“Those who lack delicacy,” Hazlitt observed, “hold us in their power.” All rumors to the contrary, and despite the principle enunciated by Jorgé Luis Borges that allows us to speak of such prodigies as Wordsworth’s influence on Milton, Hazlitt was not writing about Barack Obama. Yet he might have been, just as he might have been writing about Obama and his administration (calling you, Eric Holder) that “gentlemen are no match for blackguards.” The reason is not far to seek. “The former,” Hazlitt explains, “are on the their honour, act on the square,” while the latter, . . . well, you know.