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Michael Smerconish put up this Huffington Post piece this morning.  According to Chris Matthews, he has taken a lot of grief from people upset with what I see as his candor.

Consider the first paragraph:

This election has always been a referendum on Barack Obama. For some, not on matters of substance. They can't have it both ways. It's hypocritical to distribute a vicious, false narrative about him while fancying yourself a patriot and a great American. Vilify a sitting president of the United States with fiction and innuendo, and you are neither.
Let me add the 2nd paragraph here about the fold, and then offer some observations below the fold:  
I objected when George W. Bush was the subject of undeserved, hyperbolic criticism, but the baseless scorn heaped upon President Obama makes Bush's detractors look diplomatic. The president, the office, and our nation deserve better.

It will not take you long to read the entire piece.  I strong suggest that you do.  There is much that will be familiar to regular denizens of this site.  To be blunt, the Romney campaign has been despicable, but we knew that from their first ad, when they snipped words Obama was repeating from JOHN MCCAIN and tried to portray them as if then candidate Obama were speaking about himself.  When called on this bullshit, the reaction was that they were not going to run their campaign according to the fact-checkers.  In short, the truth and honesty did not matter, all that mattered was doing whatever was necessary to win -

- lying
- distorting
- scaring people needlessly
- obfustacating
- refusing to answer question
- refusing transparency about either the tax and budget plans or the candidates' taxes

Consider this from Smerconish:

Among the usual memes used to undermine the president is the threat of some apocalyptic cataclysm, usually in the form of an assertion of federal power, like the seizing of guns. These predictions demand unthinking acceptance of the notion that the president, like a bizarre Manchurian candidate, is saving his nefarious agenda for a second term that might never arrive. By my count, the website has evaluated and debunked 103 of 124 Internet assertions about Obama.
In my mind the scare tactics and misstatements about the auto industry were examples of  Lie Too Far -  the political chattering class drew the line on that, especially when executives from Chrysler and GM pushed back.  

Read the entire piece.  Realize that Smerconish has only covered SOME of what has been wrong and dishonest -  remember that Snopes has debunked 103 of 124 Internet assertions, and a variety of sources have now identified more than 100 dishonest statements from Romney, Ryan and their surrogates.

And there is more.  Here are the final grafs of the piece:  

The reality is that there is much to be admired in the president and his rise to power. Replace Kenya with Poland or Germany, and you'd have observers rightly saying that only in this country could such a career path be possible. He is a loving husband and father who, with the first lady, is ably raising two daughters in the glare of the White House. He is an intellectual heavyweight. And his personal ethics have been above reproach.

Real patriots vote for or against candidates based on substance, not smears

I am a real patriot.  I have already cast my vote based on substance, something that Mitt Romney lacks, along apparently with any character or moral fiber worth considering.

If you have not yet voted, get out there and make sure we protect our country from the liars and deceivers who would destroy our democratic republican and the dreams of most Americans.

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