Yeah, yeah, Harper's a shit - got it. Yeah, yeah, Harper's cabinet are all shits - check. Yeah, yeah, the entire Conservative caucus are shits - ditto.
How many times can we rail at Harper's craven ambition? How many times can we 'expose' the hypocricy, manipulation, abuse and mean-spirited partisanship that are the hallmarks of the Tories? How many times can we bemoan their cultural shallowness and pathetically narrow vision?
You see, all that bitching is meaningless, unsustaining, absent clear and convincing policy laying out how we would do better. You just can't say "We can do better." Even if that comes from Michael Ignatieff hisself, that's crap and nothing more. If there's one thing the Liberal Party has had in abundance, it's crap from Michael Ignatieff. We've had enough hollow rhetoric, empty threats. No one believes Mikey's dire pronouncements any more because, time and again, they've proven to be crap. He stands up, makes loud noises and then slinks away into a corner as soon as Harper calls his bluff.
There was a time when Steve Harper was actually worried about Michael Ignatieff. That didn't last long - only until Steve got the measure of Mike. Steve, with the extremely fortuitous aid of the Governor-General, managed to see his way through Michael Ignatieff and it's been pretty much clear sailing for the Tory leader ever since.
When Parliament reconvened, Mike's end-of-prorogue gift to Steve was an opposition not simply divided but utterly fractured. Mikey puffed himself up and made loud noises about putting the Harper government "on probation" (how juvenile was that?) but Steve knew that, with the Left and Centre-Left at each other's throats, he'd been given something similar to the old Tory-Reform fiasco only on the other side.
Mike continued to scold Steve even as he continued to prop up Steve's government, allowing Jack to excoriate the Liberal leader until his credibility seeped out of his pores. When Mike decided to stand on the other foot, Jack was there to do the same dance, both of them hopping like puppets at the end of strings being handled by Steve.
What a dark farce.
Here's what Steve knows. He knows that, with today's Liberal and NDP opposition, he's safe. Power is his to lose. The Libs are obsessed with defeating the Conservatives instead of winning the support of the voting public. Instead of speaking to the Canadian people, presenting them policies they can embrace, the IgLibs are yelling at the Canadian people, hounding them to expel the Tories. If the voting public is responding at all, it's to ask "why?"
If Dion and Ignatieff mark the Liberal Party of the 21st century, it has become a party that is just beginning a long decline.