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All the rhetorical bluster coming in from the GOP tonight can’t obfuscate the resounding truth; from the day of the 2009 inauguration when McConnell, Ryan, Cantor and their friends gathered in some dark room like mob bosses and plotted to sabotage the Obama presidency, the Republicans have degraded governance with the art of the cheap shot, the thrust and parry of dirty pool, putting forward a candidate who in the true mold of most conservatives, lacks imagination and vision, buys into one of the most arcane and misogynistic religions of all and by no stretch possesses the character, brainpower, or testicles to run the country.

We all need to throw our arms around Chris Christie—top Romney surrogate until Hurricane Sandy hit–for being willing to embrace the president as the president, unifying around the terrible crisis taking out much of NYC and Jersey. It took only a few feet of footage of the two together comforting people to debunk that our political parties are enemies to the end and give it to the Romney campaign in the balls with a nunchuck.

And we need to shake the hand of the indomitable, icily “independent” Bloomberg, who after dissing Obama in the immediate aftermath of the perfect storm, endorsed him.

On a different day in a different era, you could reduce these statements to the rant of an old marginalized writer and activist gone jaded and housebound.

On a different day in a different time, Romney might be the sort of genial dude, the family man, the rich guy and weekend family man you’d like for a neighbor, the guy heading up the Homeowner’s Association, the guy you get along with at the bank and go to to refinance your house or amp up your portfolio.

But this is the ll1th hour in a divided America in which people in the Northeast are newly traumatized and hurting and we’ve just seen an example of why we need the federal government and our come-together president: the states could never have dealt alone with these crises.

While Obama glowed with competence and leadership, Romney was reduced to running a food share event in Ohio, that flopped because it was flagrantly political; at this writing he is six points behind three days out from the election.

Dirty, cheap people lie and the GOP, for the American intelligentsia, has cemented its ethos as the party of liars. The real Romney, despite the Cary Grant hair, the GQ good looks, the aristocratic gray at the temples, the country club wife with the fabulous dressage horse and perfect teeth and a small waist–and in terms of any liberated frame of mind or reference, stuck on the set of Leave It To Beaver–is dirty and cheap to the bone, so without true character he is willing to lie his magical mystery touring underwear off to get elected.

Across the past months we’ve seen at least four Romneys but more, a man who doesn’t even blink when he lies. The people in his campaign are his clones, or he is their clone; who knows.

The most reserved pundits have made this point in blogs and op-eds and last words late at night. Lies, more lies, and cheap shots.

Because he needs to hide behind rhetoric and a pathetic effort at oratory, the real Mitt Romney is more frightening than any of his method-taught personas. He is one tenth the man Obama is; let’s face it. Let’s start telling the truth.

Let’s tell the truth that women don’t need men deciding whether to terminate a pregnancy or not, what kind of birth control to use, that a woman in dire straits should be forced to view an ultrasound of a fetus before going through with a hugely painful decision.

We don’t need a president who thinks that Syria is Iran’s route to the sea, who is so inept at foreign policy that he has already alienated half a dozen countries. We don’t need someone who will repeal 5 million people’s health care, rile Iran, jump the gun with Israel and draw us into another war.

To say that Romney is out of his league is an understatement. We have three more days to tell people we know who somehow, for some reason, can’t come to grips with what Romney is and how his absurd machinations reveal how he would let America down—that he is a legend only in his own mind.

The Romney campaign hasn’t been able to turn the public’s attention back to Benghazi and further malign Obama and the State Department; in fact, it appears and has been reported, that the CIA was on the ground 25 minutes after the attack.

No one can discern reality in the fog of an assault in the middle of the night. No one knew where Stevens was for hours because the Libyans had taken him in a car to the hospital.

In other words, the ball wasn’t dropped; it was confusing. Nobody lied; it was complex.

Because the GOP lies doesn’t mean that everyone else does.

And the argument some of the less psychotic Repubes are making that Obama can’t get along with Congress and therefore won’t get anything done is handily dispatched when you merely peruse the long list of the remarkable things our first black president has gotten done anyway. And when you take a close look at how the Republicans in Congress have responded to every initiative put forward by the President.  Or count the times he has reached out to them, and factor in their disrespect.  Cheap, dirty.  Dirty, cheap.

The rank, flagrant falsehood that has put the Romney campaign in denial that it is in its death throes tonight is the ad running in Ohio that Obama has brought about outsourcing of Jeep manufacture to China. Jeep said that wasn’t true and set the record straight that the plants are adding 1500 jobs in Ohio–Jeep isn’t going anywhere.

Chrysler backed Jeep up and then Romney turned around and said that the Italians owned a controlling interest in Jeep and that the outsourcing was somehow bound up with the Italians. The Italians got angry and said it wasn’t true and have had blistering things to say about Romney.

Still the ad runs, as Clinton says, because the Romney campaign believes the American voter is so worried about the economy and his job he’ll believe that his fears have come true.

This is the entire problem at the heart of what has happened to civility itself, never mind the presidency, in the past four years. The Republicans can’t pick the real man and president apart; they don’t have the intellectual stuffing to have mind to mind debates and address genuine philosophical and policy differences that affect real people’s lives; they have to invent someone who doesn’t exist who says things he never said or would say, an imaginary Obama who is the projection of people’s fears about otherness, race, the unknown.

The dirty cheap shots began with the Birther b.s. and they’re continuing to the end even as Donald Trump fights for air time by offering to donate five million to charity for Obama’s Columbia transcripts. Trump, in fact, has been the biggest dog whistler of them all.

It takes an amazing person to stand up to so much denigration. Most of us couldn’t do it without becoming enraged and going for the jugular of our enemies and perpetrators. It’s true we’ve never had anyone like Barack Obama as a leader before. This is someone who truly his own man–intellectually lithe, supple, able to parse lies and distortions and who persists no matter how many times the power hungry snakes in the grass, the Koch Brothers, Rupert Murdoch, Karl Rove, Faux News, the other fear-mongering Romney surrogates and unprincipled grunts of bottom-feeding politics, try to say Obama is Darth Vader and will take us over the edge.

Whoever thought this latest maneuver was a good idea has put a Magnum in Romney’s hand and wired it to his head. Tuesday night the trigger will be pulled and the chimerical presidential bid of the most flagrantly dishonest candidate for president of all time will be history.

Facts don’t lie. Get the Facts and Barack the Vote.