You're going to hear a lot of talk from President Obama's supporters today about why Romney's vastly superior performance didn't matter. Don't believe it. In fact, the first debate is going to matter a great deal in the days ahead.
Conservatives across the country are fighting legal battles to keep their sugar daddies secret. Why? The right wing opposes disclosure laws because the super-rich just might be bullied and harassed by the rest of us who want to know who's buying our elections.
Simply wishing that government would vanish is no substitute for figuring out how to run it. If libertarians want the fusionist alliance to keep going and the political right to remain in power, they're going to have to stop being nuts.
The media are having no problem decoding the not-so-secret message from last night. Obama wants us to know that Mitt Romney is what the president's new role model, Theodore Roosevelt, would have called a "malefactor of great wealth."
The Pollyanna award goes to Ross Douthat of the New York Times, who thinks caucus-goers did themselves proud last night. "Presented with the weakest presidential field of any major party in a generation," he writes, "they made the best of a bad situation."
In our roles as objective political analysts, Kristol and I foresee the same results from a corporatist-dominated Democratic Party. Of course as political partisans, Kristol sees it with glee and I see it with dread.