Does Bob Rae really seem to be the appropriate guy to carry an anti-NDP message?
It's been said that a leopard never changes his spots -- an adage that could take some fascinating twists around Liberal leader Stephane Dion's right-hand man, Bob Rae.
Rae, it's been constantly noted, used to be the NDP Premier of Ontario. Now, he's running for the Liberal party.
Rae spent today touring British Columbia, one of the NDP's traditional bastions of strength, claiming that only the Liberal party could prevent a Stephen Harper majority.
"I have no hesitation in saying that Jack Layton's NDP -- as it's now called -- really has taken some very bizarre positions," Rae announced. He pointed the finger squarely at NDP leader Jack Layton for helping defeat Paul Martin's minority government, leading to the election that ended up with Stephen Harper emerging victorious.
"That's why I describe the Harper government as the house that Jack built," Rae said.
Unsurprisingly, Rae clearly overlooks the rampang corruption of the 13-year Liberal government which culiminated in (but certainly was not limited to) the Sponsorship Scandal. Martin's too-little-too-late efforts to clean up the mess notwithstanding, allowing a government that had so clearly devestated the public trust would actually have been inrresponsible.
In fact, Layton's decision to pull the plug on Martin was actually the repsonsible thing to do for his own party. The NDP improved its seat total to 29 -- a ten-seat improvement from 19. Layton accomplished this task at the direct expense of the Liberal party.
Apparently, Jack Layton never recieved Rae's memo professing his obvious belief that the #1 priority of the NDP is to keep the Liberal party in power. Apparently.
Rae's finger-pointing in BC really point back to two things: first, a Liberal inability to accept responsibility for their own defeat. Secondly, as Michael Byers points out, it seems to suggest some desperation on Rae and Dion's part.
"I find it strange that Bob Rae, who is not yet the leader of the Liberal party, has come all the way to British Columbia to help Stephane Dion out here," Byers announced. "It's a reflection of just how badly Mr. Dion is doing in communicating his policy. I think it's an act of desperation."
In the end, Rae's desparation seems to have him dabbling in sheer irony.
After all, Bob Rae didn't decline to defeat then-Ontario Premier David Petersen in the 1990 Ontario election.
Out, damn spot.