The belief that President Obama not only should but can lure Republicans to support higher taxes on the rich is the most insanely wrong thing that is believed by respectable people. Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt's column today once again recites this belief, which is both preposterous and banal. The combination of the banality and the preposterousness is what lends this belief its special fascination. There are, after all, all sorts of fantastical beliefs at large among the American population — conspiracy theories involving aliens or the World Trade Center, or pseudoscientific theories linking vaccines to autism, and so on — that attract adherents who are alienated in some way from the established channels. The interesting thing about Tax Trutherism is not only that is is shared by esteemed elites but that, somewhat like the predations of Bernie Madoff, esteemed elites are the only people who are taken in by it.
Fred Hiatt is an awful, awful human being.