The 2016 U.S. presidential election is such a big show that people on the other side of the world are trying to get into the act.
After lawmakers in the New South Wales Parliament introduced a resolution labeling Donald Trump a “revolting slug,” former Prime Minister Tony Abbott slammed them for wasting the Parliament’s time, and stood up for both Trump and his supporters.
The motion declaring agreement with “those who have described Trump as ‘a revolting slug’ unfit for public office” passed without objection, or a formal vote, on Thursday evening.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that lawmakers diligently researched whether “revolting slug” was considered acceptable parliamentary language, having previously run into trouble on that score by labeling various individuals a “villain,” “blackguard,” and “smart arse.” (Actually, the villain was also the blackguard.)
Apparently it is acceptable to call someone a revolting slug if they’re not a member of Parliament, although it’s unclear from the Sydney Morning Herald’s coverage if Rosie O’Donnell’s variation, “orange slug,” would pass muster.
None of it passed muster with Tony Abbott. He did say that Trump’s 2011 videotaped comments were “absolutely disgusting,” and the tapes were “gross beyond belief” and “completely indefensible,” but the NSW motion was an “exercise in moral vanity.”
“Posturing of any sort is something which is not really fitting for a parliament,” he added.
“The point that I want to make is that the vast majority of Trump supporters are not deplorables, they really aren’t. They are decent people who want to see change inside their country and that’s fair enough,” Abbott continued, referring to Hillary Clinton’s dismissal of half of Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.”
He added that “many of the Trump positions are reasonable enough,” which sounds a bit like when Barack Obama told Hillary Clinton she was “likable enough,” and those two seem to be getting along well enough these days, so Abbott’s comments ought to be good enough to keep him on Trump’s sunny side.
Abbott also declared himself an “admirer” of America, and stressed the international community’s need for a “great and strong” United States, because it is “the one country in the world with the strength and goodwill to be a relatively acceptable arbiter of all the problems the world faces.”
The Sydney Morning Herald said Abbott’s defense of Trump “will be interpreted by his colleagues as another attempt to reach out to far-right voters who abandoned the Liberal party at the last election following the installation of the moderate Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister, and a further sign he is jockeying to be returned to the leadership.”
Strangely, the SMH didn’t say anything about the NSW lawmakers using their condemnation of Trump as a stunt to reach out to left-wing voters, even though the author of the motion, Jeremy Buckingham, is noted for such previous stunts as setting a river on fire to highlight environmental issues. Thankfully, he didn’t try filling the parliamentary chamber with slugs to make his point about Trump.