Obama seeks to follow in Whitlam’s steps

It does strike me that Obama would like nothing better than for the Republicans to try to impeach him, not just because it would create a great crusade to keep him President, but mainly just to distract from how colossally incompetent he has been as president. Narcissistic though he is, even he knows somewhere that he will be remembered as a failure as president and will leave office even more discredited than George Bush. He is in this like Gough Whitlam, for whom the dismissal was the best thing that ever happened to him. It wiped from the collective memory of the nation just how awful his government had been. I have an article at Quadrant Online that compares Obama’s desire for impeachment to Whitlam’s salvation through the dismissal The article begins:

It has always seemed plausible that Gough Whitlam sought his own dismissal in 1975. Overseeing a government that, by then and in virtually every respect, was making an absolute shambles of the economy – rapidly rising unemployment combined with rapidly rising inflation – while being caught up in the preposterous Khemlani Loans Affair, Whitlam’s was a government certain to enter history as amongst the worst, if not the worst, in Australia’s history. Having been dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr and gone before the press to declare, “Well may we say ‘God Save the Queen’, because nothing will save the Governor-General”, he then went home and had a hearty lunch, reportedly in the best possible spirits.

The rest of the article is about Obama and his desire for redemption by following in Whitlam’s steps. The article is found here.

This entry was posted in Cross Post, Elections, International. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Obama seeks to follow in Whitlam’s steps

  1. Paul

    I still think Rudd-Gillard-Rudd may have beaten out the Whitlam Camelot for worst Government of Australia ever.

  2. Badjack

    All I know is that these progressive (in reality regressives) lefties in the media and politics are taking over the world. The fun will start when they get total control and start fighting among themselves as to who get to be on the Politburo. The blood will flow.

  3. Sirocco

    The dismissal rescued Whitlam from scorn, embarrassment and derision. It made a martyr out of him so that all the luvvies could rally around their hero and obliterate from memory the gross incompetence. of the man.

  4. Andrew

    Whitlam tried to sack Cur, remember? He didn’t want to go. If he was upbeat, it was because in his twisted commie psychology he thought the martyrdom of being sacked by the Queen’s rep – read out by a bloke wearing a silly puffy shirt, would galvanise Australia behind him at the coming election. Fraser failed a vote of no confidence on the numbers in the House, so he knew that an election was on the way shortly. There were cheering crowds greeting him. He thought he was a folk hero.

    Bet his mood was less upbeat after the shellacking he actually got at the polls. The electorate is stupid with a short attention span, but they did remember enough 6 weeks later to show him his popularity was consistent with Gillard, nUmbers and the Ebola virus.

  5. Andrew

    I still think Rudd-Gillard-Rudd may have beaten out the Whitlam Camelot for worst Government of Australia ever.

    Particularly the Gillard term(s), yes. While Whitlam pretty much arsed up the country and was a catastrophe economically, he did do some things that have persisted. Not everyone will regard socialist medicine as an achievement, but at least enough people regard it as desirable to be arguable.

    Gillard by contrast left the Budget in far worse shape, and was literally devoid of a single meritorious act. Everything she did has either been repealed immediate by the incoming Sen8, or needs to be.

  6. Ant

    While Obama has merited impeachment multiple times for his serial lying and lawlessness, particularly in respect to the US Constitution (oath of office, anyone), it would turn him into a Whitlam-like martyr.

    That, of course, would require that the Republican leadership grows a pair and starts acting as though they’ve understood what kind of peril their republic is in.

    Here I’ve got diehard Labor acquaintences still lauding Whitlam like some deity and seem oblivious to the destruction he wrought over such a short time.

    He was probably more destructive than Rudd/Gillard in the long run, but, really, we’re comparing incompetence with ineptitude! Take your pick.

    As for the Obama-Whitlam comparison, at least Whitlam kept it local.

    The disastrous consequences from Obama’s reign will be felt globally for decades to come.

  7. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Sirocco at 1:35 pm:

    “The dismissal rescued Whitlam from scorn, embarrassment and derision. It made a martyr out of him so that all the luvvies could rally around their hero and obliterate from memory the gross incompetence. of the man.”

    That is an accurate summary Sirocco.

    I recall walking into the boss’s office, reporting I’d just heard the Governor General had sacked Whitlam, and he and his offsider heading swiftly for the lunch room radio. I was only early 20s, just completed my cadetship, but we all had a fair idea of what was happening in Federal politics (thanks too to a couple of bosses who ensured we took an interest and read up on it).

  8. Steve of Glasshouse

    The upside of this is that it gets Carter off the hook as the biggest dill in US politics in the last 40 years

  9. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I think Whitlam must have had a good lunch because he thought he had made a great speech. Rather like Gillard thought she’d made a great ‘misogyny’ speech. There is nothing quite as blinkering as the puff of oratorical pride. I’ve no doubt Whitlam expected the country to rally behind him in outrage at Monarchical infamy, just as Gillard is still singing from the misogyny songbook to explain her disasters. They both loved power and they both hated relinquishing it, so the thesis of their actively seeking to jump ship is rather thin. Neither will Obama want to go out on a cloud of Impeachment. Not suitable for the perfect magic Pres.

    All would relish the unintended consequences though – that they are martyrs to a cause and their mistakes and stupidities are in the forgettery. No doubt too King Kev is awaiting his recall to glory.

  10. It’s that, or get assassinated.

    Worked for Francis Urquart. After a fashion.

    (not a death threat)

  11. Ivan Denisovich

    I still think Rudd-Gillard-Rudd may have beaten out the Whitlam Camelot for worst Government of Australia ever.

    Tony Thomas disagrees. Tough call. I don’t know.

    http://quadrant.org.au/opinion/qed/2013/06/even-this-mob-can-t-hold-a-candle-to-gough-co/

  12. Ivan, I seem to recollect that there was a consensus on Billy McMahon’s mob being the actual Worst Government Ever, with Gillard-Rudd-Gillard second, and Gough third.

  13. Ivan Denisovich

    Phillipa, worst Liberal Govt I wouldn’t argue with. Worse than the Govt that replaced it, though? – I can’t have that.

  14. Ivan Denisovich

    On second thought, was the McMahon Govt worse than the Fraser Govt? Not sure on that one. BTW, how crap were voters’ options in the 70′s. McMahon v Whitlam, Whitlam v Snedden/Fraser, Fraser v Whitlam.

  15. Craig Mc

    Obama’s greatest weapon against impeachment:

    The thought of President Joe Biden.

  16. Des Deskperson

    McMahon was only in power for 21 months, at the end of 23 years of Coalition government which many Australians, fairly or not, believed had had its time. That makes his performance harder to judge, although the consensus in the public sector at the time – in so far as people can recall – was that he was a ditherer and an intellectual lightweight with no clear or consistent policy direction. The ‘intelligence community’ in particular despised and disliked McMahon for his embarrassing and dangerous tendency to blurt out sensitive security information in public.

  17. Fisky

    Des, I wonder what the intelligence community thought of Hanoi Jim Cairns sitting on the Treasury benches?

  18. Fisky

    I think Whitlam did ask to call Buckingham Palace when Sir John handed over his dismissal letter. Whitlam went straight to lunch after receiving the letter and I think only appeared on the steps of parliament in mid-afternoon. By which point Reg Withers had already passed the budget through the Senate.

  19. braddles

    “Well may we say ‘God Save the Queen’, because nothing will save the Governor-General”

    The more I think about this, the more nonsensical it sounds. It is a complete non sequitur.

  20. stackja

    Which ALP government gave Australia a proper working country? None that I am aware of. Nationlist/UAP/LNP for all their faults were superior.

  21. Des Deskperson

    ‘Des, I wonder what the intelligence community thought of Hanoi Jim Cairns sitting on the Treasury benches?’

    I know that the ‘community’ was perturbed about him becoming Deputy PM – canvassed at one stage – which would have given him access to all sorts of sensitive information and sources at a much higher level that Treasurer.

    BTW, I once saw Junie Morosi in a Chinese restaurant in Dickson, ACT in about 1985 and was surprised at her worn and raddled appearance. Maybe she’d aged badly.

  22. Craig Mc

    I seem to remember inflation and unemployment were at low levels we’ve never seen since McMahon, so he had that going for him.

  23. tomix

    Haven’t heard the story that Whitlam prevailed on his old, old mate Kerr to sack him in order to produce a hoped for, election winning sympathy vote, for years.

    Apart from being a Conspiracy Theory, surely no ALP Prime minister would treat the Constitution and the electorate with such contempt.

  24. tomix

    Whitlam has got to be the hands down winner, though.

    In November 1972 Australia was full of factories, the papers were full of job ads and auction notices and opportunities were there for the taking.

    By November 1975 it was all gone, and it never came back.

  25. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    I once saw Junie Morosi in a Chinese restaurant in Dickson, ACT in about 1985 and was surprised at her worn and raddled appearance. Maybe she’d aged badly.

    I read she breast-fed her child till he was six. That would be enough to raddle any woman.
    Hope the child turned out OK anyway. A tough start for any kid.

  26. crocodile

    Particularly the Gillard term(s), yes. While Whitlam pretty much arsed up the country and was a catastrophe economically, he did do some things that have persisted. Not everyone will regard socialist medicine as an achievement, but at least enough people regard it as desirable to be arguable.

    Gillard by contrast left the Budget in far worse shape, and was literally devoid of a single meritorious act. Everything she did has either been repealed immediate by the incoming Sen8, or needs to be.

    Whitlam left zero net debt and all budgets in surplus. Economic catastrophe.

  27. TheSenator

    Whitman should never have been sacked; the senate would’ve passed supply.

    Gillard should never have been removed and should’ve faced the voting public.

    She, like Gough will live on via the perceived question of their legitimacy.

    Oh how I despair of the Left,

  28. Fisky

    I can see that Crocodile is again spruiking for Left-wing governments.

  29. crocodile

    Fisky, you are an ignorant fool. There is no spruiking, just the truth. We’d all be a whole lot better off with the facts than your display of tribalism. Whitlam had plenty of things to dislike but fiscal management wasn’t one of them.

  30. Oh come on

    Having been dismissed by Governor-General Sir John Kerr and gone before the press to declare, “Well may we say ‘God Save the Queen’, because nothing will save the Governor-General”, he then went home and had a hearty lunch, reportedly in the best possible spirits.

    I doubt there was a conspiracy. I suspect Whitlam, showing the degree of strategic mastery that characterised his spell as leader, thought he would be a shoo-in at the forthcoming election on the back of popular disgust at Fraser and Kerr’s perfidy. Remember, he gambled the lot on ‘Shame, Fraser, shame!’ – he obviously thought that his miserable plight would resonate with the public. Oops.

    I suspect Whitlam’s grieving over Nov 11 started on Dec 13.

    Other factors that suggest to me that there was no conspiracy – Whitlam was far too vain to admit to himself that his government had failed, that he couldn’t turn things around, that he needed to look to his legacy. It just doesn’t ring true.

    And Kerr was too vain to make make himself a figure of hatred as a result of some grubby conspiracy. What would be in it for Kerr? No, Kerr acted out of an overinflated sense of self-importance. That he was the guardian of the nation’s constitutional arrangements.

  31. Fisky

    Crocodile – you love the Rudd-Gillard border chaos policies and you love Left-wing governments in general. That’s all I’m saying.

  32. Gab

    I look forward to the day Cough-drop ceases suckling on the taxpayer teat.

  33. crocodile

    Crocodile – you love the Rudd-Gillard border chaos policies and you love Left-wing governments in general. That’s all I’m saying.

    News to me. Dislike of the Abbott solution does not mean automatic approval of the former.

  34. Fisky

    Dislike of the Abbott solution does not mean automatic approval of the former.

    That’s the sort of statement a Greens supporter would make.

  35. The thought of President Joe Biden.

    Lay down misere.

  36. Oh come on

    Fisky is right!

    Of course, if he’s wrong, it would be a simple matter for crocodile to explain how he would go about stopping the boats.

  37. crocodile

    Fisky is right!

    Of course, if he’s wrong, it would be a simple matter for crocodile to explain how he would go about stopping the boats.

    I don’t have to explain anything. Fisky picked on me, not the other way around. If I see a thread about stopping the boats, I might make a comment.

  38. Oh come on

    Well, would you explain just to satisfy the curiosity of another? You may be right and I may end up agreeing with you. What don’t you like about the Abbott solution, and how would you do it differently?

  39. The difference is that in Whitlam’s case, his removal and the election that followed resulted in the immediate replacement of his government by Fraser’s opposition. In addition, he had no term limit – there was no point at which he was obliged to bow out, and no finish line he could strive to limp across while keeping the scandals at bay as best he could.

    In Obama’s case, nothing of the sort happens – the administration he has in place lumbers on for two more years under his deputy. It’s a fixed-term nightmare far worse than anything NSW faced, and it’s why we MUST NEVER have this Federally in Australia.

    Unless Obama is found guilty of high treason and immediately executed for same (if this is even constitutionally possible), it’s difficult to see him not giving orders from behind the scenes after his removal.

Comments are closed.