If politics flows downwards from culture, then it was only a matter of time before a politician mastered the role. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump cracked that code.
Tony Soprano, Walter White, and Frank Underwood: The fascinating antihero who has no illusions about the elite virtue signallers who deplore him:
At least I don’t pretend to be decent; you people, on the other hand, have the gall to pretend that you’re any better than I am. Let’s dispense with the fiction that you would have treated me with any less contempt if I had bothered to live up to any of your standards of decency in the first place, and acknowledge that they have nothing to do with decency per se, and everything to do with power. Your presumption of any moral superiority is a willful, bald-faced lie, and I’m going to keep calling you on that crap until it puts me in the White House.
Post-modernist ethics is merely consumer choice on steroids:
Provided that the postmodern man believes in nothing and values nothing, one wouldn’t be unreasonable in concluding that he cares about nothing. But anyone who knows postmodern man also knows that nothing could be farther from the truth.
The striking contrast of Melissa Harris Perry and other commentators mocking Mitt Romney’s family for adopting a black baby, then tearfully apologizing for it shortly thereafter, smacks of a person who isn’t so much contrite as she is ashamed: she and her colleagues weren’t really thinking when they made fun of the Romneys, and let their true sentiments show. How else could someone who unmasks the implicit racism in something so trivial as Darth Vader’s character make a mistake like that? It shows that all the righteous fury that these folks direct at other people for doing things just like this is an affectation: a contrived performance put on for other purposes.
And those purposes are?
The answer is that the postmodern man ultimately finds satisfaction in the only thing that is left for him: power. Moral superiority is an undeniable source of power over other people, and postmodernism’s moral imperative offers it cheaply to anyone who accepts its premises. The power to shut others up by merely insinuating that they are a bigot is subtle, but its potency is difficult to overstate.
But that potency is difficult to overstate only if, like the RINO squishes, one agrees to be the sucker.
Most importantly of all, Trump understood that postmodern America loathes nothing more than a self-righteous fraud. Hence his reputation for “counterpunching” when confronted with breathless expressions of “offense.” Such was evident in his response to Clinton’s “penchant for sexism” remark by bringing up her husband’s history of sexual assault. Rather than doing what was expected and taking the high road, apologizing, and moving on, Trump opted to call his accusers out for the most certain fact that their professions of moral outrage are cynical power grab and nothing more. More.
Reality check: This sounds about right. It helps explain Trump derangement syndrome. The derangees thought they owned the antihero brand but it is Public Domain. More troublingly, Ernst’s analysis shows that their fanaticism can only grow and seek new targets until their reign of terror is halted. It will not stop by itself. It can’t.
Minister of Democratic Institutions Maryam Monsef has apologized to MPs she suggested Thursday were shirking their duties on electoral reform.
Standing in the House of Commons on Friday, Monsef said sorry for the behaviour her opposition critics denounced as “appalling” and “a disgrace.”
“Yesterday in this House, I used words that I deeply regret,” she said.
“And if you’ll allow me, I’d like to sincerely apologize to the members of this House, to Canadians and to the members of the special all-party committee on electoral reform. In no way did I intend to imply that they didn’t work hard, that they didn’t put in the long hours, that they didn’t focus on the task at hand. Mr. Speaker, I thank them for their work.”
On Thursday, the special committee of MPs studying electoral reform recommended holding a referendum to survey Canadians on whether they want to keep the current system or adopt a system of proportional representation. The committee did not specify the exact alternative model.
Liberal members on the committee disagreed that a referendum should be held.
The discord among committee members provoked a sharp rebuke from Monsef in the House.
“I have to admit I’m a little disappointed, because what we had hoped the committee would provide us with would be a specific alternative system to first past the post. Instead, they’ve provided us with the Gallagher Index,” Monsef said, referring to an academic equation that is used to quantify how well electoral system results reflect the popular vote.
“They did not complete the hard work we had expected them to,” she said. “On the hard choices that we asked the committee to make, Mr. Speaker, they took a pass.”
It is highly unusual, probably unprecedented, for a U.S. president or president-elect to speak directly with a leader of Taiwan, a self-governing island the U.S. broke diplomatic ties with in 1979.
Washington has pursued a so-called “one China” policy since 1979, when it shifted diplomatic recognition of China from the government in Taiwan to the communist government on the mainland. Under that policy, the U.S. recognizes Beijing as representing China but retains unofficial ties with Taiwan.
A statement from Trump’s transition team said he spoke with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who offered her congratulations. It was not clear who initiated the call.
“During the discussion, they noted the close economic, political, and security ties … between Taiwan and the United States. President-elect Trump also congratulated President Tsai on becoming President of Taiwan earlier this year,” the statement said.
A Taiwanese source with direct knowledge of the call confirmed it had taken place. The source requested anonymity to speak about it before an official statement was issued on it from Taipei.
The White House learned of the conversation after it had taken place, said a senior Obama administration official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive diplomatic relations involved.
China’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Raising signing to the level of official language would be a major recognition, given that the use of sign language in Canada was “widely discouraged and even forbidden in classrooms” in the not-too-distant past, federal officials wrote in a briefing note to Disabilities Minister Carla Qualtrough.
Earlier this year, officials in Employment and Social Development Canada looked over sign language legislation in New Zealand, Scotland, Finland and Sweden as part of research about how the government could enact a similar federal law here.
The details are part of a briefing note The Canadian Press obtained under the Access to Information Act.
Such legislation, if enacted, would require federal information and services to be provided in English, French and sign language. In Canada, there are two types of sign language used by people who are medically deaf, hard of hearing, or prefer to sign: American Sign Language and la Langue des Signes Quebecoise.
Scheer, a Saskatchewan MP and former Speaker of the House of Commons, spent nearly $263,000 on travel for himself and his family, salaries for employees, accommodation and per diems while in Ottawa, office leases in his riding, and other expenses.
Federal spying and other clandestine national security activities will face new and unprecedented parliamentary scrutiny under long-promised Liberal legislation to be unveiled within days.
The Grits will introduce a bill creating an all-party committee of parliamentarians, chaired by Ottawa Liberal MP David McGuinty, to keep a dedicated eye on the effectiveness, legality and strategic direction of the country’s expanding national security apparatus.
The move fulfils a key Liberal election promise, but also renews questions about the status of the government’s much-promised overhaul of the controversial Anti-terrorism Act of 2015, otherwise known as Bill C-51, rushed through Parliament last spring under Conservative majority rule.
Despite sustained Liberal criticism of C-51 while in opposition and repeated promises to reform it if elected, no formal changes have been proposed during eight months in power.
Trudeau unveiled his historic cabinet on Wednesday that featured 15 men and 15 women. But a report on iPolitics brought into question the status of five female MPs, who were named as ministers of state in the orders in council (OIC) notes.
Marie-Claude Bibeau (international development and la Francophonie), Bardish Chagger (small business and tourism), Kristy Duncan (science), Patricia Hajdu (status of women) and Carla Qualtrough (sport and persons with disabilities) were all described as “a Minister of State to be styled minister” of their portfolio in the notes.
All five women also report to another cabinet minister and do not have their own department, technically making them junior ministers. Duncan and Chagger will assist Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, Hajdu and Qualtrough will answer to Minister of Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly, while Bibeau will serve under Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion.
None of the men appointed to cabinet were given minister of state positions.
A Liberal source who spoke only on background about the cabinet appointments, told Yahoo Canada News there are “bureaucratic hoops” but “our intention is that these are all full ministers and they are equal. There is no difference between them.”
Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau is expected to appoint new ambassadors to a number of key diplomatic postings in the coming weeks and months, as he moves to distinguish his government’s foreign policy from a decade of Conservative relations with the world.
Former Manitoba premier Gary Doer confirmed this week that his term as Canadian ambassador to Washington is coming to an end after six years. That leaves Trudeau, who has promised a fresh start in relations with the United States after a diplomatic chill over the Keystone XL pipeline, with a big hole to fill.
(Sidebar: the chill that Tom Steyer-backed Obama created. Carry on.)
New ambassadors in London, Paris and Tel Aviv are among those likely to follow: Each post is currently occupied by a political ally of outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper. …
Possible appointment: Trudeau will need someone of considerable political and diplomatic skill, such as former interim Liberal leader Bob Rae, to pull it off. Rae’s father, Saul Rae, was a renowned career diplomat.
Tie one on. Slogging through this requires a stiff drink:
Conservative MP Michelle Rempel knows it would not be easy to become leader of her party.
In a string of tweets late Wednesday, Rempel outlined multiple reasons why people would tell her not to run to replace Stephen Harper, who stepped down after the Tories were swept out of office on election night.
“All your DMs (direct messages) telling me to do it aren’t helping. I’m a 35-year-old chick. We’re not supposed to do these sorts of things, you know?” she tweeted. …
It is no secret that being a woman on the Hill is not always easy. It has been described as a “testosterone palace” by one Conservative senator, while Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has said the culture around politics is “men can get away with abuse of power. It’s endemic in politics. It shouldn’t be that way.”
Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau has promised to ensure 50 per cent of his cabinet is made up of women and that is a great first step, equality advocates say.
“(Trudeau) recognizes the kind of talent and expertise that women are bringing to the table,” Nancy Peckford of Equal Voice told Yahoo Canada News on Friday.