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Rex Murphy: Maniacal Stephen Harper haters keep getting 'blindsided' by entirely normal beha

Rex is BRILLIANT. This article shows the media and the left's double standard. After Obama's term ended. Obama met with Trudeau. Media portrayed it as the continuation of the bro-mance.


The media clearly saw the former PM's trip to Washington as a big deal. Was he insidiously arranging events behind the scenes for a comeback?

I was paddling around the many online lexicons seeking some enlightenment on the verb “blindside.” One offered a rather odd illustration of its usage with the declaration that “you could blindside your family by suddenly announcing you’re moving to China.” Speak for your own family, I know lots of families where the parents or the offspring talk about nothing else. They love China. They watch full reruns of the Beijing Olympics twice a month. Play ping-pong all day. If one of them up and told the rest they were going to move to China, it’d be the most natural thing in the world.

And why the hang-up with China? If a family member were to say he was going to move to Sweden, would that be “blindsiding?” Sweden’d be fine. Sweden’s OK. But China? I detect traces of despicable “orientalism” rearing its occidental head here.

I had come to this a couple of weeks ago after reading all the articles about Stephen Harper being slated for “blindsiding” the Trudeau government with a trip to Washington. Unfortunately, it came in the brief interval between the Trudeau family’s prêt-à-porter triumphs on the Indian subcontinent and the prime minister’s marvellous elucidations on groping allegations as they pertain to “national” as opposed to “local” female reporters.

The latter were especially absorbing as they displayed the kind of Jesuitical finesse and intellectual fine-tuning many supposed were only to be associated with his father, the philosopher-king Pierre. Could they be collected and bound in a single volume? Justin’s Musings on #MeToo, Memory and the Kokanee Grope could easily earn a place on any bookshelf next to the trying subtleties of Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed.

Those tempests spent, I returned to the question of Mr. Harper’s — alleged — surprise assault (which is what a blindside is generally understood to be) on the Trudeau administration. The media, judging by the length and number of features about it, clearly saw it as a big deal. Was Mr. Harper, on this trip (unconfirmed at the time of the initial reports) deliberately “undermining” Canadian unity on the trade dispute? Was this a signal that he had not really abandoned Canadian politics, that he was insidiously arranging events behind the scenes for a “comeback?” Was it evidence of Mr. Trudeau’s theory, vigorously presented during the Liberals’ annual conclave, held in April, that “it may be Andrew Scheer’s smile, but it’s still Stephen Harper’s party.”

Of course, it was none of those things. It was instead just one more instance of the curious fixation, bordering on clinical mania, for strange and delusional speculation about Stephen Harper which is so dominant a mentality for one segment of the Canadian political spectrum. It’s a very curious phenomenon in a time so completely given over to anti-Trump mania. For if one were to look for a name-politician who in character, speech, manner and style, is all things that Mr. Trump is savaged for not being, there is no more perfect an exemplum than our most recent ex-PM.

He is quiet, not boisterous; deflects attention from himself rather than calling the world to his every presence; adamantly prefers self-control to self-abandon; despises the arts of celebrity; and is a model of deportment in speech and personal interactions. The very few times he has spoken to the public record his comments were measured, articulate and empty of all partisan reference.

On the other hand, his name is summoned in the House of Commons by government members, or the prime minister, always in partisan and hostile terms, and outside, as at the Liberal party convention, with deplorable frequency and uncouth pettiness.

If he chose to, he could be in the news every day. There is great matter in the free-trade crisis, the pipeline wars, the rifts between provinces, the carbon tax, the mess at the border, even the farcical Indian hegira, on which the ex-prime minister could do a daily bombing run. But, he has not and doesn’t — despite the taste for those now in office to do such gratuitous runs on him.

Out of office Mr. Harper is the very model of what a former prime minister should be. Which for those who have him fixed in nightmares of their own manufacture is probably a statement more poisonous than finding some portion of virtue in the person of Donald Trump. It’s not “moving to China” but I dare say, for some, this is blindsiding.

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