It was bad enough that Sen. Clinton signed on to the plain-as-day-pander to suspend the 18 cent-per-gallon federal gas tax for the summer months, but her continued allegiance to an idea that has been universally (except for her and Sen. McCain) derided offers a couple disturbing insights.
In the face of overwhelming evidence that the suspension would suck anywhere from $9 billion to $10 billion from the treasury, encourage more driving -- which leads to greater pollution and an increase in demand that would drive prices back up to pre-tax suspension levels -- and deliver even more obscene profits to the oil companies, she was back on TV today saying she didn't hold much truck with economists. That "if we did it right" she would see that it would be implemented effectively.
That, said Gail Collins in Saturday's Times, "turns a proposal that was unlikely to ever get passed into one that could not make it through the Senate if Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy both rose from the dead and hand-carried it there."
And despite the senator's assertion that she's going to "reverse the trends I've seen in our government and our political system," what she's actually peddling is more of the same.
It's the Iraq war resolution vote all over again -- and it's a page out of the George Bush playbook: make a mistake, and by God I'm gonna stick by that mistake because I'm resolute. That's not reversing the system, that's perpetuating it.
And the subtext to the whole gas tax suspension -- critics-be-damned, she knows better and she's going to take care of all of us working folks out there -- strikes me as more than a little elitist, frankly.
A pat on the head and 30 bucks in the wallet might sway a few folks, but the truth is it's more of the same misleading, elitist, top-down Beltway nonsense that's gotten us into the mess we're in.