Posted May 2nd, 2008 at 8:30 am
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When Hillary Clinton first embraced John McCain’s idea for a temporary gas-tax holiday, I assumed she’d probably stumbled upon it by accident. Maybe, I thought, she was feeling a little desperate, and decided a little conservative pseudo-populism might be worth a point or two in Indiana. It never occurred to me Clinton would use the awful proposal as the basis for a week-long campaign, days before the Indiana and North Carolina primaries.
And it really never occurred to me she’d use the bogus issue to triangulate against congressional Democrats.
Wait, with us or against us? Isn’t that Bush’s line?
Making matters slightly worse, the Clinton campaign acknowledged yesterday that every policy expert of every ideological stripe has described the McCain-Clinton idea as nonsense, but they don’t care.
“There are times that a president will take a position that a broad support of quote-unquote experts agree with,” spokesperson Howard Wolfson said. “And there are times they will take a position that quote-unquote experts do not agree with.”
Now policy experts aren’t to be taken seriously? What on earth has gotten into the Clinton campaign this week?
In the with-us-or-against-us formulation, it’s particularly odd that Clinton insists opponents of her gas-tax idea “stand with the oil companies.” By all indications, she has it backwards.