Mr. Obama, You’re On Now . . . Mr. Obama? Sir? Ummmm, Sir?

You’re the President of the United States, running against one of the most inept and shady candidates my generation has ever seen.

Your opponent has just maligned nearly half the country, wrongly and shamefully, as “victims” and “people who need to take responsibility for their lives,” and he seemingly can’t say “Good morning” without offending some constituency.  Your opponent, who gladly released two decades worth of tax returns to the GOP four years ago when he was under consideration for the vice presidency but refuses to give the electorate more than two years of reports, also socks his vast fortune away in Switzerland and the Caiman Islands.  He’s an out-of-touch plutocrat, a fawning brown-noser, and a man seemingly without even a hint of moral core or code whose positions change with dizzying frequency and are elucidated with no specifics.  He insists that your $716 billion SAVINGS in Medicare is a cut — and a cut to the program he wants to gut anyway — and is maddeningly squishy on details about his own plan, which you, as President, know would be a disaster not just for the elderly, but for the nation’s economy.

He is, in short, an election and debate opponent entirely unworthy of serious consideration for any office higher than member of a county fair board. You’re a brilliant Constitutional scholar, a gifted orator, and a good man with a demonstrably solid grasp of the issues at hand.

And you blew your one opportunity to seize the moment, set the agenda, state your points, and call this smirking cypher out on his flip, immoral, and politically stupid disregard of the Americans you serve.  You get two more debates — one on foreign policy, one in a town-hall forum — but you sat on your best stuff and muted your strongest points.   

Why?  You’ll still have my vote, as well as my fervent prayers that you be re-elected.  But I’m mystified that you didn’t go after what clearly needed going after.  I’m not just disappointed, but stunned.

Romney deserved your best.  So did your country.

Please do your best to show up for the next debate — not just looking good and smiling hard, but by tackling the myriad obstacles to common sense, justice, morality, and progress represented by your opponent.  You’re not dealing with an innocent; I don’t think you’re even dealing with a particularly decent man.  But you are a good man.

Who muzzled you, and why did you let them?

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