Musings —11.16.2013 06:50 PM—
Law and order Conservatives? Don’t make us laugh.
After the fall we’ve had, the notion that Conservatives possess even passing acquaintance with “law and order” is a pathetic joke.
Conservatives, large and small “C,” always like to tell us that theirs is the ideology of law and order. You want a candidate to get tough on crime? Vote for us, they say. (Same with taxes. They claim they cut taxes. That, too, is a charade, but a column for another day.)
Conservatives have been peddling their “law and order” flim-flam for a long time.
Richard Nixon, aided and abetted by Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater, used the “law and order” nostrum to propel himself into the Oval Office.
Once there, he and his Watergate cabal broke every law in the book, and Nixon, facing impeachment, resigned. Oops.
Still, conservatives try. “Law and order” and its companion farce, “tough on crime,” are terrific on the campaign trail when you’ve got little else to say. Progressives get tongue-tied on crime, believing (correctly) that we should be building more schools, not more jails. Conservatives love to advocate their unswerving devotion to the law, however, because voters believe (incorrectly) that violent crime is getting more prevalent. (Added bonus: It’s a terrific way of demonizing non-whites, without coming right out and saying it.)
Up here in the Great White North, the two leading proponents of “law and order” are well-known.
One has been Stephen Harper, prime minister of all of Canada. The other has been Rob Ford, the mayor of the largest city in Canada. On crime, both are literally has-beens.
Harper’s story is notorious nationally. His three marquee Conservative Senators of the Apocalypse — Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau — are all under police investigation. They are alleged to have committed fraud and breaches of trust — in effect, they are being probed by the Mounties for having allegedly swindled the very taxpayers their party professes to hold in such high regard.
Their cases are important, because they were appointed to the Senate by Harper and because Harper made them stars on the Conservative fundraising circuit. Their cases are also important because the grubby Senate scandal revelations have thrown the Harper government into months and months of turmoil.
Internationally, the Conservative “law and order” mantra has been exposed as a lie by none other than Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
We say “internationally” because Rob Ford is the most (in)famous Canadian of all time. Everywhere you go on the planet now, people know all about Toronto’s crack-smoking Conservative mayor. Forget about Anne of Green Gables and hockey, folks — our national symbol is now a porcine right-winger, allegedly huddled in a backroom at a bar, allegedly snorting something with an alleged hooker.
Every week brings delightful new developments on the Rob Ford front. Last week, my amazing colleague Michele Mandel broke the news that — according to interviews his own staff gave to police — Ford allegedly:
– Drove Toronto streets, filled as they are with taxpayers, after consuming a mickey of vodka.
– Assaulted members of his own staff while drunk in his taxpayer-funded office.
– Took drugs in said taxpayer-funded office, while taxpayer-funded staff watched.
– Snorted the aforementioned substance with the aforementioned hooker, while taxpayer-paid staff looked on, and darkly warned bar staff not tell anyone what they’d seen.
And so on. And that’s just this week, Canada!
Progressives like to say they are better at stuff like education, health care and helping those who need help. They are.
Conservatives have long liked to say that they are “tough on crime,” and that they are way better on the “law and order” stuff.
Thanks to Stephen Harper’s gang — thanks, in particular, to a drinking-and-driving Rob Ford — they can no longer do that.
Conservatives tough on crime?
Don’t make us laugh.