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Post Partisan
Posted at 04:32 PM ET, 10/23/2012

PostScript: Is it really a debate if they agree on everything?

The PostScript bunker is covered in its traditional bunting and cotton batting on the walls in case we get too rambunctious. We’ve made big globs of gluten and bought sushi from a food truck and are feeling pretty dangerous. It’s that time of year again! The last game-change of the season! The final 2012 presidential debate is over, the reviews are in and everybody won! Let’s get crazy.

The craziest thing so far has been that there apparently was no debate. The candidates agreed on basically everything, and light and time bent around them in such a manner that they both agreed that they were not debating at that time and that all was an illusion.

If there is a debate in which everyone agrees, does it make a sound?

Behold the confluence of the following opinions:

Alexandra Petri @petridishes:

This is the most aggressive bout of Two People Basically Agreeing On A Large Number of Points I’ve seen in a long time. #debate

Colbert I. King: Me-Too Mitt

The Post’s View: In third debate, candidates agree on more than you’d think

Dana Milbank: Two men, one worldview

Jonathan Capehart: The “Me, Too” debate

It’s still early enough post-non-debate that the fierce partisan warriors in the comments section aren’t quite sure what to argue. My guy rules and won and all that, but he sounded a lot like your guy. That’s not a great place to be.

So if now both the parties’ standard bearers think the U.N. is great, Iraq was a bad idea, drones and climate change are things that happen but we shouldn’t talk about them, what the [sequestration] do we talk about in the comments?!

Commenters on Plum Line’s “Peacenik Mitt,” in which Greg Sargent argued that Mitt’s move to the center made him look weak, found a way to make this a fight:

Benson says the candidates agreeing is ultimately a win for George W. Bush and conservatives:

The point is that Romney came to play, because he DIDN’T need to win a debate on foreign policy, where Obama has essentially co-opted Bush foreign policy, and tweaked it.

bernielatham agrees. Romney, sez bernie, has to agree with Obama’s drone policy because it’s so darned Bushie/Conservative:

Re drones... there’s no way, given the modern conservative party, that Romney could have done anything else than what he did. Challenge to this will come almost exclusively from the left where it happens (as it has).

Brian_N_Thornton is grateful Romney’s now on record being such an international centrist. He says it solves a thorny personnel problem involving a controversial go-it-aloner:

Greg, before now, it was difficult to imagine Jon Bolton having a defining role within a Romney Cabinet. Now it is almost impossible to contemplate.
Be grateful for Mitt Romney’s statements about bringing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad before the ICC - it fulfills the Democrats’ earnest desire not to see Bolton confirmed in any post in a Romney Administration.

Over on E.J. Dionne’s “The first debate in reverse,” which noted the change from the first debate, in which Obama seemed unprepared for a centrist Romney, commenters are even more confused about what this would actually mean in a Romney presidency. Shouldn’t the people he left behind on the right be concerned?

lelliot4 wonders how righties can trust him now:

After this debate the people still supporting Romney certainly aren’t doing it because of his consistent support for policies that are to their liking. Romney has thrown so many of his supporters under the bus that there can hardly be any room for more.

Mjones36 wonders, too:

I have been wondering how the Republican party that elected so many extreme conservatives to the House of Representatives - two years ago - could support this man. I can’t imagine that they see Romney as one of their own. The question then, is why support him?

Has it come to this? The candidates agree so tightly on world affairs that what the politerati want to talk about today is the degree to which bayonets are outdated. The world may be endlessly screwed up, but within the beltway, until the next game change, PostScript believes it is peace for our time.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  04:32 PM ET, 10/23/2012

 
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