Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hillary, the gas tax, and the "elitism" of the Bush presidency

By Michael J.W. Stickings

In case you missed it, here's what Hillary had to say about her idiotic gas-tax holiday proposal on ABC's This Week:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Economists say that's not going to happen. They say this is going to go straight into the profits of the oil companies. They're not going to actually lower their prices. And the two top leaders in the House are against it. Nearly every editorial board and economist in the country has come out against it. Even a supporter of yours, Paul Krugman of The New York Times, calls it pointless and disappointing.

Can you name one economist, a credible economist who supports the suspension?

CLINTON: Well, you know, George, I think we've been for the last seven years seeing a tremendous amount of government power and elite opinion basically behind policies that haven't worked well for the middle class and hard-working Americans. From the moment I started this campaign, I've said that I am absolutely determined that we're going to reverse the trends that have been going on in our government and in our political system, because what I have seen is that the rich have gotten richer. A vast majority -- I think something like 90 percent -- of the wealth gains over the last seven years have gone to the top 10 percent of wage earners in America.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But can you name an economist who thinks this makes sense?

CLINTON: Well, I'll tell you what, I'm not going to put my lot in with economists, because I know if we get it right, if we actually did it right, if we had a president who used all the tools of the presidency, we would design it in such a way that it would be implemented effectively.

So, everyone who knows anything about it, and isn't just in it for the votes, opposes it, including Krugman, one of her leading supporters in the punditocracy. And Hillary doesn't give a damn. She's fightin' for "hard-working Americans," while everyone who criticizes her is part of some out-of-touch elite. And the economists? Damn them, too (unless they agree with her on, oh, say, health care or something, in which case she's more than happy to have them on her side).

It's bad enough that she's
running like a Republican. Now it seems she's given up on reality altogether -- or at least that's the way her pandering comes across. She may not have embraced faith-based "reality" in reality -- it's just politics, you know, and she's a faux populist -- but the fact (in our fact-based reality) that she's using this issue to distinguish herself from Obama (who refuses to sign on to such dangerous nonsense), as well as to attack him, says a lot about her candidacy, not to mention what she has become as a politician.

And what's up with referring to the "elite opinion" of the Bush presidency? Is she serious? Is she, faux populist that she is, actually claiming that the Bush presidency has been elitist?

To what "elite opinion" could she possibly be referring?

-- The elite plutocratic opinion of the anti-tax radicals?

-- The elite anti-science opinion of the global warming deniers?

-- The elite christianist opinion on creationism and sexual abstinence?

-- The elite anti-Geneva Convention opinion of the enablers of torture?

-- The elite market-worshipping opinion of the social security privatizers?

-- The elite anti-environmental, profit-generating opinion of the oil industry?

-- The elite anti-health care reform opinion of the HMOs and the insurance industry?

-- The elite delusional opinion of the neocons and their ludicrous push for American global hegemony?

-- The elite warmongering opinion behind the Iraq War and the destruction of America's standing around the world?

-- The elite opinions of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Ashcroft, Gonzales, Tenet, Wolfowitz, Hadley, Bolton, Feith, Libby, Addington, Yoo, and the rest?

Please do explain, Hillary, if you can tear yourself away from pandering to the ignorant from your newfound perch on the reality-denying right.

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