Dion: Post Announcement

An open thread of sorts for your thoughts/opinions following Dion’s announcement that he will step down as Liberal party leader after the party holds a leadership convention.

Hébert’s Mischievous Bad Idea

I suspect that Chantal Hébert is simply being mischievous in proposing this morning that the Liberals recruit Elizabeth May to join the party in order to give the “political alpha males” champing at the bit to succeed Stéphane Dion “a real run for their (borrowed) money.”

While it may seem like a keen idea at first blush, it’s actually quite ill-conceived. First of all, bailing from the Greens as they bicker internally over various strategic mistakes made in the recent campaign certainly wouldn’t do much to enhance her personal profile. Quite to the contrary, it would make her seem, not only like a quitter, but a feckless opportunist (which some might say qualifies her admirably for the Liberal Party, but never mind that).

The second problem is that May seems much more comfortable in the role of an outspoken “maverick” rather than, as would be required as part of the Liberal caucus, a more compliant team player. At a time when everyone needs to start pulling together, the last thing the Liberal Party needs is another loose cannon on deck. Perhaps Hébert is right that her “skills would be put to better use on the front rows of the House of Commons than standing on the sidelines inside or outside Parliament,” but then again maybe not. It could well be argued that the same characteristics Hébert cites as making her unsuitable to “lead a party through a prolonged march through the desert” would also undermine her effectiveness as a front bench MP in the Liberal Party. It’s really a matter of complete speculation and unfounded opinion.

Finally, her environmental views are actually considerably more “radical” (relatively speaking) compared with the more modestly conservative views on the subject within the LPC. Besides, having recently been quite burned by “green politics” that proved to be a “vote loser” (as had been predicted they would be by the party’s own pollster) in the past election, might incline them to shy away from the subject until they sense more popular acceptance for any idea that conceivably affects people’s wallets — something that’s going to be a while coming given the impending recession — thereby setting the stage for a lot of internal friction in the meantime. It should also be noted that some of her other positions are also at odds with more mainstream “liberal” views held by the party — it wasn’t for nothing that she was courting disaffected former Reform voters to her cause.

So, while such a move might provide endless amusement and entertainment for pundits like Hébert, it can’t really be said that it would serve either the Greens or the Liberals much good.

Jon Stewart to Palin: “Fuck You”

Speaking to a college audience in Boston, Mass. last Friday, Jon Stewart used his stand-up routine to respond to Sarah Palin’s comments about “pro-America” parts of the country.

Seeing as the audio is pretty crappy, here’s a transcript of is remarks:

“He (McCain) made an interesting vice presidential choice.

I like the woods… I just don’t know if I would pull my vice president out of the woods randomly.

She came out again today. She was talking to a small town, she said that small towns, that’s the part of the country she really likes going to because that’s the pro-America part of the country.

You know, I just want to say to her, just very quickly… Fuck you.

I’ve never seen someone with a greater disparity between how cute they sound when they’re saying something and how terrible what they’re saying is.

Don’t ya know, Obama, by golly, he just is a terrorist? What? Oh, you know, he just, gosh, kills babies, you know.

I’m so over the idea that only small-town America is the heart and soul. Small- town America is fine, but it’s the same as cities. Cities are just a lot of towns piled on top of each other in one place.

They have this whole thing that somehow we can write off entire swaths of the country, that we are somehow… I get it. You know, New York City wasn’t good enough for fuckin’ Osama bin Laden, it better be good enough for you.

I can’t take it anymore. After eight years of this divisiveness, we’re back to this idea that only small-town America is the real America.

I get it. I’m from New York. We have a lot of gay people. But homosexuals don’t have sodomy on Russian flags.”

Here’s Joe Biden’s response to the same thing from last week: