Selling Out Your Principles
By: Rachel Marsden
Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan once said that "politics is just like
show business. You have a hell of an opening, you coast for awhile, you have a
hell of a closing."
Barely into his opening act, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is Elvis before the fried sandwich overload, Michael Jackson before little boys and the Brady Bunch before puberty.
When U.S. anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan dropped by to lecture Canadians on the importance of offering safe harbour to U.S. military deserters, the Harper administration rightfully told her to shove off.
When the far-left protests that Canadian border agents are reportedly dragging illegal refugees out of subways and shopping centres and drop-kicking them back to their homeland, it's a sign that the Canadian government is finally on the right track.
What do U.S. President George W. Bush and his administration think of illegal immigration?
They're comparing it to a freaking speeding ticket.
Public support for the Iraq war is about where it was when Bush was re-elected in November 2004, yet his personal popularity has plummeted since February.
That also happens to be when Bush came up with the idea of handing over control of several U.S. ports to an Arab country, while in the middle of a war with Arab terrorists -- a brain-dropping wildly applauded by far-left former presidential wingding, Jimmy Carter.
Since Bush has been flogging the leftist idea of amnesty and citizenship for foreigners willing to break the law to get into the country, his ratings have tanked even deeper.
But going back to Reagan's showbiz analogy -- when I caught a Bush press conference last week, I realized just how close he is to dropping the curtain on his onetime blockbuster and taking a gig on Hollywood Squares.
REGRETS 'TOUGH TALK'
When asked to detail his "mistakes" in Iraq, Bush replied: "Saying 'bring it on.' Kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. But I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner. You know, 'wanted dead or alive.' That kind of talk ... I think the biggest mistake that's happened so far, at least from our country's involvement in Iraq, is Abu Ghraib."
So now Dubya openly laments the fact that suspected terrorists had to wear underwear on their heads at Abu Ghraib, even as the Associated Press is reporting that terrorists in Iraq are slaughtering local athletes for wearing shorts?
As for the tough talk, I doubt that General George Patton--hero of two World Wars -- regretted his "Nazi insensitivity" when he said, "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country," and, "When we get to Berlin, I am personally going to shoot that paper-hanging son-of-a-bitch Hitler."
If legendary former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill were alive today, I don't think he'd want to retract statements like, "You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air ... with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny."
Hopefully Harper won't follow Bush's lead and sell out his conservative principles in a time of war.
As Churchill himself said, "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
PUBLISHED: TORONTO SUN (June 5/06)
COPYRIGHT 2006 RACHEL MARSDEN