Friday, December 05, 2008

Duds

No respect for the Harper government in the U.S. Congress it appears:

When Clement and Bryant came to town to confer about help for the auto industry, they found mostly closed doors. Originally hoping to see Michigan Senators Levin and Stabenow, Senate Banking Committee Chairman, Chris Dodd, House Financial Services Committee Chairman, Barney Frank and Commerce Secretary Gutierrez, the ministers had to make do with Missouri Senator Kit Bond, Nancy Pelosi's staff and the Deputy Commerce Secretary.

In town at the same time was Saif al Islam al Gaddafi, the 36-year-old son of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi. Although the younger Gaddafi holds no official government position, he managed to meet with a total of 20 senators and members of Congress and, for good measure, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Of course, meeting with the son of the infamous Libyan leader has a certain cachet, and perhaps it was the novelty factor that accounted for the attention, but Libya has no significant trade relationship with the U.S. and is of negligible strategic importance. The difference in the U.S. treatment of the visitors is very difficult to explain in except as a jarring illustration of Canada's lack of prestige in the U.S. capital.

The gossip is that the senior congressional players, faced with intense domestic policy pressures, didn't want to meet with Canadians who had no auto industry ideas to bring to the table. It is astounding that Canadian ministers would visit Washington with nothing to discuss, but the apparent hubris demonstrated during the visit belies the Harper government's entire response to the economic crisis-—it is all someone else's problem and they are just disinterested observers. (emphasis added)
Nothing to add to that at the moment...