Musings —02.27.2012 09:11 AM—
I was reading a history of the Clash when the Vic Toews thing broke.
This may seem more than tangential, but bear with me. In about 1984, Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon kicked Mick Jones out of the Clash. No one’s quite sure why they did it, but they just did. Mick Jones, the guy who created the Clash, had been kicked out of his own band. It was a huge shock.
Here’s my stab at making a link: if you were a progressive person — a Liberal or New Democrat — watching your comrades swim through the muck of the Toews file was a bit like Mick Jones must have felt. People you had worked with for years, people you had admired, utterly took leave of their senses. They looked like jerks of the first order.
So, there were the Toews’-haters on Twitter, or on Facebook, or whatever else they consider to be “social media,” digging giddily through the muck. There they were on comments threads, excoriating Tim Harper or Dan Gardner for having the decency to demand that people act with decency. There they were, piously claiming that some new media revolution was underway, and they were leading it. There they were, saying over and over that “Toews deserves it.”
But you know,Toews’ kids, and Toews’ ex-wife, and Toews’ wife DIDN’T deserve it. Not at all.
What in the name of all that is holy did they have to do with a poorly-conceived, over-reaching, invasive piece of legislation? What did they do to deserve being dragged through the biggest wave of slime and muck Ottawa’s seen in ages (when Ottawa’s seen plenty of slime and muck)?
Here’s another little tale: I was at a campaign meeting with the Ontario Liberals last spring, and we were getting ready for the October 2011 election. And one of the smart and experienced McGuinty senior staffers there just said, out of the blue, what the difference was between us and the Conservatives. “We have boundaries,” she said. “They don’t.”
I don’t remember anything else from that meeting, but I remember that: we have boundaries. The Conservatives don’t.
Well, in the past few days, we boundary-observing types have fully become what we once claimed to despise. We have become just as bad as them.
So, when Steve Maher’s amazing robocall story broke, around the time the Toews thing started to subside, Lefties were in full dudgeon again. They were entitled to be angry. But the high ground, they no longer had. When the choice came, quite a few of them didn’t hesitate to toss Vic Toews’ wife and kids onto the funeral pyre, did they? No, they didn’t.
Like I say, it’s about boundaries. The Clash crossed one, and they never found their way back.
Liberals who dug through Vic Toews’ divorce files may find their way back. But it’s going to take a while to get the stink off them.