The right is tying itself in knots trying to think its way out of Abbott Disappointment Syndrome. The latest lead balloon to be floated is the idea of a double dissolution to solve the upcoming intractability of a Clive Palmer controlled Senate, which Laura Tingle does her best not to laugh at.
Government ministers who have dealt with Clive Palmer for years believe what will drive his approach in the Senate will not be policy but opportunities that allow him to look like he is running things.Some of his margin? With the polls at 47:53 the other way, that's a bold statement. That braggadocio is all very well for Peta to project, but she doesn't have a seat to lose. Coalition backbenchers can see the polls too, they all know their cushy positions would be on the line in a double dissolution election with an unpopular government. The 2014 budget was an ambit claim that will shortly meet electoral reality.
They see this as simply intolerable and say Abbott would rather go to a DD poll and lose some of his margin than be perceived as driven by Palmer, as Labor was perceived to be driven by the Greens after 2010.
Many people might have dismissed Abbott’s DD talk this week. Coalition staffers may have been gobsmacked to hear Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin declare that this was a budget she would take to an election. But this is really just the first shot across the bow of the Palmer juggernaut.
The current wingnut solution du jour is for Abbott to somehow become "retired", much in the manner of a Phildickian replicant, in favour of Morrison as a "strong man" to lead us like some barechested Putinesque roughrider into an authoritarian utopia. This is high comedy. Abbott has spent a lifetime in politics to reach this moment, why would he withdraw gracefully? His mentor John Howard had to have the prime ministership pried from his cold, dead electoral fingers.
shit sandwiches he was given, and will have to force down the ones he didn't need to eat but brought upon himself, like the brawl with the states that Tingle finishes her piece by detailing. So far the Abbott plan - in the face of being elected with a mandate to run all of his opponents' popular policies - seems to be to run his own plan anyway, and dare everyone else to try to stop him.
Unfortunately for Tony, there is one man who stands in his way, and his name is Clive. At this point, everything Tony does or doesn't do seems to benefit Clive. There are no options left that don't deliver Clive with a gift-wrapped prime ministerial arse. No wonder the wingnuts are in disarray. At least when Labor was in power, the conservatives and libertarians had a common enemy.