What Will Be The Last Straw For Rob Ford?

He’s been publicly intoxicated on numerous occasions.  He’s referred to members of the media as “pathological liars” and “maggots”.  He has an explosive temper.  He’s been accused of groping a woman’s ass.  He temporarily lost his job due to a conflict of interest scandal.  He freely associates with alleged drug dealers and violent thugs.  He’s been charged with drunk driving.  He attempted to score some Oxycontin for a constituent.  And he admitted to smoking crack cocaine.

If any other politician humiliated themselves only half this much, they would be finished.  But Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is not just any other politician.  A repeatedly elected member of City Council for more than a decade, he has survived more personal indignities than can be listed in a single paragraph.  (As Toronto Sun columnist Warren Kinsella helpfully pointed out on his blog, Jeromie Williams has a more thorough, sure-to-be-expanded summary of over 100 such past incidents here.)

And now, we can add yet another public embarrassment to the list.  Earlier this morning, The Toronto Star posted a cell phone video of an agitated Ford channelling Hulk Hogan as he verbally threatens to beat the hell out of some unnamed adversary.  Restless and constantly cursing, he’s so angry he actually uses the phrase “first-degree murder”.  Not cool, brother.

Just two days earlier, after finally acknowledging that he “tried” crack cocaine, Ford addressed a jam-packed media throng in his office.  Looking and sounding worn down from the increasingly bizarre scandal, he stubbornly refused to resign his position.  Astoundingly, he even declared that he would run for re-election next October.  He also noted, “Folks, I have nothing left to hide.”

Wrong again.

And to think, this isn’t even the video all of us have been talking about since May.  That video, the one where Ford smokes a crack pipe while saying asinine things about Justin Trudeau and black people, remains in the firm custody of the Toronto police department.  (Despite the Mayor’s recent, baffling, repeated requests for its release by law enforcement (he originally denied its existence), only a judge can order its public airing.  Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Ford…)  And it’s not the only one they have, either.

Furthermore, there are still many unanswered questions regarding his suspicious connection to alleged Somali-Canadian drug dealers, three of whom he was photographed with in front of a crack house in Etobicoke.  (One of them was later murdered.)  Honestly, why is a conservative anti-drug politician, who is adamantly against safe injection sites for addicts and strongly in favour of putting addicts reluctant to go to rehab in prison, hanging around such allegedly dangerous, shady characters getting high with them and allowing himself to be both photographed and recorded on video in their company?  Do Torontonians want to support such a blatant drug war hypocrite who refuses to even acknowledge that he just might be an addict himself?

Judging by the ever growing chorus of detractors who impatiently urge his exit from the local political scene, that would be a no.  Many in this city, this province, this country and all over the world are perplexed by his antics.  They cannot understand why he refuses to listen to reason.  They cannot understand why he won’t seek help for his health.  And they cannot understand how a man under intense legal scrutiny by the Toronto police department can still decide the financial terms of their budget.  (Then again, he’s no stranger to blatant conflicts of interest.)

Make no mistake about it.  Things are not going to get better for Rob Ford, they will get worse.  Much worse.  Based on the constant barrage of media coverage regarding all of the twists and turns in this never-ending scandal, the amateur and professional comedians who take absolute delight in mocking his foibles, the ordinary citizens who alternate between anger, embarrassment and laughter over all of this nonsense and the upcoming extortion case against his violent friend Alexander Lisi, his defiant fight for survival is looking more and more like a lost cause.  When even The Toronto Sun Editorial Board is urging you to give it up, you should probably give it up.

And that begs these uncomfortable questions:  how much is enough?  How many more awful revelations need to be aired before his stubbornness is replaced by inevitable resignation and acceptance?  What will it take for Rob Ford to reach his bottom?  What will be the last straw?

In a dire political situation where much of what is happening is now fully beyond his control, he still has two good choices left.

When will he make them?

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, November 7, 2013
7:36 p.m.

UPDATE:  Almost half a year after this was posted, it has finally happened.  Ford is going to rehab.  After all of this time, why now?  Because of this, this and this.  You know you’ve reached bottom when Justin Bieber mocks you right to your face.

May this finally mean the end of the Ford Administration and hopefully, a year-long commitment to kicking all of his monstrously bad habits for good.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, May 1, 2014
12:54 a.m.

UPDATE 2:  Well, so much for going to rehab.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
8:10 p.m.

UPDATE 3:  Rob’s out of the race.  His brother Doug is taking his place.  But the outgoing Mayor, suffering from a potentially serious tumour, is now absurdly running for his old Council seat in Ward 2’s Etobicoke North riding.  A sheer sign of desperation.

Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, September 14, 2014
6:17 p.m.

Published in: on November 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh, he won’t make those choices since as you point out, he hasn’t hit bottom. He hasn’t publicly committed to rehab, so either a car crash, heart attack or overdose will take him out.

    • I hope you’re wrong. I’m no fan of his politics but I don’t want him to die.

      • I hope I’m wrong too! I work in health care, and I see it happen all the time. I expect it colors my outlook.

  2. […] dilemma:  Songs For Rob Ford, Unanswered Questions About The Rob Ford Crack Video Scandal, What Will Be The Last Straw For Rob Ford?, Why The Ford Brothers Won’t Save The Sun News Network and Rob Ford’s Secret iPod […]

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