Entitled Ford blew chance to beat elitists
Mayor Rob Ford in council chambers at Toronto City Hall Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (Reuters)
He’s an idiot. But he’s our idiot.
For all Rob Ford’s foibles, he’s still the guy we elected.
That’s why I’m so pissed off at him, and his bellicose brother.
The Fordian slips? The drunken stupors? The foul mouth? The sidewalk sloppiness? The crack? The mangled grammar? The jello-belly? The sketchy pals? The homeliest mug in the history of politics? The lying? The council chamber stunts? The bullying?
Big-whoop, all of that. Toronto the Good’s history teems with mayoral buffoons, liars, scoundrels, bullies, even murderers. They got away with it. No cellphone cameras. No Twitter.
Same the world over. Winston Churchill was a boozer, Ted Kennedy a skirt-chaser. Bill Clinton was a hound, period.
I don’t mean Rob Ford’s lifestyle isn’t problematic, for instance when railing against drug dealers, gangbangers and other acquaintances. Not to mention it is going to kill the guy, his days-long health kick notwithstanding.
But, no, that’s not why Rob Ford is such a gigantic bust to Ford Nation and its allies, to me.
This is why: The Fords had the entitled, smug political elitists of this town by their mollycoddled balls. And THEY BLEW IT!
How could they do that? The Ikea monkey could have pulled it off.
Ford rode into the mayor’s office on a tidal wave of pushback.
Folks had a jelly-bellyful of David Miller, the loony left, of city workers with jobs for life, of an arrogant TTC, of the gall of pols like former councillor Kyle Rae and his tax-funded $12,000 retirement wing-ding.
How could you muck up a mandate like that?
Don’t blame the entitled class, the career pols, the elite. You know they’ll try to crush you like scorpion in their plush playpen.
But you outnumber them — if you’re smart.
The Fords weren’t smart. Yes, they won a few early rounds — taming the unions, privatizing garbage, killing the car tax, curtailing councillors’ expense accounts.
It must have gone to their head. Suddenly, they acted like THEY were entitled.
Suddenly, they thought they could do whatever, behave however, the hell they liked.
They strutted, they bullied, they pissed people off, including their allies.
Paul Ainslie and Doug Ford used to be best buddies, even sitting beside each other in council.
Ainslie’s a wuss, but the Fords needed his vote. Demonizing the guy because he tried to get a drunken mayor out of the Garrison Ball was just plain stupid. When Ainslie voted against the Scarborough subway — no doubt partly to spite the Fords — the brothers practically spat on him in council. Why bother? They had the vote locked up. They just bolstered their bully rep.
Even after Bumgate and Crackgate and Stuporgate and P---ygate, Ford might have spared his reputation, his mandate and our tax load. It was so, so, simple. Take a break, go see Betty Ford, come back stronger than ever.
That was the smart thing to do.
And don’t give me this crap about the haze of addiction. Surely Rob and Doug have enough untainted brain matter between them to play it smart.
They had it in their power to quash the tax-and-spend habit at City Hall. They threw it away.
Boys, you really, really, really effed up.
Maybe Ford can come back like coke-sniffing, jailed mayor Marion Barry did in Washington, D.C. in the 1990s, but it would take a miracle.
The coup of the past few days, as I wrote Tuesday, actually plays into his hands. But the web has made miracles obsolete — ask Anthony Weiner — and a year of Fordian slips or worse until next Oct. 27 vote would be Ford’s coup de grace.
Now that council has stripped the mayor’s powers, staff, office budget, the barn door is closed.
So, Ford Nation and its environs need a new horse. One with more, well, horse sense.
Anybody out there?
While we wait, check out my Christmas Fund for Variety Village, with great prizes, online at sunchristmasfund.ca.