David Leyonhjelm is no doubt getting just what he wants, which is more free publicity than a senator elected last on the Senate ballot in New South Wales in 2016 could imagine.
Leaving aside a nasty defamation action if he refuses to apologise to Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young for slut-shaming her outside parliamentary privilege, Leyonhjelm is accumulating the sort of name recognition money can't buy.
Glenn Druery, the so-called "vote whisperer" who has guided the micro parties, says his advice to Leyonhjelm – if he recontests – would be to capitalise on the controversy surrounding his remarks about Hanson-Young.
"I'd be very happy to see a dingo in with the chooks," Druery tells me. "It has the potential to create interesting opportunities."
This mechanistic view invites the following questions:
One, does the Leyonhjelm matter signal a further coarsening of political debate in this country to the point where a race to an American-inspired bottom is unavoidable? And, two, as corollary to the first question, is there an end in sight to the tiresome culture wars that divide rather than unite us, and in the process eat away at trust in the system itself?
In 2016, Mark Thompson, president of the New York Times Company, published Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics, in which he makes the point that language is creating a "crisis of trust in the Western world".
"Social media," he says, "has provided voters with more information than they have ever enjoyed before. Unfortunately, it has also coarsened the political debate and normalised everything from paranoid conspiracy theories to personal abuse."
Thompson published his book as Trumpism was gathering pace; things have gone from bad to worse since.
This has been a long time coming. The Leyonhjelm matter is part of a wider story.
Donald Trump's ascendancy, built on the legitimate grievances of a hard-pressed American middle class, is no accident, whatever you might think of Trump himself.
This disaffection is proving fertile ground for a social media and cable news echo chamber, including an "anti-elite" or "anti-liberal" Trump-supporting Fox News business model.
In Australia, Fox-lite SkyNews follows a similar formula in its efforts to capitalise on a disaffected viewing audience.
It was on Sky's Outsiders that Leyonhjelm slut-shamed Hanson-Young.
None of this – let's repeat, none of this – should be read as being censorious of a robust political and journalistic muckraking culture that reaches back in history and is well documented by, among others, Cyril Pearl in his book Wild Men of Sydney.
What distinguishes this latest period, driven partly by social media, is a shrinking of support for the major parties, low entry costs for political fringe dwellers such as Leyonhjelm, and intensification of political tribalism of left and right.
All of this is built on diminishing confidence in the country's leadership.
From personal experience I can tell you there is no shortage of disaffection to go round.
In 2017, I took a 10,000-kilometre hinterland road trip to the far north.
If there was a common theme in talking to small town mayors, shopkeepers, professionals, union officials, tradespeople and travelers encountered along the way, it was distaste, even contempt, for what Canberra represents.
Question Time behaviour, in which elected representatives from the Prime Minister down behave like kids in a schoolyard, defines, for many, what is wrong with the country.
It is hard to disagree with the American conservative commentator Cal Thomas, who said after observing a Question Time in May this year: "In Australia, as in the US Congress, schoolchildren and the rest of us are no doubt learning lessons better left unlearned."
Direct beneficiaries of community disgust with the political class are the Leyonhjelms and Pauline Hansons, the latter who thinks nothing of propagating the most outrageous racial slurs to popular acclaim.
In my travels I lost count of people who said to me: "Pauline is saying what we think."
Bound up with this and the license it gives people such as Leyonhjelm and Hanson are perceptions of a remote Canberra bureaucratic class, divorced from the concerns of the battlers out there.
Critics have a point.
Let's take Broken Hill as an example, where the country's mineral wealth was generated as an alternative to our dependence on wool and wheat.
One hundred and thirty five years after the discovery of silver ore at Broken Hill, the NSW and Commonwealth governments still cannot deliver potable drinking water to its citizens.
This is not good enough.
In all of this distemper there has been a constant since the early 1990s and one that marks this latest period from earlier schisms that fractured the country over issues such as conscription and Vietnam.
This is what has become known as the culture wars. The phrase derives from the 19th century German kulturkampf. This refers to the wrenching struggle between modern nation states and an authoritarian Roman Catholic church.
In its modern Australian guise, the culture wars and its fellow traveller, the history wars, have defined this latest period in ways that have become counterproductive.
Back in 1998 the historian Mark McKenna wrote an excellent paper for the Australian Parliamentary Library – Different Perspectives on Black Armband History – in which he observed the argument was not so much about the nature of history as its use.
McKenna was referring to Geoffrey Blainey's popularisation of a black armband critique in which he took the Manning Clark school to task for emphasising the darker aspects of our history at the expense of our better angels.
John Howard, then at the beginning of an 11-year reign as prime minister, adopted the Blainey view and added his own dimension: he launched a campaign against what he described as "political correctness".
This proved useful to Howard politically, since it enabled him to mobilise a "coalition of the willing" in unrelenting efforts to outflank enemies on the left. In 2006, Howard declared victory in the culture wars but, like Francis Fukuyama's The End of History and the Last Man, this proved premature.
Howard's "political correctness" campaign spawned a whole industry populated by the Inspector Clouseaus of the right, ever alert to examples of post-modernism, moral relativism and its latest politically correct diversion, virtue signaling.
Whatever else might be said about David Leyonhjelm, virtue signaling is not a phrase that immediately comes to mind. His position on a variety of issues, including opposition to gun control, taxes on cigarettes and other libertarian positions, puts him far outside the political mainstream.
However, in an environment in which up to 30 per cent of voters are casting their ballots for minor parties, he stands a reasonable chance of re-election in a half-senate six-horse race if he gets lucky again – as he did in 2013 and 2016 when his position on the ballot paper assured him of a share of the donkey vote.
Whatever headwinds he might face on this occasion – if he stands – including risks of a bad draw on the ballot and financial ruin courtesy of a Hanson-Young lawsuit, one thing Senator Leyonhjelm will not lack is name recognition.
Whether you think that is desirable depends on your point of view. However, in the end, the continued debasement of the language of politics thanks to Leyonhjelm, Hanson and others can't be regarded as a good thing.