Kimberly Strassel pays tribute to Obama's magic in a column that usefully summarizes the internal contradictions of Obamanism:
To kick off our show tonight, Mr. Obama will give 95% of American working families a tax cut, even though 40% of Americans today don't pay income taxes! How can our star enact such mathemagic? How can he "cut" zero? Abracadabra! It's called a "refundable tax credit." It involves the federal government taking money from those who do pay taxes, and writing checks to those who don't. Yes, yes, in the real world this is known as "welfare," but please try not to ruin the show.
For his next trick, the Great Obama will jumpstart the economy, and he'll do it by raising taxes on the very businesses that are today adrift in a financial tsunami! That will include all those among the top 1% of taxpayers who are in fact small-business owners, and the nation's biggest employers who currently pay some of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world. Mr. Obama will, with a flick of his fingers, show them how to create more jobs with less money. It's simple, really. He has a wand.
Those of us troubled by the fact that Obama's prescriptions would aggravate the financial crisis (among the consequences of various Obama postitions spelled out by Strassel) can take comfort, however small, in the fact that they show Obama to be an extraordinarily cynical politician. He doesn't believe in much, but he certainly believes in his own power to make voters believe whatever he says, even when what he says today contradicts what he said yesterday, and even when it constitutes a bald fiction.
We have observed Obama's cynicism on many occasions in posts including "Obama's committee of the hole" and in "Opportunism knocks, part 2." Today Charles Krauthammer observes Obama's cynicism in connection with Obama's associations with Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko. Rashid Khalidi should be added to the list of Obama's those whose indecent association proved useful to Obama until such time as it did not. But in addition to the cynical quality of Obama's associations, Krauthammer deduces Obama's ruthlessness as well as the "magic" that Strassel attributes to his policy prescriptions:
Obama is not the first politician to rise through a corrupt political machine. But he is one of the rare few to then have the audacity to present himself as a transcendent healer, hovering above and bringing redemption to the "old politics" -- of the kind he had enthusiastically embraced in Chicago in the service of his own ambition.
From Jeremiah Wright, whose racism and hatred for America came as a shock to Obama after sitting in the pews of his church for 20 years, to Bill Ayers, the former terrorist Obama thought had been "rehabilitated" (well, hadn't he? he's an education professor, for goodness' sake), to promotion of the destructive policies Strassel runs down -- let us salute the audacity of hype.
As for Obama's magic, Krauthammer predicted in a column on Obama's audacity this past February: "My guess is that he can maintain the spell just past Inauguration Day. After which will come the awakening. It will be rude."