|Click to watch the Fonz "Jump the Shark"|
And so Quebec's most popular politician, Amir Khadir, has found his very own shark in the the name of a shoe store called 'Le Marcheur.' Read Story
A week after a survey declared him the most popular politician in Quebec, his boycott actions on one cold December afternoon has set all of that good will asunder.
He should have known better than to participate in a boycott of a honest, hard-working Quebecois, but obviously, he couldn't resist.
You see, protest is in Amir's blood.
Ever since he was a boy, his communist/activist father dragged him from one demonstration to another. While most families went to Church or to visit grandma on Sunday, Amir was off to protest. Flogging Israel, America, Canada, capitalists and the bourgeoisies was a family tradition. Old habits are hard to change and so it seems that while you can take the boy out of the communist party, apparently you can't take the communist party out of the boy.
....TO THE BARRICADES!
When the negative reaction to his boycott support became overwhelming, Khadir was confident that he could charm his way out of the situation, after all, he's a master bullshitter.
Had he sized up the situation accurately, he would have realized that a quick apology for his actions was the politic thing to do. It probably would have been forgiven.
Instead, he tried to weasel his way out by the tried and true political strategy of lying and spinnng.
When he told reporters that what happened was just a simple misunderstanding and that he never called for a boycott of the store, just the the Israeli products, he was contradicted rather publicly by the store owner who said in no uncertain terms that Khadir had been encouraging shoppers not to go into the store.
Frustrated that he was losing the argument, he then foolishly asserted his right as a private citizen to demonstrate as he sees fit.
That is when, as we say in politics, 'he lost the room.'
And that bell, cannot be unrung.
No amount of spinning, would help Khadir change the public perception that he was terrorizing an innocent 'Quebecois.' Had the merchant involved, been an Anglo or Ethnic, perhaps the story would never have achieved the media attention it did, but the David and Goliath tussle pushed a decidedly hot button and the story resonated throughout the province.
Not even his friends in the 'Clique du Plateau,' could save Khadir from the thrashing he took in the media. While most on the left, sensing the mood of the public, wisely kept quiet, a notable exception was Radio Canada's Michel Labrecque whose interview of Khadir was more like a socialist conclave. During the interview Labreque offered this gentle rebuttal to Khadir's boycott "It's not the principle, but the method" arrgggh.......
When Khadir compared the shoe salesman to a merchant of land mines, the host remained respectfully silent.
VIVE LA CLIQUE DU PLATEAU! Listen to the interview
It was quite a different story when Khadir tried to defend himself in front of conservatives like Mario Dumont. His charm was lost on the hard-nosed conservative, who wouldn't allow Khadir to skate.
Khadir begged the audience to believe him that it was all a misunderstanding and it would be all put right after Khadir talked to the merchant, to convince him of the error of his ways.
Dumont was having none of it and attacked Khadir viciously by asking about his and his father's communist connection, to which Khadir, off guard, answered rather clumsily, telling the whopper that his father, only joined the communist party because of pressure from the right.
The bashing continued when Khadir tried to defend himself on Benoît Dutrizac's radio show.
If you understand French, listen to the interview and hear Dutrizac, like Dumont, sneer at Khadir, condescendingly, advising him to lay off a simple merchant and then asking why he can't criticize any country, other than Israel.
Khadir repeated the lie that he never meant to chase customers from the shoe store, a fact repudiated by those on the scene. He then repeated his shop-worn mantra that the boycott was justified because Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter are supporters. LISTEN HERE
What is most interesting is the tone of the interviews.
Both Dumont and Dutrizac made no bones about their distaste of Khadir. They sneered and mocked him rather rudely.
This is a game-changer. Journalists on the right sense a vulnerability that wasn't there before and are determined to press ahead with the attacks.
Up until now, Khadir was the Teflon man. As long as he attacked the old guard of Quebec politics and the rich, his radical socialist agenda was ignored.
Khadir himself has done what Eric Duhaime and Jeff Fillion could not, that is, to get the public to confront his deep communist radicalism and his hidden socialist agenda.
As Khadir tries to put this episode behind him, his communist friends will make sure that it remains squarely in the public limelight.
Unfortunately for Khadir, PAJU is likely to continue their boycott of 'Le Marcheur,' despite the ongoing fiasco. Those involved are lifelong masochists who embrace failure. Being a communist today, appeals only to those who adore punishment.
And so, for opponents of Khadir, the boycott is the gift that keeps giving.
How will all this affect Khadir politically?
There's little chance that his re-election is in jeopardy.
The socialist, granolas, separatists and eco-warriors of the Clique du Plateau will re-elect him, no matter what.
But the party is over for Khadir and Quebec solidaire in the rest of Quebec. They have been exposed for what they are....finally.
They both have jumped the shark