Andrew CoyneIn a National Post column yesterday, Andrew Coyne (pictured) offered up a firm denunciation of the mess Toronto currently finds itself in. After recapping the litany of misdeeds by Ford and suggesting that what’s playing out at city hall these days should have caused any self-respecting politician to resign long ago, Coyne turns his attention to those in the Ford circle (staff, media commentators, partisan supporters) who have enabled his dysfunctional behaviour since he was elected mayor in 2010.

They are certainly deserving of criticism, but Coyne saves his harshest words for strategists who crafted Ford’s image as a populist mayor whose mission was to protect the suburban “little guy” from the downtown urban elite. It’s the type of populism, Coyne adds, that has become a “playbook” for the right in Canada at all levels of government.

Here’s Coyne in his own words:

And of all his enablers, the most culpable are the strategists, the ones who fashioned his image as the defender of the little guy, the suburban strivers, against the downtown elites, with their degrees and their symphonies — the ones who turned a bundle of inchoate resentments into Ford Nation. Sound familiar? It is the same condescending populism, the same aggressively dumb, harshly divisive message that has become the playbook for the right generally in this country, in all its contempt for learning, its disdain for facts, its disrespect of convention and debasing of standards. They can try to run away from him now, but they made this monster, and they will own him for years to come.

Get help? He’s had plenty.