During QP today, in what I'm sure he thought was brilliant prose, he used the term 'tarbaby' in yet another inane attack on Ignatieff.
Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC) Mr. Pierre Poilievre (Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the Liberal leader should give himself more credit. He fathered the carbon tax idea. Then he generously put it up for adoption to his predecessor. And now, of course, he wants a paternity test to prove that this tar baby is not his. He says the coalition on which he signed in support of would break up the country. He attacks the deficit that he voted for and wants billions more of spending, even on a 45-day EI work year. When he is in Britain, he is British. When he is in America, he is American. When he is in B.C., he is against the auto bailout. When he is in Ontario, he wants it to be bigger. The Liberal leader does not seem to know who he is.
He didn't make this reference once, but twice.
After question period, Ralph Goodale stood and tried to give Poilievre the benefit of the doubt, but explained how the word could be offensive and suggested that perhaps he'd like to withdraw the comment and apologise.
In typical petulant Pierre fashion, he turned the table on Goodale and asked him for an apology. Yes, I know. Bizarro world.
As if that wasn't enough though, the PMO is now out defending him, per David Akin.
Yep, instead of just making this a non-story, the brain trust in the PMO has chimed in to say, "but, but, they did it too!'
For the record, while the term can be used in different ways, it's generally thought of as a derogatory term these days and one to stay away from. While it's often noted in the US as being offensive, (Mitt Romney and John McCain have both withdrawn the comment in recent times), it is still considered offensive in Canada.
From Marlene Jennings:
Well, as someone called a 'tarbaby' right here in Quebec when I was a child, I can tell you this expression is as hurtful, as offensive and as pejorative here in Canada as it is in USA!
Wouldn't an apology just be easier?
Update - Tim Powers crying 'but you did it too!' That's their strategist?