I regard myself as a pretty hard nut to crack but I have to admit it... today I'm gobsmacked.
Gobsmacked... that yesterday The Australian could introduce an article by Mirko Bagaric - the man who wrote the book on torture - in defence of the ethics of Tony Abbott's lying (they're only white lies, natch), leaving it to Tony's conscience as to whether a lie is in a good cause. I guess we, the Voters, are just supposed to accept Tony's (and The Australian's) decision on the matter.
Gobsmacked... that Joe Hockey had the temerity to front the Press Club... with no policies, no costings and no idea except to demolish anything and everything Labor has set up in the past couple of years.
Gobsmacked... that the Right thought they could get away with these pathetic excuses for participation in the National Discourse.
This is one of those occasions where I don't know how to begin to criticise the last day's worth of politics. It's not that there's nothing to criticise. It's just... where do I start?
The lies, the convolutions, the deliberate idiocies that Joe Hockey told Kerry O'Brien last night on the 7.30 Report were so monumentally galling as to be beyond rational criticism (given restricted bandwidth... which is another Coalition policy, of course... no NBN).
I can only assume that Joe has been told, 'It'll be fixed up in the morning, mate. Don't worry. Get a good night's sleep Joe.'
That he and Robb can claim that retaining 30% company tax is a saving when the very tax they are claiming to axe - Labor's reduced rate of 28% - is based on a law - the Resource Super Profits Tax - they have sworn not to enact is bad enough, but then to say that if Labor is re-elected they'll block it somehow is too much... what I mean is that if Labor is re-elected, and reduces company tax to 28%. how can getting rid of it be a Coalition government savings measure... because the Coalition won't be in government... See? I'm trying to be rational. It's a character fault I have. You can't be rational with monstrous stupidity such as this. So I won't go on trying. Red Kerry himself gave up after six minutes trying to make sense of it. Greg Jennet this morning on ABC radio told listeners, "It's a bit complicated... but please bear with me...". So perhaps I'm in good company.
Either Joe has been advised the media 'fix' is in, or he's even more stupid than even I dared to believe (and his regard for the Voter is even more cynical than I thought possible). Is politics really bunk? Do they actually expect us to believe this claptrap that passes for sober political policy-making?
Yesterday - all of it - was a monument to absolute political and social buffoonery. What can the Coalition expect us to cope with, now that we've seen the absolute worst they can dish up as rational decision making? For once (many may give thanks) I'm stumped for words.
So it seems was Dennis Shanahan, who, in place of his usual hyperbolic paean of praise for anything the Coalition does, says or implies, managed to stump up with just 333 half-hearted words on yesterday's Press Club fiasco (can I use that word... or is it reserved only for Insulation and the BER?). Michelle Grattan only managed 191 words, although six of them were "Policy vacuum a recipe for political disaster".
According to Dennis, Joe Hockey only "left the impression he didn't turn up at the National Press Club with a detailed list of budget cuts and costings for his budget-in-reply speech yesterday." He had it in his hand, didn't he? One single A4 page wasn't it? He waved it around a bit, right? What more did the hostile media crowd in attendance want? Answers to questions? The cheek!
The silence this morning in the newspapers and on the airwaves is deafening. It's as if the media have collectively sucked in their breath in shock, and no-one wants to be the first to ask 'What the hell happened?' Things are so quiet, even the birds have stopped singing in the trees outside my office window. So why do I still hear those tom-toms beating in my brain? Oooooh... my head hurts.