Liberal's strong suit. I don't expect the Fifes, Martins and Travers of the media to call him on it either.

Steve V said...


You're such a bore. Did anyone ask that Baird resign for swearing?

And now Bob Fife and Don Martin are Liberal friendly? LMAO, get a clue guy.

Officer Farva said...

Actually Mark, wasn't it Harper who "has defined his line in the sand as to what constitues an unforgivable sin by a public official."
I can't wait for Bernier to be the sole Quebec Con MP.

Steve V said...


Please don't introduce simple facts, it confuses them.

Mark McLaughlin said...

Steve V: No MP may have said he should resign, but it's a suggestion floated enough thoughout Liberal blog comments.

Martin actually used to be pretty balanced before he joined the Ottawa press. He's never really been much of a deep thinker though. Most of his articles require no research or meaningful consideration. He's auditioning for Jane Taber's job should she ever move on.

I think his turning point was when his pin-up girl Belinda went turnkey on the Cons. He's gotten starstruck by Ruby in the same way (which I think was another stupid episode BTW, so a pox on on their houses).

Fife's a bit of an egnigma to be truthful. He doesn't seem to have much of a consistent moral compass at any time, but he rarely passes up an opportunity to pile on the latest gossipy, pointless 'Conservatives are mean people' slant.

Not all MSM are pro-liberal as there are lots of good reads in the Canadian broadsheets.

Blatchford, Ivison, Coyne, Wells, Hebert. These are the real stars.

The Simpsons, Martins (both of them) and Golloways dirty the whole lot.

Steve V said...

"No MP may have said he should resign, but it's a suggestion floated enough thoughout Liberal blog comments."

But, you used Ignatieff as your reference? Come on, now we're reduced to blog comments?

"Not all MSM are pro-liberal"

Honestly, you really do need to review who owns what in this country and their political slant, because that statement really speaks to an ignorance.

As far as Martin, he's about the only columnist at NP that has a semblance of objectivity. He's not pro or anti anybody, which is a rarity for that publication.

JimmE said...

What seems to be lost here is this:
The present PM in his NO GOVERNMENT IS GOOD GOVERNMENT persona killed the MAPL reactor that likely would be producing some isotopes by this time. This ideologue further confounded the problem by axing the civil servant who brought the issue to the public's attention. His further amazingly astute solution to the issue?
1-Put a fellow neo-con graduate of the John Snowbowlin (SP?) school of management-by-causing-a-bigger-crises in change of the file.
2- Privatise AECL.
I guess selling a broken asset to the Communist Chinese Oligarchs fits with this sad little man's world view.

Anonymous said...

I agree JimmE. Beyond the gossip, there are several important issues to this story that affect ALL Canadians. Where is msm on those? LJK

Anonymous said...

As someone who has lost family members to cancer, as well (_both_ parents), I must say, I was totally revolted by Ms. Raitt's trading on their memory by summoning up crocodile tears on cue, to show her 'true sensitivity' & penitence. Disgusting.

Steve V said...


I don't want to be cynical here, because I know the colon cancer road well, but something was lacking in that apology. Watch it on CTV again, you'll note the conscious and rehearsed habit of looking directly into the camera. That's not an accident, it's something handlers tell you do. Then watch when the tears flow, she stopped for a second but quickly went back to looking at the camera. Not crocodile tears, because I have NO doubt the pain is real, but it's also true that turning it on, on cue, isn't exactly an organic expression. The whole thing, real feelings considered, was to staged for my liking.

Kirbycairo said...

I agree Steve, that at basic level the apology is honest. But obviously the PMO told her not to make one yesterday because their attitude is always attack at any cost. But regardless of whether the apology was real or not, the question is why should we tolerate a minister who has expressed her clear motives of self-advancement regardless of the importance and sensitivity of the issue at hand? Folks like Mark really don't get the fact that an issue like is should never be about partisan gain but about sincerity and accountability. Of course Harper's tag line should be that old joke from Groucho "The secrets in life are honesty and sincerity: if you can fake those you've got it made!"

Saskboy said...

You know, if the Conservatives were playing chess, they would have leaked a secret recording of Raitt apologizing. Then it could be believed.

Steve V said...




That's the thing, and even people like Charles Adler agree, the timing reeks of political calculation. I was shocked that she didn't apologize yesterday, especially after Baird did for the minor f bomb comment. In my mind, an apology was just a given, absolutely mind blowing that these arrogant, detached hacks in the PMO actually squashed it (I know they squashed it, because it's politics 101 to consider it). Then, they get the feedback, and boom, here comes Raitt all misty and contrite. I don't think many will buy it, even some supporters are cynical.

Anonymous said...

In some ways, I haven't wanted to comment about this. The whole situation just bugs me. But I did finally take the time to watch her statement, and it doesn't feel right to me.

I have no doubt the tears are real, she appears to be thinking about her father and brother.

But in the end, it just made me feel weird because it brings up so many questions. Why now, why today? But also, why would someone who's been through that even say what she said on the tape. She clearly never connected anything she would be doing as an MP on the matter as affecting the lives of real people. "It's just money" being the operative words to me, more so than the "sexy" statement, which is just a weird expression to me in any context other than the obvious.

Some people go into politics due to an intense personal experience. But she seems to have gone into politics for other reasons and so completely dissected her political persona from her own humanity that she can apparently blather on as she did without ever once considering her own past.

It just seemed strange to watch someone come out days after a story breaks, apologize and cry, and actually say something along the lines of "you can see how much this hurts me." How self-serving.

I'd feel better if I had learned her own experience was that she had NOT had someone close to her experience the pain of cancer. As it is, it just made me sort of shake my head when I saw it.

What does motivate her in politics? Nothing in her personal life seems to be behind the drive she apparently has in great abundance.

saskboy said...

This is as calculated a release as the Tom Lukiewski tape the NDP found.

Steve V said...

"What does motivate her in politics? Nothing in her personal life seems to be behind the drive she apparently has in great abundance."

Now that we hear about her expense account in Raitt's past life, she looks more like she simply wants STATUS and the good life, rather than a committment to public service.

I wonder if she cried in rehearsal too, because you could tell she was coached in terms of delivery. The times just screams out cynicism, genuine emotions aside.