It's not easy thinking up models of behavior that can explain the Hillary Clinton campaign these days. There was the bickering over NAFTA where Clinton opposes strongly from the beginning that which she and her husband strongly supported while he was President. There was the "elitist" claim against Obama for his suggestion that people are not very trustful of Washington politics. There was the Jeremiah Wright issue where Hillary, the Methodist, and not Obama, the "Black church" faithful, had the true American religion. Of course there was the Bosnia incident where she repeatedly told the same lie - op! I mean "misspoke" - to her own constituents to prove her worthiness under fire. Now it's the gas tax issue.
What on earth is going on with her? What flavor of Kool-Aid has she been drinking the past month or two?
The gas tax thing I think has one more layer that hasn't yet been revealed. Eventually Obama will appear as the one opposed to a bi-partisan solution to high gas prices. Hillary hasn't to my knowledge hit Obama yet with that punch, but no doubt she will to counter Obama's claim of being the one reaching across the aisle to solve America's problems. Not that dropping the gas tax will solve any problems, mind you, unless the gasoline prices have been artificially inflated for the specific purpose of defeating the national gasoline tax, but that is a conspiracy theory and we all know America in not run by conspiracy.
Obama is the one with the valid point. If highway users don't pay their fair share for using the highway, then who will pay for highway maintenance? Hillary says the oil companies should pay, as if that won't drive up the price of oil! McCain, I guess, thinks we should fund highway repairs with deficit spending. Let the Chinese come up with our highway maintenance money. Exchange treasury bonds for bridges and let future generations dig their way out from under the debt.
But here's the thing that gets me about all this Kool-Aid. In all of these controversies, Obama comes across as the thinking man. Hillary and McCain come across as real dumb-asses. It's like a competition to see which one can have the greatest dumb-appeal. One thing George W. Bush taught us as a nation is that dumb appeal wins a whole bunch of votes in America these days. Americans aren't looking for a thinking man to be their leader.
Hillary hasn't always had this appeal to the Bush-type supporter. She used to have the reputation as a thinking person. But recently she morphed into this mindless political giant using any form of logic and fallacy that might work to defeat her opponent. She morphed into a Karl Rovian form of candidate. She accused her opponent of thinking too much and being an elitist while she, the true elitist, became what she believed the voters were looking for, stupid.
Obama thinks the voters are thinking people. Clinton and McCain think they are stupid. That's what this game is all about. Obama won't let his intelligence be used to belittle the voters. Clinton and McCain are perfectly content to appeal to the voters' dumber side. And just like Obama says, we all have a dumber side that surfaces when we don't think our leaders are using their brains.