Musings —04.21.2016 11:06 AM—
While myriad controversies—always nouns, always with “gate” appended as a suffix—always transfix the commentariat, they always leave Mr. and Mrs. Frontporch cold. The Duffy “scandal” is no exception.
That is because scandal-mongering, like the Senate itself, is a thankless task (and taskless thanks). With perhaps the notable historic exception of the Watergate break-in, it doesn’t really work anymore.
There are three reasons why:
1. The media/political punditocracy refer to everything, pretty much, as a scandal.
2. Regrettably, if you were to ask Joe and Jane Frontporch—and someone really should, one of these days—they would tell you: they already believe that everyone who wields power in Ottawa/Washington/wherever is an unindicted co-conspirator, i.e., a crook. Ipso facto, news reports to the effect that a politician has allegedly committed theft, fraud, and breach of trust aren’t news at all. They are, instead, like weather reports: they happen every day, they are rarely good news, and there is nothing Joe and Jane can do about them.
3. Joe and Jane Frontporch have heard the hysteria and histrionics about “scandals” way, way too many times. Way. And, consequently, they now don’t believe any of it until the good Senator is led away in handcuffs and a fetching orange pantsuit.
In the real world, the real scandals are things like not having a job, and being unable to pay the bills. The real scandals are seeing your ailing parent curled up on a bed in a hospital corridor, waiting days to get seen by a doctor. The real scandals are governments spending untold billions on security—only to thereafter shrug when some deranged, lone wolf fanatic slips through their labyrinth of scanners and spies, and commit terrible crimes.
Those things, to Joe and Jane Frontporch, are the real scandals.
Not, to put a fine point on it, Mike Duffy. That, they feel, is just another sad case of Ottawa talking about Ottawa—and not the real scandals, in the real world.
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) April 21, 2016