Rage over the McClinton gas tax holiday proposal seems to be rising, not only in Wonkistan but in the mainstream media. Chiming in so far: Matt Yglesias, James Fallows, Angry Bear, Robert Reich, Steve Benen, Jonathan Alter, Tom Friedman (!), Greg Mankiw (!!!)
Even Good Morning America seems to find the proposal a pander too far, going to the extreme length of actually explaining one reason why it’s a bad idea.
What’s especially delicious is that no one not on the McClinton payroll is actually defending the idea. (Justin Wolfers of the NYT Freakonomics blog asks whether any actual economist ̵ left-wing, right-wing, or two-handed — supports it; so far the answer is no. Paul Krugman says (falsely) that the Clinton version is “pointless rather than evil.” But that’s about the warmest praise the idea is getting. Sam Stein at HuffPo looked hard, and couldn’t find any non-campaign support for the idea; he asked Howard Wolfson to point him to an expert who liked the plan and Wolfson never responded. Even my pet Clinton troll, who wrote me in a towering rage about a post that missed the nuance of difference between the Clinton knock-off and the McCain original, isn’t willing to defend the soundness of the proposal or Clinton’s sincerity in offering it.
Is it possible — just barely possible — that McClinton has finally manged to underestimate the intelligence of the American voter and overestimate the gulliblity of the political news media?
Footnote Taylor Marsh, always good for comic relief, admits that the Clinton proposal is “silly” but is delighted that she’s pushing it because it shows that she feels the voters’ pain, unlike that elitist Obama who “doesn’t get it.”