Willard Mitt Romney has been running for President for six years (formally; arguably, he's been running ever since his Dad's hopes fell through). In the last three weeks, he has repudiated every single position he took in those six years of running for President. It is as breathtaking a display of cynicism as I've ever seen in my life - and I think you're quite right that the only price he seems to be facing for this complete reinvention is that "some of that vaunted Republican enthusiasm for Romney will drain starting tonight".

Willard Mitt Romney has, more than ever before, embraced the post-truth candidacy; he has made it central to every aspect of his being. Very nearly a majority of American voters will embrace it; possibly even a majority. This, especially abetted by Citizens United, could well mean the death of Democracy in this country.
Oh, Glenn Beck's tweet warms the cockles of my little heart. I feel an echo of 2004 coming on (I hope, I hope, I hope).
Yeah, that one salesman was better at selling than the other salesman. Inspiring, really.
Thanks Paul. I was afraid I would have to go to bed before reading your synopsis of the debate. Great as usual!
The fact that you posted this nearly half an hour ago and no one has commented speaks to the mundane nature of the debate. It didn't really excite anyone either way.

But I mostly agree with you. However, I'd say Obama's victory was more measured. The zingers we'd been hearing about since before the first debate (finally!) were at Romney's expense, and you could definitely note Romney's face getting flushed and tight as he struggled to stay on his game, but he never tripped up and he performed fairly well. He did have a few sequences of driving strength as he ripped on Obama.

But, overall, Obama did outdebate him. Unlike the first debate, he actually responded to Romney's attacks and took the battle to Romney himself. (Obama was the first to break the civility truce and go nasty, right out of the gate.) Also unlike the first debate, Obama actually looked at Romney while Romney spoke. No more sullen note taking for him. In general, it looked like Obama prepared to compete in a debate, not perform in a news interview.

Romney, for his part, wasn't the obstreperous jerk of the second debate. He smiled more and tried to go the gentler friendly route. I guess internal polling told him the get-off-my-lawn act didn't play very well. Obama was also friendlier. You couldn't help but notice that Obama and Romney shook hands and exchanged pleasantries for longer before sitting down for the debate, and that the Obamas were mingling quite nicely with the Romneys afterward. Obama and Tagg "Swinging" Romney actually chatted for a bit. And, also, Mitt and Obama made it a point to be extra nice at that fancy Catholic charity dinner this weekend. Which is to say, they got the hint that the animosity was showing quite clearly and it wasn't playing well with the precious undecideds.

Did Glenn Beck really say that?

I didn't think Obama won by that much, but then I started to see how the media were reporting it - a little worse for Romney than I imagined - and that's when I got the gut feeling that this may be the point when the election starts to turn one last time for Obama. There's two weeks left and, if I were in Romney's camp, I'd start to feel the muted pangs of dread.

All in all, it was a fascinating presidential debate season. There was a little bit of everything, plenty of stuff for debate students to analyze, and even something of a story arch. Obama stumbled badly on the way out, lost all of his summer gains, but then regrouped, adapted, won the rest of the debates, and now is back on a favorable position as they turn the last corner. And he has a few television appearances to sell himself some more. He should be sleeping tight tonight.
I think Bill Maher nailed it when he said, "[Mitt Romney's] genius is making everybody think 'oh he's just saying that to get elected, but he really agrees with me.'" This must be how conservatives rationalize Romney's constant reversals on his positions and policies, they simply believe that he'll say whatever he has to in order to get elected, but once in office he'll tow the party line.
@6 yes, this happened with obama too. he ran to the middle after getting the nomination and we said this (it turned out we were right on marriage equality.) romney is far more fluid, never holding the same position for more than a few weeks.
@3: The difference is that one of them actually had a useful product.
I wasn't paying much atention as it was 3 in the morning here and I had the sound low so as no'one mention it I assume I heard it wrong but I swear i heard romney make a palin style gaffe; "syria is irans only ally in the region, its a very important ally, its their gate to the sea".
Anyone has the transcript, it was at the very beginning of the debate...
@9 -- You heard right. The broadcast media didn't pick it up. They also didn't notice when he said that the US doesn't install dictators, which should also have been seen as laughably naive. But Rmoney says so many incorrect things and he speaks so quickly, that it's difficult for many in the broadcast media to pick them out.

Here's Charlie Pierce (who did notice the many "inaccurate assertions" of Rmoney last night) on the debate:…

Google "romney syria iran's route to the sea", @9. Lots of ...discussion.…
thanx, nice to hear i wasnt crazy, to bad obamma didnt pick up on it and curbstomped him in basically the first round, i doubt romney would have recovered..
At least we know it will be the same guy killing those kids with drone strikes instead of someone without experience killing children with drone strikes.

I'm sleeping better knowing that
the sea... wow (aka you got nothin)

Obama said he wanted to cut US exports in half.
(we assume it was a gaffe- or perhaps just a moment of candid introspection...)
@ 13, you're so full of shit. Up until a few weeks ago, you were "I'm voting for Obama but not giving money because Gay Rights." But now that there's a record of solid pro-LGBT accomplishment, you're "I'm NOT voting for Obama because Drones."

There's no talking to someone who is all emotion and zero thought. Do whatever you want, but understand that we know you're a part of the problem.
@13: You really should just get used to the drones. You live in a democracy where the majority of people want military action against terrorists. There are two options: invasions or drones.

Drones are better in every way, including harm done to civilians.

Protest military action against terrorists if you care about civilians in the middle east. The drones are simply the tool we use. You just "protest" the drones because you would rather American soldiers die as well, as hey, you aren't the one who has to helicopter into another country and get shot at, right?

We have been using drones for years before Obama, and no one cared until now. This is a non-issue of convenience for non-thinkers.
17 really are full of shit aren't you?…

Yeah, gay rights are nice but so isn't killing innocents on the off chance you may kill a terrorist.

But I wonder if you would feel the same way if a Republican was doing the same thing?

Here are some more links to check out:…

But hey! I can openly join a military that fights for corporate profits! Just ignore.....…

But Obama is for gay marriage! That's great. But he wasn't a trailblazer by far and waited only until polls showed it was safe.

To listen to you write off kids being killed as "Oh well, he's pro-gay" is on the verge of being racist. I mean they aren't American children being killed they are Afghan kids so apparently who cares about standing on principal.

I've known your nothing but a hack for anyone with a D behind their name but even for you this is entering into Dick Cheney territory
How does Matt in Denver equate gay rights with the demonstrative killing of far more innocents than terrorists by the increased use in drone strikes? While at the same time ignoring the question "What are we doing over there anyway?"

The logic seems to be torchured at best.
I live in Colorado and I voted. Go Obama!
@17: I'd MUCH prefer any president, Rep or Dem, accomplish directed strikes against our enemies with drones over putting our young men and women in harm's way.
Anyone who has been paying even a little attention to politics since the last election knows that Romney is a changeling who will say anything to get to the White House. That this could come as a revelation to anyone this late in the game is only proof of the person's political ignorance.
@ 17, like I said, you're full of shit. You NEVER mentioned the drones or had ANYTHING nice to say about kids until recently. It was simply the gay rights, and Obama silenced you there.

Look, dummy.... I don't like the drone strikes, but that is only one thing going on with the presidency, and it's going to happen no matter who is in the White House. So I have to discount it from evaluating the candidates and go back to other things, while working to strengthen the liberal wing of the Dems so that that can be something that gets consideration in the future. There are other things pressing right now that I'm not willing to sacrifice, while ALSO losing on that front.

Like: How many people are going to needlessly die if Romney wins, and the GOP takes both chambers and they repeal the HCA.

Like: How many women are going to needlessly die if they succeed in cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood.

Like: How many more unwanted pregnancies are going to occur when they bring back abstinence-only sex ed and stop paying for contraception.

Like: How the GOP is solely driving the economic divide back to 19th Century numbers. (The Dems aren't clean on this count, not by a long shot, but they're finally listening.)

Like: How Obama is not interested in a war with Iran. If you honestly give one shit for the lives of civilians, you'll do everything you can to prevent that from happening. Voting Green ain't going to do that, and I'll be around to remind you of that.
Also, for the record I am not and never have been a registered Democrat. What I am is a pragmatist. Idealism is a nice guide, but in most cases it's a terrible way to actually go about making decisions.
Ann Coulter is a horrible, horrible woman. But at least she changed her hairdo from skanked out methhead to menopausal suburban shrew, desperately trying to hang on to her youth.
@1 - we live in a post-truth age. humans amaze me with their general tendency cognitive disconnect from the truth and now we're integrating that into every aspect of life, it doesn't bode well...
tendency toward cognitive disconnect...
@14 "the sea... wow (aka you got nothin)"

This was a foreign policy debate, and everyone knew the Middle East would factor heavily into it.

Mitt prepared attacks against Obama regarding Iran and Syria, that were almost completely devoid of detail, but rather hinged on the idea that he would say the same things, only louder, and that some how that would solve everything.

That Mitt failed the basic geography of his prepared attack, falls somewhere between major gaffe and complete disqualifying ignorance.
I thought it interesting that, towards the beginning, Romney said we couldn't kill off all the "bad guys" but then, moments later, said we had to go after them. He seems to forget what he says minute to minute.
I did a stupid thing. I clicked on a "news" link (elsewhere) about the Ann Coulter tweet that took me to The Blaze. I read their comments section. Who are those people??

Wow, it's bizarro Sog, but with even more anger and hate!
@29 If memory serves (and having been there once, I absolutely refuse to go back and check), that's Glenn Beck's very own website and those are his fans.
Barack Hussein Obama: "Four more years of the same shit, but this time with higher taxes!"

Yeah... that should do it. Let’s see how that’s working out.

Gallup: R=51 / O=45
Rasmusssen: R=50 / O=46
RCP: R=47.7 / O 47.1

Yup! Things are looking up!
@20- I'd rather have a president who did neither.
@32 - You enjoy looking right up into an asshole don't you? That's why you're full of shit.
LOL. Whatever, dude.

Please wait...

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