Most Australians don't care about the nation falling into deficit. Why would they? Why should they? Even $20 or $30 billion in the hole won't affect their lives negatively, it will work to their favour, as long as the money is used to repair and upgrade the schools their children attend and get some real infrastructure rebuilding and modernisation underway.
PM Rudd is actually on fire, just a little, during Question Time right now (2.08pm), as he hammers opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull for "being against fixing the primary schools". It's devastating. The Liberals have allowed themselves to be painted as being anti-public school renovation. Even if it's not true, this is likely the impression most will take away from the evening news reports.
Turnbull's opposition to what Rudd is now calling a $42 billion package to "rebuild the nation" is a masterstroke in self-destruction, as Bernard Keane at Crikey points out (excerpts) :
Who put Turnbull up to coming out against the StimuPak #2? Was it Costello's boys?
At about 10.30 this morning in the House of Representatives the Opposition walked into a baseball bat. It caught them flush across the head. BANG. Then they got up and invited the wielder to swing it again.
The wielder -- Kevin Rudd -- won't need to be asked twice.
Refusing to back the Government's stimulus package, which Malcolm Turnbull announced in the chamber this morning, is a truly colossal -- indeed, almost suicidal -- error by the Opposition.The Coalition and much of the media haven’t worked out that politics has for the moment changed completely. A crisis mindset has taken hold and voters are in no mood for anyone getting in the way of it being addressed with urgency.
Rudd will be delighted with the Opposition's stupidity. But he won't be celebrating. Instead, he'll be flexing his muscles and practising his swing. That mild-mannered, bespectacled bloke will be swinging the baseball bat, hard and without pity. And he's going to hit the Liberals again, and again, and again, and again, and he's not going to stop until they're a bloodied mess.
By Q2 of Question Time, Turnbull looks shocked, totally rattled, perhaps with the reality dawning across his usually sharp mind that he just got fucked, royally fucked, by some in his own party, who are, presumably, trying to knock Turnbull aside for The Return Of "The World's Greatest Treasurer."
Malcolm Turnbull, in fact nobody in the Liberals, should forget that Rudd promised, in February 2007, that he was going to mess with then PM John Howard's mind, and in turn, the collective mind of the Liberal Party.
Why would they assume that Rudd, particularly with his massively publicised attack on "neo-liberals' and "extreme capitalism" in The Monthly magazine, is not still messing with their minds?
Of course he's still doing it. It worked so well on Howard, why wouldn't Rudd keep messing with the Liberal Mind every moment he gets the chance to do so?
Who will come out of this StimuPak #2 fight looking the best? The Greens, of course. Watch the Liberals poll numbers plunge even further in this wake of this catastrofuck and The Greens favourability numbers rise, perhaps even soar. It gets harder and harder for The Greens to be painted as extremists when both Labor and Liberals are fighting to put their ideas and policies into action.
UPDATE : I don't know how long this re-interest in national politics at The Orstrahyun will last. I can feel myself fading out as I watch a second interview with Turnbull in less than 48 hours, added to what felt like two hours of Costello defying God's laws about Vanity, on Lateline.
The Good Doctor (Nelson) would have been far more apopaleptic and thereby hysterically funny, if he was upfront. But those days are gone....sadly.