The conventional wisdom in Ottawa these days is that the Duffy story is emblematic of an arrogant, tired government, that after more than eight years in power has lost touch with ordinary Canadians.
The Prime Minister's sideshow at Tuesday's caucus was one for the books. Watching Mr. Harper play for the gallery and try to feign outrage was comic. This is rich from a man who has nobody to blame but himself for this mess.
Stephen Harper cannot escape the fact that he is the grand architect of his government, and its rapidly multiplying shortcomings.
It's worth reciting the list.
After promising not to appoint a single Senator, Harper appointed a record 57. This Prime Minister appointed Mike Duffy, Pamela Wallin and Patrick Brazeau in the first place and used them as star fundraisers for his party with taxpayers' money.
This Prime Minister hired Nigel Wright, and as an elected official should be accountable for his departing Chief of Staff's lack of judgement. A Prime Minister's Chief of Staff is not just some guy in the PMO. He is the second in command and the PM's main advisor.
It is this Prime Minister who created a culture of juvenile and extreme partisanship where lies, bullying, stonewalling and attack ads have become the accepted norm in Ottawa.
Who else would have the nerve to spend millions of taxpayers' money to advertise government programs that don't exist? And how many versions of the Duffy scandal story have we heard from the government's spokespeople?
It is this PM who decides since taking office to not answer questions from the media (and only take questions from certain journalists once a month).
It is this Prime Minister who refuses to be accountable and hides behind photo-ops and written statements. Because make no mistake about it. In Harper's Ottawa, no one's accountable.
It is this PM who has no time for serious policy and substantive deliberation, who only does things when it's politically convenient, and then sends his ministers touring the country with speaking points.
Really, the PMO scandal shouldn't surprise anyone. It is a living incarnation of this government's modus operandi. But this time, they got caught. And they are trying to spin the most ridiculous lines to get out of it without showing any sign of contrition and accountability.
As it stands, we still haven't seen a copy of the $90,000 cheque given to Mr. Duffy. We don't know who knew, and when the PM was informed.
At the end of the day, it comes down to this. There is one man who must be accountable for all this and we all know who it is.
Stephen Harper's character is the real story here. It always has been. And it will always be.