ITQ True Confessions: No, this one doesn’t involve a sneaking sense of sympathy for Ryan Sparrow ...

But it’s nearly as awkward to admit that the first fourteen words of this story actually made me feel a teeny bit sorry for Jim Flaherty:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, whose recent fiscal update almost led to the government’s collapse, is meeting with his provincial counterparts today in hopes of establishing a new era of economic co-operation.

I mean, I’m not saying it’s inaccurate — not technically, that is — but it seems sort of unfair to call it his fiscal update, as though he and he alone were responsible for the contents, when we pretty much know by now that he was just the spokesminister.

The most incendiary political landmines – abolishing party financing, suspending the right to strike, making vaguely worded but somehow still alarming changes to how the government deals with pay equity claims – were almost certainly crafted by the PM himself, with help from Various Senior PMO Staffers (But Definitely Not Guy Giorno). Sure, he could have said no – apparently, some Langevinians did and lived to tell the tale, albeit under cloak of anonymity – but really, does anyone think that the boss would have listened to him?

Also, on a vaguely related note, it’s kind of adorable how the Globe and Mail editorial board actually seems surprised that the PM isn’t embarking on a Martinesque “Sorry as Hell” tour in the aftermath of the similarly handcrafted “fiasco” that was the fall session of Parliament. Really, guys? Did you really expect that he’d take even a scintilla of responsibility for the crisis that sent him scurrying to Rideau Hall for a temporary reprieve?  Hamartia, baby. Look it up.