As the Mike Duffy trial begins to dissolve in the Crown's hands, it's coming to smell like a political drive-by hit. Steve Harper's attempts to distance himself from it only makes the stench worse.
Michael Harris looks at Sideshow Steve and sees visions of Richard Milhous Nixon.
While the Judge publicly rattled the Crown’s case against Duffy, Stephen Harper blundered in parliament by fumbling the ball on the five yard line. In Question Period, under queries from NDP leader Thomas Mulcair, Harper pulled the standard Harper move — suggesting that Mike Duffy was to blame if his actual residency disqualified him from taking a Senate seat from PEI.
“Mr. Speaker, according to constitutional practice, all senators must make such a declaration [of residency]. As members know, it is Mr. Duffy’s actions that are before the court right now.”
This is a dude in the closet.
One hundred gallons of Kool Aid chugalugged in a minute are required to believe Harper’s absurd attempt to say, for the hundredth time, that the prime minister of Canada is responsible for absolutely nothing when things go south politically.
Not responsible for putting a felon in his office as an advisor (Bruce Carson); not responsible for putting an accused felon in charge of Canada’s deepest security secrets (Arthur Porter); not responsible for keeping a parliamentary secretary gainfully employed who may now be on his way to prison (Dean del Mastro.)
Visions of Nixon: If your prime minister does it, it’s not a crime.
Here is the constitutional truth about Duffy and the Senate. Both the Prime Minister and the Governor General have the obligation to assure that an appointee is eligible for an appointment to the Senate before they are elevated. The GG accepts the appointment on the advice of the PM, not the nominee. They not only blew it, they knowingly blew it — unless the PM is going for the Hans Christian Anderson Award for fairly tales; that he was the only guy in Ottawa who didn’t know where Mike Duffy — or Pamela Wallin for that matter — really lived.
Of course Steve knew what was going on. This is, after all, the micro-manager in chief, Canada's CEO, Chairman of the Board. He's also demonstrated, time and again, that he's a chronic, if clumsy, liar. Steve lies with an expectation that others will accept what he says without too much scrutiny. When one lie falls apart, he simply substitutes another.
Yeah, sure, Steve needs to be hauled into court and put under oath. He has a lot of explaining to do and lies floated on the floor of the Commons are no substitute. But there's something else that demands close scrutiny - the top cop in the RCMP, Commissioner Bob Paulson.
The Crown may be looking hapless but those prosecutors are working with the load of garbage dumped on them by the Royal Conservative Mounted Police. It was these cops who decided that Duffy had committed what has been called "Immaculate Bribery." It was criminal for Duffy to receive the money but there was nothing criminal in the giving of the bribe, even with the conditions attached to it. Really, Bob? You really signed off on that? As investigations go, this one is pure political Kabuki theatre. Is Paulson Steve Harper's lap dog or did Steve have to hit him a couple of times with a rolled up newspaper first?
As long as the Prince of Darkness has a majority, Paulson won't have to account to opposition MPs for the RCMP's role in this Potemkin investigation. I'd bet that if you could look in the top drawer of Paulson's desk you would find his resignation letter already signed, ready to go in case Paulson has to bail out in a hurry.