(Above: David Rowe, and more Rowe here).
It didn't take long for the PUPsters to lose their gloss, and by golly doesn't David Rowe capture the moment perfectly.
The thing about Rowe is the loving detail - the Terminator eye, the exploding cigar and the sash that has taken on a strange droop, and who are those forlorn figures gazing through the window at the feast inside, and just why is the emperor wearing those flashy die and what about that goblet on the paperwork?
It's too soon to say definitively, but this just might be the moment that the head PUP hit the high water mark and soon enough the waters will begin to recede.
It's hard to say whether it's up there with the Australian Democrats and the GST - remember the good old days of GST deal sparks Democrat crisis back when we were going to party like it was 1999 - but it's a hard sell.
Oh sure there are levels and bevels and nuances and subtleties, but the bald headline is the one that will serve duty - alleged mining billionaire does deal to remove mining tax while savings of 8.3 million take a 128 billion dollar hit.
Sure the bald figures bounce around a little, but however you cut it, it doesn't look good for the PUPsters, who will take the heat for the Abbott government.
The same thing happened to the Greens as a result of ideological fixations - no doubt Bob Brown had all sorts of excellent reasons for the stand recorded in Greens will vote against emission scheme: Bob Brown, but years later, Christine Milne was still being forced in to a corner to defend the obvious contradictions, as recorded in Milne says 'no regrets' over carbon decision.
No regrets? And Abbott in power now and doing nothing? Well surely a few ...
Now the PUPsters have got small business up in arms, and the super industry super indignant, and it's impossible for Clive to dress up the deal in his usual way as populist and designed to serve the little people.
It's also not likely to help the ones who did the deal with the PUPsters - cue David Pope on the children playing in the Jolly Joe Hockey budget emergency ambulance (and more Pope here).
That man still seems to have problems with a Terminator eye.
The irony is that for all the attempts of the reptiles at the lizard Oz, it was Clive himself that did the damage to Clive and arranged to shoot himself in the foot, and provide the evidence that alleged mining billionaires are gunna do what alleged mining billionaires do ...
The only thing that might help Clive in his hour of need are the crazed activities of crazed Islamic fundamentalists ... so stories like this slip down the page:
Make of Australian government's super freeze puts self-funded retirement on ice what you will, but the only better illustration to the story - instead of a desolate couple staring out in stock library fashion on a desolate blue grey sea - would be a picture of Clive Palmer gloating at their suffering and loss ...
Now the pond has no super in this game, nor much care for the fate of the young - sorry hipster dudes stay true to the beard - nor any love for the pupulist buffoon, but that's why the pond claims some objectivity in suggesting the gloss has gone from the head PUPster.
Never mind the nuance - look at the 586 comments, and that's just at time of writing - that The Graudian scored for the story:
here, along with the comments on Clive, which predictably promised a big farewell at the next election for Clive, a song for Clive by name "True Colours", and a new tag line, "If something seems too good to be true, then it's probably the Palmer United Party ...
Of course the sordid nature of the deal required some fast talking by the Coalition, and it presented a most piquant problem to the reptiles at the lizard Oz.
You see they routinely present the head PUP as a figure who, if not Satan herself, at least sits on the right hand side of Satan, and yet here Tony Abbott has sat down and done a deal with the devil, one that might be worse than Robert Johnson's since, at least Johnson really knew how to sing the blues ...
Oh yes, oh lordy, sing it to the pond ...
But even the reptiles had to notice the hit to super:
Stephanie Balogh did her best with that story about the Puppeteer Palmer, here, but tucked behind the paywall for fear punters will associate crazed billionaires with Rupert Murdoch:
If Clive is a puppeteer who backs a hit to retirement savings, what does that make Tony Abbott?
Why someone who delivers a hit to workers' retirement savings.
Balogh does her best to blame Palmer in every way:
Scratch the surface and Palmer is exposed as both puppet master and diva; a devotee of the truism that politics is show business for the ugly. He explains away contradictions and questions over alleged conflicts of interest by ducking and weaving and employing weasel words and distractions. The friend of the worker endorses his senators voting to freeze the increase in the compulsory superannuation guarantee for ordinary workers. Move along, no contradiction here.
The owner of vast coal holdings endorses his senators voting to axe the 30 per cent profits-based tax on iron ore and coal exports. Move along, no alleged conflict of interests here.
And so on. But everything she says applies to Abbott, with weasel words and distractions, and people aren't so dumb that they can't connect the dots. How about this?
That lover of big business and coal miners with vast coal holdings, Tony Abbott, endorses his senators voting to axe the 30 per cent profits-based tax on iron ore and coal exports, and thereby panders to said big business while stiffing the workers. Move along, no alleged conflict of interests here.
It gets so desperate that Balogh has to blame the opposition for acting like an opposition:
Labor and the Greens have erected a barricade of opposition to Tony Abbott’s agenda; this wall of resistance has empowered Palmer as deal-maker.
The Prime Minister has to haggle to win the support of six of the eight crossbench senators to pass legislation. Palmer’s party has three of those senators and is in an alliance with Ricky Muir from the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party.
Oh it's just so unfair, but did Abbott have to play fiddle and do the deal with the devil, as Rowe showed in his moving cartoon? Would he have been better off with a Johnson-approved guitar?
Here's the man that Abbott did the deal with explaining the deal, as channelled by Balogh:
The deal pauses the rate at 9.5 per cent until July 2021. It will then increase incrementally until reaching 12 per cent by 2025.
“This is a great fallacy which has been brought up by both parties saying super is great,” Palmer said. “It’s just the way to allow merchant banks to make large fees out of the Australian population or many union movements that manage their own super have a good time and the workers don’t access their own money.’’
Asked why, as a politician, Palmer should receive 15 per cent superannuation, his answer was a populist but unrealistic solution to scrap the MPs’ super scheme.
So she's got Palmer sounding like a goose, but which goose did the deal with the goose?
So where does Balogh go from there?
Well she's got nothing, just more about Palmer and the Chinese and his business interests, but now, each time she damns the duplicitous, double-dealing Pupster, she's also damning the man who got into bed with him, or perhaps signed in blood on a lonely crossroads ...
Is there anyone at all who will stand up for the deal and for Tony and the Terminator and the Hockey Stick man?
Glad you asked.
Luckily the reptiles always have a hagiographer and knob polisher standing by to perform duties in times of dire emergency ...
Oh say good night Dick, only in Murdoch la la land ...