Now, you might be thinking “but wait, you have no respect for the Ford Brothers.” And that is not precisely true. Rob Ford is excellent at constituent service, for example – he genuinely loves it and takes pride in it, it is quite possibly the best thing about a generally awful person. You can at least respect Rob Ford on that basis, and there are clearly other elements of the man that are respectable, which makes him such a tragic figure in so many respects.
But Doug Ford? (Who, for non-Torontonians, is Rob Ford’s older brother and who took over Rob’s seat on city council when Rob ran for Mayor.) Holy crap, fuck Doug Ford. He has, with this scandal, proven himself to be a truly worthless human being, on the basis of one sentence:
“Rob is telling me these stories are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous and I believe him.”
Not “Rob doesn’t smoke crack.” Not “Rob would never do those things.” Not “there’s no tape, this is just crap.” Not even a “oh, fuck you.” Doug Ford just threw his own brother under the bus, because according to Doug Ford, Doug Ford is just an innocent bystander in all of this. If the Rob Ford crack video eventually does emerge (and it looks at this point fairly likely to do so) and Rob Ford is indeed smoking crack and calling Justin Trudeau a fag and all the rest of it, well, that’s not Doug’s fault, because Rob told him he doesn’t smoke crack and why wouldn’t you believe your brother?
I get that Doug Ford is in a difficult situation: when you are a politician, you can be loyal to the public or to your family in a situation like this. If Doug knows there is no video or doesn’t know if the video exists, his response should have been a simple “Rob doesn’t smoke crack.” If he does know about the video, then he has two choices: either stand with the city and say that Rob needs to stand down, or double down, stand by his brother and say “Rob doesn’t smoke crack.” And frankly, given that last option, I think most people would (eventually) forgive him, because this is the man’s brother. I’ve had judges tell me on numerous occasions that they discount testimony from family members of parties/accuseds because, well, they’re family and it’s to be expected that family sticks together. And they’re not going to go attacking those people for perjury. We’re supposed to be loyal to our families.
But, when the chips were down, Doug Ford made his choice: not to be loyal to the city or to his own brother, but instead to be loyal to Doug Ford. That is the amoral and craven act of a truly worthless human being – and one, frankly, that if Rob and Doug’s roles in this were reversed I think Rob Ford would not have chosen – and I think people need to remember this, because Doug Ford is going to do his damnedest not to go away and continue to be a blight on the political landscape. And conservatives in Ontario need to remember it more than liberals, because it is now quite obvious that Doug Ford does not give a shit about his fellow conservatives. If Doug Ford isn’t willing to go to the mattresses for his brother, then he’s certainly not going to do it for his fellow party members.