I haven't said anything about the big story du jour that everyone's talking about because, well, I haven't had anything particular to say about it. Romney would do incredible damage to our country (Romney would be worse in every single way that Obama -- terrible in the areas where Obama's good, and far more terrible than Obama in the many areas where Obama's bad), so I certainly hope it hurts his election changes. (It certainly makes him seem like a very unpleasant person.) But I don't know if it will hurt his chances; I'm skeptical of these developing campaign moments to really affect things. (Although the fact that Romney held a last-minute press conference last night indicates that someone thinks it might hurt him.) Really, though, who knows?
Ah, but then I donned the Mustache of Understanding, went to the grocery store and suddenly I realized: a single random comment from a single, randomly encountered working class person is the best -- nay, only! -- way to take the pulse of the country. And by that measure Romney is doomed, Doomed, DOOMED!
Here's what happened. Buying some coffee and a few sundry other items, the cashier in my checkout line began talking to the person standing behind me (whom I presume he knew). "Did you hear what Romney said?" he asked. "He said that people who pay payroll taxes and don't pay income taxes are moochers." He went on to complain about how Romney didn't respect him and people like him who were trying to work their way up. I made some mild comment about how people who pay payroll taxes pay more than Romney does (true enough), and he turned to me and told me that a friend of his was going to vote for Romney, but now he won't. "He's a Republican too," the man said. "This was the last straw."
And then I paid for my groceries and left.
From this single, random incident -- a bit of random bitching, plus some hearsay about a person (supposedly) changing his vote seven weeks before he has to cast it (and thus with plenty of time to change his mind again) -- I conclude that Romney's support is collapsing all over the country, and that he'll loose in a landslide.. Oh, and that the world is flat, or made of straw, or something.
Can I have a NYT column now?