President Obama on a Sprint to November

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View From Here: The Presidential Debates

Call a liar a liar, and catch him at every turn. That’s what President Barack Obama did as he came to the second presidential debate with Mitt Romney having decided to bring his formidable mojo fully-engaged. All Romney could do was mouth platitudes, make accusations and brandish a tax plan that flies in the face of one of the most basic laws of economics: you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

And Mitt seemed desperate and profoundly perplexed: here he was with an African-American calling him a liar to his face, and a female moderator who was fact-checking him on what he clearly thought was a “gotcha” moment regarding the attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The President seemed to sense where Romney was going with his attack and you could see the look of gleeful understanding flash over his face as he told Romney to go on regarding when the President had first said “terrorist” in reference to Bengazi. Candidate Romney got it entirely wrong and we were left wondering what happened to team Romney? After weeks of preparation, their candidate was left looking like Wile E. Coyote holding the exploded bomb he thought he had placed for the Road Runner.

In Monday’s third and final debate, the president was, well, presidential. And Romney was wearing the mask of a peace candidate who agreed with everything the president was doing except to say he would do it better, but without saying exactly how.

Romney began by rattling off a series of geographic locations without giving one confidence that the he knew anything beyond the name of an area, but projecting the certain understanding that he could never find them on a map.

Mitt Romney says whatever he thinks others want to hear. And when it is brought to his attention that he held an opposing position not too long ago, he ignores the comment and talks on. The man has no center. He describes what the Obama Administration has been doing and adopts the positions as his own.

This year’s presidential election is the most worrisome in my lifetime and not just because of the Republican standard bearer. This is an election where voter suppression is the most intense in half a century and the stuffing of a ballot box can be done by changes in computer code. We’re having an election where United Nations monitors see a need for their presence.

If Mitt Romney wins fair and square, then so be it. The country will get the government it deserves. But if he wins by vote suppression or machine rigging, then we get a government by imposition and that, combined with the National Defense Authorization Act, is a recipe for a national disaster.