Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Harper Embarrasses Himself, His Office and Canada to Boot

The president's gone, Mr. Harper.  You can come out now.

Give the man his due, Stephen Harper towers over every other prime minister before him in how he has managed to embarrass himself, the office of prime minister and the country he supposedly represents on the world stage.

He was told, well in advance, not to push his luck by pressing Obama over the Keystone XL pipeline at the North American leaders' summit in Mexico.  American officials were crystal clear on that, a plain warning to Harper not to make an ass of himself.

Undeterred by those warnings, Harper proceeded to make an ass of himself.  Mr. "I won't take 'no' for an answer" pushed his luck and got 'no' for an answer

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was again rebuffed in his bid to press U.S. President Barack Obama to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline when he raised the issue during a North American leaders’ summit in Toluca, Mexico.

Mr. Obama said he has no plans to hasten the process for making a decision. “Keystone will proceed along the path that’s already been set for it,” he said on Wednesday evening.

Wow, who could've guessed Obama would give our prime minister one upside the head over this?  I suppose that'd be everybody.  Then again, Harper had just come out of meetings with TransCanada, the pipeline operator, and had to follow his marching orders even if that meant making an ass out of himself.


Richard said...

I'm happy about the event, but not satisfied with Obama's reasoning. Climate Change, I don't think has anything to do with it. I think the U.S.'s delay relates much more to what we've talked about off and on with fracking providing a temporary short term energy surplus which for the time being of there is more than enough flowing to fill their refineries. Reconfiguring them for oilsands bitumen I believe is becoming uneconomical in comparison.

Fracking results are of a lower quality, but not as low as bitumen.

I also believe Canada sort of playing a middle man on resources for both China and the U.S. is going to come to a head and in some way likely plays a part in this too. I can't put my finger on it but isn't it starting to feel a bit like the U.S. is treating us like a second-class ally?

Purple library guy said...

Hasn't the US always treated us like a second-class, um, ally? Although other words spring to mind, such as "chattel".

Harper is of course just as subservient to the US as any Canadian PM ever--it's just that he's made explicit that the US he serves is not its government, but its corporations, its military-industrial complex, and its Republican party. If a President gives so much as lip service to any other constituency, Harper knows whose buns his lips are truly servicing. That would be the ones with the plum directorships and speaking engagements within their gift.

Anonymous said...

Oh, no couldn't be climate change. Obama just sent millions to California to assist with the drought crisis. It will have such an effect on the agriculture of the state it might raise Canadian food bills by 20%. The loss of ground water is so apparent it can be seen from satellite. And the deep south has frozen. I don't think the president is as indifferent to his country as our PM is to ours.

Owen Gray said...

Climate change or not, Obama has Harper's number.

Steve said...

Harper has a fixed face time with Obama, he chooses to irritate him. Hubris or stupidity or the combo that defines Harper.

I would have loved to have our PM say " Barack I like your High Speed Rail plans, how can Canada best complete the network, I know the best route between Chicago and NYC runs through Canada.