Images: Happymag + Insider.com
Will it be the 100,000th U.S. death from corona virus, their 44 million unemployed, the jackbooted response to the BLM protests following George Floyd's murder or a plummeting Dow Jones that historians will mark as the tipping point for the orange globule who infests 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?
After a continuous, four year stream of outrages from the sickbag residue of Dr Evil mixed with Sideshow Bob and sprinkled with Papa Doc Duvalier that is Donald J. Trumplethinskin it has become apparent that the depths of his depravity are bottomless, that no immorality is beyond his embrace; none of which has deterred his enablers, sycophants and collaborators. With an appalling track record of corruption and incompetence is it possible to point to any one circumstance as the beginning of the end for him, his demon spawn and their crime syndicate?
Perhaps it is his reported cowering in trembling, pee-stained fear in the panic room at the White House, that icon of American presidential power and prestige, that is the most appropriate symbolic moment.
But the tipping point could be the immediate aftermath of that humiliation when he had peaceful citizens tear-gassed and clubbed to stage-manage a cowardly photo-op where he looked as natural as a orangutan on a unicycle when with witless silence and vacant expression he held aloft an upside-down bible, the contents of which are as unread by him as they are by the metaphorical orangutan.
In comparison, how good is Australia? A prime minister does not have the powers of a U.S. president, nor do we suffer such an imbecilic, syphilitic madman at the helm. We had an idiot in charge two Prime Ministers ago after which farcical fuckwittery was removed from the Tory's list of essential skills for high office.
Our man is not insane. Smirko Morrison's messaging is not Trump-like, off-the-cuff, incoherent ramblings. His forté is market-tested, focus-grouped propaganda and glib slogans that camouflage rather than amplify the mendacity and grift that is at the core of the us-&-them RWNJ mindset - "unfunded empathy", "a fair go for those who have a go", "quiet Australians", "separation of church and state was set up to protect the church from the state, not the other way around". Smirko doesn't do nuance - he does the dog-whistle.
Smirko does not sexually assault women, he doesn't party with high profile pedophiles, he doesn't brag about his own wealth, he doesn't sport a ridiculous, yellow merkin on his head, he doesn't suggest sticking a lava lamp up your arse as a virus cure. Trump has had multiple wife-changing experiences, Smirko has stuck by his first. Morrison's not Trump-like. But he is Trump-lite.
Morrison's standards may be higher than Trump's but then Trump does set a very, very low bar. Smirko's eye-fluttering, fan-girl crush on Trump means not just that his staff need to towel-dry his chair after a phone call from the tangerine ballsack but also that his morals are quite flexible, and that in line with his prosperity gospelling principles, wealth is the measure for his mangina-frothing admiration.
Unlike Trump, Smirko attacks the media by stealth not by megaphone - raiding journalists, defunding the ABC and using his tame propaganda outlets 2GB, Sky News (sic) and, primarily, the Murdoch muckers where many millions of our dollars are shovelled to bolster the withered billionaire's empire of sleaze and disinformation, no questions asked.
As with the Republicans, the L/NP modus operandi is the game of mates and as with the Republicans it has become shamelessly blatant. They duck and weave and smirk and giggle at their cleverness in dodging accountability.
Sports rorts, regional swimming pools, the Regional Growth Fund, Building Better Regions Fund, government advertising on the tax-payers' dime, Climate Solutions Fund, Urban Congestion Fund, Drought Communities Program, Regional Jobs and Investment Package - an eye watering $8 billion in nods and winks to Tory and marginal electorates in an asymmetric war against those electorates that do not meet the qualification criteria of contributing to the Tories' hold on power.
But it doesn't stop there - the Tories are nothing if not shockingly avaricious. Shadenfraud is the arousal a Tory politician experiences from gaming the system. Barking Barmy Joyce's legover-of-the-moment must've been apprehensive after Barmy's $80 million buy-back of dehydrated water from Angus "Fingers" Taylor's old outfit Eastern Australia Agriculture! What became known dryly (!) as Watergate is but one dodge in Fingers' portfolio of #gates whereby a coincidentally high number of Taylor familial enterprises benefited from unknowing taxpayers' contributions - Speaking of rorts. Kaye Lee, the AIMN.
Hand-in-hand with the Tories' graft comes a paranoid fear of scrutiny. The prospect of a federal integrity commission puckers the sphincters of the pillaging Tory hordes. And so supplementing the standard dissembling and obfuscation comes the stacking of boards with cronies, the disenfranchising of the public service, the politicising of the AFP and the quashing of dissent.
When Trump's time comes he will not go quietly. The notion of him getting four more years seems more outlandish with each outrage. Surely the underlying strengths of American democracy will see this abhorrent aberration dragged by the ankles, drooling and gibbering, from under his bed.
In contrast, Smirko's demise will be more pedestrian. There is not likely to be a jump-the-shark moment for him as there was with the Mad Monk's plan to knight Prince Philip. Morrison is simply reverting to type - a mean and tricky, beligerent marketer of ragged neoliberal ideology. His recent brief reprieve will come to an end, the shine will fade from this buffed beige jobbie and he'll be told by a disillusioned electorate to "get off my lawn". I can't wait.