My latest: when they’re attacking you, they’re losing

When they start braying and screeching, you know you’re winning.  When they ignore you, you’re losing.

This writer has managed political war rooms for many years, from coast to coast.  And that’s what I always tell the fresh-faced youngsters who make up these war rooms: “When the other side start going after you personally, you know you’re on the right track.”

(Other war room truisms: “Let your detestation for the other side wash over you like a purifying force.”  And: “Get your foot on their neck, and don’t let up until the day after the election.”)

The war room truth about braying and screeching, above, was particularly true this week.

This week, Canadians – and the world – started to see how the Justin Trudeau government has dropped the ball on obtaining vaccines to fight the coronavirus.

To date, 1.448 per cent of Canadians have received one shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.  Israel has vaccinated 30 per cent of its population.  The United Arab Emirates, 20 per cent.

As my colleague Brian Lilley reported on the weekend: “Despite being a G7 nation, and one of the first to approve both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, Canada ranks 12th in the world.  Why? A lack of supply.  Provinces can’t deliver doses if the federal government doesn’t deliver them.”

And the feds just aren’t delivering them, or delivering them fast enough.  Pfizer, for example, has told Ottawa it is dramatically cutting back on the number of vaccines it will be sending us.  But the European Union countries won’t be facing any delay at all.  None.

Like Lilley, I wrote about how poorly the Trudeau regime has done in acquiring potentially life-saving vaccines.  I also quoted what the likes of the Washington Post has said about Canada’s vaccine performance: “Canada has lagged behind the United States, Britain, Israel and others in getting shots into arms.”

And: Canada’s vaccine effort has “lacked urgency.”

And: Canada’s rollout has been “slow and chaotic.”

And: In Canada, “joy and relief have given way to exasperation.”

When this writer reported on what was said about the Trudeau government by the Washington Post – no raving, ranting Right-wing rag, last time we checked – Liberal MP Adam Vaughan went bananas.

Vaughan tweeted that I was “alt-Right.”  

Alt-Right. That’s a quote.

For the purposes of clarification, the Merriam-Webster people define “alt-Right” as those who “espouse extremist beliefs and policies typically centered on ideas of white nationalism.”

Having spent more than three decades exposing and opposing the neo-Nazis, white supremacists and Hitler freaks who comprise the alt-Right – and having received no shortage of death threats for same – Adam Vaughan’s insult was a bit of a surprise.  My daughter, who is Indigenous, certainly thought so, too.

After briefly conferring with David Shiller, one of Canada’s best libel lawyers, a polite note was sent to Vaughan, and – poof! – his alt-Right tweet swiftly disappeared into an alt-dumpster.  Vaughan posted a new tweet, proclaiming that he shouldn’t have ever, ever, ever associated Yours Truly “in any way” with the alt-Right.  “I thank Warren for making it clear where he stands,” Vaughan chirped. 

Now, one shouldn’t make too much of stupid Adam Vaughan tweets.  Vaughan makes a lot of them.  You could fill several Hansard volumes with the tweets he’s had to walk back.

But what is revealing, here, is what it reveals: Trudeau’s Liberals are clearly deeply, profoundly nervous (caucus members have privately said as much).  They know that they are vulnerable on vaccines.  If the perception grows that they have botched vaccine acquisition – because they have – they are toast.  They are done like dinner.

And no amount of stupid tweets will change that, Adam.  Because your stupid tweets tell us something important:

You’re scared.

[Kinsella has chaired war rooms for federal and provincial Liberals since 1993.]

 


My latest: Trumpism is here to stay

Forget impeachment. Forget the 25th Amendment. Forget all that.

They’re too late, and they don’t matter.

For sure: Donald Trump, the Mango Mussolini, will slink out of town like the carnival huckster that he is. He’s not going to the inauguration, and everyone there will be relieved by that — like when you hear your angry drunk uncle won’t be coming to wreck your wedding.

There’s a week left, give or take, and there’s not enough time — or votes — to impeach and convict. There’s not any chance he’ll be declared unfit under the 25th Amendment, either.

So he’ll be gone, sure.

But Trump is like a bad stain in a good rug: you can’t get the stain out. However much civil society tries to eliminate the stench of his “presidency,” we will fail.

Because Trumpism is here to stay.

Trump and Trumpism — populist, racist, sexist, dishonest — was born in the ashes of the 2008-2009 global economic collapse. Back then, it called itself the Tea Party. It was one of two populist movements that were birthed that year.

The other was Occupy: the group of kids, mostly, who took over city parks, and didn’t have a leader or a bank account or an ad campaign.

The Tea Party and Occupy shared some views: they hated the Davos people who had been running things. They hated the bailouts to bankers and CEOs. They hated the established order.

They differed, however, in this way: Occupy atomized, and fell between the blades of grass in the city parks, never to be seen again. The Tea Party kept going.

It took over the Republican Party, squeezing out horrified New England GOP veterans.

The reality TV star, Donald J. Trump — looking down from his gilded perch on Fifth Avenue — had previously been a Democrat. But he saw the Tea Party putsch, and he saw opportunity. It needed a leader and he would be it.

He had never run for anything before, really. Not seriously. And the grifters in his circle didn’t know how to run a presidential campaign.

But Trump had two things none of his future Republican rivals would have: his “fake news” refrain and his mastery of social media.

Trump wasn’t bright, but he was smart enough to know — like Justin Trudeau, ironically — that traditional media was in trouble. Voters were gravitating in droves to Twitter and Facebook and the like.

That’s where the ratings are, and Trump understands ratings better than most. He shortly became the biggest presence on social media in the world. He would come to not just dominate the agenda: he owned it.

He’d drop a little silver ball on Twitter, and we in the media would chase it. Every. Single. Time.

But when negative stories would start to surface in traditional media, it was inevitable the president-to-be had a solution. It was all “fake news,” he’d say.

Over and over he’d say that, like an incantation, and it would do its magic. “Fake news” was a way to cast doubt on every news story Trump didn’t like.

Mueller probe? Fake news. Russian hacking? Fake news. Lining pockets? Fake news.

It worked, just like the Twitter strategy did. And it inevitably led to 100,000 deranged mouth-breathers storming Capitol Hill, leaving bodies and destruction in their wake.

Impeachment or not, 25th Amendment or not, Trump will soon be gone. And for those who say we’ll never see his like again?

We will, we will.

The beast that Trump aroused is awake, and it is slouching towards Bethlehem, once again.

— Kinsella worked for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign