|Rathgeber: attempting to avoid the wrath of Jason Kenney|
As backbenchers go, Brent Rathgeber certainly has political acumen.
The current chatter in Canadian politics is that Brent Rathgeber is hurting his advancement chances by blogging about the opulence of cabinet ministers. Technically, that's very true but he probably also saved his political career. If a little bit of analysis led me to the conclusion that he's the prime suspect in the Jason Kenney "asshole" email leak, I doubt that the Conservative Party weren't suspicious of him.
So while the walls were closing all around him, he blogs about cabinet perks and appeals to conservative populism. Forgive me if I'm not overwhelmed by euphoria over Mr. Rathgeber's timely epiphany.
What does his blogging about this do? It provides him political cover to survive within the Conservative Party. Had he not done so, it's conceivable Stephen Harper would have made an example of him and booted him out of the caucus. Kicking someone out of caucus based on dubious allegations is not outside the realm of possibility with this Prime Minister. And the push to kick him out would have been led by the most thin-skinned MP within the Conservative caucus, Jason Kenney.
The Immigration Minister has no qualms about publishing private information about refugee claimants so you can imagine just how vicious he would be towards a perceived traitor that was trying to short circuit his political career.
If they kick him out now?
Well they would kick out the guy who just voiced his concern for personal responsibility and good fiscal management.
And since there's no smoking gun that he did leak the email, it would be yet another stain upon the reputation of an increasingly disreputable Conservative Party. And there's no one issue more important to the Conservatives than the myth that they are sound managers of the public purse.
By positioning himself as a populist champion, Brent Rathgeber may just have avoided getting Guergis-ed.