Monday, August 11, 2008


Thibault steeped in stupid

You know, I've always thought that Nova Scotia Liberal MP Robert Thibault had the voice of an educated thug. Turns out he has the attitudes of an uneducated one.

In a slam reminiscent of Eric Cartman’s faux-bravado towards imaginary women who should know their place, i.e. “bake me a pie!” or "knit me a sweater!" Thibault has tried to be John Crosbie to Senator Marjory LeBreton's Sheila Copps:

Three-term Liberal MP Robert Thibault has got into an angry and heated public war of words with Government Senate Leader Marjory LeBreton, saying that she took his "ageist" comments out of context and that the Senator "should go back to making tea for Brian Mulroney and stay out of serious people's business."

"Yes [I stand by] the comments that I made, but not the comments that are attributed to me," Mr. Thibault (West Nova, N.S.) told The Hill Times, laughing at the apparent incongruity of his statement. But he went on to explain: "[I do not stand by] the intent [or spin] that idiots like Marjory LeBreton would put onto my comments. Marjory should go back to making tea for Brian Mulroney and stay out of serious people's business."
--The Hill Times, today

This comes on the heels of Thibault's ill-advised shouldn't-you-be-in-a-rocking-chair? putdown of his Conservative opponent in the next election.

You know what they say. When you’re in a hole, the first thing you should do is stop digging. In doubling down on his ridicule of Greg Kerr, by demeaning a female senior (a key demographic in Atlantic Canada), Thibault seems determined to dig his political grave.

Update: The Halifax Chronicle-Herald was able to get ahold of Thibault for comment Monday:

Mr. Thibault said Monday that he does not plan to apologize.

"Tea, firstly, is figurative, not planning to be sexist in any way," he said. "Marjory LeBreton is a very partisan person who was appointed to the Senate by Brian Mulroney and has been seen as being Brian Mulroney’s proxy in cabinet."

Mr. Thibault said he thinks people will understand his comments weren’t sexist.

"I think people will understand that my comments about Marjory LeBreton are a reference to a very partisan Conservative who is looking for any opportunity whatsoever to get my goat," he said.

Really. Making tea is figurative? Does that mean it's a euphemism for some other act?

Anyhow, thanks to Thibault's intransigence, LeBreton has now been joined by women's groups not normally known for their Conservative sympathies, while female Liberal MPs are unavailable for comment:

"We do a lot of work to get women involved in the political process, and one of the things that keeps them out is disrespectful behaviour," said Brigitte Neumann, executive director of the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women. "Whatever your party affiliation, you shouldn’t have to put up with sexist comments."

Francoise Gagnon, executive director of Equal Voice, a group that works to get women involved in politics, said the comments are sexist.

"We always hold the line that it’s very unfortunate that these kinds of comments are made," she said. "They don’t reflect the hard work of all the members from all the different parties who contribute."

Ms. LeBreton challenged female Liberal MPs to respond to Mr. Thibault’s remarks, but two women who play a prominent role in the Liberal women’s caucus — Maria Minna and Belinda Stronach — did not return calls on Monday.

Neither did communications officers for Liberal Leader Stephane Dion.

Ms. LeBreton said Liberal women should speak out.

"If they sit there and say nothing, that says a lot about them, too," she said.


Anonymous said...

And the media is just a determined to shield him. Why am I not surprised?

Joan Tintor said...

It's odd that I didn't see this story or the Doug Finlay/ethics committee incident on the CBC or CTV news last night. But I don't think I saw every minute of those broadcasts so I may have missed it.