Absence Of Adults

Politics By Permadolescents

Here’s an article by Peter Hartcher in the SMH.

Tony Abbott is trying to restrain Barnaby Joyce from blurting nonsense, but who will restrain Tony Abbott?

The opposition leader has shown that he can’t tell a kiwi from a kangaroo, a plus from a minus, wreckage from recovery.

In a fundamental error, he has told Australians that we would do well to follow New Zealand’s lead in managing our economy.

”There are other countries which have chosen a different path, and there is no evidence that their response has been any less effective than ours,” Abbott told ABC Radio National yesterday.

”For instance, in New Zealand they have tried to reform their way through the global financial crisis under the new government’s leadership, and they seem to be doing pretty well. What Mr Rudd chose to do was to spend his way out of the crisis.”

”He’s wrong,” said the ANZ Bank’s chief economist in New Zealand, Cameron Bagrie.

”We became the unlucky country. We’re doing better than the US, Britain and Europe, but we’re not Australia.”

As the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, said in December: ”The crisis and the follow-up of the crisis . . . has been really well managed by the Australian government.”

Indeed, guess which country the conservative Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key, is holding up as his model? ”Our vision is to close the gap with Australia by 2025,” Key said.

Which is bad enough, before we even come to Abbott’s so-called policy for curbing emissions. Anyway, the article goes on to point the stupid disconnect between the amount of money being spent in the stimulus and why it was spent. More interestingly, it closes with this:

As the opposition pursues Peter Garrett over implementation of a part of the government stimulus, Abbott’s remarks raise the question of whether he understands the policy choices that decide not details but the fate of nations.

Where are the grown-ups?

Indeed. Although it is hard to say just what exactly *is* grown up in Australian politics at any given time. I guess Abbott and Joyce aren’t it.

You get the feeling that the Coalition and conservatives the world over are trying to make a whole pile of post-hoc arguments for the sake of something to rally around. The world had a GFC thanks to unbridled de-regulation of the banking sector and absence of proper oversight. In order to stop the massive collapse of the global economy, governments around the world assumed the bad debts to save the system so that we didn’t have another great depression.

Suddenly, the conservatives around the world are taking this rather silly tack that the government debt that these governments took on to save the day, are actually the problem.

Take this article here on the ‘Tea Party’ movement.

One thing that became clear in Nashville however was that the 600 or so solid conservative types, mostly middle-aged and many of them women, who shelled out $549 for a ticket to attend were not interested in minor modifications of Mr Obama’s health plan, budget or cap-and-trade legislation. As a name that harks back to the Boston Tea Party suggests, they see themselves as revolutionaries, or counter-revolutionaries. They want to “take back” an America which they say has been going wrong for generations as successive administrations have bloated the federal government and trampled on the constitution and the rights of states and individuals. Many of those attending said that Mr Obama’s election and big-spending, deficit-expanding first year had been a sort of negative epiphany. “Suddenly I’m awake,” said Kathleen Gotto from Colorado Springs, who had not previously been involved in politics.

<edit>

For all the talk about practical electioneering, some of those in Nashville teetered on the edge of the extreme and wacky. Thus the newly awakened Ms Gotto said she was researching Mr Obama’s family records for evidence that he was not eligible to be president. Mr Tancredo denounced the “cult of multiculturalism” and accused immigrants of swamping America’s Judeo-Christian values. “This is our country,” he declared to wild cheers, “Take it back!” Andrew Breitbart, the founder of a news site (Breitbart.com), railed in a speech against the hostile “mainstream media” in hock to the far left. At one point he had almost the entire audience on its feet, turned to the reporters and cameramen at the back of the room, pumping fists and yelling “USA, USA”

And the mind boggles. By the way, check out that photo at the top of that link. It’s like a remote viewing window into the world of Whitopia where paranoid white people go on about encroaching US Federalism and International conspiracies to limit their freedoms and other insane delusions parading as fact. I guess they do have something to be scared of – their conservative politicians have pissed off a lot of folks around the world.

You read between the lines of these non-arguments and you get the picture of bunch of people who are shocked that a black man is in the White House and just realised their political consciousness was about race after all. It’s enough to creep you out.Isn’t this a repeat of ‘One Nation’? Great Scott Batman, Sarah Palin is America’s answer to Pauline Hanson! In fact, Pauline and Palin are almost anagrams of each other! You gotta laugh.

Well, if one thing is for certain, the media won’t be able to lay off the catnip-like allure of Sarah Palin, and so her anti-intellectual, ignorance-is-strength persona is going to be shoved into the face of America by their media for a long time and drag down the tenor of US politics for years to come. Unless of course an adult comes along and pulls her into line, or she grows up an gets herself educated.Somehow I doubt that’s about to happen.

Whatever the case, American politics is in for a rough ride having unleashed the genie of idiotic homilies in the guise of Sarah Palin.

I guess what looks fucked about Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce is that these private school grads are driving the discourse of the nation into the ditch by simply being so simplistic, just for the rhetorical effect. What happened to all that vaunted Private School education? There’s no telling where the money went – and as such you’d have to say their parents wasted their money.

More to the point, in such delicate times you’d think Abbott and Joyce would have the better sense not to indulge in this kind of politics. Perhaps this is asking too much.

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