Wednesday, September 01, 2010

"The toughest and most ruthless machine in Canadian politics"

From yesterday's Ignatieff Liberal caucus address:
“We’re up against the toughest and most ruthless machine in Canadian politics, never forget that for a second.”
That is a very interesting line. There are the unifying and underdog aspects to it, yes. But also...

Remember way back to the Clinton '92 campaign where Clinton frequently labelled his adversaries the "Republican attack machine" and in doing so, made it stick to the point where Republicans became tarred with the brush, stigmatized? If this is what Ignatieff is up to, in the here and now, it may be a clever tactic. After all, he's simply speaking to what Canadians have seen on their TV screens as reality for the past four years. That Conservatives have run unprecedented series of negative political ads outside of election campaigns to destroy political opponents, namely Liberal leaders. Spending millions of dollars to do so. Plus they've been obstructive and tend to fear monger. Reinforcing the notion of the "Conservative attack machine" may help so that when the next negative attack comes, you can say, yep, there they go again. Here is a synopsis from a 1992 New Yorker article (click to enlarge, this is as electronic as 1992 text gets!):

Don't know if the situations are exactly analogous but the line sure did ring a few bells.