Thursday, March 06, 2008

I am so sorry for my sorry-ass Canadian government

(note: this has been cross-posted from my diary on Dailykos)

Dear Americans,

You deserve much better from your northern neighbor. Please accept my sincere apology for my stupid government (I've taken to calling them the SSHITs). As the Globe & Mail has very recently made clear, our Prime Minister's Chief of Staff can't be trusted not to blab confidential information to the media from our allies - or at least the Democratic ones.

I don't blame you if you are upset. If the tables were turned, surely Canadians would be up in arms at any whiff of American influence on our political process.

Of course, it doesn't help when our idiot newsroom at CTV can't keep the facts straight:
The Canadian Press cited an unnamed source last night as saying that several people overheard the remark.

The news agency quoted that source as saying that Mr. Brodie said that someone from Ms. Clinton's campaign called and was "telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt."

The story was followed by CTV's Washington bureau chief, Tom Clark, who reported that the Obama campaign, not the Clinton's, had reassured Canadian diplomats.

Mr. Clark cited unnamed Canadian sources in his initial report.

There was no explanation last night for why Mr. Brodie was said to have referred to the Clinton campaign but the news report was about the Obama campaign. Robert Hurst, president of CTV News, declined to comment.

The Prime Minister's communications director, Sandra Buckler, has said that Mr. Brodie "does not recall" discussing the issue.
(By the way, both CTV and the Globe and Mail are owned by these people, although under separate editorial control.) Given the results in Ohio and Texas, and the way Clinton made political hay with the story to her advantage, you must all be pretty damn livid right now (I know I am - for multiple reasons).

So please accept my apologies, but also understand that the current government is very moronically neo-con in their thinking, and not at all aligned with the majority of Canadians.

As for the source of the leak, Ian Brodie, here's what one magazine journalist observed in an article published just two months ago:
(Ian Brodie is) 100% the single most influential figure in Harper's inner circle. There are others who have as much impact on policy, or image-making, or managing critical files, or on keeping an eye on the next election. But nobody else brings all those concerns together as Brodie does.


He has more direct daily access to Harper than any other senior official, typically starting when he and top bureaucrat Kevin Lynch deliver a morning briefing to the Prime Minister at about 9 a.m
Again, my sincere and humble apologies. We will try very hard to rectify the situation, but first our opposition Liberals will need to find a backbone.

Please bear with us; the outrage over this particular fiasco is by no means ready to peter out on this side of the border. We must have hope.

With Respect,
Scott in Montreal


adamvs said...

What's rather disheartening is that this story is still being framed as a tactical success for the Clinton campaign, and a faux pas on behalf of Obama by most news sources.

I noticed we both blogged the same qoute from the 'Mop & Pail'.

Anonymous said...

You both lack an analysis of motive here, which might help shed some light onto an otherwise murky and conflicting story of "he said she said".

We must consider the fact that Obama had taken a much sronger line on NAFTA - threatening to unilaterally withdraw from it altogether, while Clinton, on the other hand, had called for an analysis of NAFTAs impact on the U.S. economy before initiating any diplomatic discussion about revisions to the Treaty.

Additionally, these remarks were made before the Tuesday Primaries, at a point when Obama had rocketed himself to a statistical deadheat (if not a lead) with Clinton -- whom the Media had long declared to be clinically dead before her body had even begun to teater towards the ground: Obama was to be the next Democratic Presidential Nominee.

Indeed, in the week leading up to the Tuesday Primary, Obama had shifted the target of his rhetoric from Clinton to Senator McCain. As the next Democratic Presidential Nominee, the focus of Obama's blazing rhetoric should shift, naturally, towards his Republicn rival.

I think the motives here implicate Obama's team. It was a move executed by someone who thought their man would be the next President of the U.S. It was move made to quiet realistic fears instilled in Canadian officials propogated by someone whose anthem exclaims "words matter".

P.S. There are reports now that it was Obama's economic advisor who made the remarks.

I'll be frank. I don't find this surprising from someone likely responsible for an economic policy that promises to raise minimum wage and then index it to inflation. Text-book economics tells you that the results of these policies will increase unemployment and send inflation through the roof.

Scott in Montreal said...

To the anonymous commenter above:
Good of you to drop by; a couple points on what you wrote:

1) Regardless of the point you are trying to make about which campaign was responsible for starting this by speaking to Canadian diplomats, my focus here is on the carelessness of the Canadian government in leaking this information. Whatever camp it was matters not.

2) Here in Quebec, our minimum wage has been increased rather steadily over the past 20 years, just a bit above our average 2-3 % inflation rate - which I think you'll agree is pretty stable - so whatever textbooks you're thinking of, they might need revision.