Mitt Romney may be the most dishonest politician I've ever had the misfortune of watching. This is a man who seems to literally believe that there is no consequence at all for shamelessly contradicting himself from one week to the next.
Those who believe that Mitt "won" the first debate hands down seem to believe that Romney is justified in his complete cynicism about the process and the electorate. Those who believe, as David Axelrod and I do, that Romney mortgaged long-term political pain for a 24-hour news cycle win, have just a little more faith in this creaky old electoral system.
American democracy is broken. But it's not that broken.
Mitt was losing. So he decided to win. And everyone agrees that he won the debate. So far there have indeed been no consequences for him shamelessly contradicting himself from one week to the next. And why should there be, among the small pool of voters who have not yet made up their minds?
Meanwhile, why didn't Obama talk about Romney's 47% comments in the debate? From here: "'It just didn’t come up in the debate,' Messina said. 'It wasn’t a deliberate decision.'” I guess that no one in the Democratic Party has ever heard of bringing up talking points about one's opponent in a debate, to define them. They didn't think about it so hard that it wasn't even deliberate that they didn't think about it. After all, the basic attitude is this: We must be bipartisan -- above the fray -- and work together on a Grand Bargain to destroy Social Security. And those 47% are sort of shameful, aren't they? Why would anyone speak up about them when they don't have to?
American democracy is that broken.