Well, that was a fine mess. As I predicted, Romney came out a whirling dervish of roundhouse punches. The President stayed mostly in a crouch. The debate format proved completely inadequate at clarifying any of the facts behind the assertions, as Obama tried to squeeze the Dismal Science into two-minute boxes. Post-debate, the punditocracy, incapable of helping on that, as usual, decided to score the “debate” on “energetics.” This will make the next debate particularly relevant, as the format of that one is the 90-minute Irish Jig.

If there was any positive lesson of the encounter, it was that Romney could be observed pushing the same Bushonomics platform, with the same phantasmagoria of non-numbers that do not add up to anything, except for rich people. The punches he threw were combinations, doubling down and tripling down on the preposterous budget claims that Paul Ryan recently didn’t “have time” to explain, and Romney didn’t either. He had time for a nonstop barrage of assertions, avoidance, bobbing and weaving, and zinger-lite talking points, that were at least for a night given a pass because they were “energetic.” Be sure to take that “energetic” to the emergency room with you under President Mitt.

Obama? If you’re going to do fact-based rebuttal, use language with some potency next time okay? Call Bill Clinton. Facts alone don’t sell product in the American marketplace and never have. Everyone is free to see what they choose to have seen last night, and what I saw is the Perfessor trying to get Romney to bite on a factual exchange. Romney decided to respond like Lemon Dog. Energetic! Every dog has his day.