Monday, April 27, 2009

On low points

Shorter National Post editorial board:

Michael Ignatieff's decision to hide any sympathy for the plight of innocent Tamils behind closed doors due to his fear of Conservative smears is a sign of profound moral courage.

Update: While Dr. Dawg has nicely summarized the deeper point, I'll go a little bit further in pointing out the problem with Ignatieff's actions. The starting point is that the Harper Cons have consistently tried to set a "guilt by association" standard when it comes to groups who don't fit into their pool of prospective voters - such that even the slightest public show of concern for the plight of the Cons' designated undesirables is met with shrieks of "they support the terrorists!"

What Ignatieff has done is to validate that exclusionary tendency, instructing his party to flee from an entirely peaceful demonstration - even one that's been carefully sanitized of controversial material, however absurd that standard is to begin with. And to add insult to injury, Ignatieff still has the gall to meet behind closed doors with leaders of the community that he's embarrassed to be seen with in public to try to pretend that his party will defend their interests.

Of course, the National Post couldn't be happier with that outcome, since it means that Harper is calling the shots as to which types of discourse are acceptable and which groups are unworthy of public sympathy. But for the reasons pointed out by Dr. Dawg, that should be reason for embarrassment rather than pride on the Libs' part.

Edit: added label.

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