02 October 2007

All we need is ...

This article pissed me off. I had to fight the urge to dismiss it both on account of its provenance (the "Government Gazette"), and its old-timey historical determinism (the trouble with having the right stuffed full of ex-Marxists is their rancid Hegelian baggage).

It is true that Howard has won elections despite outrages against human and civil rights. It is not true, however, that these issues will always be politically irrelevant. Who dares to declare that the landscape will never change such that these issues become very important to an electorally significant group of voters?

I strongly doubt that "Subaru-drivers" are the only source of "Howard haters" who are all too eager to help Maxine McKew. She and her team would have to take out court orders to prevent hordes of MUA goons from marauding around Ryde and helping reinforce those themes behind the anti-anti-WorkChoices ads.
the "Not happy, John" movement. You know, that phalanx ... the "Not happy, John" folks ... annoyed ex-Liberals such as the "Not happy, John" crew ... the chief players in the "Not happy, John" movement ...

Damn it, I thought we'd qualify as a brigade by now. Piers Akerman and Gerard Henderson have dispatched so many "brigades" that they make those VC winners look like pikers. How can you be a right-wing intellectual without a battery of cliches?
After all, most Australians don't hate Howard.

Nice bit of straw-man knockdown there, Dave.
But sticking pins in a voodoo doll of the PM ... Nor do they identify easily with voodoo doll politics and personal vilification.

If they don't identify with straw-man tactics, you're done for Dave. I was a Liberal for 14 years and an ex-Liberal for seven, and in all that time I've never seen - or made - any voodoo dolls.

It is true that disaffected ex-Liberals have had solid grounds to be disaffected with the Howard government. It is also true that they we have been extraordinarily lazy intellectually in response. Relying on Phillip Ruddock, Amanda Vanstone or Robert Hill to inject some sense has failed, and was never a sound strategy anyway. Bleating on about Our Ancient Systeme of Lawes (with all its attendant blind spots) like Greg Barns does is no good either. The decrepitude of the Democrats is our fault as much as theirs.

I ignore pamphlets in the letterbox, you ignore pamphlets in the letterbox, so what makes you think you're making any sort of positive difference by stuffing things in letterboxes? We need to be out of politics to get the best perspective and the freshest ideas, not thrusting ourselves into the fray proudly advertising our lack of answers - because by doing that, moderate liberals are no better than Howard himself.

Update 3/10: Larvatus Prodeo on this

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