I watched the presidential debate last night. There was a general absence of NASCAR moments, although Romney's insistence that the president actually didn't say what the president actually did say about the Benghazi attack came close. Leaving that aside, the impression that I was left with is that Romney is running a giant con game, and the American people are his marks.
Romney has a secret plan to cut unemployment.
Romney has a secret plan to eliminate the federal deficit.
Romney has a secret plan to cut the cost of higher education.
Romney has a secret plan to eliminate tax deductions and exemptions and credits.
Romney has a secret plan to cut federal spending.
Romney has a secret plan for equal pay for women.
Romney has a secret plan for health care reform.
Yeah, right. Whatever. And that was just the first 30 minutes.
This is showing my age, but I remember Richard Nixon's secret plan to end the war in Vietnam. As I pointed out in a speech on the Floor of the House, Nixon's secret plan was so secret that even Nixon didn't know it. Because it didn't exist; it was a campaign gimmick. But 1968 America was so hungry for peace that 43.4 percent of the voters bought it, and that was enough to put Nixon in the White House. Nixon then continued the war in Vietnam with U.S. troops for four more years. At the cost of 20,000 more American soldiers dead, and who knows how many Vietnamese?
Over the metaphysical poker table, Romney is saying to the ghost of Nixon, "I'll see you one secret plan, and I'll raise you ten more."
Many elections turn on the issue of credibility. This presidential race will turn on the issue of gullibility. The Romney campaign begs the question: Are we really so easily taken in? Are we all babes in the woods? Did we all just crawl out of the cabbage patch? Has Uncle Sam become Uncle Sucker?
I hope not.