One of the great George W Bushisms was his criticism of John McCain during the 2000 Republican presidential primary when he said: “he can’t take the high horse and then claim the low road.”
Bush inadvertently summarised the apogee of political strategy: play to your issues and energise your base, but control the message and minimise your weaknesses.
With some notable exceptions, such as Christopher Pyne’s education funding gymnastics, the Abbott government has adhered to this strategy. Your personal politics will decide whether the low road is defined as firm control or murky morality.
There are many grounds on which to criticise the government …