A poor sap who doesn't get politics - Macleans.ca
 

A poor sap who doesn’t get politics


 

Bob Rae writes about the extension of the Afghanistan mission.

It’s called doing what you think is right, talking to the public about it, and worrying less about who gets credit.  There’s something almost pathological about the state of our politics, to say nothing of political commentary, if we can’t have that kind of conversation.

There should continue to be a debate about Afghanistan, Pakistan, and how to deal with the range of failed and fragile states that are emerging across the world.  But enough with the nonsense about who played the partisan game better.


 

A poor sap who doesn’t get politics

  1. Yes, Rae was positively brilliant as premier of Ont.

    NOT!

  2. Indeed, enough of being accused of sympathizing with the Talibans for expressing dissent.

    I agree with Bob Rae.

  3. First, good blog post by Bob Rae.

    Second, Rae wrote: "No doubt there might be short term partisan advantage in playing to the gallery about its fatigue with the Afghanistan engagement."

    Wherry, what's up with all the press gallery criticism we've been seeing lately from politicians? A number of MPs from all parties seem to share Bob Rae's exasperation with "some commentators" in the media who promote "the notion that all is fair in politics and war, and that every situation is only about tactics, partisan advantage and endless games of gotcha."

  4. I think he meant gallery in a more oblique, metaphorical sense.

  5. Rae, as Liberal Foreign Affairs critic, has been pressing for a post-2011 military role in Afghanistan for months. And now it's happening, and the Liberals are getting roasted for supposed caucus infighting.

    I don't blame Bob for not getting politics. If an opposition party gets what it wants and it's STILL portrayed as a loser, then it's clear that there's nothing to "get" in politics.

  6. The quote from Rae sounds like the kind of thing any respectable working politician would say after screwing up.

  7. Bob should have fewer conversations with Conservatives. Every time he has one, he veers right.

  8. I think he was criticizing some commentators in the media when he wrote:

    "There's something almost pathological about the state of our politics, to say nothing of political commentary, if we can't have that kind of conversation"

    and also when he wrote:

    "The notion that all is fair in politics and war, and that every situation is only about tactics, partisan advantage and endless games of gotcha, seems to have seized the imagination of some commentators about the decision to allow military trainers to stay behind the wire in Afghanistan."

    Based on that, I assumed he was referring to the PPG when he wrote: "playing to the gallery about its fatigue with the Afghanistan engagement."

  9. Upon further reflection your analysis may be closer to the truth.

  10. I agree entirely with what Bob Rae is saying here. It's just a little rich coming from the Liberals who've been shamelessly opportunistic at every turn, opposing every initiative of the government, and treating every minor gaffe as if it were a national crisis. So I guess Bob's made his bed, and now he's gotta sleep in it.

  11. So, in other words, if you're partisan most of the time but not this time, it doesn't matter because you were partisan those other times? Great way to decrease the partisan nonsense!

    And so, that's a little rich coming from the Conservatives who've been shamelessly opportunistic at every turn, opposing every initiative of the opposition . . .

  12. Bob Rae leadership campaign is here eh? LOL

  13. Note that what I wrote started with "I agree entirely with what Bob Rae is saying". But he also can't expect to issue one statement to remove any consequences for his previous actions and words.

    And by my count, the Conservatives have supported the Liberal effort to run massive deficits, the EI extension, and extending the training mission in Afghanistan, to name only a few.

    And by no means do I speak for any Conservatives.

  14. "fewer conversations"???

    I dunno, call me strange, but I actually like the notion of the foreign affairs critic actually communicating with the government.

    It's funny…we actually get some bi-partisanship on an issue, which is what voters claim they want, and everyone starts screaming "murder"!

  15. From my vantage point outside of Canada, I agree with Matthew. I couldn't agree more that some nonpartisanship on foreign policy issues is long overdue.

    Bob Rae deserves credit for doing the right thing. I give him a two thumbs up for this one.

  16. What Liberal 'effort to run massive deficits' was that?

    You mean the stimulus Harper agreed to at the G20 meeting in DC in 2008?

  17. Yeah, I know–I'm just wondering if perhaps the politicians are doing our bidding as we seem incapable of looking at anything without a scorecard in our hand. Unless we've stopped paying any attention at all, that is.

    For example, the Liberals would have supported the Conservatives on the deficits, and the EI extension, too, right? And the Conservatives are the government–not the Liberals, right?

    Of course one statement or one example doesn't negate all the other statements and all the other examples. But maybe we (by which I mean the engaged citizenry–like us here on these boards) should encourage more of the one statement or one example, and discourage more of all the other statements and all the other examples.

  18. I agree, but am cynical by nature. And I think I did encourage more of the non-partisanship by unreservedly agreeing with Mr Rae's opinion here.

  19. Led by Cons obviously, because Libs don't want him. LOL

  20. Too much truth in one chain, Emily.

  21. LOL apparently so!

  22. Bi-partisanship, ruling-class consensus. Tomato, tomawto. Blue Liberal and Conservative coalition.

  23. There are many Canadians who consider themselves in the centre of the politcal spectrum. When the Liberals and Conservatives agree on a policy it often is becasue it is something that reflects the views of those close to the centre of the spectrum.

  24. "Centre" in this case means the middle between the Harperites and Blue Liberals. If you are so sure this policy hits the sweet spot of Canadian opinion, hold a vote in the House, or call an election. We will see how many Liberals actually agree with this farce.