Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cosh on the Taliban So-Cons

Colby Cosh is losing it I think.

It used to be that you'd have only one weird column for every, say, ten normal, good ones. You know the thing: these shrill, air-agitating protests-in-the-face-of-blank-stares, which only ever seem to amount to a plea that everyone recognize in him this rare new breed of political superman who is, get this, fiscally conservative but totally not socially conservative. (World-beating stuff, obviously, and, my God, can somebody help me clean this mess off the floor because my mind's just been blown out my ears!) But lately the ratio has been getting too close to even.

Today he makes the argument that Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan's invocation of "the family" as justification for his controversial legislation--giving terrifying new powers of investigation to the police--somehow reflects on the nation's social conservatives and their fetishistic (nay, theocratic!) notion of the sanctity of "the family". Rather, that is, than reflecting on the abuse of the term by "cynical" politicians. (Cynical? Even that seems like a stretch. Sounds more like political boilerplate to me.)

He says:
No bogus, ill-advised expansion of state power was ever perpetrated on this continent without "families" being hauled out as part of the pretext.
Oooookaaaaaayyyy ...

But Colby, couldn't we also say that no bona fide, well-advised expansion (or contraction--ha ha, just kidding) of state power was ever perpetrated without "families" being hauled out as a pretext, too?

I mean, surely the thing about politicians always (always, always, always!) using the welfare of families to advance their political ends is that ... everyone belongs to one! I mean, you may as well complain that no bogus, ill-advised expansion of state power was ever perpetrated without people being hauled out as a pretext. Goddamn social conservatives and their perverse obsession with fucking "people"!

He continues:
Maintaining a healthy, functioning, non-corrupt liberal democracy would be a simple matter if everyone were immune to the intramural passions that the appeal ad familiam -- the appeal to innocence, safety and the love between a parent and child -- stirs up.
Um. Sorry guy, but I think everyone already is.

I mean, I don't have the stats or anything, but the whole "Won't somebody please think of the children!"-Helen-Lovejoy-cliché is the joke that even Helen-Lovejoy-types make these days. Like I say: this stuff is conspicuously pro forma. (Or I should say, inconspicuously pro forma, as I doubt a single person noticed it apart from Mr.--sorry, Ms.--Cosh.)

He then goes on to compare social conservatives to the Taliban, then says he didn't, then he says this:
But maybe some of you so-cons out there reading this can see that you have a special responsibility to stand up for (and help "conserve") truly essential and time-hallowed "liberal" features of our society, like search warrants, when they are threatened in the name of the "family."
God damn! Yeah, because you can't fling tennis balls by the half-hour in any of Canada's more densely populated areas without hitting a raving, totally unashamed social conservative! But still, this is begging the question. Can somebody tell me who these legions of so-cons are that are so-vocally supporting the proposed legislation?

And please, please, please don't tell me that the Harper Tories are so-cons. Please.