There’s at least one commentor over at LP seemingly put out by the fact that Kevin Rudd’s latest reported socially conservative utterance doesn’t have left-leaning bloggers rending their garments and wildly exclaiming “how could we have been so wrong about him?”.
But the thing these tightie-rightie stooges have never understood is that actual Leftists were never the ones who bought into the Kevin07 hype. We acknowledged it as an effective electoral campaign, and we were happy to see an effective electoral campaign from Labor for a change. We always knew Rudd was a centrist with socially conservative leanings, but his value to the Left in Australia was that he was a Not-Howard who was appealing enough to the swinging voters to stand a good chance in the 2007 election and rid us of the spectre of WorkChoices. End of.
(Remember WorkChoices, Lib stooges? Remember that this was actually what lost you the last election? Aren’t you at all nervous now about the electorate’s response to Abbott’s idea to abolish penalty rates?)
So, Rudd’s allegedly said something that is appallingly socially conservative and anti-feminist. Oh wow, what a huge surprise and disappointment, are these scales I see falling from my eyes?…NOT. He’s still Not-Howard, and, even better, he’s Not-Abbott.
It would be wrong to think that the swinging voters fell hook, line and sinker for the hype either. Swinging voters tend to be either apathetic and cynical or jaded and cynical: being reached by campaign rhetoric that manages to cut through the electoral business-as-usual schtick is not a sign of a conversion on the road to Damascus, FFS. Especially here in Australia where one has to turn up to the polling place anyway, so one might as well put a mark against the name of the candidate whose party pisses you off the least.
Rudd’s campaign was effective because of three things: his team came up with some innovations that got people’s attention, by comparison Howard’s campaign was all about the same old message as the last 3 electoral cycles with a superficial spritz of look-at-my-safe-pair-of-hands (booooring), and the rhetoric about Howard’s safe conservatism jarred terribly with the radical nature of the proposed WorkChoices reforms that people felt threatened their financial security. Rudd successfully positioned himself as the MORE socially conservative choice in 2007, as the leader who would ensure more dollars in the hip pocket, and the electorate responded. So it’s hardly a terrible surprise now whenever he says something socially conservative – that’s him, it’s always been him, this on its own is simply Not News.
So, message to tightie-rightie stooges playing the Fallen Messiah card: quit coming the raw prawn, you bunch of nongs. It’s vicariously embarrassing to watch you flail about like this.
1. There is a strong possibility that the PM’s remark to Nina Ferrell was a failed attempt at wit. Apparently the Queensland ALP die-hards who’ve known him for decades still can’t get over how a socially inept uptight policy wonk reinvented himself as the nation’s Uncle Kev in the eyes of the media in the first place.
2. For anybody afflicted with analogy-fail, this is exactly why Leftists in the States aren’t collapsing from disappointment with Obama either. Wanting Not-Bush to win the Presidency for the Democrats, and appreciating an effective campaign that would achieve that goal, is not the same thing as buying into the Obama hype. Treating the Left as if they have suffered a crushing ideological blow via Obama’s feet of clay is blinkered analysis and insulting as well.