Thursday, August 20, 2015

So Much for the Myth of the "Smartest Man in the Room"

Prime minister Shifty is infamous as seeing himself as the "smartest man in the room" in his dealings with others, especially his staff. Somehow this numbskull convinced himself and his followers of that (and, no, I didn't set out to draw comparisons between Harper and another despot from the other side of the Atlantic in the 30s and 40s even if Harper currently finds himself in a spot remarkably similar to the bunker that other guy found himself in during the early summer of 1945).

There's a word for this affliction of arrogance.  It's called Hubris. It's a term from ancient Greece that means extreme pride or self-confidence. Think of it as a precursor to madness. The old Greek gods found it offensive and so they invented something to punish it, Nemesis.

Does this sound familiar?  From Wiki:

Hubris is usually perceived as a characteristic of an individual rather than a group, although the group the offender belongs to may suffer consequences from the wrongful act. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence, accomplishments or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.

I think that's pretty much got Shifty to a T.  That "loss of contact with reality" is on display every day when this prime minister fends off questions about the previous day's evidence in the Duffy trial that directly contradicts Harper's own narrative. He doesn't just "lose contact with reality" but rejects it outright when he dismisses the statements of his own inner circle given to police investigators and now, under oath, before a court of law.

According to the Special Counsel to this prime minister, Shifty overestimated his own competence and capabilities when he decided, despite his lawyer's advice to the contrary, that simply owning property in another province made the owner eligible for appointment to the Senate.  Who needs the restraints of informed decision making when you're Furious Leader, the Smartest Man in the Room?

It's his own, absolute arrogance that got Harper in this mess. He thought he was above the rules, above the law and from that wobbly perch he issued decrees that would destabilize his administration.

Oh yeah, about that other thing, the yin to the yang, Nemesis.  Put simply, nemesis is the divine retribution visited upon those who succumb to hubris. You might remember Nemesis as the Goddess who really screwed up Narcissus and that other fellow, Hitler (damn, I did it again. sorry). It seems she's now hovering over our very own Prince of Darkness.

As the trial grinds on it grinds down our prime minister, even in the eyes of his own supporters.  Nemesis has Shifty by both lapels and he can't get away, he's stuck just as Narcissus was stuck at the reflecting pool.


Purple library guy said...

I've noted before that while it's actually true that Harper is generally the smartest guy in the room, it's equally true that he is very careful just who he lets into rooms with him. Look at his cabinet; alongside them, almost anyone would be the "smartest guy in the room".

Anonymous said...

It's more like the Emperor has no cloths.
Even the Conservtives can see that now.
Took a long time for someone to shout it out!

Anonymous said...

Early spring, 1945. Smartest guy in the closet. And to hell with Godwin's rule - sometimes a Hilter is just a Hilter.

deb said...

I have come to a new conclusion, as I was missing a key piece of info that I found out today. The duffy trial wraps up in a week or so and then resumes in november....after the election.
Harper isnt always the brightest guy in the room, but he always is the most devious, I think Harper was gambling that if he called the election early he would have sept/oct free of this trial, and enough time for folks to forget.
cynical, devious and he probably is right, as folk these days have the attn span of a five year old.

deb said...

though I do agree with your very illustrative greek tragedy theme, that Harper is responsible for creating this mess.

rumleyfips said...

I doubt I have the quote ver batum, but I remember hearing that those the god's want to destroy they first make mad.

The Mound of Sound said...

PLG is right in observing that Harper tends to surround himself with people who, because they're gullible, dim or weak, can be compromised and bent to his will. Wright and Perrin are clever enough but they too got bent to Harper's will. I hope Bayne explores why Perrin abruptly bolted from Ottawa back to BC.

Deb, I'm waiting with some apprehension to see how well Trudeau and Mulcair will campaign once the trial recesses. They have had an easy ride of it so far, carried by Don Bayne, even spoon fed. After the recess begins it's all on them to take Harper down until we go to the polls.

Frankly, if with this scandal served up to them they can't take Harper down, then, once again, the country is stuck with two duds.

The Mound of Sound said...

That's on the money, Rumley.