Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Harper on the National, part II

Some thoughts on that interview...

Well that was entertaining...:) Um, no. Always a frustrating exercise to watch this man in action. A superficial note to Harper staffers, when he tilts his head like that, it's not a good look. Eyes look all shadowy and dark.

I would characterize his performance in five words: nervous, domineering, aggressive, unrepentant, stubborn. The first three words having to do with his consistently talking over Mansbridge and speaking in such a manner so as to stave off inconvenient follow-up questions, with which Mr. Harper is evidently not comfortable. This was a combative appearance and likely didn't win him any new friends.

Pressed to demonstrate some empathy for auto workers, for example, people facing the loss of their jobs and his answer is really no different from any other answer he gives. Just more rambling aggressive recitations. Massive empathy deficit. Same void evident when asked repeatedly about any contrition, whatsoever about the events of the last week. A skilled politician would know that he had a massive opening to do some repair work. A national audience. He let it fly by, preferring to go on the offensive against the opposition, still. What ever is he thinking.

He apparently sticks to the wisdom of his economic update,partisan bombs and all. Some very important measures in there, he says. Possibly on a few items, RRIF's, etc., but as for the rest, he had no apologies. A halting moment to make clear to Peter, look, the public is with him on axing the public financing of political parties. Well of course they are when it's presented as selfish bloated political parties feasting on a cash grab without any knowledge of our present system and the trade-offs made to arrive at it. So, confirmation that he's intent on pursuing that option.

Also of note, the continued demonization of Quebec via his bashing of the Bloc that he was perfectly willing to get in bed with in 2004. Perhaps not in a formal coalition, as he is likely parsing out his 2004 involvement, but he assuredly would have in an accord of some sort. Here's the Harper-Duceppe-Layton letter, once again for posterity's sake, cementing his duplicity.

All in all, he appears to be fighting for his political viability. Quite nervous and aggressive throughout, much as you'd expect from a politician who remains in peril.