Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mayor Ford, Michael Coren, and Political Hypocrisy. . . .

I am very seldom shocked by the hubris and hypocrisy of the rightwing. That is not to say that the left is never guilty of hubris or hypocrisy, but that often shocks me because at the heart of the leftwing commitment should be a principled stance of honesty and democracy. The only real universal commitment of the rightwing, on the other hand, is greed and self-interest. Be that as it may, suffice it to say that given these dubious principles, it would be foolish to be shocked by very much of the rightwing malfeasance.

Thus, it certainly cannot be a shock to most people when the rightwing sycophants were appalled by the ouster of Mayor Ford of Toronto. Perhaps the most blatant expression of hypocrisy regarding the guilty verdict against Ford can be found in a Twitter post by rightwing pundit Michael Coren. Coren had this to say - "Democracy dies as leftists, union thugs, political judges remove a man who got almost half the vote."

The first thing that is striking about this Twitter post is found in the fact that Coren seems to imply here that receiving a large portion of the popular vote in an election somehow should excuse a person from obeying the law. I can't help but wonder if Mr. Coren has some cut off point in mind concerning insulation from legal proceeding. Perhaps Mr. Coren thinks that if one receives more than, say, 40.3% of the vote then you can just do whatever you want? Or maybe the standard is a little lower.

I don't know about Mr. Coren, but last time I looked, no one, not even people who received 100% of the vote are above the law. And that is exactly what we are really talking about here because not only was it clear (pretty much as clear as any court-case can get in this country) that Mayor Ford was guilty of a conflict of interest. But what seemed to be as equally important to the judge in the case was the fact that Mayor Ford repeatedly ignored demands to pay back the funds in the case.

But this is the rightwing all over. They talk about being tough on crime, but anytime one of their own is found guilty of anything it must be the result of a leftist conspiracy or a judge overstepping his or her mandate. The rightwing, at every level of government in Canada, seems to believe that it is above the law. And this belief has been repeatedly expressed by men like Mayor Ford. Now there may come a time when the rightwing in this country has so much control over the courts that it will be able to ignore the laws whenever they please. But for now, Mayor Ford's actions are as much restricted by the law as the rest of us. The fact is, that putting aside Mayor Ford's abrasive, bigoted, childish, lying, boorish, and ill-considered behavior at every level, he, like his federal friends and counterparts, has no regard for the rule of law when it comes to his own actions. Unfortunately, being mean-spirited doesn't prevent you from holding public office, but continually ignoring the law often does.

I understand Michael Coren's disappointment that one of the people with which he has a great deal of political sympathy has been pulled from office, but it was in NO way the fault of leftists, union thugs (this claim is simply mystifying to me), or political judges (except to the degree that any judicial position is, by its nature, political). No, Mr. Coren, every little thing about this case was the fault of one man - Mayor Ford; a mean-spirited, rightwing man who also happens to believe the law doesn't apply to him. And, Mr. Coren, even if the case against Ford was politically motivated, it is the height of hypocrisy for the rightwing in this country, which has adopted wholesale the political style of Karl Rove and will stop at nothing (and I mean NOTHING) to marginalize and oust anyone on the left, to suddenly feign some bizarre sense of righteousness concerning what they claim is political honesty. The rightwing is the faction that set the standard for personal attacks in this country, but they are the first to bulk if they reep what they sew.


thwap said...


Lorne said...

I saw on the news tonight that brother Doug Ford has invited all of Ford nation to go to the Rogers Centre for the Metro Bowl to show their support for the beleaguered Rob. This plea completely epitomizes what you are saying in your post, Kirby.

Anonymous said...

I think Rob Ford is an idiot. Still I won't deny that I take a modicum of pleasure in seeing Toronto beset by such buffoonery.

This latest is even funnier.

I hope Toronto re-elects him (or his brother) and I can continue to wear this smile.