Mistakes happen in the rough and tumble world of politics, but it's not a great endorsement of the organisation of the Liberal Democrats - party of crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm - that the official national and NSW Twitter accounts thought it wise to retweet a homophobic slam against openly gay Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman.
Especially since the person that wrote it was a Nazi.
"The f-- Zimmerman screeches he's gay & then says 'but I won't let my sexuality define me! What a crock!" tweeted The Angry Socialist, whose Twitter profile describes him as "a proud National Socialist who despises Communists".
And sure, even the smartest of politicians occasionally retweet a fascist (right, Donald Trump), and Peter Whelan, the deputy party head and chap responsible for the @NSWlibdems account, admitted that he was "not aware" of the user's political leanings, adding "A national socialist isn't a good look for us to be associated with. It was certainly by no means an endorsement or supported that comment." Which is fine.
Here's a better question: why did Whelan retweet the statement at all?
Whelan insists that he'll "sometimes retweet something just because it's interesting or controversial", but this was neither. It was just common-or-garden hate speech, not a trenchant bon mot rich with insight and wisdom.
Here's a decent rule of thumb: if something contains a deliberately offensive term of abuse, it's unlikely to be pointing out some larger truth.
Moreover, it's off-message for someone supposedly working in the best interests of the Liberal Democrats - a party which is, let's not forget, kinda fighting for its life in the face of an increasingly likely Senate ballot change and possible double dissolution wipeout - given that its sole parliamentary representative has been an active and vocal advocate for marriage equality.
Still, it's refreshing to be reminded that the small parties can be just as dysfunctional as the bigger ones.
Stop hitting yourself
Indeed, Leyonjhelm was pushing to get marriage equality back on the agenda today, but the Coalition and Greens voted to prevent a debate and vote on the legislation… which the Greens introduced.
More accurately, the Greens refused to vote on the bill on Tuesday and proposed it be reintroduced on Thursday, when there was time allocated specifically for debate over private members' bills. And how you interpret this decision depends a lot on whether you back the changes to the senate ballot.
If you don't, then this looks like a betrayal of core Greens values with the ridiculous sight of the party actually voting against tabling their own legislation. This is the position that Labor took, with Senator Penny Wong castigating the party for supporting their "dirty deal" with the government to change the senate ballot over their own principles.
If you do support the change, however, this looks like the Greens calling out an obvious attempt at delaying votes on the ballot legislation by pushing for a pointless debate (the Coalition-controlled lower house would immediately reject the legislation regardless of the senate vote) over legislation that had been superseded by the cross-party marriage equality legislation introduced by the Coalition, Labor, the Greens and most of the lower house independents.
Still, it's not a great look for a party that presents itself as being one passionate about principles. And that's a potentially huge problem, given that…
Seriously, stop hitting yourself
…It followed another attempt by a crossbench senator to prevent the Senate ballot legislation coming to a vote - although this one actually made a lot of sense and its rejection seemed more like venal politics than avoiding legislative quicksand.
It came courtesy of Ricky Muir - the senator whose record-low primary vote has been in large part the impetus for the proposed ballot reform - who continued his ongoing project of appearing to be the sanest and most principled person in the chamber, and who decided that he'd take the government at their word.
See, PM Malcolm Turnbull has been claiming that the impetus for a double dissolution would be the refusal of the Senate to pass legislation to reintroduce the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner. So Muir said fine, let's debate the ABCC legislation - you know, like the government wants.
And then the Coalition and Greens voted to gag discussion - almost like it's not actually so gosh-darn important after all!
"You are ignoring something you claim to be the most important legislation to put to the Senate," Muir railed. "This is all about putting self-interest ahead of the people of Australia… The government is blaming the crossbench rather than looking in its own back yard."
And that, oddly enough, is going to be harder for the Greens to dismiss.
Lessons of history!
And the thing that ought to be fresh in the mind of the Greens, as they make expedient deals that just so happen to benefit the conservative government of the day, is the ghost of the Australian Democrats - another healthy upper house party with mainstream aspirations, who controversially chose to support the introduction of the GST under John Howard in 1999.
Quick quiz: how many Australian Democrats are still in the Parliament?
Bonus question: are they even still registered as a political party?
Leader Meg Lees maintained that the GST deal was a great idea, despite fiery internal discord and accusations that it was a betrayal of party principles. And once it passed, the party was dead in the water - partially by division within the party itself, and partially by the perception that the Dems were as willing to sell out their beliefs in return for power as the larger, more venal parties.
And while the Coalition and Labor are hardly ideologically pure, they're big enough to survive a few per cent of the electorate withdrawing their support in disgust. The Greens just aren't large enough to weather that.
Richard di Natale's choice of black skivvy might not be the only thing he shares with Steve Jobs. After all, Jobs was sacked for almost running his organisation into the ground.
How's that threat going?
And you'll remember that all these shenanigans were begun by the PM wanting to call a double dissolution election if the ABCC legislation wasn't passed, even going so far as to announce that he'd remove the threat as long as the Senate just rubber-stamped his new laws and shut up.
So he must be a little miffed that treasurer Scott Morrison confirmed today that the Budget will be handed down as planned on May 10.
Because of the way that the parliamentary sitting year goes, and the fact that a double dissolution can't be called later than mid-July for Constitutional reasons, this means that either Morrison's wrong/fibbing and the budget will be squeaked out May 3, that the government plan to call a DD the day after the Budget, or that a July election is off the cards.
At this stage, all seem equally possible, and all seem like bad ideas for different reasons.
Man, who else needs a drink?
The cocktail hour: a better Senate system
In the interests of perfecting our democracy, V from the S has a far better upper house ballot system - let the parrots sort it out. They seems to have the right idea.
Let's see how tomorrow looks, friends, and cheers.
The top stories on smh.com.au on Tuesday:
1. Dick Smith brand to be resurrected by Ruslan Kogan
2. Bella Cruise on her relationship with estranged parents Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman
3. Q&A sizzles with celebration of science but grim cloud hangs over proceedings
4. Foxtel price rise sparks backlash but boosts profit
5. Mafia lawyer and gelati bar owner Joseph 'Pino' Acquaro gunned down on Brunswick East street