Apr 30, 2008

pandering just doesn't describe it

I'm sure this is linked all over the place today, but the lede of Friedman's column in the Times on the "gas tax vacation" is worth quoting at length.

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.

Dear lexipeople -- I think we need a stronger word than "pandering" to describe what politicians do with absurd and ridiculously shortsighted proposals like this. I'm imagining something that combines themes of prostitution, crack addiction and, say, pant suits.