If you suffered through MSNBC's post-debate focus-group session as I did, I'm sure you were also left wondering: What in God's name are these people waiting for?
There were eight previously undecided voters; at debate's end, there remained six (one settled on Obama, the other on Romney). These six hummed. They hawed. And they pondered and thunk. Boy is this hard.
The one thing that left me as desperately slack-jawed as the gang of six was just that: their agonized difficulty in choosing between a president who's bringing us back from Romney-like, uncreative destruction and yet another supply-siding Destroyer himself. One needn't be a political junkie to be visited by the better information-bearing angels of economic improvement: whether in measurements of falling unemployment or a 10-point upswing in GDP or just today's anticipated news of a housing-start "surge"--a turnaround which will happily ripple throughout innumerable economic sectors--Obama has a proven, positive, four-year record to run on. Romney? He's offering another quarter-million a year to the infinitely comfortable, a shredding of the safety net, the impoverishment of seniors and 12 million new jobs which mainstream economists say are already on their own way, thanks to Obama.
Boy, this is hard.
Post-debate polling numbers will likely swing back in Obama's greater favor now, largely because of a satisfying one-night stand from which handfuls of the perpetually perplexed will finally gather some resolve. I wish I could take more pleasure in that myself, but there intrudes this nagging fact: this should never have been a contest, not even close. Our representative democracy remains at the mercy of the least informed, the least engaged, the least comprehending.