Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rob Ford's re-Election Strategy

After reading this, I wonder just who from Harper's inner circle is advising their campaign?
In another pointed jab at the gay community, Doug Ford accused the mother of a gay son of “bullying” for accusing Rob Ford of homophobia.Rob Ford has begun his mayoral campaign by saying that hedeliberately avoids the Pride festival and vocally opposing the city’s decision to fly a rainbow flag during the Olympics in solidarity with the gay community in Russia. Doug Ford, his brother’s campaign manager, has complained that Pride involves “buck naked men.”On the second episode of their YouTube campaign show, released on Tuesday, Rob Ford read aloud a letter from a Scarborough mother who said she is hurt by his actions and called him “homophobic.”“This is about being patriotic to our country,” Ford said to the camera. “I am not homophobic. I will go to anyone’s house, anyone’s place, to help them out. I take offence when people say that to me.”Doug Ford said: “You know how many gay friends that we have? People that have worked on our campaign. So you may want to try to bully us into things, but — that’s how I feel sometimes, Rob. I feel like I’ve been bullied into something.”
This is hallmark tactics out of the far right these days - attack on one front, and then when you get blowback, start dog-whistling to the extremists in your base.  

It is a zero-sum game.  Any criticism must be eradicated.  If you can do it in a way that reinforces the support of your "base", so much the better.

I don't know how much of Ford Nation is staunchly So-Con, but clearly they have gained a prominent voice on the shoulder of the brothers Ford.  This is clearly dog-whistling to the supporters of people like Gwen Landolt and Charles McVety.

Of considerable note is the conflation of Rob Ford's opposition to flying the Pride flag outside of Toronto's city hall with "patriotism".
“This is about being patriotic to our country,” Ford said to the camera. “I am not homophobic. I will go to anyone’s house, anyone’s place, to help them out. I take offence when people say that to me.”
This position conflates opposition to Russia's anti-gay politics and patriotism relative to Canada.  Yet, among Canada's athletes at Sochi are no doubt LGBT persons, so how is sending a message of solidarity to them and the LGBT community at home "unpatriotic"?

Of course, it isn't.  But that won't stop them from trying to confuse things in the minds of voters.  This tactic has been used before, and the results weren't pretty.  One can only hope that the voters of Toronto are smart enough to see this for what it is.

Part of me wonders if this isn't a trial balloon for tactics that the CPC is planning for the proposed 2015 election campaign.

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