Flat White

The two left wings

13 January 2021

4:04 PM

13 January 2021

4:04 PM

May I recommend the brilliant writing and analysis of Kevin Williamson in the National Review? He recently authored this nugget titled Joe Biden’s Two Left Wings.

In it, Williamson describes the two left wings that populate the US Democratic party – the Subaru wing and the Union wing. The Union wing explains itself, but this is how Williamson beautifully describes the Subaru wing. It is:

[T]he social-justice/Twitter-feminist/greenie-weenie faction, dominated by well-to-do college-educated professionals, people who drive Subarus and live in neighborhoods where all the houses have Black Lives Matter signs outside and white people inside. Subaru country makes a lot of campaign donations, and its citizens are all caught up on The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton — they are easily bored and need to be petted. They are the Left’s answer to the talk-radio Right, which means they approach politics as Kulturkampf. Their main interest is not really in policy at all but in moral and emotional validation. The cheapest way to pander to them is with a symbolic fight over one of the so-called social issues.

If this all sounds familiar, it should. This is the Australian Labor party with Tania Plibersek representative of the Subaru wing and Joel Fitzgibbon representative of the Union wing.

The structure of government aside (parliamentary vs republican), this policy and strategy schizophrenia partly explains why the ALP struggles federally but performs generally well at a state and local level — most Subaru policies don’t cross state borders or local government areas.

But this is where the comparison between the US and Australia ends. This because, in Australia, the Subaru-ists have managed to infiltrate and nest within the Liberal and National Parties. And rather than excise the infection, the Liberal and National Parties have released antibodies in the form of some of the reactionary loons who contribute nothing to governing or public policy but burn significant political capital.

This in turn requires parliamentary leaders to be managers, balancing the spoils of office between the Liberal-National-Subaru-ists and the Liberal-National-Reactionaries. Exhibit 1: Scott Morrison. All the while, those capable of governing and actual leading are marginalised.

Which brings us to where Australia is. A country with huge potential striving to maintain mediocrity.

Stephen Spartacus blogs at Sparty’s Cast.

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