But the strangest thing about Obama’s cynics-and-naysayers gambit is that it’s no gambit at all. Every single time Obama implies (or says outright) that the people who disagree with him are confused, that they aren’t listening properly to what he is saying, they they are in the thrall of liars, or that they are fearful or mean-spirited—he’s doing it in good faith.

Obama’s path is so clearly illuminated by the light of his own reason, he simply can’t entertain another possible way of being, a different set of beliefs, held by an intelligent person who is well-informed and well-intentioned—or so his language about cynicism, fear, and lies strongly implies. His assumption of bad faith or idiocy on the part of his opponents is done, it seems, with a pure heart.