Twitter exploded last night.
Thousands of demonstrators jammed American airports to protest Trump’s Executive Order banning Muslims from certain countries from entering the US.
Refugees traveling with valid documentation, permanent residents with green cards, temporary workers on visas, and dual citizens were detained, some were deported.
ACLU lawyers fanned across the country, meeting with detainees, preparing habeas corpus applications and stay applications and going to court at midnight to argue their case.
Judges issued orders and some customs officials violated them saying they “reported to Trump” not the courts. Goodbye checks and balances, the rule of law, and the Constitution.
Prime Minister Trudeau expressed his support for the refugees. Premier Notley said “Alberta has always been welcoming to those seeking refuge and that will not change.”
Then Jason Kenney chimed in.
He did not express concern for the detainees or support for the demonstrators, the ACLU lawyers or even the Premier who confirmed Alberta would welcome those seeking refuge.
Instead he tweeted nonsense like this:
“Kudos to conservative Republic Congressman @justinamash for challenging the President’s bizarre and counterproductive Executive Order” Trump’s EO is more than “bizarre” and “counterproductive”. It’s inhumane and unconstitutional.
“Republicans in Congress who (rightly) challenged President Obama for making law through EOs should now challenge President Trump’s EO.” What’s Obama got to do with this?
“The USA is and should be our closest ally, but our first obligation is to defend the interests of Canadians & Albertans.” What????
These tweets illustrate why Jason Kenney is more dangerous than Trump:
- Kenney is smarter than Trump
Unlike Trump, Kenney does not make misogynist, racist, xenophobic, or homophobic comments. He attracts misogynists, racists, xeonophobes, and homophobes and they do it for him.
When challenged about their behavior he responds with a “tut-tut” and posts a photo of himself at an ethnic celebration. Meanwhile the harassment continues. Case in point: Sandra Jansen and Stephen Kahn abandoned the PC leadership race in part because they’d been targeted by misogynist, racist idiots.
- Kenney is more effective at manipulating conservatives than Trump
Brian Jean says it’s impossible to form a stand alone new conservative party.
He’s right. The only way to “merge” the PCs with the Wildrose is to merge the PCs into the Wildrose and give it a new name. How about the Alberta Conservative Party (Alt-Con?)
The Chief Electoral Officer agrees.
The issue here isn’t that Kenney doesn’t understand that the Wildrose will forfeit $2 million in assets if Kenney pursues his dream of a “new” conservative party, it’s that he’s too pig headed to admit that Brian Jean is right.
Kenney insists the matter is up for debate and his supporters believe him. This lack of critical thinking on the part of his supporters does not bode well for Alberta.
- Kenney is more cynical than Trump
Kenney wants to slow down the merger process but hasn’t said why.
If he’s elected PC leader, he wants the merged party to be formed in the fall and the leadership race to occur in the spring of 2018.
Jean says this is too late. (Reg Downs, one of the chief architects of Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party, would agree with him). Jean wants the merged party to be in place by this summer and the leadership race to take place in the fall of 2017.
Jean’s is moving six months faster than Kenney. Jean’s plan ensures the new party will have a leader going into the 2017 Legislature and gives the party additional time to get its act together and prepare for the 2019 general election.
Makes sense but Kenney won’t buy it.
Why? Because Kenney isn’t convinced he’ll win the leadership of the merged conservative party. It’s one thing to defeat PC leadership candidates with delegate slates stacked with Wildrose members, it’s quite another to take down Brian Jean.
Jean’s polling numbers are higher than Kenney’s. He’s the MLA for Fort MacMurray which practically burned to the ground and he lost his son while he was campaigning for the leadership after Danielle Smith crossed the floor. He’s quietly supported some of Notley’s social policies and publicly told supporters who chant offensive chants or brandish offensive signs to “…stay at home and keep their opinions to themselves.” Compared with Kenney he looks like Mother Teresa.
Kenney would rather see the new party enter the Legislature this fall without a leader (would that make Jean the Acting Leader of the Official Opposition?) than risk losing to Jean.
Or maybe Kenney is afraid to face Notley in the Legislature. Kenney could punt a WR or PC MLA out of his/her seat, trigger a by-election and demonstrate his prowess vis-à-vis Notley for a couple of terms before the next election. He’d get brownie points if he’s effective and raspberries if he’s not. Surely, he’s not worried she’d destroy his chances in the general election.
Where does this leave us?
I’m not a conservative by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d urge all conservatives to compare Brian Jean’s merger plan with Jason Kenney’s and ask themselves which is the best path to success.
While they’re at it, they should look across the border and decide whether the cost of electing a cynical self-serving politician is worth it.
Sources: Calgary Herald Dec 6, 2016, A4 and Jan 28, 2017 A3