Those Canadians Are Scary, Eh?

Like the late-night comedian Craig Ferguson, who said he was shy in an encounter with Dick Cheney because “I never know how to behave around evil people,” I never know how to write about the former vice president. He is sort of a parody of the self-satisfied but vengeful old white male conservative to begin with, who has succeeded in becoming a self-parody–perhaps even a cartoon character–over time.

So I reacted with predictable hilarity upon learning that Cheney had canceled an appearance in Toronto because Canada is just too dangerous a place.

Most Americans who have traveled to Canada probably share my impression that Canadians are among the nicest people on earth. Hell, if it weren’t for that fiendishly socialist health care system they have in Canada, I wouldn’t mind braving the weather and spending some serious time there.

Turns out Cheney did have a very unpleasant experience in Vancouver last fall at the expense of protesters unhappy with his record as the world’s preeminent defender of torture as an interrogation method.

But that’s kind of the point, isn’t it? In matters unrelated to hockey, exactly how bad must you be to incite Canadians to violence, eh? I suppose, of course, his standard of safety might be to avoid 1% risk of danger.

Cheney should just stay home, or if he must wander, find appropriately authoritarian countries to visit, where he’ll fit right in.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.