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Hocus-Pocus Indeed

Here's a letter that I sent recently to the Washington Post:

No one can doubt the goodness of E.J. Dionne's motives, but his
unshakable faith that well-intentioned and intelligent politicians will
make America better is adolescent.  The naive confidence that he has in
Barack Obama – as revealed in Mr. Dionne's suggestion that the
President "is smart enough to fix things" ("Ironies of 'a Devout
," April 27) – reminds me of a line from George Eliot's
Middlemarch: "You go against rottenness, and there is nothing more
thoroughly rotten than making people believe that society can be cured
by a political hocus-pocus."*

Donald J. Boudreaux

* George Eliot, Middlemarch (Oxford Library Classics, 1996 [1871]), p. 517.