I’m not sure it quite got everyone’s attention down here in the States. But it seems like today was the breakthrough day in the on-going, endless (and admittedly sublime) Rob Ford psychodrama. We linked to this boffo moment when ‘Mayor’ Ford ran across the Council Chamber to jump into an apparently imaginary melee involving his brother (City Councillor Doug Ford) and managed to clothesline City Councillor Pam McConnell. Beside that there wasn’t so much any one admission or profanity or bonghit or body check as the city government degenerating into a sort of post-modern hostage drama in which two bulbous goon brothers were holding this once proudly boring city hostage. At certain moments, I found myself thinking that the old John Candy/Eugene Levy era Second City TV was actually just a documentary about life in Canada.
The best attempt of seen at capturing today’s antics comes from Andrew Coyne of the National Post. I’ll quote the beginning of a masterful column on the days events …
Something snapped at Toronto City Council Monday afternoon, and it wasn’t just Rob Ford’s cerebral cortex. Watching the mayor and his brother strutting about the council chamber — ignoring the Speaker, taunting other councillors, shouting down city officials, screaming insults at spectators, the whole carried out with an air of anarchic glee — was to sense the last tether connecting our politics to some sort of civilized norms breaking under the strain. We are adrift now, floating wildly, with no idea of where we will end up.
At one point the mayor engaged in an extended pantomime of a drunk driver, directed at a councillor who had been cautioned by police. At another, racing about the chamber — literally sprinting — he ploughed into another councillor, knocking her to the floor, apparently in his haste to join the apprehended brawl then under way between his brother and members of the public gallery.
Who knows how this will end? But it’s a good example of why the impeachment power exists in the US constitution – for times like this when basically everyone, irrespective party, thinks the executive how totally lost the ability and legitimacy to hold power. It seems like they lack any such power. And so they’re being forced to disassemble Ford’s mayoralty piece by piece. But he still won’t go.