Monday, September 27, 2004

Better a silver spoon than a foot

Babble on.

Kinsella thinks gag trinkets and cartoons showing John Tory as Richie Rich are "clever."

"An engraved silver spoon. Pure genius."

Apparently John Tory thinks they're funny too. Good for him for rolling with the punches, not sweating the small stuff, letting it roll like water off a duck's back, and [any other hackneyed political cliche you want to insert here].

"I just smiled and said that's my old friend Warren Kinsella up to his tricks. He's a clever fellow and I like him very much because of that."

How very Marquis of Queensbury of the two of them. It's enough to make a grown man puke.

I think Kinsella and his minions are taking cheap shots again - and not even original cheap shots at that. I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to lampoon a political opponent - shots at Bush for stumbling over two-syllable words are fair game, because the man shows only a passing acquaintance with the english language. No, this line of attack is cheap because it implies something inherently indefensible: people born into wealthy families are unfit to hold elected office.

The National Post says it best:

If a Canadian politician tried to suggest that an opponent was unfit to govern because of his impoverished background, the gesture would be attacked coast to coast as an abhorrent attempt to foment class warfare.

And under the genteel veneer, I think John Tory understands you can't let the attack go completely unanswered:

“It's funny to me that you try and create resentment about success. I think success should be something that we should be trying to have everybody strive for in Ontario, not make people jealous of success or resentful of success,” [Tory] said. (from The Globe and Mail)

You know, if Kinsella has public-policy disagreements with any of the targets of his many attacks, he sure stays silent about them. No, he seems content to wallow in pettiness, engaging in the political equivalent of schoolyard taunts while his betters debate how we should go about the serious business of running a government.

Grow up or shut up Warren. Either will do.

Babble off.


At 2:41 p.m., Blogger Greg said...

Swear to God B. I read ruining instead of running in your second last line. Dyslexia kicking in I guess. ;)

At 3:40 p.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

LOL - I guess 'ruining' works too!

At 10:06 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be fair, I don't think Kinsella is saying wealthy, successful people are unqualified. The ads are referring to Tory's penchant for trying to give the impression that he is a "man of the people", just your "ordinary joe", or any other cliche, when he clearly is not. Exposing this contradiction is the point of the ads.

At 10:49 a.m., Blogger Prolix said...

He sort of looks like what Richie Rich would look like grown up though doesn't he?

At 12:11 p.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

Anonymous, let's assume you're right, and Kinsella and the Lib's are really razzing John for pretending he's a 'man of the people' when he's not. The implication is still this: he's not a 'man of the people' because he's rich, so don't vote for him.

The Bush comparison is useful here. The Dems slam Bush for not being able to compose a coherent sentence. The implication is that he's stupid, and therefore you shouldn't vote for him. It's an acceptable line of attack, because intelligence is a legitimate prerequisite of the office. I'm not saying the Dems are correct in saying Bush is an idiot, but I do think a candidate's intelligence is fair game.

Does a candidate's family financial situation really fall into that same category? I mean, if we're talking pedigree here, should Jack Layton be disqualified because his dad was an MP and his grandpa an MPP? Does the fact that he and Olivia rake in about triple the average Canadian family income mean Layton's not able to speak for the 'ordinary guy'? Of course not.

Like I said, it's a cheap line of attack.

At 2:10 p.m., Blogger The Tiger said...

Oh, don't fall for it with Bush. If you're going for raw intelligence, he did better than Al Gore on the SAT. He got beat in his first congressional race by someone who played on his elite school background (Andover, Yale, and HBS compared with Texas Tech and UT Law School) while Bush tried to play up his policy positions. So he's been a "man of the people" ever since, with simple speeches and positions.

By contrast, Kerry's also a Yalie, mentioned it in an ad or two, and goes for complex solutions. Who comes out looking better to the average people?

Yeah, Bush is dumb. Dumb like a fox.

At 4:25 p.m., Blogger Babbling Brooks said...

I'm not saying Bush is dumb. I'm saying questioning a candidate's qualification for office on the basis of intelligence is a valid line of attack, because intelligence is normally a requirement for the job. Disqualification on the basis of wealth is indefensible, and so the line of attack is invalid.

Or just plain cheap, whichever you prefer.

At 3:08 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Granted Kinsella has a place in Canadian political history as the first person to prove that it is possible to be such a slimey sleazeball that not even the Liberal Party will tolerate you, but why is anyone still paying attention to his pathetic attempts to get attention?
The second point I don't get is, considering Cretin's multi-millionaire status after 40 years as a civil servant and the Adgate inquiry, shouldn't Kinsella be the last person in Canada to be raising questions about the financial background of candidates?


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