Monday, May 02, 2016

Following the Republicans

It's kind of fascinating, if not edifying, to watch the Coalition in Australia follow the path of the Republicans.

I don't know how long the Liberals have sent people over to America to study Republican electoral tactics, and I suppose that you can't blame them for thinking they might learn something useful.

Instead, it has just encouraged a contagion of the American Republican problem to Australian right wing politics - what with the climate change denial, economic rabid anti-Keynesians and Laffer-ites continually decrying economic pragmatists in Treasury (and confused Coalition Treasurers trying to walk a path between the two), and the revival of culture wars amongst the conservatives with more than a dash of misogyny thrown in.

On the last point, it's hard to read the return of Chris Kenny to his own vomit of the Abbott/News Ltd attack of Gillian Triggs in any other way.   It's just the nuttiest and most strangely obsessive personal attack on a statutory appointment I can ever recall coming from the Right of Australian politics. 

I expect it must also dismay Malcolm Turnbull, too.  But one of the mysteries for which we have to wait (perhaps) another few years, until he publishes his account of his time in office, is how he must really feel about having to dance with and corral the conservative ideologues in his party.   Surely he is doing his part, with hypocritical walking back from former views on everything from climate change policy to negative gearing, but is he really happy doing it? 

The split within the Right in Australia at the moment is such an obvious (but smaller scale) version of the split within the Right in America.   Sure, we don't have a populist like Trump shaking up the corridors of Right wing power; but we did have the pretty close analogue of blowhard Clive Palmer.   Perhaps in that respect we are slightly ahead of the Americans, in that Palmer has (politically) blown apart already, but we are waiting another 6 months or so before we see it happen to Trump.  Who can doubt that, if we had some similar electoral system to the Americans, that Palmer would have run for President in the same self funded manner?  

It could be right, what the dimwitted Abbott diehards are muttering to themselves - that the best thing that can happen to the Coalition is a surprise fail at the next election.   [It's hilarious reading Catallaxy at the moment, where the pro Abbott supporters congregate and threaten a Labor vote, while openly dissing Sinclair Davidson for his support of the Turnbull overthrow.  It seems that SD can't ban anymore commenters who are rude to his face (up to and including one who now openly calls him an "idiot") because of the large number he would have to cull.]   The only thing is, the "delcons" (delusional conservatives) think that it will vindicate them - so their imperviousness to evidence will remain a problem, unless they are the ones to then leave the fold and establish a breakaway conservative party.   Yes, let that happen, and let the moderates of the Right tell their Party they have to decide whether to stand with the evidence free, ideologically driven side of the Right, or go with the centrist and and pragmatic Right.   It may be the only way to resolve the current problems.

1 comment:

John said...

BTW Steve, if you haven't seen it, Obama's final speech at that annual dinner is funny and classy. The GOP is too busy being angry to have a sense of humour.