We’re going down, down, in an earlier round

Did you watch the first presidential debate? I’m not going to judge you if you didn’t. If it weren’t for the miracle of social media, togetherness and Patton Oswalt’s twitter feed, I’d probably not watch it either. I did tune in though and caught the biggest plot twist since “Soylent green is people:” Obama lost.

No, seriously. Obama lost. One of the most eloquent public speakers of our time lost to the guy who looks (and sounds) like the villain from every ‘80s movie. And let’s not get cute. Gov. Romney is a villain. Much like with Senator John McCain in 2008, the general election has turned an otherwise pragmatist statesman into a sycophant; kowtowing to troglodytes who want to re-define rape and think food is an “entitlement.”

But Romney still won, decisively so, but his hands are dirty, dirty with lies.

Somehow, right before the debate started, Romney changed his trickle-down happy tax plan. Except that he didn’t. Under his plan, he wouldn’t let the Bush tax-cuts for the wealthy expire. He would also repeal the alternative minimum tax and the estate tax permanently, costing $4.8 trillion over the next 10 years, according to a report by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. He also plans on closing loopholes, though he simply can’t say which ones because, well, who knows why. Probably the same reason Goldfinger didn’t tell James Bond his plan until he had the guy strapped to that weird laser-crotch contraption.

Pundits and pollsters have joked that Obama should just sit back and let Romney dig his own grave. The man is a gaffe machine. If he’s not writing off half the country, he’s reminiscing about firing people or desperately trying to pretend he was once poor. But after the first debate, Obama can’t afford to phone it in.

There’s a reason they call it political theatre. Most people know whom they’re going to vote for already, and there’s little that can happen in the coming weeks to change that. But because of the outdated Electoral College and a corporate media who wants to have this fight to come down to the wire like it was the Super Bowl. Voters in the “middle” who are frightened by statistics and allergic to reason decide the winners in elections. They want something folksy, they want a nice fat piece of meat they can chew, and most of all they want a guy who fights back. Obama, your next debate is on Oct. 16, so you’ll have more than enough time to prepare a battle plan. I’m not saying stoop to Gov. Romney’s level and lie. The facts are on your side, but please, learn to convey them; your political future and Big Bird’s fragile existence depends on it, and I Oughta Know.

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