Of course for you and me these might not be good times, but bad times generally are great times for loonatic columnists. Take Paul Sheehan in Comrade Rudd's great con game - please someone take Paul Sheehan.
How does this loon proceed in the detail of his column, apart from the snide header mixing comrade and con? Well of course he has to trot out those sudden two great experts - Mark Latham in The Australian Financial Review deriding Rudd, and Michael Costa attacking Rudd's attack on the excesses of market capitalism in The Australian.
Once upon a time you wouldn't cross the park to listen to Latham having a rant in the Domain, he was such damaged goods. He made a fool of himself and the Labor party with his very public meltdown. Now suddenly he's in the loon club, and worth extensive quoting, as some kind of benign sage from the left (unlike the embittered, vile, hateful Hewson hacking away on the right).
Ditto Michael Costa - having presided over an increasingly desperate NSW, driving us all into the ground, he's suddenly a leftie expert with profound insights into the Australian economy and the theory of economics (42 he keeps croaking, thinking this is the answer to it all). Pity he got that way by drinking Milton Friedman flavored kool-aid.
New rule: instead of Godwin's law, we can say that anyone quoting Costa and Latham has zero credibility in any debate. Maybe we can call it Sheehan's Law in honor of him taking it up after everyone else and pushing it into patent absurdity.
And of course instead of quoting Malcolm Turnbull's personally dangerous attack on Rudd and the wealth of his wife Therese Rein (cunningly dressed up here as 'the Rudd family'), Sheehan can conveniently trot out Latham's lambasting Rudd and his wife for making multi-millions from neo-liberal Howard policies.
Ding, ding. Give the man another kewpie doll. Neo-liberal. We're back in the land of Neo. And never no mention of the squillions Malcolm Turnbull made from conventional liberalism.
But perhaps the funniest thing is the illustration by Michael Mucci showing Rudd peddling what looks like a bottle of snake oil from beneath his coat. Paul Sheehan will long live on in loon memory as the man who peddled 'magic water' to the mugs in his newspaper column, and now peddles spite and bile as legitimate commentary (was Mucci being cunningly reflexive in a surreptitious way, or does he think magic water might be making a comeback?)
It's remarkable how many loon commentariet talking points Sheehan manages to hit in his diatribe:
Rudd is full of hypocrisy; Rudd is the next Gough Whitlam, without the wit; Rudd won't be able to save a single Pacific Brands job (you know that great example of market capitalism at work, taking government money with no shame, then rushing off to China); Rudd's single handedly increased the immigration program, swelling the ranks of job seekers; Rudd will single handedly as a government introduce workplace legislation which will bring back the unions; Rudd has failed to help in any way shape or form small business, that great job-creating engine; Rudd has single handedly panicked and pissed the great John Howard surplus legacy up against the wall; Rudd has ... oh enough already, you get the drift.
Like, the world economic recession/depression, and its impact on Australia is all the fault of Kevin Rudd. I mean, he opposed the GST and whipped up hysteria about inflation, unlike that Catch the Fire ministries (Victoria's bushfires were caused by abortion) fundie loving Peter Costello.
Then it's wheel in the experts to decry debt, and throw in a jibe calling the Ruddster Kevin Keynes and an opportunistic fraud. Oh what a subtle hatchet Sheehan wields, a bit like the Governor boys out amongst the white folks. Trouble is Paul, when you go on an extended hysterical rant like this, people deep down know you're a loon, and a common and garden one at that.
So what do we get from all this heat and fire? What enlightening prediction do we get, apart from we's all be rooned before the year is out. Like Whitlam, he may win a second election before the electorate wakes up. Say what? That's right, all you turkeys out there don't pay any attention to the loons on loon pond and will likely vote the Ruddster back in, according to "Magic Water" Sheehan.
Not Mark Latham, not Michael Costa, those tragic featherdusters. No wonder there's a gnashing of teeth and a wailing and a sobbing to be heard throughout the land.
Here's Sheehan's capper to his loonery:
Rudd ... embodies the hollowness of the pursuit of power before principle.
Oh please, pass the spew bucket. He's a politician. Let's not get righteous and sanctimonious Mr. Sheehan. Leave that to the Catholic Church. Don't go telling me how John Howard pursued principle before power, or what a nice guy Malcolm Turnbull is for hacking into Rudd's wife, just like you, in the pursuit of power before principle.
Talk of principle in this way, like patriotism, is the last refuge of the scoundrel. And after quoting Latham and Costa you don't have any other refuges to go to.
Pass me that magic water please, I think I need a good swig of it and a long lie down. Life is tough living amongst the loons of loon pond. Just remember when we's all rooned, how happy the loons will be. They were right you see. Isn't it great to be able to pluck joy out of the ashes and rise triumphant like a phoenix. Pity about all you poor buggers reduced to trailer park trash status in the meantime ...