The Little Scandal that Might: Justin Trudeau's very ugly week.


Steve Balboni: Hitting your first grand slam is a thrill. I'll always remember this.
Commentator: But you hit one back in '83.
Balboni: You're right. I guess I forgot about that one.




The scandal was hiding out in plain sight.

For almost twenty years.

A man who grew up with privilege, money, power, connections was very disrespectful to someone on the job of covering -- let's be honest -- a non-event. It was soft news, and considering the event's impetus was over the interviewee's dead young brother, you'd expect that interviewee to be smart enough to be able to handle a softball interview without incident.

He couldn't and almost got away with it, too, if it wasn't for people who have long memories.

Justin Trudeau, whose brand name is about the kind of feel-good pseudo-feminism of tampon ads and lipstick kiosks, banked on a clean-cut image in that department.

And it hinged on people having short memories and seeing him through rose-coloured glasses.

When those groping allegations suddenly gained traction, no one thought he'd have any stench stuck on him.

But when you are stepping in every pile of cow dung, the lingering smell keeps the scandal alive.

Some people are pushing for him to keep his word. The woman who made the allegations immediately after it happened and wasn't the one resurrecting that ghost, confirms it, and says she doesn't want to have anything to do with it, and I don't blame her. She said her piece when it counted, and she has moved on.

But Trudeau has been thrown back in time as he is being forced to deal with a very different present, and he is not handling it well.

Trudeau's denials were a very bad move. If you are going to use a feminist feint, you better be prepared when your less enlightened self pops back up to tweak your nose. Denials did not save Patrick Brown, and now he is forced to watch Doug Ford tell off Justin by forging his own policies, and I am sure that must sting like hell.

It is not helping that Donald Trump has been giving him atomic wedgies and noogies for all of the world to see. Once upon a time, he had an easy time when Barak Obama was patting him on the head and voguing for the cameras with him, and everyone thought everything he was doing was wonderful because they could get free money popping babies and then could toke up without getting arrested.

Oh, the good old days of admiring your shirtless selfies (which is probably what he should have been wearing on his dweebish disaster movie called His Trip To India as it would have been less embarrassing) are but a distant memory.

The scandal has stuck on him and is marring those selfies. Trump is trouncing him with absolute glee. He is dependent on a spotless image, and things are not so clean or clear these days.

The scandal will dog him for life. I don't think it will take him down, but it will be one of the factors that wrecks his brand -- and all he has is his image. A charmed dandy who doesn't have depth up his sleeve is at the mercy of everyone he has wronged playing along.

And now it's not happening, and it is happening at a very bad time.

This is a bad turn for #MeToo, however -- he has lost credibility, and with that, his ability to be used as a plough to clear more paths has been seriously blunted.

It is not catastrophic, and for what it's worth, I never bought the Trudeau as Feminist hype at all.

But it will give other men who wish to pander to the female vote pause as they question how wise it is to align himself to a cause in the present where his past can come back to haunt him.

It is the reason I never liked the idea of his gambit. He could have easily said he was flawed back then, and had a Come To Feminist Jesus Moment, meaning he could acknowledge the incident, not knock the woman who he wronged, and dealt with his critics while keeping his credibility more intact than what he is doing now. It really wasn't a earth-shattering story with legs, but Trudeau's utterances have become the story. It reminds of a sitcom plot right of out the King of Queens, when the dunderheaded protagonist does something dumb, denies it, gets caught, and then tries to spin it more and more until he really makes a mess of it.

The electorate who voted for him genuinely rooted for him, and this is not going to make them happy. How mad they are at him remains to be seen come next election, but this little scandal might cost him a majority next time -- or even the election.

The problem is he is no longer in a position to spend money to make the problem get erased from people's minds. He is in a game of go, and is losing far too many liberties too rapidly for comfort...