Wednesday, December 16, 2015
The Day Mike Duffy Pointed the Finger at Stephen Harper
It was the day Stephen Harper had been dreading. The one that has forced him to keep such a low profile some are calling him the invisible man of Parliament.
Or depending on your point of view, the invisible maniac...
Driven crazy by defeat.
It was the dreaded day Mike Duffy mounted the stand, and pointed the finger at HIM.
Senator Mike Duffy has testified that Stephen Harper benefited politically by having him capitulate to a Prime Minister's Office scheme in which he would admit he mistakenly made expense claims on his Ottawa residence and that he would repay the amount.
"Anything I did in this political manoeuvre was for the prime minister's benefit, not for mine," Duffy testified.
And after I read that and this:
Duffy's lawyer Donald Bayne asked the senator if he received numerous emails, verbal instructions and scripted statements to execute the plan as the "right thing to do." "Yes, including from the prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper. He said 'Nigel will make the arrangements.'
I couldn't help but wonder again, why was Nigel Wright not charged?
And why won't the RCMP tell us how they arrived at that decision? After promising to do that about a year ago.
Or for that matter, why was Stephen Harper allowed to get away with claiming he knew NOTHING?
And then there was exhibit 104, the picture of Duffy and the mad emperor.
Not since the emperor Nero has the curl in a political leader’s little finger carried such freight of meaning. In the photograph it hangs there, pointing down, in the manner of a thumb communicating that most awful sentence—execution—and at the same time Prime Minister Stephen Harper is wrinkling his lip.
The Emperor on his throne, and Duffy begging for his political life.
” ‘Prime Minister, when I wasn’t on Prince Edward Island, I was either here working in the senate or was on the road for you on the rubber-chicken circuit,’ ” Duffy recalls telling Harper. “He just looked at me with a blank look.”
Only to get the thumbs down for all the wrong reasons.
” ‘No no no, I know it seems unfair, I know you didn’t break the rules,’ ” Duffy says in his best Harper voice. ” ‘But the rules are inexplicable to our base. And therefore you’re going to have to pay the money back.
Which if true, tells us just about all we need to know about Stephen Harper. And his missing moral compass.
But what I find just as interesting is the sad scene between Duffy and Ray Novak, you know Harper's Robin...
He said he was begging Harper's top aide Ray Novak that he not be forced to admit a mistake and repay the expenses, just five minutes before he eventually went public. "I'm not a cheat, I'm not a thief. I don't break the rules and I was not going to embrace this kind of process," he said. "I was pleading with all these born-again Christians."
Not just because it says something about the power and influence of Ray Novak, the boy wonder who once lived in Harper's garage.
And confirms that the PMO was being run by a bunch of religious fanatics.
But also because it reminds me how the late Jim Flaherty reacted when he heard Harper tell the Commons that Wright did NOT tell Novak about the Duffy bribe...
Which in turn reminds me of this key quotation.
Duffy described an “icy meeting” where Wright told him the repayment was “not a discussion.” Right after leaving the meeting, Duffy said he ran into Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and told him they had “decreed” that he was to pay it back. “He just looks at me and says ‘Mike, these people are F’ing unbelievable’.”
And tells me that poor old Jimbo knew what was going on in Harper's PMO, even if he didn't live to tell the story.
You know, I understand why Con operatives like Stephen Taylor are trying to play down the Duffy scandal...
It has been really embarrassing.
And I realize that Stephen Harper is not the leader he once was...
But Taylor is wrong if he thinks it wasn't a real scandal, or that enough has been said.
For it was a whopper of a scandal...
And although justice may never be done.
By making Harper look like a liar over and over again.
It did help destroy his image.
And it did help bring him down...
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