Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sympathy For The Devil

There was a lot of schadenfreude in the rightosphere lately about how Olivia Chow's mayoral campaign distanced itself from our old friend the War Room Boss. To some people, this is, apparently, some kind of victory, which is an understandable response given the steady, unrelenting rain of crap that the right has had to deal with for what seems like forever.  

Yes, I can definitely sympathize. For I remember the early days of this here blog, when I took it upon myself to occasionally push back against the War Room Boss' theatrical Carville-ianisms once it became clear that the PC Party of Ontario had jelly in their spines and would rather loudly proclaim "NOBODY CAAAAAARES ABOUT WHAT HE HAS TO SAY" (whilst clicking on his site a zillion times per day) instead of, you know, doing anything. 

So it fell to li'l ol' me to do stuff like correct the record when he tried to imply that the PCPO was attacking Bill Davis, or to point out that one of the guys in his punk band just happened to have some coincidental connection to an attempt to boot Ford from office early, or to purchase a copy of his latest book in a Chapters outlet a couple of days before it was supposed to be made available to the general public. Fun stuff, not so significant in the grand scheme of things. Hell, I even dared to dream that he appreciated the fact that someone cared enough to try.

But (I thought, anyway) there was a higher purpose here: If I could show that the big bad scary War Room Boss was not the Mephistopheles everyone else on the right made him out to be, then maybe we could get back to important stuff like winning elections. Maybe, just maybe, if we pushed back as a movement, effectively, using facts instead of sputtering ragefully or pretending "nobody cares" about this stuff, then we would look like a group of people the voters would consider voting for instead of being the butt of jokes.

Little did I realize that the right is so wracked by insecurity that they would rather tell each other ghost stories or deny the existence of the problem altogether. And- let's be honest- the podunk, cottage-industry nature of our political system makes people like the War Room Boss (who have actually studied at the feet of guys like Carville who take their jobs seriously) look like Prometheus bringing fire to the mortals. So, I got a lot of visits to my site every time I pushed back, but nobody else joined in.

Then, Dalton called it quits and Team Pupatello tried and failed to retain some form of sanity within the OLP and....well, there was really no point in poking him any longer. There was a much bigger threat now. The armies of Big Labour had emerged as a viable political force, influencing the choosing of a Premier of Ontario, and suddenly the left didn't need guys like the War Room Boss to frighten the right with a little theatricality and deception.

There is no more room for cisgendered white privileged males (like the War Room Boss) within the confines of a truly progressive party, or mayoral campaign for that matter. No more "it's the economy, stupid." No more Clintonian triangulation, no more "borrowing ideas from the left and the right". No more "mean-spirited attack ads" or showing up on TV with Barney the Dinosaur dolls or war rooms in general. Cheap political tricks like that distract from the real progressive narrative- destroying capitalism, the abolition of the concept of gender, forced transfers of power to the underprivileged, the end of resource exploitation, the dismantling of the police and the military, overturning the entire judicial system......and hey, PR guys like the War Room Boss make their living off of representing some of those interests, don't they? Oh dear.

But let's not be too mean to Mr. War Room Boss. He's just reaping the fruits of his own labour. For in that book of his which I purchased, he laid out the thesis that the way back to power for progressives was to harness the energy of the Occupy Movement. Of course he should have known that it's impossible to co-opt a group of inflexible radicals who have committed themselves to destroying the system and have no interest in being part of it....but then again, aren't we guilty of the same thing? Haven't we underestimated the unions and the social justice warriors for decades, telling ourselves that the real votes are in the centre?

And do we imagine- as the War Room Boss did, once upon a time- that we can stay holed up in our little enclaves? Do we, and other traditional Liberals, imagine that we will be spared the guillotine? No, no....the social justice warriors will not be so kind. All who participated in the system will pay, and pay dearly.

So let us remember the War Room Boss positively, with some wistfulness for the fun times that were. Because compared to what's coming, a few tweets calling a subway plan racist is water cooler conversation, easily forgotten.


  1. I think the Chow campaign made a strategic error here in not capitalizing on the negative attention accruing to Tory's bogus transit plan that redlines Jane/Finch & Rexdale. Yeah, you could call that "segregationist", but hell there are "coincidences" too... ;-)

    Instead, the Chow campaign blinked! Pity. And threw old warroomboss under tha' bus. Lose/lose/lose.

    PS WK is not an "oldwarroomboss", he's got a lot of fight left in him. So let him fight. Great instincts, excellent moral compass.

    A lot of greasy, right wing punks gunning for him (hello the guy who brought you Rob Ford!). Howse that for a resume?

  2. So long as we're still talking about beside-the-point issues, the word "dead" is not usually spelled with an "s".