Friday, July 21, 2006

Lessons in manners from the Blogging Tories…no, really

Scanning through the Blogging Tories Web page before heading off to bed tonight (although I really shouldn’t though, it angries-up the blood) and post after post (I counted at least eight) are attacking those “whiny” Canadian evacuees leaving or waiting to leave Lebanon.

The BTs call them “ungrateful” and whiners” that should "be grateful” they’re being rescued at all, and should just “quit bitching.” And, of course, lots of gratuitous shots at the media, for actually, you know, reporting what people said. It's a conspiracy, you know. It seems, after waiting for days in 30 to 40c weather in makeshift camps and then enduring long, cramped crossings in crowded boats where many suffered from sea sickness, many of these evacuees were less than bright eyed and chipper when disembarking on the other end.

If you’d just been through such an ordeal, would you be in a great mood? They’re not really pissed at Harper, they’re just hot and hungry and tired, in a pissy mood, and, given they’re escaping a war zone, maybe just a little freaked-out about the last few days.

Has the evacuation been handled as well as it could/should have been? I don't know, it remains to be seen. Such questions are legitimate, and the exercise should be examined, but it's too early to say at this point. Right now let's just focus on getting everyone out safely, there's no need for armchair quarterbacking yet.

But I mean come on, give these people a break. In a few days, once they’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, taken a shower and put on some clean clothes and had a change to get over the shock of their experience, I’m sure they will be expressing their gratefulness and thanks to the Canadian government. For now let’s cut them some slack. Picking on evacuees from a war zone? Really classy guys.

While I’m not one to subscribe to conspiracy theories (unless it involves the (John F.) Kennedy assasination) I do find it interesting that this groundswell of Blogging Tory outrage seems to have erupted so widely all of a sudden. Coincidence, I’m sure. But it seems while Steve Harper can take a punch, his followers clearly can’t. Oh, and clearly, as experience has shown, Harper really can't take a punch either.

UPDATE: I have to say I'm a bit shocked at the vehamance some people are expressing here.
Even Stephen Harper is willing to cut these people some slack:

“A lot of [these] people are very grateful,” the Prime Minister said on the dark pre-dawn tarmac at the Ottawa airport. “A lot of [these] people are very frustrated. They had a long and difficult trip.”

And from the same Globe story, here's a quote from someone who appears to meet all of the Conservative requirements of "true Canadians", and illustrates the shift I'm saying will occur:

Despite the anger expressed by some at the embassy's disorganization, their mood seemed to improve the moment they were finally put on boats. “I was a little cranky last night after being in the sun for seven hours, but now I'm just glad to be going,” said Janet Jacobsen, a 61-year-old physiotherapist from Crofton, B.C.

She had been in Lebanon for a friend's wedding, which took place last Friday despite the fact many guests were unable to attend because of the bombing.

“This was the adventure tour of Lebanon,” she said as she settled into her seat for the ride out.

As I wrote in the comments, I just hope none of you ever find yourselves in a war zone, with your kids in tow, bombs going off around you, food and medicine becoming scarace, not sure when or how you'll be able to get out. I'll try to have some sympathy if the stress makes you say a few things you may regret later.

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Darren McEwen said...

I think Buckler should be fired. You're now seeing people rally around Harper but there's so many different messages coming from Peter Mackay. The communications department has always been a problem for Harper (some would even say for Martin) but I think the last thing Harper wants is people speaking on his behalf that might put their foot in their mouth.

Anonymous said...

This government, by its own admission, does not have much experience at foreign affairs. All things considering, the evacuation is going well, as we have a gutted but very bureaucratic foreign affais department, a tin pot navy, and no merchant marine.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Sandra Buckler should be fired - she's a joke....I've seen her on panels and she acts like she controls everything. She was "keeping it under wraps"? It's a war and people needed to know about what was happening, especially those with family members over there. Under "wraps" - we're not talking about keep a gift for Bush a secret - we're talking about lives here.

Unfortunately, Harper's communications department reflect him - and he's got to let them have a little string here.......even he can't control a war.

Anonymous said...

What is so suprising to you that people are a little ticked off when people we're rescuing with our tax dollars are whining, complaining, and acting like spoiled little children. To be fair, you're no better than them. I'm going to go against my better judgement and give into the temptation to act like a whiny liberal like yourself. You're an ugly man (that really had to be siad).

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but to bitch about being rescued is crap. How do you think those 8 people at the Beriut Embasy feel. Could you imagine just relaxing then all of a sudden 30,000 people show up on your door step wondering why the poor 8 workers are not that well organized.

Anyway there only has been one man who has givin the straight goods and that is Dan Mathason from CTV

Dan the man did not get the memo that the media is trying to make this Harpers Katrina. Watch the clip it is classic.

Jeff said...

Amy, about all the response that unintelligent piece of verbal diarrhea deserves is "I know you are but what am I?" As well, sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

Leaving the sand box now, Czar, I mentioned in the post it's hard to say if the government has done a good job with the evaciation at this point. I think it's an extremly difficult task under difficult circumstances, and my impression at this point is that they are probably doing the best they can. Once this is all over, the operation will be evaluated for lessons learned, if need be, but as I wrote it's too early for armchair quarterbacking.

I'm not saying I agree with the sentiments some of the evacuees are expressing. I don't. I'm just willing to cut them a bit of slack for a day or two.

The point of my post was that these evacuees are exhausted and shell-shocked. I know when I take the redete from the San Fran or Vancouver to Toronto, I'm in a pissy mood when I get off the plane. I can't imagine what they've gone through. To be attacking exhausted evacuees fresh of the boat seems silly to me is all that I'm saying. Don't hold what they're saying agaisnt them while they're still freaked-out. Give them a day or two, after a good nights sleep, and I'm sure they'll be grateful to the government. If they're not, then we'll talk.

Anonymous said...

Sandra Buckler should not be fired she rocks deal with it.

She is a hell of alot better the Scott Reid

Robert said...

Amy's comments are especially ironic considering the title of the piece.

I disagree; judging by Jeff's picture on his blog, I say he's a swell looking guy.

Jeff said...

Aw shucks, thanks Robert, but I've always said I have a face for radio, and a voice for print.

Let me say, reading some comments here and elsewhere, that I just hope none of you ever find yourselves in a war zone, with your kids in tow, bombs going off around you, food and medicine becoming scarace, not sure when or how you'll be able to get out. I'll try to have some sympathy if the stress makes you say a few things you may regret later.

urbanguy said...

Good points and well-said.

Kudos big guy!

ottlib said...

The problem for the Conservative bloggers is not what they said, it is the impression they are leaving on the Canadian people.

What you say about the refugees is completely true. They will recover from their ordeal and when they calm down they will probably be more grateful. But since they are unlikely to call a press conference to say so the impressions Canadians are left with are these angry people, which in turn creates the perception that the evacutation was a mess.

We all know that perception is much more important in politics in reality. So if these folks create the perception of government incompetance by their words and actions the government could find itself in a spot of trouble.

So although they probably would not admit it I would guess that alot of Conservative bloggers have a burr under their saddle over what this does to their master plan for world domination...I mean a majority government.

Peter Rempel said...

"Angries up the blood"? Ha ha ha, thanks. I hadn't yet heard my southern colloqialism of the day.

Anonymous said...

Well, unfortunately I've looked at some Conservative bloggers - what a class bunch - name calling, reverting to the past because they don't have an intelligent answer, oh ya - and swearing and cursing Mummy - let's see if all my kiddie friends are impressed.

You can't know what Sandra Buckler is really like because she takes orders from the one is allowed to think or act on their own - you all know that.

Scott Reid at least mistakes or not was allowed to act on his own.

While I'm here - about the beer and popcorn thing - the Conservatives totally forgot (why am I not surprised) about those little souls who's parents aren't so good - alcholics and/or drug addicts and/or you think the kid comes first when they need a fix (hence the beer and popcorn remark). This is a reality that the Conservatives don't consider - oh but their so indignant.....well, some of us are thinking about the little ones that fall through the cracks. Too bad our PM doesn't in his neat, tidy, controlled yuppy world.

Anonymous said...

Just an observation - I peaked into some of the blogging Tories to get their views on the middle East situation - and why would I be surprised at this - most of the comment section of these bloggers requires approval..........hmmm - who's approving your view in the comments - the PM..........boy talk about control freaky people getting out of hand.

I guess tehy only want those that agree with them to show up.