Germaine Greer, (who, you ask? Um, oh, never mind), is simply the latest in a long line of quite smart people who not only never bothered to try and get to grips with the real Tony Abbott and what he believed in and stood for, but actually wilfully preferred the fantasy one of their own imaginations' creation.
Even as the Coalition's desperately dire position under Malcolm Turnbull, (who had made the Coalition a bigger laughing stock than it was under Brendan Nelson), immediately began to improve under the leadership of Mr Abbott, the "smart" opinions did everything possible to find another reason for this because, well, as they believed so emphatically, he was after all unelectable. Everybody down at the new and oh so trendy cafe said so.
So even on Saturday night we saw the woman on Channel 9's panel who was Julia Gillard's biographer assert that taking 13 to 14 seats off of a first term government, and coming within a hare's breath of winning a majority, was somehow a bad result for Mr Abbott.
You could see what was going on; the cognitive dissonance so clearly on display - but everybody at the cafe, (you know, that really cool new one that's just opened up in a converted inner-city brothel, with the girls' "working" clothes on the walls - so daringly transgressive!), said that far-right "christianist" madman could never be elected. Anyway, we all read that he was quite mad in The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald, so it must be true.
I'm forever amazed at the capacity of otherwise clever people to use their intelligence to delude themselves.
From Andrew Bolt:
TONY Abbott is “unelectable”. He will “reduce the party to a reactionary rump”. “No one thinks Abbott can win in 2010; he would be doing well if he held the line.” The Liberals’ choice represents the “spirit of kamikaze fundamentalism”. The Liberal Party has chosen “the least electable” candidate. The Liberal Party will likely face “a lengthy period in the wilderness of opposition”....
The Opposition Leader has confounded them all. Even if the Coalition fails to form a minority government, this election is about the rise and rise of an eminently electable Abbott, and the demise of brand Labor.
When the facts change, it’s sometimes wise to change your opinions, too:
Laura Tingle in The Australian Financial Review, December 2, 2009:
VETERAN pollster Rod Cameron says simply of Tony Abbott that he is “unelectable”. ”This is a description I reserve for a very small group of politicians,” he adds.
Cameron tells Paul Kelly in The Australian on March 3:
I STAND by my earlier view that Tony Abbott is unelectable, but the government is doing everything possible to prove me wrong.
Tingle in the AFR, April 23:
ANOP pollster Rod Cameron thinks that “until a month ago, even two weeks ago, Kevin Rudd was in serious trouble, not because of Tony Abbott but as a result of his own work”.
Lenore Taylor in The Sydney Morning Herald, June 12:
CAMERON believes that with almost any other leader the Liberals would now be almost assured of victory.
The Australian, July 22:
VETERAN pollster Rod Cameron of ANOP Research Services believes that “the hard heads” in the Coalition recognise Mr Abbott is deeply vulnerable with women voters.
Tingle in the AFR, July 30:
THE pollster for ANOP Research Services, Rod Cameron, agrees with the assessment that Gillard won the leaders’ debate but Abbott may have got more out of it since the expectations for his performance were so low.