Progressive politics, ideas & culture


A new spirit of optimism in North America—“learning from sucking”

This Magazine Staff

Front page news this morning has Justice Gomery putting the finger on everyone but Paul Martin for the sponsorship scandal, despite Martin being such a prominent wallet man for the previous liberal government. This can only further soften the seat of power federal Liberals have been getting very cosy in as polls rise over the last few months—though it should be a rough week or so. Paul Wells predicts today’s question period here.

What have we learned so far? It doesn’t matter who’s in charge—responsibility can always be shifted, and tomorrow is always another day.

This lesson as well from David Frum on the weekend, when he analysed George W’s lead up to Hallowe’en in the Sunday Telegraph (a reprint from the National Post). According to Frum, the week that began with the withdrawal of the Miers nomination to the Supreme Court and ended with the indictment of a key White House staffer on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, is not a problem for Bush, it’s an opportunity. Frum’s stunning optimism includes such passages as:

“The carelessness with which the [Miers nomination] seemed to have been made, the high-handedness, the apparent indifference to merit, the failure to ask elementary questions: These triggered unhappy spasms of recognition. Similar faults could be seen in the Katrina failure, in the mishandling of Iraq and the larger war on terror, in relations with the allies… and the list goes on.”

Yes, somehow in all of that, Frum sees wiggle room for Bush. It’s the staff’s fault. After all, it wasn’t Bush or Cheney who was indicted, it was a staffer.

After all, it wasn’t Martin who was signing the cheques… oh, wait.

Bring on the rising polls for George Bush. Nothing surprises me anymore.

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