I figure I may as well enjoy the Rodent's demise for one more day, as both Alan Ramsay and Paul Keating have some entertaining parting shots at our worst PM in modern history.
Alan Ramsay rightly points out that Howard's evil cronies should join him in the wilderness - Downer, Ruddock and Abbott are just as much to blame for the sins of the government this decade.
We have our country back. John Howard's Australia died with his government on Saturday night. So did the political careers of a whole raft of Coalition MPs. The final casualty list depends on how the count concludes in a few undecided seats, Howard's among them. It couldn't be more exquisite than that the Labor iceberg should take our outgoing prime minister down, too. Nobody is more deserving of oblivion.
And where was the carnage greatest, despite all that blarney from Howard in the campaign's dying days that "I can still win"?
Labor made gains everywhere, but the Liberal bloodbath in NSW and Queensland alone gave Kevin Rudd the 16 Coalition seats (and more) he needed to put Labor into office federally and complete the Labor sweep in every state and territory. Nine Labor governments in total.
We've not seen its like before.
There was a lot of confected guff yesterday from some of his colleagues who survived about what a "great" prime minister Howard had been, even the "greatest" after Menzies, the Liberals' deified founder.
Yet the reality is Howard's enduring legacy is the utter destruction of the party to which he professed, in his election night concession of defeat, to "owe" everything. All those state and territory Labor governments now in office, with the exception of NSW, came to power under Howard's watch as prime minister.
Think about that.
Howard saw the demise of every Liberal or Coalition government in every Australian capital except Sydney as he plunged onwards through four Coalition victories federally across the better part of 12 years. Now his government joins them all in the cemetery. Yet this, we're told, is a "great" prime minister, the national head of the Liberal Party and the senior partner for almost 60 years in what remains of the non-Labor Coalition. Such is the reality of Howard's "greatness".
As for this last election, the one that kills Howard off politically, along with the nastiest, meanest, most miserable, self-absorbed Commonwealth government to blight Australia in living memory, Rudd out-campaigned him, with discipline and immense energy, like Howard has never previously been thrashed in his 33 years in political life.
And for many of us, as Howard and his strategists pulled on every ugly negative they could come up with, not just in these past six weeks but over the past year, it was a delight to see him flounder so badly and fail so completely. All that remains to sweep him out of sight is to get rid of the more obscene remnants of his governance in the months ahead.
Peter Costello, one of those who went through the ritual yesterday of "talking up" the selfish little man who never understood when it was the right time to get out, has been smart enough to understand he is not going to hang about and try and resurrect the wreck that Howard leaves behind.
Who could blame him?
Now, while Costello sits on the backbench for three years, honouring his commitment to his voters in his Melbourne seat, what should happen is those other political misfits like Alexander Downer, Philip Ruddock and Tony Abbott should think about another life outside politics. None are part of the Liberals' future.
For God's sake, go and make our Christmas complete.
Paul Keating has a less inspiring follow up to his pre-election barbs, calling Howard a divisive leader who squandered Australia's hopes.
On Saturday night, when it was clear the Howard Government had been defeated, many Labor supporters around me said: "You must be so happy." But my emotion was not happiness; rather, it was relief.
Relief that the nation had put itself back on course. Relief that the toxicity of the Liberal social agenda - the active disparagement of particular classes and groups, that feeling of alienation in your own country - was over. And over in the only way that could be final: with a resounding electoral instruction of "No more".
In The Sun-Herald on November 18, John Howard nominated the putting asunder of political correctness and the celebration of our Anglo-Celtic past as the pinnacle of his social, indeed national, achievement. He was nominating as a virtue political incorrectness of a kind that gave some the right to speak and behave towards others in terms disparaging of their colour, religion, class or social standing. In a country of immigrants, such a view emanating from the Prime Minister is social poison.
Saturday night's victory was not just a victory for the Labor Party; it was also a victory for those Liberals like Malcolm Fraser, Petro Georgiou and Judi Moylan, who stood against the pernicious erosion of decent standards in our public affairs.
The Liberal Party of John Howard, Philip Ruddock, Alexander Downer and Peter Costello is now a party of privilege and punishments. One that lacks that most basic of wellsprings: charity.
The French philosophers had it pretty right with the Enlightenment catchcry of liberty, fraternity and equality. There was not much liberty for the boat people, or fraternity for the Aborigines or the Muslims, or equality for the unionists who believed in nothing more revolutionary than the right to collectively bargain.
Howard says he was the progenitor, the giver, of 11 years of economic growth and, without him or Costello, the growth will evaporate. This result means the public didn't believe him; otherwise they would not have repudiated him. They knew it took more than simply being around and spending up big to create the conditions that have underwritten the longest economic expansion in our history.
Joseph Romm at Grist also has a few word's about the Rodent's demise - "Denier bites the dust".
Global warming takes down its first major political victim:Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
Why the stunning loss? A key reason was Howard's "head in the sand dust" response to the country's brutal once-in-a-thousand year drought. As the UK's Independent reported in April:... few scientists dispute the part played by climate change, which is making Australia hotter and drier ... Until a few months ago, Mr Howard and his ministers pooh-poohed the climate-change doomsayers.
You can read about Howard's lame attempt to change his position rhetoric on global warming here.
Now we are the last industrialized nation with a leader who refuses to take any serious action. Hopefully that dubious distinction will be corrected in next year's presidential election.
For Australians, the drought, called "the first climate change-driven disaster to strike a developed nation," was enough to change their views on global warming dramatically. Of course, Katrina could have been the first -- but we have no way of knowing for certain if climate change caused that hurricane to become so deadly. Let's hope we don't need to suffer anything as brutal as what Australia is going through before we commit to serious action.
* SMH - Australians wake up to new era after Rudd crushes Howard
* New York Times - Rudd's first acts as prime minister will include pushing for the ratification of the Kyoto climate agreement and to negotiate the withdrawal of Australian combat troops from Iraq
* Mother Jones - Lets Talk Iraq. "Now is a good time to look back at something little-noticed in America: Howard's shameless lying on Iraq".
* John Cole's Balloon Juice - Is that all there is?. "Is this what the Bush dead-enders are left with - clinging to the rhetoric of a foreign leader?"