Heh, indeed. Jon Chait at NYMag:
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 [yesterday] 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…
Hiatt builds his column around the premise that, if Obama had used “leadership” to persuade Republicans to support policies they find abhorrent, his party would be poised for success in the midterm elections. Sadly, he observes, lack of partisan comity has left Obama unpopular and his party on the run. “Instead of a partisan president on the defensive with slipping poll numbers,” Hiatt writes, “Obama could have been, as he had once promised, the president of both red and blue America.”
Hiatt’s political theory, that high-profile agreement between the parties would lift Obama’s poll numbers and benefit his party, has some real basis. But it also happens to be Mitch McConnell’s political theory. And McConnell wants to win the midterm elections. So it is not clear why Republicans are going to want to help Obama shore up his poll numbers and prevent them from winning seats in the fall election….
Apart from waiting to hear from Cole about his friend, what’s on the agenda for the evening?