* John Cassidy offers the optimist’s case for Obama’s reelection chances, centering on a key point: Romney simply hasn’t yet won the argument about the economy.
* Moral of Mitt Romney’s latest Obamacare dissembling: As Andrew Rosenthal notes, the real “uncertainty” around Obamacare is the uncertainty created by the drive to repeal it.
* But the Obama camp is significantly inflating the number of teacher layoffs in the last couple of years, which are central to the argument over the relationship between the public sector and the economy.
* What if Romney is vowing to “repeal and replace” Obamacare without telling people in any meaningful sense what he’d actually replace it with?
* The Romney campaign helpfully clarifies that his health plan would not include a federal ban on discrimination against those with preexisting conditions.
* Relatedly, Sam Baker asks whether a Supreme Court decision striking down Obamacare would increase pressure on Republicans to detail what, exactly, they’d do instead, making it bad politics for them.
I’m skeptical that a decision against the law has any hidden political benefit for Dems, but that’s a dynamic worth watching.
* And Republicans are still hard at work on coming up with their “replace” thing, even as rank-and-file GOPers are grumbling they have to face voters with little in the way of legislative achievements.
* E.J. Dionne on the secret money flooding our politics and the “growing audacity of very rich conservatives”:
It’s always helpful for voters to know who is trying to buy an election, and for whom. This time, much of the auction will be held in private. You can be sure that the candidates will find out who helped elect them, but the voters will remain in the dark.
That point about the candidates, not the voters, finding out where all that money came from is a crucial one. By the way, E.J. Dionne’s new book on the roots of the liberal tradition and in defense of government is now available. Highly recommended.
* If the Obama team still hopes to come up with the argument that will render Romney an unacceptable alternative, time is fast running out.
* Key point from Mike Tomasky: Conservatives rail at increased federal aid to states, but that increase has come even as states and localities are cutting back drastically on services they used to provide.
* And Jonathan Bernstein on reporters who solicit the views of experts but ignore what they actually say if it doesn’t bolster their preconceived storylne.