The (formerly) Teflon P.M.

He’s already responded with “satisfaction” that Justice Oliphant’s finding (supposedly) “confirms that no agreement was reached with Mr. Schreiber” while he was Prime Minister. Now, there’s a guy who knows a thing or two about how to handle bad news and immediately get to the business of altering the rudder angle of public perception. In fact, Justice Oliphant did no such thing. He simply noted there was an absence of evidence about an agreement – a substantially different proposition.

Of course, Mulroney needs to get out in front on this pretty quickly; the other findings of the inquiry are pretty categorical: He breached (his own) ethical guidelines. Fortunately (for us), there’s no appeal available from this decision. Otherwise, Mr. Teflon would already be caterwauling about “clearing his name” (at taxpayer expense, mind you). As it is, Mulroney is holding to the “I did nothing wrong” mantra, referring to the stinky realities that did find the light of day as “suspicions” of misbehavior.

I’ll say. You get bags of cash delivered to you. You deny you got it. You don’t declare it on your taxes. Eventually, when forced to come clean about it, you describe it as a “lapse” in judgement. To this day, you deny you actually did anything for the money. Some “lapse”. I wish I could lapse like that every day of the week, while doing “nothing wrong” (or, anything, for that matter). Seems like a great way to pass the time, all the while enjoying a comfortable standard of living.

One of the foundations of public ‘service’ is that, not only must the functionary be untainted by actual malfeasance, s/he must appear to be free of any such conflict as well. That is the way confidence in public officials is maintained (or, in this case, not).

Let Mulroney spin this any way he wants. Don’t buy it. Where there’s odor, there’s something stinky in the vicinity.

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