Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Latest “Election for Change”

In every election some candidates run on a theme of “change.” The party that is not in power, like the Democrats in this election, preaches change to attract voters who may be disenchanted with the status quo. Changing things may be the only thing they’ve got, even if things don’t need to be changed. And, depending upon how things are going, and/or how things are perceived to be going, even candidates in the party in power may adopt “change” as their mantra.

No administration is perfect; no administration makes everyone happy with its policies and initiatives. And in certain situations where uncontrollable events change the political and social landscape, every administration is going to be out of favor with many Americans. Even if Al Gore had won the 2000 election instead of George Bush, it is likely that a large segment of the American people would be unhappy with what his administration did in response to the 9-11 attacks. And if John Kerry had prevailed in 2004 there would be widespread dissatisfaction with his handling of the war in Iraq. Hurricane Katrina likely would have produced the same response.

Voters like to hear that change can be had by electing so-and-so, and sometimes they probably get what they voted for. Other times, though, they get the same old stuff repackaged under the guise of “change.” That is likely what they’ll get if Hillary Clinton is elected, at least so far as one issue she recently brought up is concerned.

She criticized President Bush in the last debate for what she described as attempting to get the Saudis to reduce oil prices. She characterized his effort as “begging,” which I’m fairly certain is an exaggeration of the reality. Of course, merely recounting what actually happened often isn’t good enough to fire up the desire for change in many voters, so for good measure Sen. Clinton resorted to hyperbole, a popular tactic in campaigns. And she topped off her embellishment with the comment that the President’s behavior was “pathetic.”

If indeed the Mr. Bush went to Riyadh “begging” for lower prices, he didn’t follow his own advice, since OPEC really doesn’t control oil prices, and he knows it. Demand sets prices, and China is fueling demand more than the US. What OPEC could do is step up production, increasing supplies, and that reportedly was discussed.

However, the worst thing Ms. Clinton did, worse than distorting Mr. Bush’s talk with the Saudi king, was to pretend that she wouldn’t do precisely the same thing, to talk, to negotiate, something liberals always prefer. After all, her husband did just that when he was president. Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Energy, Bill Richardson, did exactly what Ms. Clinton criticizes President Bush for. I wonder if she called Bill “pathetic” when he did it.

Hillary Clinton isn’t the only one that stretches the truth, of course, but she is one of the loudest and shrillest voices for change. However, her voice is filled with deception, and there is a serious question as to whether she can be trusted with the power she seeks.

No comments: