Two things. I didn't think it was possible for me to dislike a pundit more than I dislike Keith Olbermann, but I was wrong. Somehow, Keith's replacement, Lawrence O'Donnell, has achieved a level of sanctimonious pretension that exceeds even those lofty heights set by the power-suit wearing master himself. Keith could at least work himself up into a lather, occasionally shedding some light on the bitterness and belligerence behind all the high-mindedness. O'Donnell, by contrast, never seems to break a sweat, and wears a permanent, irritating smirk that varies only according to the degree of derision he feels for his targets (Republicans, the Bush Administration), or, in the case of Democrats and the Obama Administration, the degree of adulation. And have you noticed that most of the anchors and opinion show hosts who are generally critical of President Obama have at least offered him congratulations for authorizing decisive action against Osama bin Laden, while Larry and his ilk have not offered one word of praise to President Bush for putting in place the intelligence gathering operation that ultimately led to the raid by Seal Team Six, and have instead focused only on the contrast, so they say, between the cowboy incompetence of the Bush administration and the cool, calculating customer who now inhabits the White House. Spare me.
And now for something completely different. Though no one has asked, I offer you my thoughts on the Canadian general election of a week ago and the welcome development of a CPC (Conservative Party of Canada)/Stephen Harper majority government. Third time's a charm.
Harper's victory has generated lots of hand-wringing and tooth gnashing on the left side of the political spectrum of course, with plenty of ordinary folks imagining a CPC majority as "frightening" and "scary", and those with more vivid imaginations like columnist Heather Mallick seeing Canada devolving into something like the apocalyptic wasteland in Cormac McCarthy's "The Road", with enlightened college professors and city dwellers cowering in their homes while bloodthirsty, simple-brained, gun-toting, early-to-bed rural folk roam the streets and break down their doors. Mallick, whose idea of sinister, "Stalinist" behavior has obviously been forged in a country perhaps too rich in politeness, can barely stand to watch when "Harper's goons accuse Ignatieff (Michael Ignatieff, leader of the Liberal party through the election) of being an aristrocrat passing himself off as a regular guy." WHAT? They didn't. Oh, the horror. Come on Heather, put on your big girl panties and learn to play, if not in the big leagues, at least in major junior.
I have a different vision. I think Canada, with a Harper majority government, will be ... successful. Canadians should, in general, experience a federal government that is focused on removing the barriers (taxation, regulation) between citizens and the opportunities that would allow them to create wealth and raise the standard of living for all. The end result will be greater prosperity and good will among the people of Canada, and a rising international stature as a country of freedom, economic and military power, opportunity, and hope. I pray that the United States will soon revert to its more historical ways and join Canada on her journey. Right on, eh.
1 week ago