Watching Donald Trump on television provokes a nauseating feeling of deja-vu, but until today I couldn’t place it. And then Mike Duffy re-appeared Thursday, and it all made sense.
Like the President, Mr. Duffy is an agitated 71-year-old blame-shifter obsessed with the media, who announced that he will sue the government for nearly $8-million because of reputational damage stemming from the Senate spending saga that consumed the fag end of the Harper era.
Most people, after surviving more than two years of infamy as a consequence of their highly controversial expenses (as Mr. Duffy did when he was found innocent of 31 criminal charges in April 2016), would probably retreat quietly to their taxpayer-funded sinecure in the Senate, happy to hide behind its privileged walls until it chucked them out at age 75.
But no, not our Duff.
If there was any doubt Mr. Duffy’s North Star is greed it’s been dispelled with his 7.8 million dollar lawsuit.
The suit seeks $6.5-million in general damages, $300,000 for loss of income and benefits, and $1-million in punitive damages relating to Duffy’s spin through the spotlight of the Senate scandal.
Mr. Duffy could have simply sued for last wages, because he was declared innocent. As angry as that argument is likely to have made the general population, there’s some merit to it. Love him or hate him, the court thought his conduct was tickety-boo.
But to go for the whole grossly-inflated enchilada, as Mr. Duffy is doing, only confirms the public’s general impression of him: He is always looking for his next trough.
As ever, the Senator from PEI(ish) portrays himself as the victim, alone in his crusade to fight the forces of evil. Mr. Duffy is launching the claim, he said through his lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, so that others don’t –you can almost hear the sobs – suffer as he did. Mr. Duffy claimed the scandal cost him “pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life” and that winning this case would be his greatest contribution to public life.
Gag me with one of the Senate’s silver spoons.
Having suffered grievous reputational damage you’d think the last thing Mr. Duffy would want is another tumble through the scandal sheets. That he’s willing to re-litigate the fight in court and the court of public opinion suggests a thin bank account to go with the thick ego.
The lawsuit won’t be a walk in the park. For one thing, the burden of proof now lies with Mr. Duffy and, if we know one thing about the Senator, it's that he’s allergic to burdens.
That’s why no one should be surprised if and when this all gets settled well ahead of any court date. My guess is that Mr. Duffy only plonked the laughable figure of $7.8-million down on the table in the hopes it will procure the more modest sum closer to that of his lost salary.
The Senate and the government will probably agree, if only to avoid the unsolvable question about what to do with the unelected and unaccountable Senate.
And if he gets his payday, Mr. Duffy should (finally) do the honourable thing and crawl back under his more comfortable rock, never to be heard from again.