The Toronto Sun has a new video in which a belligerent Rob Ford threatens to murder someone, but will even that hurt the Teflon mayor? When news broke that he had definitely smoked crack, his approval rating went up by 5%. How? Because Ford, who's actually the son of a millionaire businessman/politician, "has staked his image on the illusion that he's some run-of-the-mill hoser, just like you and me," explains JB Staniforth at Salon. And part of his "costume" is "a readiness to admit that he likes to party—a cheery euphemism for his substance abuse problems." Here is a brief list of some of the things he's done in recent years:
- He was kicked out of a Toronto Maple Leafs game after a fan asked him to be quiet, and he drunkenly replied, "Who the fuck do you think you are? Are you a fucking teacher? Do you want your little wife to go over to Iran and get raped and shot?"
- A private St. Patrick's Day party kicked him out for, per a news report, "fighting and carrying on 'like an idiot,' [… and] 'storming the dance floor.'"
- He was once again kicked out of a ball honoring Canadian soldiers—he showed up already "rambling" and "incoherent."
- He once allegedly grabbed and groped opposing mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson's butt, telling her that she "should have been in Florida with him" on a recent vacation "because his wife wasn't there." She thought he was on cocaine.
- His wife has charged him with assault and uttering death threats, and once called the police for a domestic dispute. She dropped the charges each time. His mother-in-law once called 911 to report he was drunkenly attempting to take his kids to Florida over his wife's objections.
There's much more in the full article. The thing is, "Ford’s antics, spectacular though they are, tend to distract" from his "vicious, xenophobic conservatism." Ford is all about fighting government spending and "those he perceives as the coddled poor." He's virulently anti-immigration, once remarking,"I'm telling you, the Oriental people, they're slowly taking over," and just as anti-gay. In a sense he's "Canada’s leading exemplar of the Tea Party model of identity politics; he’s a rich white guy who portrays himself as the angry little guy." For the Sun's video of Ford, click here. (Read more Rob Ford stories.)