As he surveyed the risible pantomime of mid-19th-century French neo-Bonapartism, Karl Marx remarked that what first occurs as tragedy always re-occurs as farce. He forgot to add that the two can occur together, as Stephen Harper learned yesterday.
We cannot know how long it will take for the media to pick clean the bones of yet another dead and rotten myth of political unimpeachability, slain by Harper's own Elmer-Gantrian hubris. This we do know: while the media sifts through the debris field of yet another sordid scandal, everything that makes politics worthwhile, everything by which it should be motivated--ideas, visions, debate, passion--shall be banished from the national conversation, at a time when we have arguably never needed them more desperately.
Rather, a cheap Three Stooges routine unfolds, as a panicked government literally runs from hotel to hotel in a furious bid to avoid the Canadian Press and the CBC after having invited the media to a press conference.
This pitiable political equivalent of an under-written Hee-Haw skit might be a defining moment in the life of "Canada's New Government"--the moment when they became the Village People of Canadian politics, a pretend government, a put-on, a silly, camp confection whose large and fanatical fanbase merely acts as ironic confirmation of their besetting triviality.
I don't care how much one loathes the CPC or how twisted one's sense of humour is. I'm damned if I see a way to enjoy any of this.