* With apologies to Lady Antonia and John Milton.
Well, chaps, we’ve learned so much about our beloved country over the past week. This sublimely teachable moment--brought to you by a government driven solely by the pusillanimous and imbecilic venality of a rodentine leader suffering from a Cromwell complex and an Opposition whose level of tactical ineptitude would shame the debating team of a Bronx reformatory—may be particularly valuable for those of us still desperately clinging to the illusion that our civic institutions are not disintegrating into dust through the cultural vandalism of our swinish élites and the widespread apathy of our bread-and-circuses besotted populace.
Here are just a few items of note, which I present to you the way our politicians have lately been managing the nation’s affairs--in no particular order:
1) Whatever stimulus package “Prime Minister For Life” Harper eventually presents for the House’s approval had better include enough cash for Stevie to fetch his testicles out of hock from whatever pawnshop he sold them to. The man idolised (delusionally) by his carbuncular acolytes as a fearless and savvy political “chess player” last week committed the most risibly craven act of parliamentary cowardice in Commonwealth history, and he did so under the pressure of a man once dismissed by CPC slackjaws as an ineffectual milquetoast “professor” , unworthy of even the attention required to ridicule him.
2) The question, burning for years, of whether Stephen Harper in fact does have more integrity than can be scraped off the sperm-spattered walls of a gay-bar john has been answered, in the most utterly predictable way imaginable.
What else should we have expected from the man who became our first explicitly anti-Canadian prime minister? Why would such a man apply himself to the task of uniting the nation in solidarity against the gravest economic threat we’ve faced since the Great Depression when there yet remain Opposition politicians whose parties need to be crushed, when there’s an entire civil service that must be humiliated, scapegoated and shorn of fundamental bargaining rights, when there are regions and provinces to be pitted against one another so as to make lording over the broken pieces so much the easier, when there’s a Prairie version of the Southern Strategy to be enacted as a way of demoralising the country into a meaner, smaller place--when there are, in short, so many odious Nixonian games to be played with people’s lives, so many modes of civic discourse to be degraded?
I think most of us finally get it: what we’re seeing is the inevitable result of electing a man to state office who has spent his entire adult life explaining, at length and in detail, why he hates the state. Frankly, we can’t blame the man: is it not natural to destroy what one hates?
3) The Reform/Alliance “populist” tradition which Stephen Harper represents has just lost its political virginity—not on the soft, silk-sheeted, canopied bed of a lavish bridal suite, but in the Wild-Turkey soaked backseat of a ’78 Oldsmobile idling in the parking lot of an abandoned factory.
By murdering the last Parliament in its cradle in order to evade the just chastisement of the people’s representatives, Stephen Harper has had gutless recourse to methods unknown and unattempted in the English-speaking world since the Seventeenth Century. Oliver Cromwell and Charles I, two of history’s most notorious tyrants, are Harper’s new inspirations (along with some lesser scum).
And the “jus' folks” in Alberta are just loving it, darlings! We hear no supercilious lecturing from the schoolmarms of the Manning Centre for Democracy about this outrageous abuse of power, no blithering redneck rantings from Ted and Link Byfield’s torch-and-pickfork gong show about unaccountable élites shutting down democracy whenever it becomes inconvenient to them. We hear none of that once-stentorian yelping against the “Stalinism” of the federal executive, delivered with the swaggering, cocksure arrogance of a messianic clique fully convinced of their monopoly of political virtue. Gee. I guess the brutal serial rape of democracy is just fine as long as, at the end of the day, the nation is made to eat its breakfast out of your own narrow, partisan, ideological ass crack.
If there’s one good thing to come out of this fiasco, it’s that we no longer need accord the Calgary School and the purveyors of its demagogic bromides the slightest shred of respect (I, of course, never did). They’ve shown themselves as concupiscently avid for power as the Liberals have ever been at their most hack-ridden and unprincipled. We’ve let ourselves be schooled and browbeaten by the Flanagans, the Coopers, the Mannings and all that tribe for far too long. We’re done. It’s over. Finished. Prairie populism and its primary partisan vehicle have been exposed as contemptible frauds boasting all the inherent moral authenticity of a buck-a-blow crackwhore servicing drunken longshoreman for packs of black-market smokes.
Stevie, you saved your tatty political skin, and committed ethical suicide in the process. I hope it was worth it, cowpoke.