Strange and disappointing news from Tony Clement, the former Conservative cabinet minister and leadership contender.
Last night, during the distraction of the U.S. midterm election night, Clement put out this press release, saying:
"Over the last three weeks, I have shared sexually explicit images and a video of myself to someone who I believed was a consenting female recipient. The recipient was, in fact, an individual or party who targeted me for the purpose of financial extortion. The RCMP are currently investigating the matter to determine the identity of the party responsible for the extortion attempt.”
That press release was sent out by the Conservative Party, and eight minutes later, Andrew Scheer sent out an e-mail accepting his resignation from shadow cabinet.
Now, Clement said he was contrite.
But he deployed a little bit of unconservative excusology.
He started off well:
“I recognize now that I have gone down a wrong path and have exercised very poor judgment. First and foremost, I apologize to my family for the needless pain and humiliation my actions have caused. I also apologize to my colleagues and my constituents for letting them down.”
But then he added this:
"I am committed to seeking the help and treatment I need in my personal life to make sure this will not happen again while also continuing to discharge my duties as a Member of Parliament.”
Well, look, it’s not “treatment”. You don’t have a disease that makes you do that. Maybe you have a character flaw, or a predilection. But don’t say you need treatment — like you came down with the flu, or cancer. This didn’t happen to you. You did it, you chose to do it.
But soon after Clement made his confession, a number of young women on Twitter chimed in, saying whoever was extorting Clement — well, that wasn’t the first person to make his intimate acquaintance online. WATCH my video to see the examples.
Now, this could be gossip, but it rings true. And today, Scheer changed his stance — he wasn’t just accepting Clement’s resignation from shadow cabinet, he was kicking him out of the caucus altogether.
I think Clement is right — his first apology belongs to his wife and family; and the next belongs to all the girls he apparently hit on over the years — it looks like he targeted politically interested young girls.
Maybe he was inspired, in a bad way, by the promiscuous Patrick Brown, whose philandering finally caught up with him. Maybe Clement thought: why can’t I do what Brown did?
Well, you’re married, for one thing, unlike Brown. And secondly, Brown’s reputation was so widely known, that Stephen Harper simply did not promote him to any position of responsibility during his term as an MP. He wasn’t trustworthy, or serious, or whatever.
Tony Clement, by contrast, held high offices in government, had responsibilities, and confidences. And in fact, Justin Trudeau himself appointed Clement to a new, high-security committee, called the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians.
He was one of only two conservative MPs trusted with that position.
And he would cruise Instagram looking to sext with young girls? What kind of risky conduct is that? So he’s being extorted — is this for the first time? How would we know?
It’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing to all of those people who loved him and relied on him personally. But that’s between him and his wife and kids.
But what kind of fool is trusted with the country’s most sensitive national secrets — and then puts himself in a blackmail able position like that?
Yeah, sorry Tony, there’s no “treatment” for being a reckless, irresponsible fool. You didn’t just put your own reputation at risk — you put our public safety at risk, you who had been given everything by the Canadian people.
There’s nothing conservative about that.