I've received a couple of emails this morning asking about my missing post on Jeffrey Simpson. I had written a piece earlier this morning, but then I deleted it after reading the final version posted online.
I was going to point out that Simpson's patronizing column (I guess patronizing is redundant here) is part of a larger problem whereby policy gets conflated with politics. Simpson proposes a rather sensible policy -- raising the GST by two points to deal with the federal deficit -- but he is willfully deaf to the timing and the politics.
I was going to point out some of the errors in Simpson's argument, but I'm getting sickened by the feeding frenzy that we're witnessing. In less than a month, the media's feast on Ignatieff has helped to propel the Tories to near-majority status in the polls.
Today's Globe offers readers another generous serving of roasted Ignatieff: a lead story on his gender problem, plus a Wente parody, poll numbers, two other Liberal-negative columns, and a gratuitous media review. It's getting too rich a diet, even for me. As I said last month, I don't like Ignatieff, but I plan to vote for him.
Most of these pundits profess a desire for a change in political culture, but after watching the relentless feeding frenzy for several weeks, it seems to me that they are actually enjoying what amounts to a political homicide. (Whether the homicide is suicide, manslaughter, or murder is best left to forensic historians).
Which brings me back to Simpson and his advocacy of tax increases. Simpson loves to rant about the need for prudence and planning, and he never ceases to chide politicians for their recklessness.
But here's a couple of questions for the oracle of Ottawa. Is it reckless for pundits to participate so gleefully in the destruction of Ignatieff? And is it reckless for a political columnist to propose a policy (tax hikes), during a recession, which would be political suicide? (Bonus question: by the way, what's the plan for when the destruction of Ignatieff is completed?) . Taking Ignatieff down a notch is one thing; taking him out is quite another.
Simpson has the luxury of dealing with politics as it should be; Ignatieff has the burden of dealing with politics as it is.
Should have googled it first update:
As I should have known, I'm far from the first person to pun Iggy Popped. But the fact that Rick Mercer ranted on Ignatieff shows just how easy a target he is. I stopped watching Mercer a couple of years ago, so I didn't see this until I googled. The funniest google result was this.