In 2012, once we get past all of the talking points and attack ads, we're left with this: Romney/Ryan wants you to believe they're the liberals. No, seriously. Think about what the Republican presidential ticket, Fox News, Krauthammer, Donald Trump, and the Republican National Committee have been saying all week: those mean, rascally Democrats cut our beloved Medicare and voters should be outraged.
In other words, the argument pushed by the most right-wing major-party ticket in a generation is that Barack Obama is a left-wing socialist who wants government-run socialized medicine and that Barack Obama is a far-right brute who wants to undermine government-run socialized medicine.
If you care about protecting the popular system of socialized medicine, the argument goes, your best bet would be to put it the hands of conservative Republicans who steadfastly oppose the very idea of a government-run system of socialized medicine.
The questions voters should ask themselves, then, are incredibly simple: putting aside literally everything else you've heard this week, why in the world would a Democratic president want to "gut" Medicare? Why would liberal members of Congress and the AARP join a Democratic president in trying to undermine the system Democrats created and celebrate?
And the answer of course is that Republicans think voters are too ignorant, apathetic, or hateful to care about even considering the question. For the most part, they're right: right enough to keep these same Republicans within 3 Senate seats and a White House win from controlling the federal government despite all the awful things they do on a regular basis.
The bottom line is we don't give a damn, and a disturbing percentage of those of us who do have decided to join them in the vain hopes they'll punish everyone but the people they care about.