Archive - Nov 2013

November 13th


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Memo to Canada: DON'T VITTER THIS.

Time to turn my attention to a story that I've neglected, largely because the rest of the world has covered it so quickly and completely. I am, of course, talking about Rob Ford, Toronto's hard-drinking, crack-smoking mayor.

As you can't possibly not know at this point, for the past year, Ford has been ducking charges that he smoked crack, then finally admitted that he smoked crack. But only when he was really drunk.

Ford has insisted, repeatedly, that he should and will keep his job and run for re-election next year, even though just the other day he admitted under oath that he'd bought illegal narcotics in the past two years. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"I'm definitely keeping this job. I’m a positive role model in kids that are down and out.”

We here in America have some experience with defiant politicians, hands caught in the crack jar, who refuse the obvious and traditional resignation and somehow manage to hang onto their jobs. And every time it happens, it raises the bar for what politicians can get away with, ignoring shame and avoiding consequences.

You see, back in 2007, SIX YEARS AGO, current reigning Louisiana senator David Vitter was named as a client of the D.C. Madam, and was also identified as a client of a New Orleans brothel. There was also a rumor that he had a diaper fetish, although that rumor has limited sourcing and, while hilarious, is not relevant to my point.

My point is that Vitter, like Ford, partook of an illegal service involving mouths and pipes. Vitter, like Ford, refused to resign, apologizing and seeming contrite one moment, defiant and blaming his detractors for daring to point out his penchant for paying for puss.

Astute readers may have noticed the phrase "current reigning" to describe Vitter's senatorship above. Not "former", not "disgraced former", not even "disgraced current". Vitter got away with it. And by doing so, he made it easier for subsequent politicians to simply not resign in the wake of scandal, and instead count on short memories and rampant tribalism to keep them in office. Sure, he may be a hooker-consorting, alleged-baby-man, filthy hypocrite, but at least he's not a Democrat.

This is the same dark future that Toronto is facing with Rob Ford. This being Canada, the only power the Toronto city council has is to ask him nicely to leave. Having tried that, they are powerless in the face of Ford's stubbornness, his crack-fueled rage, and of course, his mighty neck, which somehow has a diameter larger than his head.

Which means it's up to the voters of Toronto, at some unspecified point in the future, to make the right call. Good luck with that. And prepare yourselves for "I only shot up heroin a couple of times. I think the voters of Ottawa understand the importance of relaxing." from some office-holder in a few years.