Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister of Australia, who is not, like, perfect, or anything, still managed to deliver a tirade of such eloquent, withering rhetoric as to be ideal for a scene in a movie in which a character has Been Pushed Too Far, and we have been watching it ping around the blogosphere like a video of cats snuggling dancing babies ever since. Why is it proving so popular?
Amelia Lester has it completely bang to rights at the New Yorker:
Purely as political theatre, it’s great fun. Americans used to flipping past the droning on in empty chambers that passes for legislative debate in this country are always taken in by the rowdiness of parliamentary skirmish. It could also be that the political dynamic depicted in the clip parallels the situation in the States: a chief executive who is a “first” took power after a long period of control from the right of center, and whose signature policy achievements have at times been overshadowed by personal vitriol. Or perhaps it’s that we are right now in one of the rare periods every four years where the American political process provides actual face-to-face debate between the leaders of the two parties. After his performance last week, supporters of President Obama, watching Gillard cut through the disingenuousness and feigned moral outrage of her opponent to call him out for his own personal prejudice, hypocrisy, and aversion to facts, might be wishing their man would take a lesson from Australia.