Like many posts, this started as a comment and metastasized. For the post to which I was reacting, go here. It's a shortish post by Jeff "BCer in Toronto" Jedras about how the Rob Ford campaign brain trust are now openly bragging about the various dirty tricks they pulled during the election, something Jeff predicts will come back to bite them on the ass. And it will.
Like all asshole conservatives ( Note: I don't think all conservatives are assholes, I just think it is a legitimate subset, like fiscal conservatives or social conservatives) these proudly ignorant bully-boy frat types can't do anything that is remotely successful without a lot of hooting, high-fiving, belly-bumping and chugging Jaegermeister shots.
People tire very, very quickly of smug, smirking bullies. Especially ones who endless slap each other on the back and boast about how they "fixed those damn hippies/socialists/homo/(insert offensive characterization of marginalized social, economic or ethnic group here) and good, blarharharharhar!"
We've all seen it. From the barely literate fag-bashing jocks who peaked in high school to the failed-jock hockey dads who scream obscenities at minor hockey referees and urge their kids to play dirty to the salesmen who idolize Alec Baldwin's character in Glengarry Glennross to the person on every reality show who at some point declares "I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to win!"
An undercurrent of it seems to run through conservatism like a vein of fools' gold, occasionally becoming an El Dorado of self-congratulating wankerism like FOX NEWS or the Blogging Tories. Rush Limbaugh has made a career of it.
It's the same mentality that led to the outing of Valerie Plame, the outrages of Abu Ghraib and the smearing of Sean Bruyea. It's the attitude that "the rules are for other people," that only winning matters, that silver medals are for losers, that "third prize is you're fired."
It is an attitude of entitlement - nevermind that most of them were born on second base and think they hit a triple - they think that because they have some level of success, they must have earned it and that they deserve it - and that those who haven't achieved what they consider success (and usually that means money or power of some kind) don't deserve it and are somehow morally weak/lazy/evil/gay/drug addicts/eggheads/commies/beatniks/etc etc, "losers" who deserve only scorn.
As long as they have someone to look down on, they consider themselves successful.
To such people empathy is a sign of weakness. Showing sympathy is for losers.
They are terrified of being one of "those people" and the easiest way to make sure that no one will ever think they are, is to attack "those people."
That fear of being branded one of the Loser class will make them do almost anything to achieve whatever they consider success. It is that need for validation that makes them incapable of doing anything without breaking an arm patting themselves on the back that will eventually sink them. They can't resist the temptation to dance in the end zone, to rub someone's nose in their defeat, to shit downhill just because they can.
That is what eventually does such people in. Other people - sane people - get tired of the bragging and chest pounding. You can only pour shit downhill for so long before you find yourself standing on a pile of shit. And people who like to brag about how dirty they played and how low they stooped will eventually find that the only people impressed are other shitheels and grifters - and ambitious prosecutors who are waiting for an admission of something legally actionable.
Time and Karma will not be kind to Rob Ford and his campaign team and hubris will eventually prove their undoing. Nobody likes a sore loser, but most of us hate a bad winner just as much.