But the CPC propaganda machine has been woefully stressed to the cracking point recently, and so Flanagan was unceremoniously jettisoned.
The first sign that his party had dumped him was a tweet from the PMO's Andrew MacDougall.
It was eventually followed by another tweet, this one quite terse, from Stephen Taylor stating that Flanagan had been dropped from the Manning Networking Conference's line-up of speakers at the annual media-savvy shin-dig.
This is not the first time the man described, by the forementioned Manning Institute as "a major intellectual figure in conservative circles", has opined with regard to the depiction of "child p0rn".
From Michael Harris' excellent piece at iPolitics:
In a bizarre exchange with a student caught on video, Flanagan said that he didn’t think people should go to jail for possessing child pornography.[...]As my co-blogger and virtual roomie fern hill pointed out, Flanagan's fall from the heights of Con cronyism happened as the result of sustained Idle No More vigilance, with respect to issues and concerns important to First Nations, Indigenous, Métis and Innu peoples.
“A lot of people on my side of the spectrum, the conservative side of the spectrum, are on a kind of jihad against child pornography. I certainly have no sympathy for child molesters, but I do have some grave doubts about putting people in jail because of their taste in pictures.[...]
The student who confronted Flanagan also made reference to a quote attributed to Canada’s answer to Karl Rove when the Manitoba government was hurrying through tough new legislation on child pornography. At the time, Flanagan suggested the whole subject was debatable: “What’s wrong with pornography in the sense that it’s just pictures?”
The tweetstorm in response to Flanagan's insouciance has been informative. This article reinforces Harris' point about the criminality and the organized child exploitation required to produce this material.
Will the stench of the Flanagan scandal trail the MNC events next week? For good measure, we should keep up the pressure and investigate what dodgy, hypocritical, fraudulent and possibly criminal elements the other Con speakers bring to the table.
Update: Apparently Flanagan has become a liability to the University of Calgary, too.
With so many scandals exposed, the CPC is vulnerable, and its propaganda machine's capacities stretched to the limit. Otherwise, it would have found a way to sweep his comments under the carpet, likely by attacking the First Nations videographer who posted the damning YouTube interview, but instead they hung him out to dry.
Like vultures or hyenas, Harper's conservatives have turned on a pack member who exposed an individual weakness, for fear his action could make the whole group vulnerable to its *natural* enemies.