The Gaslight presidency

The Gaslight presidency

In the 1944 film “Gaslight,” a con artist manipulates his new wife psychologically to make her doubt her own sanity in a scheme to steal her inheritance. That’s increasingly the way to understand President Obama ’s behavior toward Congress and especially the tax increase he floated in Tuesday’s State of the Union. The only plausible rationale is that he thinks he can gain politically by driving Republicans nuts.

Mr. Obama’s income-redistribution themes are familiar, though they are amusingly detached from the reality of the largest GOP majority in Congress since 1949. To Republicans who listened agog, remember: It’s not about you; it’s about him.

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The plan is DOA, though we’ll address the merits anyway because it’s our job. But first observe the irony: The President has suddenly discovered that middle-class incomes have plunged on his watch, and he’s demanding that Congress address this with more of the same policies that have done so much to reduce middle-class incomes.

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