Martyn Brown: Is Trudeau trying to get Scheer elected? Or is he just a stupid thug?

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      Of all the stupid things that Justin Trudeau has done in his mishandling of the SNC-Lavalin scandal that he created, his threatened libel lawsuit against Conservative leader Andrew Scheer might just take the cake.

      Does the prime minister still not get that the most politically damaging aspect of this whole controversy of his own making is in how it has made him look like a bully?

      Has it somehow eluded him that his mishandling of this affair that has so especially alienated women and Indigenous peoples has effectively rebranded him as a “fake feminist” who will seemingly resort to any means to silence his legitimate critics?

      Since when did he become so infatuated with the rule of law, anyway?

      Why does he now suddenly see it as an instrument of trying to suppress the criticism that has only arisen from his own alleged assaults on that same constitutional principle?

      Man, and here I thought booting Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott out of caucus was the ultimate definition of batshit crazy.

      Nope. With Trudeau, there’s always another level of nuts to be realized at his own reputational expense.


      Does Trudeau have a political death wish?

      Jesus, he misses Gerald Butts.

      What, it’s not bad enough that almost every media outlet in the country is condemning Trudeau’s signature debacle? The one that has so many Canadians turning their backs on his Liberal party, as those Daughter of the Vote delegates did to him last week in Parliament?

      But now Trudeau imagines that it will somehow help his tattered reputation by threatening to sue his chief political nemesis?

      For what?

      For saying things that all the country is saying in so much harsher language in every coffee shop, bar, restaurant, and work site, over his abysmal handling of his LavScam fiasco? 

      For supposedly defaming him, after all that he has said and done in disparaging his former attorney general for having the temerity to speak truth to his ethically bankrupt power?

      For supposedly slandering him, after all that his apologists have said in smearing even a sitting judge and a past attorney general, in their pathetic effort to somehow try to taint Canada’s now most beloved female politician, the truth teller of noble heritage known as Puglaas?

      To what end?

      To preserve his “good name” from being further besmirched, after all he has done and seems hellbent on doing to sully both it and his thoroughly discredited administration?

      To give the man who hopes to replace him as prime minister yet another podium and political tool to make Scheer look good by comparison?

      To put Scheer front and centre, in elevating Trudeau’s unfathomable failings by further branding him as a thug whose attempts at intimidation only make him look weak, scared, ridiculous, and anti-democratic?

      To breathe new life into the scandal that just won’t quit by allowing Scheer to say—as Trudeau’s minions so crassly challenged “Jane and Jody"—to just “put up, or shut up?”

      To look like an even more ludicrous idiot by threatening to go to court? The very venue that Trudeau has tried so hard to help SNC-Lavalin avoid?

      Because the last thing that company wants to do is to have to try clear its name, which has been tainted through past wrongdoings, by defending itself in criminal court from bribery and corruption charges that Trudeau would apparently like to see exchanged for a deferred prosecution agreement?

      To imagine that that will put to bed the scandal that has already cost him two senior cabinet ministers, his principal secretary, his top bureaucrat, and untold political damage?

      To persuade Canadians that he might use the law as his weapon, after having no qualms about disregarding the Reform Act [that Conservative MP Michael Chong got passed in 2014] by unilaterally booting JWR and Philpott out of caucus without a vote?

      Talk about making Scheer’s day!

      Video: Conservative MP Michael Chong explains the rules around expelling a person from a federal caucus.

      Maybe someone convinced him that a “good strategy” is to sue Scheer for libel, so that he can then say he can’t talk any more about this scandal that he wants no one to talk about. Because it “is before the courts” and he of all people wouldn’t want to interfere with our judicial system.

      Not crazy.

      That is, if you’re so zonked out on your newly legalized weed that your paranoia makes you believe it’s a sensible gambit in trying to stop the one person besides yourself who seems to be most out to get you.

      Perhaps he thinks this “bold” new strategy will elicit new standing ovations from his disheartened caucus. They so desperately want Trudeau to at last “fight back” in some way that is not overtly unconscionable in its own right.

      Hit yourself in the jaw, pleeese. Anything. Just strike back.

      Because we’re all so tired of doing nothing, besides the damage we, your loyal caucus, has done to our collective lot by doing just that at every turn. Mostly in Commons committees.

      Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May must be just gritting their teeth. They have to be jealous at Scheer’s good fortune.

      Who knows? It might be enough to make them second-guess their own judicious restraint in not holding Trudeau to account in ways that might also lead him to serve them with their own legal notice.

      And justice for all, please, prime minister! What’s a leader gotta do to get sued these days, for Heaven’s sake?

      But really, should we expect anything less from Canada’s embattled prime minister?

      Ever the good teacher, he has shown us all how sadly his “sunny ways” can turn to “SLAPP-happy” ways.

      Good thing he did it in Ontario, and not in British Columbia.

      Thanks to premier John Horgan’s NDP government, strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) suits won’t so easily fly under its new Bill 2, the Protection of Public Participation Act.

      All Canadians might now want to colloquially think of that as the “Trudeau SLAPP-back” law.

      In any case, most Canadians can see what’s likely really going on here.

      It is pure political theatre.

      I can’t seriously imagine that Trudeau would ever act upon his legal warning, as urged by Andrew Scheer, for obvious reasons.

      What a sorry day it is for our country that it has come to this, all because Canada’s prime minister has refused to accept responsibility and apologize for his LavScam fiasco.

      Shoot the messenger. Once again. That’s the ticket.

      Because that political “strategy” has so far worked so well for the guy who can’t seem to stop shooting himself in the foot.

      Martyn Brown was former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell’s long-serving chief of staff, the top strategic adviser to three provincial party leaders, and a former deputy minister of tourism, trade, and investment. He also served as the B.C. Liberals' public campaign director in 2001, 2005, and 2009, and in addition to his other extensive campaign experience, he was the principal author of four election platforms. Contact him via email at