18 September 2007


George W Bush has invoked his Democrat predecessor Harry Truman as someone who was underestimated in his own time, and who was regarded more highly after he left office than during his tenure. It was surprising when Bush did it, but now that Josh Frydenberg is doing it, it just seems lame, with that combination of patronising and banality that is becoming this person's hallmark.
And it seems the Labor Party is already sizing up drapes for the Lodge.

In Australia we call them 'curtains', Josh - and seeing as the Howards don't use The Lodge, why not?
With Australia experiencing record economic prosperity, our standing in the region further enhanced after APEC and the electorate now being offered a united Howard-Costello leadership ticket with a timetable for change, a Labor win is not guaranteed.

How many begged questions can you fit into one sentence? Who do you mean by "our", and how was Australia enhanced by a mealy-mouthed declaration slapped down by the Chinese President? What makes you think there's a "timetable" for change in the leadership, when there is no "timetable" for change to policies that need changing?

When Josh refers to McCullough (as though everyone knows who McCullough is, darling), he should realise that Republican candidate Thomas Dewey (everyone knows who Dewey is, darling) was far more media-averse than Kevin Rudd, and that the media environment of 1940s USA was different to today's Australia.

If Josh is going to grasp at straws learn lessons from history, he should keep context in mind and not attempt to skate over inconvenient truths. While his skating ability got him jobs with the Howard government it bodes ill for any future of which Josh were to be part if these skating skills are all he has to offer.
Should the Labor Party continue to withhold the details of its policies on such totemic issues as the provision of choice in health and education and the true economic costs of its emission targets, then the electorate may inflict on it a high price.

Should Josh continue setting up straw men, he may gain a reputation as a setter-up of straw men.

It is Howard who is light on the detail of what he wants to do next, and who is constrained by his own inability to change direction in any significant way - Rudd doesn't appear to have these constraints, and such constraints as he does have will only become apparent later.

The election hasn't even been called - all Labor has to do is display a cool head and sound balanced and responsible, and people will give them the benefit of the doubt.
In his remarkable victory against all odds in 1948, Truman was deemed the "miracle man".

Truman was re-elected once. Howard has been re-elected three times already, and he wants a fourth term with no clear agenda other than to possibly maybe hand over to someone he disdains.
It led to a period of deep introspection among America's leading commentators and pollsters, who asked themselves how could they have got it so wrong.

This happened in Australia in 1993. They seemed to recover remarkably quickly, because the Liberals won the very next election (in 1996) just as Truman's party lost the Congress in 1948 and went on to lose the Presidency at the very next election. Having had your analogy blow up in your face there's only one thing to do: run away, run away.

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