But truly how stupid do you have to be to have made an arrangement with Obama after the election to send boat people from Nauru and Manus to the US? If Malcolm believed he was going to get points for having stood up to the US against Trump, as clueless as I have always thought him, he has plumbed levels of stupidity and political incompetence until now unimaginable. From The Australian:
Australia’s alliance with the US has hit its lowest point in decades, in a clash over a divisive refugee deal that led Donald Trump to berate Malcolm Turnbull in private before staging a public retreat from the agreement.
This morning the President has said he loves Australia and will “respect” the deal, but that nations are taking advantage of the US. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said his boss was “unbelievably disappointed” about the “horrible deal” and that refugees will only be allowed in the US if they pass extreme vetting. But Mr Trump’s top officials have tried to smooth over the rift, holding a meeting with ambassador Joe Hockey.
For Malcolm apparently to have tried to push Trump, by telling him that as a fellow businessman that a deal is a deal, must rank as politically incompetent as anything I have ever seen. That Trump now thinks of Malcolm as a flea-weight no-account fool only means he has the same assessment of the PM as the rest of us.
UPDATE WITH COMMENTS ON THE ARTICLE FROM THE OZ: There are now 830 comments on the linked article, and these are the top 22 in order from the list ordered according to “Top Comments” and there was no need to have stopped there.
1) Chronology is important here.
1. 10 months out from US presidential election, Turnbull visits US. He meets Hillary and snubs Trump.
2. In the weeks leading up to US presidential election, Turnbull does a deal with a dead duck President.
3. Turnbull and Obama agree to not announce it (hide the deal) until the US presedential election is over. They both want Hillary to get up, and the deal would be excellent ammunition for Trump in a campaign dominated by illegal immigration.
4. Trump wins. Turnbull panics.
5. Turnbull has to call Greg Norman to find out how to get in touch with Trump.
6. Turnbull announces deal publicly 5 days later, and before he has spoken to Trump about it.
7. Trump understandably gives him a smack down on the phone.
8. Turnbull spins the phone call, and in desperation to announce something good in his otherwise failing Prime Ministership, announces the deal as done.
9. Trump is annoyed that Turnbull couldn’t keep quiet. Trump has been placed in a contradictory position that could damage him politically.
10. Trump gives Turnbull a smack down on Twitter, and leaks the phone call to return the favour.
The problem exists because of Turnbull, and Turnbull alone.
– At no point has Turnbulll invested in a personal relationship with Trump. Mostly because he exists in the same elitist bubble as people who predicted a thumping Hillary win.
– He did a sneaky deal with left wingers and helped hide it from voters in the US.
– He then tried to pump his own political fortunes up and didn’t care about the damage it might do to Trump.
Turnbull has to go. He is damaging the Liberal party and the nation.
2) I feel sympathy for Trump. Why should he in the American interest accept these illegal boat people who came to this country largely for economic opportunism, they have rampaged, trashed Manus island, we won’t take them, so why should Trump call on the American taxpayer to live in America?
3) Greg Sheridan in his column today notes, Trump’s reluctance to commit to actual numbers to be resettled in the US from Manus Island or Nauru is no different from Obama’s. The Obama administration gave Turnbull an “announceable”, a media event, a virtual solution to the resettlement issue which itself did not guarantee that the US would take a single person unless it was satisfied through its own vetting procedures.
Trump is right to ask “why”? What’s in it for America? He should take all the time he needs to scrutinise this “virtual solution”.
4) Australia just keeps creating more problems for itself, by not enforcing its border laws on illegal immigrants. If they have been vetted and found to be unsuitable they should be deported.
5) This was a deal cooked up by Turnbull and Obama in the interim period between Trump winning the US election and actually taking up Office. It was very similar to Gillard’s NDIS policy, made just before she went out the door, a little bomblet if you like, to tickle up the new lot when they get in. Gillard was never going to have to take responsibility for the NDIS much like Obama with the refugee deal. What Turnbull didn’t reckon on was how Trump was going to react to what he knew was a stitch up. You are the one who blew it Malcolm, you knew Obama was gone, why did you make this deal with a bloke who was literally gone? Also, where the hell us Bishop in all this? Attending gala functions???? That will help!
6) Aubsolutely. Why Turnbull would do a deal with a outgoing President, knowing full well the incoming President’s attitude to illegal immigration, is anybodies guess. You don’t have to be real smart to work out Obama left it as a time bomb, why didn’t Turnbull recognise that? So the new President gets a call from a PM who arrogantly ignored him, as a Clinton Supporter, and on Trump’s win, asks Australia to ” stay calm” and then expects Trump to be jolly and happy about piling a bunch of economic refugees Australia does not want, into the US? Turnbull once more has shown his inability to judge the scene, and his arrogance in not being able to get it. How embarrassing for our country.
7) Of course this is a super Dumb deal. If Trump takes refugees then its a Green light to refugees to flee to Australia in hope of to getting to USA . If Trump vets and refuses to take them then nobody else in the world will take. Turnbull actions during President Elect period, fully knowing Trump stance on refugees showed no respect to incoming new President Trump and has turned a good relation to a shaky relationship. It is Turnbull who is sneaky and tricky , his Obama deal during President Elect period was poor timing, disrespectful to an incoming President and whatever the outcome not in the interest of Australia in any way.
8) This agreement was made after Trump was elected. Obama signed off on it to cause trouble for Trump. For such a highly intelligent person, couldn’t Turnbull see how this would affect Australia once Trump took charge.
9) I think Obama agreeing to the deal was a practical joke aimed at his successor, and it has worked. Turnbull thinks he was clever to get it through but he was a stooge in a practical joke.
10) I’m embarrassed as an Australian because it seems to me that Turnbull took an opportunity to offload the costly and potentially dangerous fallout from the ALP/Greens’ huge mistake onto a friendly neighbour by cynically enabling Obama’s typically unpatriotic, petulant lefty ploy to leave a landline for Trump. Like any good neighbour, Trump has to accept the steaming bucket of poop because it would be rude not to. Too clever by half, Turnbull. Did I mention that I feel embarrassed? Ashamed might be a more apt description.
11) Smart move now is for Turnbull to ring Trump and unilaterally revoke the deal. Why should we call on the US to bail us out of a relatively simple problem just because Turnbull can’t face up to The Greens and the rest of the open border mob? He’s putting the civil rights of 1250 detainees ahead of the security of the electorate. These are illegal immigrants, not refugees. If they don’t pass our security clearances, ship them back to their countries of origin. If the country of origin won’t take them, send them to the first country that gave them residency before they travelled onwards to Australia.
12) Just deport them. They flew into Indonesia then ditched their documentation before setting sail for Australia. They are criminals. What about the genuine refugees sitting in tents all over the world with no food or air conditioning.
13) Of course it’s a dumb deal for America. You have to wonder why Obama did it? What advantage is it to America?
14) This is not the first time Obama threw Australia under the bus for his own domestic political agenda. Remember his speech at University of QLD in 2014 with its thinly veiled castigation of the Abbott government for it’s stance on global warming while comparing it to the US’ achievements in carbon abatement? All conveniently neglecting to mention that a significant reason for the US’ carbon reduction was the use of coal seam gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing.