The irony is that during the Obama administration’s first six months, we have seen ample evidence of noble lies.

The first category is the historically inaccurate statement designed to bolster the spirits of the Islamic world. This type of lie offers proof of Obama’s noble intentions and conduces to the greater good. Obama, of course, seems to know little history. And to the degree he is interested in the past, history becomes largely a melodramatic, rather than tragic, story, in which we are to distinguish victims and oppressors based on modern moral standards, and allot sympathy and blame accordingly…

A second type of noble lie is more personal. Obama as a Platonic philosopher-king advocates all sorts of exalted aims that he himself will probably never fulfill. That he is hypocritical matters little, given the fact that his bromides are unquestionably for the public good. Obama apparently speaks no foreign language, yet he deplores the lack of foreign-language fluency on the part of less sophisticated Americans. He is unable to quit smoking entirely, but emphasizes the role of preventive medicine and healthy lifestyles in his radical health-care reform initiatives.