Ooops!…We Did It Again

How quickly we forget.

Just a little over a month ago we misunderestimated him as a candidate and now, a day+ officially into office, we’re misunderestimating him as our mayor. How long’s it going to take us to learn, people?

Mayor Ford (**Simpson’s Shudder**) is not an idiot. Or he is but has surrounded himself with at least one person (but very likely more) who is not an idiot. He (they) got (him) elected mayor of this city with nothing more than tribal chants. We laughed, mocked, huffed and puffed until we were blue in the face. Nothing we did, however, could stop him from winning.

Now, just a day into actually being mayor, he’s got us doing it all over again with his imperial pronouncement (with a dollop of faux-populism) that “Transit City is over, ladies and gentlemen.” We laughed. We mocked. We huffed. We puffed. We demanded to understand matters of procedure. Can a mayor actually nix something like that single-handedly? Who died and made him complete and total boss?

More to the point, is our new mayor really that big of a feckin ejit?!

And we were off, misunderestimating him again.

Over the course of the day, it slowly dribbled out that the real crux of Mayor Ford’s… sorry, just threw up in my mouth a little… early a.m. meeting with the TTC’s GM, Gary Webster, was to get some sort of report on what it would cost to cancel Transit City’s existing contracts, work, etc., and replace some of it with subways. Get back to me about 6 weeks will ya, Gare?

Just enough time to really get all us downtown elites in a lather, foaming at the mouth, yelling at the top of our lungs about the idiocy of the man and his supporters, how the Clampetts have arrived and ruined everything, oh my god, the PTA has DISBANDED!!

Also time to deliver up a little council strategy intel for Team Ford. Which councillors immediately stood firm against them (and who would be subsequently ignored regarding everything) and those that kept their heads low and traps shut (who could be badgered and bullied into falling into line.) Not in terms of deep-sixing Transit City, you understand, because that’s not going to go to council for a vote because it’s not going to happen.

What’s that you say? The mayor (if I don’t attach the proper name to it, I feel less queasy) couldn’t shut up about killing Transit City. Of course, he’s going to do it. He’s a man of his word. Guaranteed. Remember?

Nope. TTC report’s going to come back and tell the mayor (yeah, still holding) what everyone else in the city except for the willfully ignorant streetcar haters already know. The costs will be through the roof exorbitant to halt Transit City and build subways instead. It makes no economic sense. None.

And the mayor was swept to power not on a promise to kill Transit City and build subways. Yes, he said he hated streetcars and everybody he talked to wanted subways during the campaign but that was nothing more than a seat of the pants, fill in the gaping hole that kept opening whenever anyone asked about his transit plan. It was conveniently divisive and provided red meat to his supporters. It just wasn’t a real priority. Stopping the Gravy Train was.

Even the malevolently brilliant minds directing traffic at the mayor’s office will not be able to spin the millions and millions of dollars it will cost the city to change courses on Transit City into popularity gold. Instead, they will look at the numbers, throw up their hands and say that it just isn’t feasible. The Silly Socialists®™©* of the former regime handcuffed them with this white elephant. There’s nothing they can do about it now without incurring heavy costs on you, the taxpayers. So… Blame Miller for all the new streetcars. And let’s keep Stopping the Gravy Train!

The downtown elites will then be fully blamed for foisting a major transit expansion onto the inner suburbs against their will, providing them with their first ever workable form of public transit. The dividing line between Ford Country and the core will be further entrenched and the ground salted for good measure. Yet another veritable virtuoso strategic sleight of hand by Team Ford, reminding us once again that we misunderestimate them at our (and the city’s) peril.

Otherwise, if I’m wrong, it means that our new mayor and the brains behind him actually believe that they can bend reality to their will. That with Ford’s election, the Mayor of Toronto has elevated itself to an all-powerful, superhuman entity capable of bringing city council and senior levels of government to heel with a mere declaration of intent. It would mean our new mayor is, well, insane, and just two days into his reign, I am unprepared to go there that soon.

So, for the time being, I will stick to my guns and think of the Ford Administration as evil genii not bat-shit crazy. It will allow me to sleep better for a little longer.

* while the etymology of this phrase is unknown to us, we ascribe its origins to the Toronto Sun’s Sue-Ann Levy, now official Mayor Ford stenographer/courtier/jester

– deconstructingly submitted by Cityslikr

11 Responses to Ooops!…We Did It Again

  1. I don’t care what Mihevic opines
    Streets are better without tramcar lines
    Mammoliti and Palacio know what to do
    Make their stack with a buck from you
    The derring-do of Stintz and Ford
    Will make everyone feel like a downtown liberal-elite cyclist: car-doored.

  2. pielrick says:

    It’s like throwing a rock into the sky and saying, “C’mon everyone, if we yell loud enough it won’t fall!”
    Oh, it did fall. Hey, don’t blame me for not mentioning gravity. That was invented by some socialist scientist livin’ large on the gravy train. That train should still be running on coal in the first place, damnit!
    I couldn’t believe the folly of getting off a subway out of service this morning, and heading up to the streets to wait with the crowds for a slow-coming streetcar because every car that slowed it down had only ONE occupant. Not to mention the irony of announcing the end of Transit City on a day when gas prices soar.
    A war on cars? It’s just getting started. And the war will eventually be waged by the car owners themselves.

  3. I am waiting for the Mayor to take credit for putting bits of the Eglinton Crosstown line underground.

  4. More reasoned and helpful commentary on Toronto Municipal Affairs –

    http://www.thestar.com/news/transportation/article/901530–a-path-to-transit-compromise

    Well worth the read.

  5. Peter MacQuarie says:

    Another one to ponder –

    http://www.nowtoronto.com/daily/news/story.cfm?content=178180

    No “stupid, fat” there either, just plain thoughtful reading as we await the outcomes.

    • cityslikr says:

      Dear Mr. MacQuarie,

      Thank you for the links.

      We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke find it funny that you lay the blame for Rob Ford’s election at our feet yet think Mr. James to be ‘reasoned and helpful’. With a far larger readership than ours, he wields much more influence. He too focused much of his attention on Mr. Ford throughout the campaign and referred to his campaign and supporters as ‘barbarians’. Where’s your outrage and indignation at that? When searching for valuable opinions on transit, we tend toward sites as a http://stevemunro.ca/.

      Re: NOW. No “stupid, fat” but “cuckoo train”? Really? Insults are fine as long as they’re of ye olde school?

  6. Peter MacQuarie says:

    Dear AFUITBS, I don’t know why you would find it funny at all. It’s quite easy to believe, in addressing RF’s weaknesses you focused on the personal driving the reader towards the underdog.

    I did find the articles for which I provided links to be good commentary. If RJ slagged RF similarly then he too contributed to RF’s success. You weren’t alone. Likewise with NOW.

    While the article I pointed to is reasoned and helpful I understand the author to be pretty spineless and unhelpful. Mr. Matteo wrote a piece where he referred to an incident at Council involving Bill Saundercook and Karen Stintz. He was asked for further information but refused. He knew full well that the incident would have given insight to Stintz’s character on Council and would have been of interest to voters in Ward 16. That’s the kind of lazieness that fosters the farce. Saundercook got booted but Stintz was re-elected.

    There’s a whole lot more your piece of the internet could do to improve our Municipal Affairs. Insults aren’t helpful at all.

    RF isn’t insane, he’s every bit just like DM, trying to launch an agenda many will disagree with.

    • cityslikr says:

      Dear Mr. MacQuarie,

      Just because you keep saying something, doesn’t make it true. Just like we here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke keep saying to you.

      You continue in comment after comment to suggest that we are always focusing on the personal. We insist we don’t and ask you to provide evidence of your assertion. You don’t. You just keep saying it. Over and over again. You mistake criticism for insults and put words into our mouths and chastise us for saying them.

      Here’s a suggestion. Instead of hanging around our comments section, making a whole bunch of noise thinking it’s in any way constructive, why don’t you start up your own little ‘piece of the internet’ and help improve our Municipal Affairs yourself? Or is that too insulting to you to suggest?

      • Peter MacQuarie says:

        “Yeah, I called Rob Ford a ‘simpleton’. Winning this election doesn’t erase the past 10 years of buffoonery.”

        Unless you enjoy wasting your time you should learn the lesson.

        This is a piece of my internet and you can’t keep me away – unless you’re prepared to show your true political colours and banish me.

      • cityslikr says:

        Dear Mr. MacQuarie,

        Buffoonery \Buf*foon”er*y\, n.; pl. Buffooneries. [F. bouffonnerie.]
        The arts and practices of a buffoon, as low jests, ridiculous pranks, vulgar tricks and postures.

        sim·ple·ton (smpl-tn) n.
        A person who is felt to be deficient in judgment, good sense, or intelligence; a fool.

        We here at All Fired Up in the Big Smoke don’t think there are two more apt words to describe Mayor Ford as a politician to date. Would you care to disprove he’s displayed serious deficiencies in judgment or practiced vulgar postures?

        Banish you, Mr. MacQuarie? And feed into your persecution complex? We would never think of it. Besides, we want to keep an eye on you in order to finally catch you out as a true blue Rob Ford supporter. We know you are but we want you to come out of the closet and admit it publicly. There’s a lot of you skulking around out there.

  7. Peter MacQuarie says:

    Few, if any, would admit to being a RF supporter on this site for fear of being branded a simpleton and a buffoon. Nobody likes to be insulted. I’m sure you agree, given your penchant for insulting, especially supporters of the man.

    AFUITBS doesn’t have much political accumen, you’re a pretty whiney lot. Have you written any more “poor loser” pieces, I must check?

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