Once You Go Barack, You Never Go Back


Australia and the United States have long had a special relationship, going back to World War II, when then prime minister John Curtin, concerned by the British policy of using Australian soldiers as body armour, declared, "Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom", and from this drunken outburst was born a long and meaningful friendship between two great countries with so much in common.

From Korea, to Vietnam, to Afghanistan and Iraq, Australia and America have always stood shoulder to shoulder in the eternal fight against various Asians. Our country has always been ready to come to America’s aid — when the US says, "jump", we say, "what a fair Free Trade Agreement!" — and America, likewise, has always been willing, when it has a moment or two spare, to locate us on a map.

The Austro-American relationship entered a thrilling new phase this week with the "meeting of minds" between our PM Rudd and US President Barack Obama.

Rudd and Obama are, of course, similar in many ways. Besides their obvious preternatural physical attractiveness, there are the similar backgrounds: both grew up without fathers, both were raised with strong Christian values, and both are likely to be described by right-wing columnists as "not really black". They also share similar values on many political issues, such as social justice and redistribution of wealth and the need for urgent and decisive conversations about climate change.

In many ways Rudd and Obama’s relationship mirrors that of their predecessors, who also forged a strong friendship. And just as George Bush and John Howard bonded over their mutual love of cricket and cocaine, so Rudd and Obama have found common ground in their passion for collaborative diplomacy and strippers.

Of course there are differences between the two — Obama, for example, plans to deliver his country into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, while Rudd merely wishes to deliver his to China — but deep down, they are soulmates. You could see just how close they have already become, as they sat and spoke softly to each other, "heads almost touching" as the Herald Sun put it, until eventually their advisers were sent out of the room and tender passions were succumbed to.

"I’m looking forward to partnering him for some years to come," said Obama afterwards, reaching across that diplomatic distance to touch Rudd’s arm, and patriotic Australian hearts swelled with pride at having a leader of such prowess. Ever since John McEwen we have been waiting for another Prime Minister whom we could call a truly generous lover, and our faith would appear to have been rewarded.

But of course, the relationship between our countries is about more than sex, no matter how fulfilling or athletic it may have been. Rudd and Obama had important things to discuss in between the heavy petting, such as the global financial crisis, which was revealed this week to be likely to become even worse than it was going be the last eight times it was revealed to be about to become even worse than it had been when we thought it wasn’t going to be as bad as it is.

Both leaders have of course unveiled enormous stimulus packages in an attempt to stave off economic disaster, and while Obama’s package is naturally much larger, the President nevertheless expressed admiration for how Rudd made use of his own more modest package.

However, economic crises aside, in some respects the most important aspect of the Prime Minister’s trip to the States was glossed over as the "serious" media concentrated on questions of diplomacy and troop numbers and emissions trading schemes and long yearning looks across the Oval Office.

Crack investigative journalist Kathleen Cuthbertson from News Ltd dropped a bombshell on Wednesday when she revealed that Kevin Rudd’s wife, Therese Rein, had improved her fashion sense on the US trip. Cuthbertson informed a stunned public that, moreover, she had let herself down by not wearing opaque tights. We have heard little of this story since, and frankly it arouses grave suspicions that, after revealing the shocking truth about Ms Rein’s bare knees, Cuthbertson does not seem to have been heard from again.

Is this yet another example of corrupt powerbrokers going to any lengths to suppress information about the Prime Minister’s wife’s knees? Not yet halfway into its first term, has the Rudd Government already slipped so far into Machiavellian totalitarianism that it now denies the public’s right to know whether Therese Rein has made progress in her quest to stop being such a disgusting frumpy manatee of a woman?

Kathleen Cuthbertson, if you are reading this, please, send word. We just want to know you’re safe.

It does, indeed, make it quite hard to concentrate on petty affairs of state when confronted with the knowledge that Therese’s white overcoat might not have been the right choice for her. I have not slept for 48 hours for thinking about it. "What would have been the right choice?" I keep asking myself. "You were so close, Therese," I’ve whispered time and time again. No wonder Kevin has turned for physical affection to Obama, a man who knows both the art of pleasure and how to cover up his damn legs. The day Ms Rein stepped off the plane was indeed the day Australia lost its innocence. The line between style icon and odious gutter-dwelling slut is indeed a clear and obvious one. Thank God for News Ltd and its tireless efforts to keep us informed of it.

And yet we must, despite the soul-scorching Therese’s Kneesgate experience, carry on and think about international diplomacy and global warming and dead soldiers and other such annoyances.

Or rather, we don’t have to think about them, because Rudd and Obama are there to think about them for us. We have known for a long time how lucky we are to have a man like Rudd at the helm, to keep everything running smoothly and give us free money and condemn child pornography and heap vicious, obscene abuse upon overworked civil servants on our behalf. But only now do we realise we are even luckier, that our leader is so well-connected to a similarly great man, a man who, if possible, is even more strong and caring and dedicated to the solvency of the international banking system than our own beloved Kevin.

So to those who said that Australia is a minor player on the world stage, that America only pays lip service to our puny attempts to impose ourselves on the globe, that we are barely a blip on the US radar, that Australians are so insignificant that the President would probably struggle to even remember the words "prime minister" if he was talking about our national leader; the joke’s on you.

Australia and the US are blood brothers — our bond is unshakeable. Rudd and Obama have bound us together in a warm, moist embrace forever more, and the future is bright as we move forward in lockstep with the most powerful, most generous, friendliest nation ever to walk the earth.

Because now the Australian people know what Rudd knows: once you go Barack, you never go back.

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