Credit where credit is due

The other day I criticized Senator Clinton for not introducing legislation to actually enact her idiotic gas tax proposal. Well, I was wrong. She introduced a bill to do just that on Friday. She also somehow managed to get Senator Robert Menendez to go along with her and cosponsor the gas tax holiday. Menendez must really be in the tank for Clinton, seeing as how even Clinton supporters like Patty Murray, Barney Frank and David Patterson have panned the idea as a counterproductive pander.

Clinton has not only dug in on her stupid pander, but now she’s actively denigrating people with the good sense to oppose her plan as elitists and dismissing experts opposition to the plan. On ABC, when asked by George Stephanopoulos about her plan she responded with:

“I think we’ve been for the last seven years seeing a tremendous amount of government power and elite opinion behind policies that haven’t worked well for hard working Americans,” she said.

A bit later she added: “It’s really odd to me that arguing to give relief to a vast majority of Americans creates this incredible pushback…Elite opinion is always on the side of doing things that don’t benefit” the vast majority of the American people.

As if casting all opposition to her plan as elitist wasn’t bad enough, she’s repeatedly said that she simply doesn’t care what experts think. When she was asked about economists’ universal opposition to her plan she said, “Well, I’ll tell you what, I’m not going to put my lot in with economists.” That comes on the heels of spokesman Howard Wolfson’s comments that “There are times that a president will take a position that a broad support of quote-unquote experts agree with. And there are times they will take a position that quote-unquote experts do not agree with.”

Those “quote-unquote experts” are only what Hillary Clinton has built her campaign on. Hillary’s issues page has reams and reams of policy plans that were written by “quote-unquote experts” and many of the same “elites” and “economists” who are now criticizing her gas tax holiday. By making the gas tax holiday an issue in this campaign Hillary risks squandering the Democrats hard earned credibility as the party of sane, responsible, policy driven governance. The gas tax is a perfect issue to portray John McCain as offering more of the same on, given that the proposal is just a typical politician’s pander. Used properly, it could easily undermine McCain’s “maverick” persona and make people see him as just another politician. Instead, she’s legitimized the pander and hurt her credibility to go after McCain should she end up the nominee. I used to think that Hillary would be a very good president if elected. Not ideal, but competent, smart, focused and principled. Now, I’m questioning everything but her focus, which is laserlike. Unfortunately, its on winning, not helping the country.

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