By God, an issue has cropped up in this three-person race for the Presidency, and two candidates have shown themselves ready and willing to become Panderer-in-Chief, and one has not.
Numerous commentators have made the point:
The pandering and ignorance-across-party-lines represented by the John
McCain-Hillary Clinton united front for a temporary reduction in the
gasoline tax should make Americans hold their heads in their hands and
moan. No one who has thought about this issue thinks that it will
actually reduce prices or — more important — help the the people
disproportionately hurt by $100+/barrel oil and $4 gasoline. And to the
extent it has any effect on America’s long-term approach to energy
policy, transportation, oil dependence, and climate change, the effect
will be perverse.
Policy is hard. Lots of people come to different conclusions.
Unanimity is rare. Except on this gas tax holiday. Just about no one
thinks it a good idea. Conservative economists loathe it, liberal
economists loathe it, energy experts loathe it…it’s shameless
pandering of the worst sort. So is the media going to create a scandal
around McCain’s pander? Around Clinton’s copy-pander? Will they hound
them at press conferences, run segments about the derailed "Straight
Talk Express," bring on pollsters to ask whether Americans are tired of
being lied to?
Well, not quite.
It is great to see that we finally have some national unity on energy
policy. Unfortunately, the unifying idea is so ridiculous, so unworthy
of the people aspiring to lead our nation, it takes your breath away.
Hillary Clinton has decided to line up with John McCain in pushing to
suspend the federal excise tax on gasoline, 18.4 cents a gallon, for
this summer’s travel season. This is not an energy policy. This is
money laundering: we borrow money from China and ship it to Saudi
Arabia and take a little cut for ourselves as it goes through our gas
tanks. What a way to build our country.
To his credit, Friedman then goes on to explicitly credit Barack Obama for resisting this pathetic pandering to the least-intelligent of voters. And yes, Obama deserves credit. If he loses, because he refuses to indulge in this nonsense, all I can say is — he gave us credit. Go Barry!
"That’s what you need from a President. Somebody who’s going to tell you the truth."
I ain’t ashamed to support that.