Thursday, May 28, 2009

All this Talk About Nixon

Today we hear some comparisons to Richard Nixon. We even had a blogger saying it wasn't fair to Nixon.

We here at TWDIKG started comparing Harper to Nixon waaaay back in April 'O8. And, in November, 2008, there were still very few listening to our Nixon comparisons. I guess they're listening now.



Old School Liberal said...

Not just listening.

roblaw said...

Not to restart a blogwar from my own blog yesterday, but the irony, to me, is the comparison of Nixon and Ignatieff as narcissistic and insecure personalities.

The tip-off to me.. paying to put your own picture in Times Square and Las Vegas mega screens, when your achilles heal is already the impression that you think you're "American".

When Harper supports the republicans to some degree, he's at least ideologically consistent. When Michael Ignatieff does it, well.. maybe someone is a little too worried about being the "popular guy on campus" (recall the treatment of his little brother at UCC)

Old School Liberal said...

Harper is ideologically consistent? He has not been consistent about anything, especially if it is ideology related or economics related, since January 23, 2006.

roblaw said...

OSL.. again the non-responsive response. Harper didn't call Ignatieff "Nixonian"..

Are you denying the massive cognitive dissonance between Ignatieff then and Ignatieff now?

I'm not trying to set Harper up as the perfect leader - I'm just saying, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

..I'm just saying, and James has seen it, even Warren Kinsella has commented in the past, to use Kinsella's description, there is a certain "frat boy" feeling about Mr. Ignatieff.

Old School Liberal said...

So Ignatieff, a politician, is guilty of wanting people to like him? Maybe enough to vote for him?

That's not Nixonian. Even if it wasn't something 100% required for the job, the worst you could call it would be vain. Do you really think a picture in Times Square was even his idea or strategy in the first place?

Nixon had a narcicism that drove a lust for power. That is where the comparison with Harper is far more accurate. For Nixon and for Harper, the end of power justifies anything and everything to get there:

-Financial considerations offered for votes
-in-and-out scandal with campaign finance
-cancelling promised confidence votes when it suddenly looks like you might lose
-cancelling Parliament altogether to save your job
-funnelling 90% of infrastructure spending to Tory ridings
-sole source contracts to your buddies (like Flaherty's "speech writer")
-trying to launch an unfounded criminal investigation against a former ConservativeMP after you kick him out of caucus
-listening in on private strategy meetings of other parties then sending the tapes to the media
-secretly recording private conversations and then doctoring the tape (Grewal) before giving it to the media
-trying to gut the Budget Office when your own Budget Officer turns out to be independent as he is supposed to be
-firing civil servants who are doing their job (like with nuclear) because doing their job well means making you look bad
-record breaking rejections of information requests required by law
-using government offices to issue press releases attacking opposition parties (and then, when caught, having to apologize and reimburse the government)

And THAT is how he behaved when it was relatively certain he would win.

Now that it looks like he is likely to lose - or at minimum that he has no such assurance of winning - what else is Harper prepared to do to cling to power? That is where the Nixon comparison is most apt and most troublesome.