, 12.05.2019 08:27 AM

When something becomes A Thing

And the NATO “hot microphone” thing has indeed turned into A Thing.

My regular readers didn’t care what I had to say about it, either: Conservative followers and friends were incensed.  Still smarting from the election result, they pounced on Justin Trudeau’s unguarded remarks.

It was shocking, they claimed, that a world leader wouldn’t know a live microphone and camera were pointed his way – even though Princess Anne, French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands and even Donald Trump were also caught saying and doing dumb things, on tape, at the same summit. (Trump isn’t new to “hot mic” missteps, of course.)

It was unstatesmanlike for Trudeau to say what he said, they insisted – even though Trump was far more insulting, calling Trudeau names, and leaving the summit early, like the petulant child that he is.

It won’t hurt Trudeau at home – most Canadians detest Trump, and the ones who don’t would never vote for a Trudeau, anyway. But it may hurt us in an impeachment-distracted Washington. Yes, that is true.

Because, 24 hours or so later, it seems that what happened at NATO isn’t going to fade from the collective memory anytime soon, here or in the U.S. It has now turned into A Thing – a thing that may be unhelpful to Canada.  The occupant of the Oval Office is a monkey with a machine gun, you see, and he ain’t gonna be happy about this:

Sigh. It’s a good ad. Which is probably bad news.

Trips abroad are never very good for Canadian Prime Ministers – remember Joe Clark’s lost luggage? Remember Paul Martin grinning in a tent in the desert with Libyan dictator Mu’ammar Qadafi? Remember Stephen Harper missing G8 photo sessions because he was in the bathroom?

I, again, don’t blame Trudeau for the hot mic – that’s the fault of the Brits, and some political staff who weren’t on the ball. Nor do I blame him for what he said – I have been present when Canadian Prime Ministers talk with other world leaders, and I can assure you it can get pretty nasty, and even pretty ribald, pretty fast.

But there’s no doubt this thing is now A Thing.


  1. Douglas W says:

    “Clowns to the left of me,
    Jokers to the right, here I am,
    Stuck in the middle with you.”

    We’re stuck with Trudeau; the Americans are stuck with Trump.
    Both clowns.

  2. joe says:

    Some media have said Trudeau has become more humble after the last election. I think that’s just a new facade.

    Justin can be very vindictive to people who he thinks have slighted him; JWR, Philpott, Caesar-Chavannes, Admiral Norman, etc.

    The camera caught the real Justin.

  3. Mike says:

    Not so sure it will be an issue. Trump is in deep shit and showing a petty vindictive side will not help him. It’s my understanding he’s being strongly urged to appear more statesmanlike, especially at this time.

  4. Mr. Brando says:

    I hear you Warren. It’s a thing. But American’s (swing states) could care less about foreign policy and how the country is seen by Europeans and Canadians, etc. As much as this “thing” works for JT, the indifference that he shows can also work for DT. He was elected, largely, on a platform of giving the world the middle finger for “taking advantage of US wealth, aid, generosity and military support most anywhere. This group of giggling idiots plays to that narrative and DT will ensure the people of Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, etc. etc. see it that way. “They don’t like me because I’m telling them the free ride on the backs of American taxpayers is over…” “You want someone who kisses up and gives these giggling wine-sipping global elites what they want?….vote for Joe Biden.”

    • Mr. Brando says:

      To pile on, before 9/11, less than 20% of Americans held passports. That’s doubled since, but that’s due to the rules surrounding the post 9/11 homeland security environment. Outside of CA and NY, few care what the rest of the world thinks or even looks like. It’s a generalization, but the statistical shoe fits.

      • Mike says:

        20% of Americans = 70 million people. Also question your smug ass statement that 4 world leaders are giggling idiots. Your comment is idiotic.

        • Douglas W says:

          Justin, being likened to an idiot, would be a grave insult to the village idiots of this world.

        • Mr. Brando says:

          Mike. Such a keyboard warrior. Your smugness blinded you from reading my words in the way they were intended. This is the narrative that TRUMP is and his supporters will push on this. Stand back and you can see that from the video how it likely presents to Mr and Mrs. Middle America.

          And on passports, this is common knowledge. Americans, and specifically Trump supporters, are not exactly world travelers. Many of them don’t leave their own State.

          • Mike says:

            Sorry mr Brando. I have 22 American relatives. All world travellers. Now if you’re talking about Trump hillbillies I would agree with you.

  5. the real Sean says:

    The most impressive thing is the speed of production / turnaround on that ad.. That’s serious war room shit right there and the election is a year out.

  6. Joseph says:

    ”Trips abroad are never very good for Canadian Prime Ministers“

    Read that bit and the one event sprang to mind immediately was that family outing to India that went over so well …. er something.
    That might be the Achilles heel of that ad that the guy featured in it is living in a glass house while throwing stones at Trump. I can see the GOP also making use of Justin prominently in some of their future adverts to the same effect.
    Point is that the current crop of democratic candidates (and liberals in Canada) all seem to have a bad habit of not thinking things through before they act.

  7. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Trump does what’s good for Trump, not necessarily what’s good for the United States. All he really cares about is his re-election, period.

    So, if that requires going after anyone — using a convenient pretext– or lacking one, makes absolutely no difference.

    Fred has an excellent point about taking him on to his face, not behind his back, but sadly, most leaders are known to willingly engage in the latter, especially Trump.

  8. Fred from BC says:

    I thought that tweet was pretty good until I realized that it was written by Joe Biden, which just made it hilarious…hilariously ironic, in fact. Joe’s supporters haven’t figured out yet that he’s toast (I wouldn’t expect him to realize that, of course, but *someone* in his camp must be willing to tell him the truth, right?).

    A walking, talking ‘gaffe machine’ like Creepy Uncle Joe never stood a chance. It’s time for the Democrats to up their game and actually get serious about choosing a proper, winnable candidate. They’re running again the lowest US unemployment rate in FIFTY YEARS….they need to face that fact and act accordingly.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      I won’t attack Biden but I also think he won’t be the nominee. A great economy re-elects Trump. A good one, gives him a tremendous advantage.

      We all know that the recession is coming. In fact, it’s overdue. But if it doesn’t hit next year, the Democrats are beyond screwed, no matter who they pick as nominee. That’s called basic reality. Sad as hell but likely a fact.

      • Normally the economy has a significant impact on reelection odds, but in Trump’s case his behavior is a much larger factor.

        The economy is good now, but polls still show Democrats ahead.

        • Ronald O'Dowd says:


          I could be dead wrong but there are one hell of a lot of silent or discrete Trump voters. The presidency is the big leagues that has its own dynamics with each cycle.

          Democrats have made impressive gains last time and in State elections but this doesn’t feel like a continuation of that trend. But what do I know, having predicted a CPC majority, even with Scheer as leader. LOL.

      • Fred from BC says:

        “I won’t attack Biden but I also think he won’t be the nominee.”

        He can’t be, Ron. The Democrats just can’t be *that* dumb, can they? I mean, I know they’re still pushing this impeachment BS even though the public is against it, but still….there’s a limit. There has to be. Joe Biden is their very own version of Donald Trump, and they know it.

        “That’s called basic reality. Sad as hell but likely a fact.”

        No point in fighting it, for sure. They need to face that reality, lay off Trump and start trying to connect with the American public in a practical and productive fashion. Start off by telling everyone what your own grand plan for the economy is…and for health care. And for border security. And for all the other things that people *really* care about.

        Do that, and you just might beat Donald Trump. Continue on your present course, and you definitely won’t.

        • The Doctor says:

          “they’re still pushing this impeachment BS even though the public is against it”

          Fred, polling clearly shows that the American public is evenly split at the moment. Please try to be factual and honest.

          • Doc,

            I’ll be glad to see the House get it on the record. But it will amount to BS as Fred said cause their precious Senate will never convict. It’s DOA as soon as it gets in McConnell’s hot little hands.

            Just hope Trump’s numbers don’t end up going up, like Clinton’s did.

          • Fred from BC says:

            “Fred, polling clearly shows that the American public is evenly split at the moment.”

            The only thing ‘clear’ is that the results wary widely, depending on the pollster.

            “Please try to be factual and honest.”


            How about you, Doc? When another poster says something factual that somehow doesn’t portray Donald Trump in a bad light (oh, THE HORROR!) and you respond by snidely telling him that “..the Trump White House thanks you for your post.”, is that you being factual, or honest?…or is it just your debilitating case of Trump Derangement Syndrome once again compelling you to act that way?

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