In what will be an ongoing feature on this blog, I shall chronicle the right's growing and ongoing disappointment with Tony Abbott. They groomed him, they championed him, they elected him, now they get to discover just how directionless, incompetent and dim his leadership really is. Abbott Disappointment Syndrome is the disease that they refused the vaccination for. Their mouths shall hang open, like Otto's in A Fish Called Wanda, apoplectic in rage that their cunning plans were for nought. Don't call them stupid!
While some early adopters (aborters?) have already jumped off the Abbott Caboose due purely to polling numbers of which today's ReachTEL 47:53 is only the most stark, more are now choosing his "national crusade" to change the constitution to recognise indigenous peoples as the hill they are going to die on in opposition to the World's Greatest Opposition Leader. Andrew Bolt is one of many who are crying foul over any breath that our "founders" were anything less than worthy members of the #straya pantheon.
Tony Abbott says this "crusade" is about the heart - and claims Australia's founders lacked it::There are few things that will rile up true-believing fundamentalist conservatives than an attack on the constitution and the souls of the old white blokes who wrote it, so if Abbott wanted to destabilise his own leadership with his base he couldn't have picked a more inflammatory subject. The usual weak-kneed suspects - who panicked when Rudd reappeared and pined for Turnbull - are now crying out for Scott Morrison to parachute into the leadership. Morrison, however, is just another religious wet."If we had known in 1901 what we know now, if our hearts had been as big then as now, we would have acknowledged indigenous people in the constitution back then," he told reporters at Australia Day celebrations in Canberra.This is utter nonsense. Australia's founders no more lacked heart than do people today.
The difference is that they were inspired by the creed that all citizens are as one before the law. They were right and Abbott and his fellow travelers on the Left are very, very wrong.
To criticise his opponents in this debate as simply lacking heart is just another form of the Left's grim cry of "racist" to shut down debate. It is unworthy and suggests Abbott is not confident in the strength of his argument.
This is the real legacy of John Howard: a Liberal Party in which a libertarian or small government conservative will look around and not find any decent leadership prospect whose deeds satisfy their standards. The Coalition caucus has been populated by Howard installations who support his social conservatism, and share his mendacity when it comes to speaking platitudes about small government but doing the opposite once in office. That conservatism on social issues, of which asylum seekers is most prominent at the moment, often has religious underpinnings with Liberal MPs, as in Morrison's case of a boy brought up in the Uniting Church but who has converted to the evangelical Pentecostal church of Shirelive.
Trebucheting Morrison into the big chair would not change the party's trajectory. He would be Abbott minus the party unity that has been the hallmark of this era - though that unity is fast eroding. I will have plenty more opportunities to post that picture of Otto.