11 May 2007

Et Tu, Peter? Hartcher's Hatchet Job

Like most clever attacks, it starts out innocently enough:
Thank God for elections. Competitive politics, with an anxious Government facing the prospect of electoral oblivion, has forced the Howard regime to address issues that it had long preferred to ignore.

If not for the forthcoming election, the Government would still be snickering at the idea of global warming. Instead, in a few weeks it will commit Australia to a carbon emissions trading system.

If not for the forthcoming election, David Hicks would be languishing in a Guantanamo cell with no trial and no prospect of anything other than an indefinite legal limbo. Instead, he is preparing to return home.
But Hartcher then does a complete volte-face, explaining why the budget is so-o-o-o good, and why Howard is so-o-o-o responsible for not getting panicked and pushing interest rates through the roof.

Hint for Peter Hartcher: if Howard thought he could do it and still win re-election, he would happily raise interest rates, panic the Reserve, whatever it takes. All that matters now is holding power. Once you get another four years in the bag, you can start tidying up the mess.

Hartcher's piece is not just atrocious but also self-defeating. First he points out that Howard is only doing decent, responsible things because there is an election looming, then he spends the rest of the article talking about how responsible Howard is being. Get a clue, Pete, and stop being a hack.