Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Return of the Garish Ms. Parrish?

When it comes to bad politicians, there are really two types: the incompetent and the stupid. Both types tend to set off Angry in T.O., but the latter gets him firing on all cylinders faster than the former.

Case in point: the pseudo-Independent M.P., Carolyn Parrish (who is apparently going to return to the Liberal caucus):

"I am having discussions with some members of the party, but a lot of my colleagues want me back," she said in an interview yesterday.

Well, I suppose every great organization needs a benchmark for greatness: someone they can point to and say, "I'm a better MP than that."

Either that, or it's the traditional Liberal sympathy towards poor dumb animals.

The outspoken member of Parliament for Mississauga, Ont., said she will make up her mind by the new year.

"My decision is going to have more to do with how comfortable I feel and how comfortable they feel with us rejoining forces," she said.

Somehow the idea of the garish Ms. Parrish as a "force" to be reckoned with seems somewhat oxymoronic -- with the emphasis on "moron" -- but perhaps we should give her the benefit of the doubt.

"I do not inspire tepid responses in people," the 59-year-old MP said, noting that people either love her or hate her.

"So, I would imagine there are some around the Prime Minister who would rather slash their wrists than see me back, and there are others who think it would be lots of fun to see me back."

Actually, this type of thing is a virtue for a certain class of celebrity, guaranteeing all sorts of news copy. Ms. Parrish is the type to say and do the outrageous, just to get media attention.

Lots of people are like that. Paris Hilton, for example. Or the typical WWE wrestler. The main difference being that they'd probably make better members of Parliament than the Member for Mississauga. (Yes, even Paris.) Plus they're more photogenic.

True to form, Ms. Parrish couldn't resist a little demonstration of her outspokenness in yesterday's interview, criticizing Canada's new Chief of the Defence Staff, General Rick Hillier, for some of his recent comments.

She called him "dangerous" and a "testosterone-filled general," and added that "somebody should put a clamp on his mouth."

Now, insults aren't normally the type of thing to set Angry off. But this statement would, and did:

"We are also not a country that is going to easily throw away 100 years of peacekeeping reputation and noble reputation in the world by a testosterone-filled general, and I think somebody should put a clamp on his mouth."

Here's the link to Angry's complete text. If you look at the whole thing, it's a doozy of a rant.

Now, I'm not going to say that Angry's wrong -- I have to agree that she can be ignorant at times -- I think her motives are somewhat more selfish.

Carolyn Parrish is a publicity sow. Any publicity. Unlike backbenchers like Helena Guergis or , who want publicity to put an issue (aid to China) on the public agenda, Ms. Parrish seems to want publicity just for its own sake, having fallen into the delusion that publicity equals importance. And she knows that the best way to get it is to say and do things that will pander to the moonbat elements of the Librano movement, while shocking and appalling everyone else. Kinda like the "lite" version of Howard Dean.

Of course it'll be her undoing. Funny thing about doing the outrageous; if you do it too often, it's not outrageous anymore. You also run the risk of taking attention away from something that your boss wants publicity for--like his own accomplishments. And when the boss is someone like Paul Martin, getting the mikes pointed towards you is like the nail that sticks out -- and must be hammered down.

The fact that Parrish is "in negotiations" to return suggests to me that, while she may indeed have friends in the caucus, she's not completely welcome yet; there are others resistant to the idea of The Garish One in their ranks.

In a way, I'd wish her luck. The Garish Ms. Parrish is a living example of what can happen when people don't vote Tory.