Mark Latham will need to invent a new insult.
He once branded as “Big Macs” the faction of the Labor party devoted to the US alliance, always ready to march in lock-step with Uncle Sam.
Then along came Donald.
As Malcolm Turnbull prepares to meet with President Trump this week, the first meeting after the now infamous “worst” phone call, a remarkable but largely-unheralded shift has taken place in the ranks of the Opposition.
“We must speak truth to power and we must speak truth to crazy,” is the blunt advice of Labor factional hardman David Feeney, for when Australia deals with Trump Town.
“We see in President Trump a spiral of leadership which potentially has very unfortunate consequences for our nation.”
This goes beyond rhetoric: there is even a move, post Trump, among the faction-formerly-known-as-Big-Macs for a foreign policy that’s more willing to be independent of the US.
Feeney is hardly a lone voice.
“We can disagree without trashing a decades-long relationship that is far bigger than any individual,” said Tim Watts, a Labor MP from Victoria. In the meantime, he said, we should devote plenty of resources to the Australian military – “the national asset that underwrites our ability to say ‘no’ to powerful allies and neighbours when we need to”.
And here’s Mike Kelly, a former Labor minister for defence materiel, on the need to resist America’s mistaken impulses: “We do have a responsibility to be good allies and to point out where those failings occur”.
While there has long been tension between Labor’s Right and Left factions about America’s entangling alliance, conventional wisdom has held it to be electoral poison to display too much scepticism towards Washington.
The public has strongly supported the ANZUS Treaty – even after Iraq and Vietnam – and Latham’s undoing as Labor leader was partly blamed on his “conga line of suckholes” approach to the American alliance.
There were more than a few furrowed brows when Labor’s Penny Wong was quick to brand Trump’s victory as a “change point” for a “very different America”.
So for still-serving warriors of the Labor Right to now urge a cautious independence in Australia’s alliance is a clear sign they no longer fear the national security card will deliver the Coalition a potent domestic political advantage.
The comments came several weeks ago during a little-noticed parliamentary debate in support of a motion on the “strong historic relationship” between Australia and America.
Pat Conroy, aligned to the Labor Left yet no sceptic of America, sought instead to create a test for the Coalition.
“Not to follow any more follies of any US government, to stand up where it is required, to support where it is justified and to be, above all, good and honest friends.”
As Turnbull flies to meet Trump on an aircraft carrier in New York, he’ll also need to decide how he handles the new politics of the alliance back home.