Perhaps the best response to those who continue to poison public discourse is to simply make them irrelevant.
— Sol Chrom (@sol_chrom) November 28, 2012
Ranting, yelling, blustering, hurling insults and misrepresentations. Screaming at Adam Vaughan. Raving about shakedowns. Daren’s summed up its political significance already, but my argument is that it shouldn’t have any.
This is what it’s come to: flouting conflict-of-interest laws and blowing off repeated warnings from the integrity commissioner is OK, but being held accountable for it in court is somehow an insult to democracy. By contrast, arrangements for community benefits worked out with developers, under provincial legislation, are slush funds and shakedowns.
Really, what’s left to say? Beyond the ignorance, the wilful inability to understand the requirements of his job, the entitlement, the victim routine, the endless obsession with minutiae, last night’s eruption, beyond being the obvious kickoff for his re-election campaign, reveals Rob Ford for what he clearly is: a one-trick pony. He doesn’t “get” municipal governance and he’s incapable of building bridges or approaching any issue in any way other than putting his head down and charging like a bull. (Check out David Hains’s clever and compelling football analogy for more.)
It’s all he’s got. It’s what he does. The “respect for democracy” storyline is so shallow and transparent that it clearly can’t have any intent other than to rally the dwindling remnants of Ford Nation. God knows it’s got no connection to reality.
Once again, friends: public discourse. Civility. Respect. The way we talk to each other determines the kind of civic life we have. Poisoning the conversation has to carry consequences. That Team Ford and their water-carriers contribute little of value to it is painfully evident, but the larger question is why they merit any remaining attention.
Seriously, folks, there’s a cityful of adult stuff to deal with. Budgeting. Transit. Growth. Planning. Infrastructure. Governance. We’ve got more important things to deal with than this gong show, and it shouldn’t be consuming all our focus, energy and attention. As Ed Keenan’s argued, this is a distraction.
The Fords can jump up and down and bang coconuts together as much as they want, and their remaining supporters are free to drool all over themselves. They’re not part of the conversation any more.
- Ford or no Ford, let’s reclaim the conversation | #TOpoli #onpoli #cdnpoli
- The Ford verdict and the obvious lesson | #TOpoli #FordCourt
- @TOMayorFord, football, and the #TOpoli gong show: why does he let this go on?
- Politics, decency, and finding common ground: the restoration of civility | #TOpoli #cdnpoli