There are few people who I hold in lower esteem than Bob Hepburn, editor of the Toronto Star.
Expecting journalists and editors to be unbiased is and always has been a fool's game. People in this profession who openly cheerlead is also risible, but not unexpected. But Hepburn is so far in the tank for the Liberals that he openly deigns to give them suggestions on how to lead. And not only that, but if you click those links and read what he had to say, you will find that his suggestions are usually quite wrong.
I don't know how Liberals feel about Hepburn's pronouncements. But in this morning's column about the supposed state of the PC Party, Hepburn decided he's going to give Tim Hudak advice on how to stay leader.
So now, in addition to everyone and their brother who's ever held a membership in the PC Party of Ontario, we now have the Star's editor chiming in about the future of the party. Hepburn's column is full of overheated gossip- Tom Long is planning to kneecap Hudak! Flaherty is waiting in the wings! Unnamed leadership rivals are "circling!"- and factual errors -the PC Party supposedly "dumps" leaders who lose, but all the leaders he names resigned- and while that's bad, it doesn't touch the real issue here.
See, I understand people are mad about the loss. Some people want Hudak gone. But right now, there is no doubt in my mind that Hudak is going to survive. Because of one reason, one reason that Hepburn and all the other tough talkers seem to not have considered. Are you ready? Here it is:
NO ORGANIZED GROUP OF PEOPLE TRYING TO DUMP HUDAK CURRENTLY EXISTS
Hepburn thinks that because he has control over a rapidly-declining broadsheet, he can use it as a platform to make his idiotic pronouncements. He won't go on TV or go head to head with anyone on the radio to defend what he says, because he knows in the back of his mind that he'll get clobbered.
But these noble Principled Conservatives who think they know better than the party have no such broadsheet to hide behind. They like to complain, but they won't back their talk up with action. More to the point, where were these Principled Conservatives when Hudak said he wouldn't scrap the HRC's? Or when the platform was announced? Or during the months after the platform was announced when we were coasting at 40%+? Nowhere, that's where. They shut their mouths and went along for the ride. Now, they think that because Hudak lost, he's done like dinner even though they have no organization, and the people they want to replace have at least some organization.
Do we have a party full of fighters, ready to pound Dalton into red Jell-O? Or do we have a bunch of scaredy-cats like Frank Klees who stab the leader in the back, then turn tail and run at the first sign of trouble? Who would rather complain about the other half of the party because it's easy to do that, and fighting the Liberals is difficult?
It goes back to what I said about not running tentative campaigns that are fraught with concern about What The Liberals Will Say. If you, Mr. or Mrs. Principled Conservative, want Spiro or Lietaer or Hudak or whoever gone, then you had damn well better stand behind your rhetoric. Then, you may not have the admiration of the party, but you will have their respect. Or you can do nothing, and have neither.