02.12.2015 11:52 AM

Ratf**king: a lengthy exposition, five questions, and a TV appearance

That’s what they called it, in the Watergate days: ratf**king.  No less an authority than Wikipedia defines it as “an American slang term for political sabotage or dirty tricks.”  Donald Segretti, forged letters, false accusations, nasty leaks, that sort of thing: ratf**king.

Which brings us, in a circuitous fashion, to Eve Adams. Justin Trudeau’s inner circle initially sought to justify the floor-crossing of one of the most dutiful members of Stephen Harper’s Talking Points Chorus as this: after a lifetime of unswerving Conservative fealty, she finally figured out that Harper’s guys are “mean-spirited” meanies, and she suddenly wanted to work with people who are nice.  When that didn’t work, they said her “values simply didn’t align” with the Conservative anymore, particularly in respect of income-splitting – a policy she had been enthusiastically touting in the House of Commons a few days earlier.  They tried other rationalizations, too.

None of them worked.  Rank-and file Liberals are livid; the media are gleefully considering comparisons of Justin Trudeau to Stockwell Day.  The long-serving Liberal MPP in her desired riding has said she’d be the Liberal candidate there “over my dead body.”  The long-serving federal Liberal incumbent has said he won’t endorse her.  And so on.  It’s an unadulterated mess.  It’s a fiasco.

Having pumped several rounds of lead into all of their extremities, Trudeau’s inner circle have been reduced to a single, solitary argument to justify Adams-gate: that her fiancé, Dimitri Soudas, is going to give the Liberals all manner of dirt about Stephen Harper and his Conservatives.  He “knows where the bodies are buried,” to use the cliché du jour.

Uh-huh.

There are several problems with the notion that the Adams fiasco is somehow worth it, because her fiancé “knows where the bodies are buried.” Here they are, expressed in questions.

  1. Justin Trudeau has promised, repeatedly, that he would do politics differently, that he would not use negative ads, that his Liberals will stick to the high road, blah blah blah.  How, then, does he justify diving into the muck, and doing what he promised he would never ever do? Is it because he is worried that Harper is getting more popular, and Trudeau less so?
  2. Having run out of options, it was clearly in Eve and Dimitri’s interests to intimate that they possess all manner of State secrets, hoo boy, watch out, etc.  They had nowhere else to go – of course they’d be attempting to sweeten the pot, whilst holding a pair of twos. But what if what they possess is dated, or irrelevant, or wrong, or unusable? What then?
  3. Knowing Pseudas a little bit, as I do, I can attest to the fact he is not suicidal, whatever else he is. He knows very well the sad outcome of myriad notable floor-crossing tales over the years: Jack Horner, David Emerson, Colin Thatcher, Jean Lapierre, Gordon Wilson/Judi Tyabji, Jag Bhaduria, John Nunziata, Anna-Marie Castrilli, Jim Pankiw, Joe Peschisolido, Pat O’Brien, Tim Peterson, Wajid Khan, Danielle Smith, and on and on and on.  Have the Grits considered the advisability of relying on information from a fellow who has nothing left to lose – when they, assuredly, still do?
  4. Having run a war room or two over the years, I verily swear the following: this Segretti-style stuff is MAD – mutually-assured destruction.  You may have something on them, but they always (always) have something on you. If the Grits are so desperate as to use Dimitri’s Dirt™, are they not worried that the Conservatives possess, say, unhelpful sworn affidavits about them? Are they not concerned that, having hit below the belt first, they invite a response that is twice as bad, and in the same general area? Believe me: they should be.
  5. Scandal stuff doesn’t work.  It just doesn’t.  Voters have heard the media and the political parties scream “scandal” too many times, since Watergate. Until they see someone hauled away in handcuffs and orange overalls, they don’t believe the histrionics – cf. the by-election outcome in Sudbury, Clinton’s stratospheric post-Lewinsky numbers, Harper getting more popular after the Duffy/Wallin/Brazeau scandals, Wynne’s massive win in the midst of various (bogus) OPP investigations.  Scandal stuff doesn’t work.  Why does anyone think Dimitri possesses anything that somehow will?

Anyway.  Apologies for the length of this, but I sometimes feel compelled, like a trained medical professional, to tend to the ravings and madness of political folks who litter the battlefield.  I feel sorry for them.

The Eve Adams thing was a huge mistake, folks.  Don’t make it worse with ratf**king.

Now, here, a video for your viewing pleasure.

35 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I’ve altered my position on your running for nomination. I think you should run for Eg-Law, and if you fail, at least go out with a bang.

  2. MississaugaPeter says:

    I am so, so interested in knowing what the folks in China Dimitri Soudas was schmoozing with just a few weeks ago, citing his connections to Stephen Harper, are thinking about him now.

    I know if I had introduced him there, I would be extremely embarrassed. Not because he is now aligned with Justin Trudeau, but because trust and connections are so, so important in China, and a turncoat does not exemplify that.

    Very well written ratf**king exposition WK.

  3. Matt says:

    Very well stated. I’ve tried telling Liberal friends who have been gleefully talking about the “information” Soudas posses now being in Liberal hands that the Conservatives most likely have just as much “information” on Soudas and Adams.

    I’ve posted on anothe thread her I’ve heard from someone with knowledge of this clusterfuck Soudas was the Liberals real target, and his price for jumping ship was a guaranteed riding for Adams to run in.

    The Liberals are shitting bricks because their numbers are dropping in Quebec. Public polls are showing the Conservatives at their highest levels in years, statistically tied with the Libs in support. There is also growing support there for the mission against ISIS and the new anti terrorism law.

    Soudas helped craft the Conservatives 2015 election plan for Quebec. The Liberals wanted to know it.

    • Matt says:

      Same person told me Jenni Byrne, the Conservatives campaign chair sent flowers to Trudeau’s top advisor Gerald Butts with a note attatched thanking the Liberals for taking Adams off the Conservatives hands.

      • davie says:

        Yeah, from here in small far away town (just the opposite of an insider) it also looks like the action of weak party…at least, a leadership group that feels it is weak. I get he sense that the Libs do not really know what they have taken in.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Methinks the Conservatives had calculated the repercussions of giving Adams a thumbs down, and that included what Soudas might do.

      The simple fact that Soudas was previously cut loose (even before Adams was officially) reveals that Harper had already decided that he was more a liability than an asset.

      In essence, the Liberals took not one Conservative castoff, but TWO Conservative castoffs.

      This whole situation has a déjà vu feel to it (Jaffer/Guergis).

  4. Matt says:

    It was also funny watching Gerald Butts and Trudeau trying to change the channel complaing about Harper making Rob Nicholson foreign affairs minister when he doesn’t speak french.

    Then former Liberal foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy, who is on the left of the Liberal party publicly Nicholson not speaking french is no big deal and Harper made a good choice.

  5. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Warren,

    Justin’s big problem is that a tidal wave of internal dissent cannot be easily evaporated. Things are too far gone.

    Political circumstances have turned the key on the bus — with the engine warming.

    It now becomes what you’ve previously posited as rule one: loyalty by the leader, in exchange for their loyalty to the leader.

    Whose back will get to wear this? — certainly not Justin’s.

  6. Lash Ray says:

    As a card carrying Laurier Club member, yes yes, a fool and his money… I was and still am a little shocked at Junior’s decision. Is this the same Eve that has a tratrum over a lousy 6 buck car wash? The one and the same that would be chiselly enough to expense a muffin and her manicure? She only had an epiphany after she was told she couldn’t run anywhere for the Cons. Talk about foxhole conversions.
    Dimitri May know where the bodies are buried but don’t forget, he helped put them there.

  7. cantuc says:

    It doesn’t look to me like PM Harper is all that concerned about any dirt , Soudas or Adams may have , it ain’t like he appointed him ambassador to Nigeria .

  8. cynical says:

    I didn’t like her before. I don’t like her now. And the probability of me personally voting Liberal is lower than ever, not that it matters. I’ll vote for the ABH party, and in my riding that looks like NDP in any case.

    Did it ever occur to anyone that the defection might have been managed by the CPC to simultaneously get rid of an embarrassing MP and screw over the LPC? Maybe the ratf**king has already taken place, and the victims are Liberals.

    Feels almost like a Le Carré novel translated to politics.

  9. Sean says:

    I think a lot of Liberals are getting tired of knocking on doors for Federal leaders whose behavior requires lengthy explanations.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      Occurs to me a lot of Liberals right about now are pining for the good ol’ days when John Manley wanted to lead the party.

      I recall his replay when asked if he was going to take a run at the job after P. Martin (or was it Dion?) packed it in, to paraphrase: “No. The job description isn’t quite what it used to be.”

      Heh!

  10. Matt says:

    Was he not also the lead crown prosecutor that won serveral convictions of the members of the “Toronto 18” terror plotters?

  11. Mattt says:

    One thing I haven’t been able to figure out from the coverage: Why is Eve Adams trying to get the Liberal nomination in Eglinton-Lawrence instead of in the riding she already holds, Mississauga-Brampton South? Isn’t keeping her current seat much easier than defeating an incumbent cabinet minister? And isn’t the point of getting an opposing MP to cross the floor to gain a seat that you would be hard-pressed to win otherwise?

    • Matt says:

      Arrogance?

      IIRC, a sitting finance minister has been defeated ony twice in Canada’s history.

      Once in 1993 when Kim Campbell led to PC’s to near extinction, and I think the other was just before the Great Depression hit.

      Plus, Adams didn’t want to run for re-election as a Conservative in her current riding. She wanted an Oakville riding and she (and Soudas) committed all kinds of misconduct in attempting to get it, which led the Conservatives to forbid her from running in and riding under the CPC banner.

    • Tiger says:

      Nav Bains, the MP she defeated in 2011, already has that nomination.

      And if HE were asked to stand aside, that’d actually really damage the Liberals — Bains isn’t just an MP, he’s an organizer.

    • Jim Keegan says:

      I don’t think she has a hope in hell of winning in either riding (and she knows it) but doesn’t she get a +/- $80,000 transition payment if she runs and loses (versus nothing if she doesn’t run at all)? Isn’t that the whole purpose of her crossing the floor and trying to get a Liberal nomination?

      • Mattt says:

        An extra payout (I assume you mean pension-wise?) just for running again doesn’t make sense to me, and even if there were such a payment couldn’t she just as easily get it for running as an independent as as a Liberal?

        • Elisabeth Lindsay says:

          I have heard that the payment comes as a “transitioning” to private life payment. The amount is determined according to time served. A form of severance if you will.

    • MississaugaPeter says:

      Because Navdeep Bains and Omar Alghabra have already divided Peel with folks they green-lighted.

      Prediction: None of the Liberal candidates in Peel other than Fonseca have any magnetic appeal – meaning that they will NOT attract even 1% more vote for the Liberals than what Justin Trudeau with a Ruth Ellen Brosseau would get. It is all Justin Trudeau vs. smart, Conservative incumbents who have been campaigning for over a year. IMO, the new ridings (except Fonseca’s) without Conservative incumbents are really the only ones that the Liberals have any hope in winning.

  12. Joe says:

    So how you do you start a 4th place political party? Well you start with a third place party and elect Justin as leader and allow him to pick his own advisers then along the way you pick up all the rejects from other parties.

  13. Sean says:

    Wow. I’m no expert and certainly no NFL fan BUT, the above comments remind me a bunch of the reaction to Tom Brady and the Patriots earlier this season, after they were beaten by the Chiefs. All of the smartest people were convinced they were toast.
    In hindsight, that would have been a great week to place a counter-to-the-tide Super Bowl bet.

  14. graham watt says:

    I’m tired of all this meowing about Eve Adams and Trudeau. And I think it’s not only time to look at a bigger picture, but to stop the damn concentration on tactics and everyday twitter shit keeping us from reflection.
    Stephen Harper is up against the fetid accumulation of his own presence in our lives, with his interference in our own personal Canadian being, bringing on a new level of insecurity about ourselves. Who would want to be haranged daily and especially politically by someone unprepossessed of empathy, ethics and even hope?
    I believe the accumulation of these feelings flung upon us for 9 years has brought to Mr. Harper such an insurmountable barrier that his enormous background army cannot help him surmount it. Mr. Harper’s enemy in this election time is neither Trudeau nor Mulcair. It is not even climate change. t is Mr. Harper himself. And he has no brand image left to stand upon, no lie left that’s big enough to cover his political narcississm. The answer is not even political anymore. It is psychological, past politics and feral, because it is our own survival as a country we have fought and bled over and over to build. And now it is his time that is over. And nothing Mr. Harper can do to stop the one that attacking him now. There is nothing harder to stop than a trend.

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