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As far as the nation is concerned, Scott Morrison is incompetent. But, like Donald Trump before him, the sheer magnitude of awfulness makes him impervious to meaningful criticism.
Say what you will about Scott Morrison…and that’s the genius of the man. Already, a mere handful of months in, he’s managed to remove the value of criticism through sheer volume, allowing him to blithely stroll corridors of power unworried. He dodges hot takes like Hugo Weaving in The Matrix, scratch that, he’s closer to the dream version of Ali G, where the entirety of the internet’s mean tweets loose cannonade on him, but we’re left with nothing but the magnitude of his member. Unlucky.
In the last seven days alone, we’ve seen him side with 4chan white supremacist lingo, he’s honoured the memory of James Cook (as a scientist), he’s recognised Jerusalem to win Wentworth (but to lose Indonesia), he’s rolled with discriminations against gay staff/faculty on religious grounds because thems the rules, he’s considering bringing back nuclear power, and he’s even dropped a Gumpism, stating that independent politics is very much like a box of chocolates.
Oh, and this:
A visiting journo just tried to get a photo of ScoMo meeting members of the public by the water feature in front of Parliament House. Journo lost his footing, tumbled backwards gently into the water feature. “You go for a swim, mate?” inquired the PM. “It’s not that hot.”
— James Jeffrey (@James_Jeffrey) October 16, 2018
There’s a lot to unpack here, and that’s entirely the point. For his critics, there’s an embarrassment of riches at their feet, but at the same time, the fragmental nature of the antagonism reduces the overall worth of it. All we know is that he is shit, but we can’t cobble enough people to be heard. We all speak at once, and the resulting noise drowns out any meaningful rhetoric.
It sounds familiar, because it is.
It’s becoming lazy journalistic shorthand, but Morrison is doing a Trump.
This is something new in the Australian experience, as we have nothing meaningful to measure his ineptitude against, whereas Tony had the Everest of Newspoll losses, and we disliked Malcolm because he planted his flag atop it. They failed, sure, but there were some attempts at decency through their steerage. But ne’er have I witnessed such a volcanic tide of ineptitude and an equal wave of criticism that rolls back against it.
I suspect that Scott Morrison is the pied piper of Auspol, fingering his flute to direct us off the nearest cliff. He’s Viggo the Carpathian in Ghostbusters 2, he’s the Emperor in Star Wars. He wants to feed of our hate. He wants us to strike him down, he’ll become something more powerful than we can ever imagine – an antagonist completely impervious to our criticism.
This morning, we pointed, heralded and cheered at the faceless internet cad that bought Scott Morrison’s domain to flay him with a song from a Stifleresque movie that didn’t star Stifler. Scotty doesn’t know, tee hee.
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) October 18, 2018
Good takedown, guys. Bob Woodward salutes you.
It matters, because Morrison is gaslighting the electorate. He’s treating us awfully, but when he asks us to explain why we’re angry, we can’t. The sheer volume forces us to reach for the closest, easiest thing to express our disappointment.
Sorry but I’m not prepared to be led by a person wearing this hat. pic.twitter.com/O6uvE3YcZE
— John Johnsonson (@JohnJohnsonson) October 14, 2018
Already, like the Americans with Donald, we’re reaching. Anything will do. We just want him to bugger off, so our slams are not A1, nor are they well thought out. Every piece of criticism seems worthy, because we want him gone. In this case, I suggest we learn from the example that the Americans have set, in that eventual ceaseless criticism turns the antagonist into a victim.
If we want him gone, we need to do better – especially as he does worse.