According to Crikey ,it seems that Australia's gun-toting wild frontiersman of the West, Ross Lightfoot, is conquering new frontiers: our international man of intrigue is being adopted as the latest right-wing poster boy by conservative American bloggers.
It all started with a lurid front page splashes last week featuring an absurd photo of Australian Senator Ross Lightfoot posing in Iraq with a couple of Kurdish soldiers and brandishing an AK-47 assult rifle. Lightfoot had foolishly gloated to a newpaper reporter that he used the tax-payer funded trip to make a secret exchange of $25000 (which he smuggled in by stashing in is his coat lining) from Australian company Woodside Petroleum. The cash was to be used to build a Kurdish Hospital. Ever the international diplomat....
Not surprisingly, as soon as details of his "boys own adventure" was out, Senator Lightfoot quickly u-turned. He denied the claims made agaisnt him and said he knew nothing of the cash exchange...
Lightfoot is known as a bit of weirdo, and has long been a source of embarresment for conservatives here in Australia, and most of us simply wish that this crazy cowboy would just go away. Far away. Maybe he would find some fans amongst the straw-chewin', Fox News-watchin', bourbon sippin', God fearin' right-wing fanatics in the deep South USA?
Blogger Clayton Cramer wants seems to be throwing out the welcome mat, asking: "Why Don't We Have Senators Like This?" Now that's high praise for the man whose cash-carrying, gun-wielding – ahem - “diplomacy” brought him headlines from Turkey to Townsville last week.
"Australian Senator Ross Lightfoot is in a bit of trouble for running around Iraq with an AK-47 and smuggling cash to the Kurds," Cramer reports. "Lightfoot represents Western Australia, which is the Australian equivalent of Texas, but it's still nice to see that the cowboy spirit is alive and well even in boring places like Canberra."
You can also find these comments on a blog by someone called WC Varones -- who describes himself as "a radical libertarian vegetarian" -- "Can you picture Ted Kennedy running around Iraq with an AK-47?" asks the radical vegetable. "OK, maybe sitting at a bar in the Green Zone with an AK-47? Nah, still doesn't work." Check it all out here.