Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Conservative hatorade watch

When reading this report today, "Tories trash talk Dion to put him off his game," about the Conservatives' baiting of Stephane Dion by using their statements immediately prior to Dion's first question in the House to name-call him, and the like, I couldn't help but be reminded of the tactics employed by Newt Gingrich when he arrived in Congress. Newt employed similar bomb-throwing tactics. And we all know what happened to him and his merry band. Here's a reminder of the tactics Newt engaged in when he first arrived on the scene:
Mr. Gingrich made his name in the House a decade ago by denouncing the Democrats on the floor while the cameras rolled. What they did not show, because they were locked into a narrow field of vision, was that Mr. Gingrich was hurling his barbs at an empty chamber, when his victims could not respond.

When Representative Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr., then the Speaker, tired of Mr. Gingrich's harangues, he ordered the cameras to pan the chamber, exposing the big-talking Georgian as something of a poseur. A debate ensued in which Mr. O'Neill, a Massachusetts Democrat, decried Mr. Gingrich's performance as "the lowest thing that I've ever seen in my 32 years in Congress." The incident made all three network news broadcasts and led Mr. Gingrich to gloat to an interviewer afterward, "I'm famous."
People get tired of bomb-throwers who constantly flail about, ranting about the dangers of the other guy. Particularly when the other guy can't respond. Here's one of the embarrassing instances cited in the CP report of the quality contribution Conservative MP's are making to the level of civility in the House:
Windsor-area MP Jeff Watson called Dion, a "self-proclaimed hero" who has "turned out to be a zero," reduced to taking advice from his dog.

He sneered that Dion has learned to sit and roll-over and predicted that in the next election the Liberals' "so-called leader will finally play dead."
It's not just ridiculous and childish, the Conservatives are overreaching at this point, endearing themselves to no one. I suspect women voters, in particular, the more they read of such tactics, will harden in their opposition to the Conservatives. That might be the silver lining as we endure such downward trending standards in the House of Commons, courtesy of the Conservative brain trust.