Scott Morrison victorian election
(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Like the Turnbull government, this government has a tendency to half-smart political tactics: ideas that sound great when cooked up inside the febrile environment of Parliament House but that, out in the real world, beyond Canberra and the political obsessives of the press gallery and commentariat, end up misfiring.

Michaelia Cash's office's tip-off to the media about government-instigated raids on the Australian Workers' Union was your textbook half-smart idea; the only good that came from it from the Liberal point of view was wrecking the hopeless Cash's prospects for advancement, even if the government's handpicked Director of Public Prosecutions somehow invented a reason not to prosecute anyone over it. The idea to have a hopelessly partisan inquiry into Labor's franking credit policy, and to put Tim Wilson in charge of it, is another piece of half-smart politicking that is now blowing up in the government's face.