07/29/2011 11:15 EDT | Updated 09/28/2011 05:12 EDT

Why Rob Ford's Flip Off Is a Big Political Fumble

Flickr: The Enchanter Tim

Let me say up front, that even though I don't live in the "Big Smoke," I am a fan of Toronto's mayor.

But unlike many of his admirers, I don't believe he can do no wrong... no one is perfect, we all mess up at times.

Earlier this week, Rob Ford made a mistake and has compounded the problem by not addressing it adequately.

A citizen has alleged that His Worship flipped her off when she admonished him for yakking on his cell phone while driving. While the mayor fessed up to the illegal phone use, he claimed "the bird" was a "misunderstanding."

So, he did it, but didn't mean it? The offended taxpayer wasn't his target, just collateral damage? Just how was it a "misunderstanding"?

Sorry Mr. Mayor, what we have here is a failure to communicate... a big fumble!

Obviously, giving the woman the oiseaux was dumb, but not apologizing was even dumber; a display of poor manners, not to mention bad politics, as "fingergate" remains an unresolved issue. It seems the importance of a mea culpa not only escaped the mayor but also his wise men at court.

As for the driving while distracted offence, cutting a cheque to a charity, equal to the sum of the fine, may have scored Rob a few points... another ball dropped.

But Rob isn't the only Ford whose game's a bit off... brother, Councillor Doug, is also bootin' it.

In response to a cry from literary icon Margaret Atwood to spare the city's libraries from budget cuts, Dougie took a sarcastic shot.... " I don't even know her. If she walked by me, I wouldn't have a clue who she is." Ouch!

That, of course, offended Atwood fans, but it was this comment that ticked-off most... "She's not down here, (city hall) she's not dealing with the problem. Tell her to go run in the next election and get democratically elected. And we'd be more than happy to sit down and listen to Margaret Atwood."


In Doug Ford's democracy, only elected officials have a voice? I doubt he believes that, but it sounds like that's what he said.

There are times in life when we'd love to be granted a "do-over"... an opportunity to un-do a did.

I'd like to believe, for the Ford boys, this is one of those times.