Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to make your ideological children and eat them too

Oh my, that's pretty much all I can say as I watch the American conservative candidate for president crash and burn before his nation and the world. When Newspapers in Australia are reporting on how bad a candidate Mittens Romney is, well... It's as if the fragile structure that the far right in the US has built since the 1970s; the newspeak, the fake history, the fake academia, the fraudulent economics and alternate media, could not stand the light of day.
To my endless amusement, the cracks in the American right wing have started affecting things here at home. I have often argued that since the Howard years the Right in Australia have obediently followed the dog whistle of their US counterparts; from the merging with the Christian right, to science denial and supply side economics. Joe Hocky oft speaks of "growing the pie" as code for, letting the wealthy have more so it trickles down to the less fortunate. Classic as George H W Bush said "Voodoo economics". But in reality Joe's Magic pudding is just another version of the old canard "a rising tide lifts all boats".
It is also funny that the recent brain hemorrhages of the Liberal/Nat party have shown Australia as socially more progressive nation than the US at it's heart. The Cory Bernardi affair has put on hold the career of one of the party's rising stars over comments comparing Same sex marriage to bestiality, basically the same statements that caused Rick Santorum to have his "google problem". The difference is that the American right have lost their shit so totally that Santorum was pretty much runner up for the Republican nomination. I think a man like Bernardi can be used to measure how bat shit insane the Lib-Nats have become, the higher he rises in that party the crazier it has become... (But really Abbott is still looking secure in his spot at the party's helm, so long as they don't let him near a microphone too often)
The sad part of this is that as the opposition falls of the cliff of it's own construction, it shifts the political window to the Right with them. With no effective opponent both Australian Labor and the Democrats in the US have been able to move their positions to the center right parties they have both become. Remember that same sex marriage rights are now part of the Labor platform, but not without a huge amount of opposition on the right of the party. The so called "conscience vote" that the PM called was doomed to fail without a likewise commitment from the opposition, had Gillard enforced the party platform on her members she would have had the numbers to pass the same sex marriage bill. (or maybe fail by a single vote depending on the cross bench support) But no, to maintain the support of the Right wing of the party (we can assume based on other statements on the subject by our unmarried atheist prime minister) the bill was scuttled and harmony within the ALP retained. Gillard is a politician and a Labor faction player above all, had the political discussion in this country been shifted to where it was in lets say the early 1990s we may have seen a different result. But the crazy Right of the Lib/Nats drag us all towards their cliff with them by infecting the public discourse.