BTC: Confidence men -

BTC: Confidence men


There’s an old idea in football that when one arrives in the end zone, one should eschew the typical dancing and “act like you’ve been there before”—a quote attributed variously to any number of old and grouchy football coaches. The point being that true confidence doesn’t require theatric expression.

By this standard, it is almost impossible to believe the Conservative members of the ethics committee are at all sure of their party’s position. At times yesterday they seemed alternately petulant, boorish, bitter, frustrated, childish, dismissive, unhinged, giddy, patronizing, exasperated, arrogant, chastened, indignant, whiny, angry, snarky, mocking, snide, sarcastic, bored, scared and threatening. (And that’s just Gary Goodyear.)

There was pointing and finger-wagging and flopping and laughing and bellowed condemnation. Every point was made with the approximate subtlety of setting one’s hair on fire. Indeed, Pat Martin seemed restrained by comparison. And, as a general rule, Pat Martin’s relative level of restraint should be considered the minimum expectation for everyone else in the area.

It’s of course been said quite often that this government has not yet stopped playing the part of Her Majesty’s opposition. And, for sure, more than a decade in exile makes for difficult habits to break. But that line doesn’t fully explain the obvious insecurities of this bunch. By all indication, they generally consider themselves the smartest guys in the room. But then they seem equally sure that all earthly forces are aligned against them. The result is sort of smug martyrdom complex, if such a thing is possible.

It makes for quite the show, the sort of desperate, bizarre displays one might otherwise expect to see moderated by Maury Povich. But it doesn’t lead one to believe that these are the guys who are in the right. It neither instills nor demonstrates confidence. 

Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that. No doubt it speaks to any number of those ardent supporters who haven’t quite tired of raging against Pierre Trudeau’s National Energy Program. But for a governing party, there is surely something to be said for acting like you’ve been there before. And, for that matter, acting like you plan on being back.


BTC: Confidence men

  1. Agreed. I am conservative supporter and I thought my team, as well as the others, came across as a bunch of clowns. The committees are not very edifying, that’s for sure.

    Bismark was correct: “There are two things you don’t want to see being made—sausage and legislation.” Though you can substitute ‘legislation’ with just about anything parliament does.

  2. I have been closely following this In-Out scenario, puctuated with Doug Finley’s uninvited visit to Monday’s committee proceedings and have read many of the msm accounts and blog commentaries.

    Many thanks to you Aaron for providing a balanced, reasonable and fair-minded treatment of this important topic.

  3. Now that is funny JWL I haven’t heard that before do you mind if I use it? As a personal observation the moment I heard that no requested witness will be there for the conservative party I could smell the partisanship so tuned out and thank god I did judging by the rampant anti gov’t hyperbole! If a person were neutral they would be turned off worse than they already were by the behaviour of the inquisitors after all it is all moot and of little relevance or importance when there is real news out there like the Olympics – hey speaking of which is it ever great coverage from CBC or what absolutley brilliant to cover so many events – if anyone asks give my cudos to CBC very well done.

  4. “Insecure” is the hallmark of Harperites. From the warm smirk to the down cast eyes (eye), most of what now masquerades as the Conservative party reflect the tendency of its current leader to quake in the presence of reality.

  5. Well put Mr. Wherry. Through CPAC rebroadcasts I have caught a fair amount of the committtee hearing and was frankly stunned at the behaviour. If I was advising the Liberals, which is really funny but anyway… I would recommend they get these clips and broadcast them on the local cable channels repeatedly in each of their ridings. Can you tell me that Dean del Mastro or Gary Goodyear or David Tilson’s constituents would be proud of their representatives this week? At the very least if any of their constituents are reading this blog you should forward it to your local papers. They are an embarrassment.

  6. May I add pugnacious to the list?

    As for the desperate, bizarre display, I can say only: thuglican.

    Canada’s best hope is for ordinary people to be paying attention.