Same day, different outlooks. Where they’re alike: One is dour, the other one more dour. Because… Conservative.
The Globe and Mail’s liberal pundits can’t agree on where Canada and our Conservative (and that’s key) prime minister fits in the world. Which means there is a great division in the Globe and Mail which will ultimately lead to their humiliating defeat and utter demise!… if we apply the same standard to them as they do to the Conservative Party anytime one Conservative MP says something slightly different from the rest.
G&M’s Jeffrey Simpson, perpetually down on Harper and the Conservatives no matter what, has a column today headlined “Canada is not engaged in this new world,” which is weird because Canada is exactly engaged in this new world, forcefully, and for me, proudly. Simpson is not proud, or happy, or optimistic, or even sane. Read this and weep into your sweater:
…Canada no longer tries, however feebly, to help resolve or mediate international disputes. Rather, Ottawa chooses sides and then offers little beyond rhetoric and finger-pointing…
…which, by the way, is dead wrong; but describes, exactly, Barack Obama (erstwhile the leader of the free world) and Obama’s incessant finger-pointing and useless, effete rhetoric read off a teleprompter after being written by a hack, and perfectly describes Obama and his unwillingness to take absolutely any hard action, ever, on anything of global importance. Glad I could clear up Simpson’s obvious confusion. Now someone hand him a hanky.
For Simpson, no test, including this one, is ever a test of Barack Obama’s leadership. Obama is not even mentioned in this entire column, possibly because Obama is not engaged in this new world. But, for example, September 4, 2013: “Syria is not a test of U.S. leadership.” Let’s be clear: this, like Syria, is another test of Obama’s leadership; and once again, Obama and his regime get an F on foreign policy. And Simpson an F for fair analysis.
Weirdly, everything, including Syria and this matter, is a test of Canada’s leadership under Stephen Harper, to Simpson.
But the other columnist sees, uh, brown, where Simpson sees black. G&M’s Margaret Wente‘s column is headlined “Harper goes Cold Warrior, Putin laps Obama,” and sees Stephen Harper and Canada as leading the western world.
The crisis in Ukraine has pushed Stephen Harper into full Cold Warrior mode. This week, he jets off to Kiev to tour Independence Square and meet with the new anti-Russian government. No Western leader has talked tougher. “What the Putin regime has done cannot be tolerated and can never be accepted,” he said this week. …
…Mr. Harper will visit the heart of Ukraine as an outspoken champion of freedom. There is no posturing in this. …
Alas the remainder of Wente’s column is a grave lament about Canada and the world, and even Obama and the world. Note that she’s not as clear as colleague Simpson on Obama’s Syrian test score:
The biggest loser in this drama is, of course, U.S. President Barack Obama. His “reset” strategy toward Russia is in tatters. Mr. Putin has been running rings around him, first in Syria – where Bashar al-Assad is now more entrenched than ever – and now in Ukraine, where Washington was caught flat-footed. …
… Mr. Putin is looking like the stronger horse (even though that’s not really true), and Mr. Obama (not for the first time) is looking out of his depth. …
In contrast, Jeffrey Simpson said this about Obama and the Russian takeover of Crimea:
“nothing,” in Russian]
I would think their curiosity would compel them — at least Simpson — to ask what Justin Trudea, the Liberal’s alleged “leader,” would do, were he the PM, since everything is so dismal now under the Conservative. But that’s not the game being played here. Apparently the game is hackery.
I shudder to imagine what their Liberal Justin Trudeau would actually do in a situation like this, short of an Obama-lite version of another useless, pedantic, pedagogical, paean to peace and love, possibly culminating in a judicial inquiry into the “root causes” of Putin’s power grabs and the spread of communism. Would Trudeau be judged by the same testing standards as those applied to Stephen Harper (and not Obama)? No.
I’m guessing for Simpson it would go something like “[such-and-such crisis] is not a test of Trudeau’s leadership.” But he will then vigorously question what the opposition Conservative leader’s position is on the matter, since that’s so obviously all-important; then headline it as a “test” of his or her mettle… and lament it as a failure, naturally.