Everyone agrees that Ignatieff had a lousy last couple of weeks. First, he took an entire weekend to figure out how he felt about the government's latest accountability report, then promptly laid out four ridiculous "conditions" for supporting an upcoming supply motion. He tried to play chicken with the government, and Stephen Harper plucked him bald. The Liberals have now lost virtually all of the momentum they had built up since Ignatieff took over as leader, and as some wag had it, he's gone from being "lionized" to "Dionized." Oof.
Writing in the National Post, L. Ian Macdonald commented that Ignatieff's political reputation had been permanently damaged by his performance last week. Except, it isn't clear that his political reputation is what Ignatieff should be concerned about. More pressingly, he should be worried about the long-term damage this ongoing adventure in Canadian politics is doing to his reputation as a serious thinker.
Of course, when you become a politician, you have to play it dumb. Very dumb. You just can't be yourself so much anymore. It sucks. Totally. You feel like a whore!
Poor "intellectual". Not quite smart enough to realize what he'd be getting himself into.
Five years ago Michael Ignatieff was happily ensconced at Harvard where he was director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. The centre is itself a part of the Kennedy School of Government, which is a sort of staging ground for Democratic political operators and policy wonks as they cycle in and out of government. As the legend is told, he was paid a visit by Ian Davey (son of Keith) along with a couple other Liberal lawyers, and they put a bug in Ignatieff's ear about coming home, standing for Parliament, and maybe becoming leader and running the country.
And back he promptly came, riding a tremendous cloud of puffed-up excitement. Brainy! Handsome! Trudeau! That excitement lasted right up until he won a seat in the Commons, at which point the good professor found himself mouthing the same banalities, fatuities, and schoolyard taunts that pass for wit in our Parliament. Things have only got worse since he took over as Liberal leader, since now he not only has to support a raft of idiotic ideas, statements and policies, he has to pretend that they are his.
Then again, he's a Liberal. Ah! That explains it!
Besides, he doesn't have the massive propaganda machine and vast army of hard-left militants that Barack Hussein Obama has...