Popped into The Big Picture's in-box is this Bob Rae letter, below, reminding us that it was Jack Layton who forced the 2006 election and ushered in the The Harper Years.
No mention that Paul Martin made it impossible for Layton to support him. Or that the Grits subsequently ran one of the worst campaigns in history. Or that the Liberals have since propped up the Harper government.
Rae says Layton has an Obama complex, which we hadn't noticed. The sole substance for this might be that Layton did attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Rae accuses Layton of "advancing his own political ambitions," which as you know is rare among politicians. Certainly it's something Rae himself studiously avoided, except for that time he was instrumental in bringing down Joe Clark's government in 1979. Certainly at Queen's Park, Rae didn't advance his interests. I mean, he didn't plan on being Ontario's least successful premier.
Anyhoo, what's important here is that the Grits see the NDP gaining ground on them and must therefore smear Layton. And who better than a former Dipper to do the deed?
"As for Jack Layton's delusion about being Barack Obama, he could not be further from the mark. If there is an analogy to be made, it's with Ralph Nader, whose candidacy for the U.S. presidency in 2000 was perhaps most responsible for George Bush's narrow win over Al Gore."
So that's it. The CCF/NDP, which has been around for 76 years, is supposed abandon the field to let the Grits handle the Tories on their own. Which they did such a triumphant job of in the past two elections.
Oh, and not that it matters, but while Nader may or may not have been decisive in 2000, there were bigger factors in Gore's loss:
- Gore ran such a lousy campaign he failed to carry even his own state of Tennessee. Had he done so, he would have become President.
- Disgusted by Lewinskygate, Gore distanced himself from the Clinton record of unprecedented job creation (23 million new jobs from 1993 to 2001), budget surpluses, annual double-digit declines in crime rates in almost every major American city, and so on. Instead, Gore ran on a promise to protect Social Security ("I'll put it in a lockbox"), which only Gore and close family members regarded as a compelling campaign issue.
- Republican goons at the direction of James Baker and Karl Rove, dispatched to Florida during the recount there, verbally and physically assaulted the volunteer vote recounters for days until increasing numbers of the intimidated volunteers stopped showing up.
- The five Republican-appointed members of the U.S. Supreme Court installed Bush as President, with the four Democrat appointees dissenting. In doing so, the Court broke with its states-rights philosophy and practice, overruling a Florida Supreme Court ruling that the recount continue. The Supremes then reverted to their states-rights prediliction. Bush v. Gore, one of the thousands of Supreme Court cases Sarah Palin was unable to cite when asked to name even one case other than Roe v. Wade, is widely recognized as the second-worst Court jurisprudence after Dred Scott.
That Rae, a careful student of history, knows all that makes his letter all the more farcical:
The House Jack Built