Rick Mercer isn't a big fan of Senator Mike Duffy, but his feeling toward the portly P.E.I. 'resident' pale in comparison to those he reserves for Stephen Harper.
On Tuesday night, Mercer argued Canadians should be focusing their anger about the behaviour of senators on the prime minister who appointed them.
"Blaming Mike Duffy for being the poster boy for everything that’s wrong with the Senate is like blaming a horse for taking a whiz in the street. It's what they do," Mercer said. "No, I blame the big guy."
Mercer said Canadians shouldn't be surprised that Duffy doesn't really live in P.E.I.
"Well of course he doesn’t live on P.E.I. It’s Mike Duffy. He is the personification of the Ottawa insider. He gets 500 feet away from the Parliament buildings, he gets dizzy and falls over."
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And Mercer should know. In 2007, the CBC comedian interviewed Duffy inside his Ottawa home and followed him around Parliament Hill as he went about his day.
When Duffy the senator suggested Jack Layton was at death's door during the 2011 election campaign, Mercer described the former broadcaster as "the most amoral partisan hack to ever draw a breath."
"It takes a certain kind of man to gleefully trade on a man’s battle with cancer, and Mike Duffy is that man. It is why Stephen Harper appointed him to the chamber of sober second thought," Mercer wrote in Maclean's.
Duffy is making all the headlines this week after saying he actually rents a second home in P.E.I.'s capital of Charlottetown during the winter so he can have easier access to medical care. Duffy has had heart surgery and also owns a cottage in Cavendish, P.E.I.
The P.E.I. senator is facing scrutiny because members of the upper chamber are required to live in the province they represent. Duffy's neighbours have said they haven't seen him around his Cavendish cottage.
Meanwhile, Duffy collects cheques from the government for keeping a second home in Ottawa, even though the former political journalist has lived in the national capital for years.
While Duffy seems to be losing his public relations battle, fellow Senator Pamela Wallin seems to be turning things around. On Tuesday, the National Post's Kelly McParland argued Duffy could learn a few things from Wallin, whose neighbours and family in Saskatchewan are vigorously defending her.
Duffy's troubles, however, are dwarfed by those of Patrick Brazeau, who was booted from the Tory caucus and placed on leave of absence from the Senate after being charged with sexual assault and assault earlier this month.
As Duffy's woes mount, his best hope for salvation may be Brazeau's return to the headlines. He'll be back in court on March 22, but who knows, @TheBrazman could be back on Twitter any day.