Just following up from my previous post on US-Australian relations in the age of over-tired toddler tantrum presidencies.
Since that post, we’ve had Sean Spicer pronounce Prime Minister Turnbull’s name wrong (it sounded like ‘Trumble’ or maybe ‘Trunbull’) but we’ve also had the Whitehouse refer to the Australian PM as ‘President Turnbull’.
Incompetence or trolling? You just can’t ignore incompetence as an explanation when it comes to Trump but maybe it’s trolling.
Turnbull is a noted republican, i.e. he has campaigned for and is on record supporting Australia having is own head of state instead of the Queen. Not surprisingly, this puts Turnbull sharply at odds with the right of his own party. So, somebody on the right of Australian politics referring to Turnbull sarcastically as ‘President Turnbull’ is a multi-layered insult.
- its a dig at his republicanism
- it implies his republicanism is actually an ambition to become head of state
- it implies he is acting imperiously against the wishes of his party
On top of that, the Whitehouse getting it wrong is a way of indicating that he is somebody beneath their attention. So, it sort of fits as something somebody trying to boost the more extreme end of the Australian Liberal Party might do.
It’s not playing well in Australia of course, with it primarily being seen as Trump being incompetent but that maybe not Bannon’s main concern. Bannon is more closely aligned to the complex social philosophy of Millwall Football Club’s famous anthem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_one_likes_us,_we_don’t_care