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Harper: Cheapshot Redux – Mr. Angry returns

Harper was once again in fine cheapshot low-blow form today in the House during Question Period. Rising to defend his Defence Minister from calls of resignation over the prisoner debacle in Afghanistan where O’Conner essentially admitted to misleading the House, Harper resorted to more mud-slinging:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper went for the jugular again in question period today, accusing Liberal MP’s of being more supportive of Taliban prisoners than of Canadian soldiers. “I can understand the passion that the leader of the Opposition and members of his party feel for Taliban prisoners,” Harper said in the Commons. “I just wish occasionally they would show the same passion for Canadian soldiers.” His attack drew angry jeers from the Liberal ranks and had Stephane Dion demanding an apology.

It was another in a series of backhand, personal swipes Harper has taken at Liberals in recent weeks.

This is another Republican-style smear job of trying to equate the Liberals demanding that human rights be respected and an incompetent Defence Minister fired with meaning the Liberals or any other opposition party demanding the same thing must be because they don’t care what happens to Canada’s armed forces.

Between this, the Navdeep Bains smear, and the false charges about patronage appointments with Lucienne Robillard’s ex-husband, I honestly would like to know what planet Harper is on if he thinks this is going to appeal to the moderate middle. He thinks this is going to appeal to anyone outside of his red-meat constituency?

His conduct is unbecoming of a Prime Minister, and he disgraces the chair he sits in.

11 comments to Harper: Cheapshot Redux – Mr. Angry returns

  • Gayle,

    The attack ads worked and Harper appears to be holding his own. Liberals cannot afford to underestimate him. As I said earlier, I believe Dion is up to the challenge.

    In case you forgot – most people identify with the nerd

    Agreed but both Dion and Harper are nerds. Even angry Harper is a nerd.

    Canadians can speak out against our own military action and not be branded unpatriotic.

    Alas Gayne, I disagree. The level of discourse in this nation has declined over the past two years. “Unpatriotic” is one of the kinder accusations.

    Third, Harper should be taken to task for using this slur to deviate from the subject

    He should be, but will he actually pay a political cost? I doubt anyone will remember this episode past 2:00pm on Friday.

  • Anonymous

    The entire crux of this matter is: Does O’Connor know where these detainees are? If not, why not? Have these detainees been released to try to kill Canadian Forces again? Does O’Connor have a plan for assuring detainees captured at great risk by our soldiers are not simply set free through the “revolving door” he spoke about, “bought out by their tribes”; set free to try to kill Canadians again?
    Where are the detainees if they are not free as O’Connor surmised on QP with Jane Taber?
    Will O’Connor and the DND withdraw it’s legal challenge to the Military Police Complaints Commission?

  • what a pathetic petty little man he is. He demeans the office of Prime Minister.

  • “Stick all of these colours to Harper until his true self is shown: a neo-conservative with nothing but extreme Dicken’s archetype hyper-capitalist villain tendencies towards both people and the law.”

    That seems to have been the tack taken by Dion and Fat Ralph in QP for the last few months. How’s that workin’ out for y’all?

  • Gayle

    Psychols and Aaron – I disagree.

    First, Harper’s comments drew wide condemnation tonight. Even Duffy and Robert Fife thought he was out of line. As Fife points out – these comments just remind people of the “mean Harper”, and that is not the image you want to portray going in to an election.

    Calling Dion a whiner for demanding an apology just magnifies the image of being a bully. As I read the blogs tonight I cannot help but conjure up the image of those kids movies – where the bullies are always mean, and their sidekicks always laugh when the bully makes fun of the nerd. In case you forgot – most people identify with the nerd. I think Dion did the right thing – he took the high road and maintained his dignity.

    Second, while Canadians support the military, we are not Americans. Canadians can speak out against our own military action and not be branded unpatriotic.

    Third, Harper should be taken to task for using this slur to deviate from the subject, once again. I do not know how many of you remember the Somalia affair, but that was a huge blight on our military. Now there are suggestions our military is turning over prisoners knowing they will be tortured. These are serious allegation – and Harper should take them seriously rather than use them to make cheap political points to impress his “sidekick” friends.

  • Troy

    If Harper acts like a Republican, then he should be painted as a Republican. Allude to the US failed Iraq policy, rampant corruption in the senate and DOJ, and failed policies from education to military funding. Stick all of these colours to Harper until his true self is shown: a neo-conservative with nothing but extreme Dicken’s archetype hyper-capitalist villain tendencies towards both people and the law.

  • Negative attacks like this only work if they reinforce a lingering perception in the public about the Liberal Party

    Unfortunately Aaron partially right. Negative attacks create a public perception, and a series of negative attacks reinforce it. Harper is trying to fight the 2004 US presidential election – he aligns himself with the military and paints his opponent as weak. He has enjoyed a measure of success to date but I think Dion is up to the challenge.

  • Unruh's an idiot.

    Aaron, that kind of stuff only works on people like you. And Harper’s pretty much got your type locked up. So if wants his majority, he’d better start thinking of other ways of persuasion. But this classless behaviour is getting tiresome.

  • Yes, and he wanted an apology, boo hoo hoo.

    The question you Liberals need to start asking is: What is the cumulative effect of everything Harper is saying AND you people are saying about the Liberal Party and the military? Harper’s comment might be sluffed off by the people that hear it. But maybe they’ll hear it and place it in the same context as your defense critic calling Hillier a “prop.” Or the party’s newfound opposition to the Afghanistan mission. And then all the talk about the deterioration of the military under 13 years of Liberal government. And on and on.

    The point, of course, is that you seem to think that Harper makes off-the-cuff comments just to be a mean guy. He’s not. Harper is a calculating guy. Negative attacks like this only work if they reinforce a lingering perception in the public about the Liberal Party. And Harper knows that the big girls of the Liberal party will respond by crying and drawing attention from the media.

  • Dion did very well.. He called Harpers conduct unbecoming of a Prime Minister. a perfect response. Not that anyone needed to be told that… Harper’s classlessness is very easy to see.

  • Politics is a tough game, Scott. Best that Dion start learning how to take a punch without crying as a result.

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