Prime Minister Stephen Harper is not having a very good week. Former chief of staff Nigel Wright just concluded five days of testimony at Senator Mike Duffy’s bribery trial which revealed a whole lot of collusion from various members of the Conservative party including the inner circle of the PMO. Instead of being asked by reporters about his election platform, he’s being grilled on a daily basis about his involvement in the scandal which has led to routine deflection, outright denial and robotic, easily discredited talking points.
But, cheer up, Dear Leader! Earl Cowan is here to defend you.
Who’s that, you ask? It’s this guy. This past Wednesday, after another round of tough questioning from the press, Cowan went right up to a pack of reporters and let them have it. He downplayed the significance of Senator Duffy’s questionable expenses and, in an infamous moment, referred to them collectively as “lying pieces of shit”. (You may have seen the video on the news or online.)
Ever since, he’s become known as the “Angry Con”, the unfortunate face of an increasingly corrupt, authoritarian, right-wing government. Parody accounts have already started popping up on Twitter.
So, who is this maniac, anyway? Well, according to his LinkedIn page, he’s a farmer from Etobicoke. MacLean’s Magazine reported last year that he was the heckler who told then-Toronto Mayoral candidate Olivia Chow to go “[b]ack to China” because he claimed she wasn’t Canadian. And on Facebook, he’s had plenty to say about Sun Media stories particularly when they involve Conservatives he supports.
As it turns out, he’s long been a proud defender of Mike Duffy and Stephen Harper. In an October 22, 2013 Facebook posting, he wrote:
“If we had honest media in Canada the Prime Minister would not have to waste his time on trivial issues.
We want Senators to have residences in the areas they represent, and they must also have residences in Ottawa to attend sittings of the Senate. Duffy claimed the best residence as an expense. He did nothing wrong…We have the government that we deserve.”
While complaining about pipeline protesters in another posting on October 23, he played the role of Conservative apologist:
“Everybody tries to maximize their expenses, and the Prime Minister is not a tax auditer. The protesters against gas exploration in NB are putting the economy of Canada at risk, and deserve 15 articles to expose their hypocrisy. Duffy’s expense claims are insignificant, and have no effect on the national economy.”
A week later on October 30, Cowan claimed:
“Our Prime Minister Harper is doing an excellent job of governing Canada, and our Senator Duffy has not done much wrong…no serious person pays any attention to this silly affair.”
For some reason the comment (also seen on the defunct sunnewsnetwork.ca website, like all his publicly available Facebook offerings) was posted three times.
Besides being a die hard Harper and Duffy supporter, Cowan is also a major fan of the Ford family. When Rob & Doug Ford were about to do their one & only broadcast for the now-defunct Sun News Network on November 14, he exalted:
“This breaks the Toronto Star’s strangle hold on the truth.” (He has a real problem with the CBC, too.)
Three days later, he complained about the “the Toronto Council Lynch Mob” and how their “attacks” would “hurt the whole city”.
On December 16th, in response to a Sun News article about then-Mayor Rob Ford dancing with a church choir, while directly addressing a fellow commenter, he claimed:
“To John Nador: I have, actually, spent time with criminals, crack, and pot users, and drunks, and I once had Christmas dinner with a drug dealer. He was cold. Next week we celebrate the birthday of a guy who hung with tax collectors, questionable women, and Samaritans. Do you relate to the words: ‘unctuous fool’?”
On May 1, 2014, regarding Rob Ford’s numerous drug addictions, he suggested:
“Put all Toronto politicians and media people into rehab somewhere in Greenland, and let Rob Ford run the city.”
Cowan also defended Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson (he called him Phil “Anderson”) on December 19, 2013, criticized the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to strike down our antiquated & dangerous prostitution laws on December 20 and defended the use of robocalls during elections on April 24, 2014:
“Robo-calls are an excellent way for politicians to speak directly to the voters, without being censored, distorted and ignored by the Media Party.”
On April 25, Cowan posted this incoherent rant about the Canadian Senate comparing it to a fire department that “sit[s] around doing nothing except waste money until the day your house is on fire!”, and noting that the “only consistency” about five listed Prime Ministers (“Diefenbaker, Trudeau, Mulroney, Chretien, and Harper”) is “they were all better than Hitler, Stalin and Mao, so the Senate never had to act.”
Curious how he includes two Liberal PMs.
“The Senate works pretty well now,” he continues, “it is cheap insurance against tyranny but the important thing is that after they are appointed Senators must be independent of the Government, and that means no restrictions on them.”
So, why does he support Harper when he doesn’t believe in an independent Senate?
On May 1, 2014, the same day he suggested everybody but Rob Ford go to rehab, Cowan revealed himself to be a proud feminist while discussing the Donald Sterling case:
“The moral of the story is this:
The relationship that any man has with a woman, his wife, girlfriend, mother, doctor, etc., is a BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP.
Men should not say anything that they would not say in court, or a news conference.
Men think that the women they love, love them back. Maybe, but ‘love’, means something different to modern women.”
And on September 17 that same year, Cowan defended Apartheid Israel’s horrific assault on Gaza by questioning the innocence of Palestinian civilians through questionable logic:
“I would like to consider the issue of ‘innocent’ civilians, – women and children, in Gaza.
If some extremists built a rocket launcher under a Toronto hospital, and fired rockets into Buffalo, would the American army invade Canada?
The Buffalo Police would phone the Toronto Police, and the perpetrators would be arrested in minutes. Later, American prosecutors would meet with Canadian prosecutors and decide who would lay which charges.
The point is, that in order for civilians to be considered ‘innocent’:
1) The civilians must be in control of their government, and
2) Their government must be able to maintain law and order, sufficient to prevent people living inside their borders from attacking other countries .
Why have the ‘innocent’ civilians of Gaza, themselves, not stopped the rockets?”
Because they were too busy trying not to get killed by relentless Israeli bombs & military assaults, all funded by the US & Canadian federal governments, while locked helplessly inside an open prison.
Anyway, because of privacy settings, it’s not certain if Cowan is still active on Facebook. Only his comments on Sun News articles are visible and the last one was posted in early February.
Regardless, if this is the kind of supporter who gets vetted and approved for Conservative campaign events, the Harper Administration should be very worried about its reelection prospects.
(Special thanks to Twitter user @marionetta for the tip.)
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Thursday, August 20, 2015