What you saw, I think, anyway, was the end product of the president’s consuming naivete as regards the American political process, as well as the end product of thirty years of a Democratic Party that has slid so far to the center-right that a Democratic president found himself arguing with a “severely conservative” Republican candidate over the issues of how much the Democratic president had cut out of the budget, how many regulations he’d trimmed, how much more devoted to the middle-class-kick-in-the-balls Simpson-Bowles “plan” he is, and how he would “reform” Social Security and Medicare — and, frankly, a Democratic president losing some of those arguments to his left. A Democratic president got through an entire debate and didn’t mention unions at all, even though the fact that our teachers are unionized here in Massachusetts is a big part of the reason why Romney got to brag on how good our education system is.
Seriously now, how much would you have bet going in that the president would spend as much time as he did on areas in which “Governor Romney and I agree” and not mention the famous 47-percent video at all? Of all of the night’s obvious surreality, that has to take the prize. By the time Willard got to his essential Tentherism — a severe form of wingnut crackpottery on which, of course, he was not called to account in any substantive way — I was sure that, somewhere, Al From, that greasy corporatist lackey, was smiling. He’s got the political process of his dreams. Of course, it is also the case that The Great Sellout is already under way, so what the hell does it matter.