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A playwright was asked how his play was received.

“Oh,” he replied, “The play was a hit. But the audience was a flop!”

For decades I’ve treasured that little shard of wit as an emblem of failure; a summary wrap-up on all the failed writers, composers, actors, poets etc. who insisted their work simply had too much merit to ever be understood or appreciated by the swine-minded barbarian public. I no longer ridicule that crowd. I no longer hold them in contempt. This election prompts me to join them!

I thought that Mitt Romney was going to win and win big. I wished so, and I predicted so in this space. I own up to my error. In some countries you face the executioner when you choose the losing side. Here you face the “advice-givers.” And the more hackneyed the advice, the more serious the advice-givers sound when they offer it. Stop me if you’ve heard it: “Republicans have to reach out to blacks and Hispanics!” – always delivered in stained-glass tones as though it’s late-breaking wisdom from the lips of the Sphinx.

A man condemned to the electric chair is allowed to make a statement. Presumably that privilege also extends to one whose candidate loses an election.

One of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century never even realized he was a philosopher. He thought he was a comedian. His name was Henny Youngman, and whenever anybody asked, “How’s your wife?” Henny would reply, “Compared to what?” Compared to, say, Reagan, Romney may pale. But compared to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is a gleaming national treasure we should have embraced.

For openers, Obama’s campaign couldn’t run on his record of failure, so they decided to trash Romney instead. That’s not a soreheaded loser’s lament. That’s undenied holy writ of the Obama campaign. You voted for him anyhow? Explain that to your scoutmaster! Our people rejected a man of business brilliance in favor of an incumbent who failed us by every measure imaginable, unless you consider blaming others an imaginable measure. Did Obama rescue the economy? He said he would cut the deficit in half; he doubled it. Yes, that’s campaign talk; it’s also history. Did Obama put America back to work? Did real unemployment go down? Did the Stimulus stimulate? How many billions did Obama blow (as Romney aptly accused him) by “choosing losers” and killing coal and pretending green energy can do America’s job?

North Korea’s former leader Kim Jong-il decided to try his hand at golf, and, according to Korean Communist media, he scored six holes-in-one on his first trip to the golf course! That can’t be beat, but it can be almost tied with the claim that foreign policy was Obama’s “strong suit.” Really? How many democracies does American leadership have to show for the Arab Spring? Has the Iranian regime been replaced or forced to abandon its nuclear ambitions? Stalin and Mao are both in two simultaneous hells: the conventional one, and another hell of envy at the Russian and Chinese leaders of today who have a rag-doll American leader so naïve he literally doesn’t realize how many of his lunches the former Communist giants are consuming. Oh, this president can be tough. Look how little he takes from Netanyahu, leader of the sandbar-sized democracy of Israel!

National security? Do you feel safer than you did four years ago? If so, you should be paid to lecture on “internal equanimity” with terrorism re-gathering itself and ramping up gains as Iran develops the nuclear bomb and Americans are shot down inside their diplomatic missions, and God’s watchmen themselves would be hard-pressed to know how-many-of-who are infiltrating our borders with little or no difficulty.

Never have we had a leader who can be so spooked-out by one-word attacks! “Solyndra!” Benghazi!” “Video!” “Fast-and-Furious!” (Oops! That one ran a little long!)

And this is the president you have re-elected, America. And you expect me to stand hunched over and look at my shoe-tops and mumble apologies for opposing him! Don’t wait without lots of Thermos fluids and sandwiches.

All of my voting life I’ve been able to say either, “My man won!” or “The other man won!” This is the first time I can say with clear conscience, “The wrong man won!”

What in hell has happened to you, America? Your major media have abandoned you, let you down completely, and you don’t emit a whimper of complaint. I suspect you’re not even aware. I suspect you think, “Well, if it ain’t there it ain’t news!” And you caused and rejoice in the victory of this thunderously inadequate president! And I’m supposed to show some kind of shame and contrition for being for Romney! In a pig’s eye, America, as radio’s Jean Shepherd used to say. “In a pig’s eye!” Well, Benghazi wasn’t in the news, but it was newsworthy. big-time newsworthy. Now that there’s a sex-angle, the major media have no choice but to pay attention.

I don’t think JFK would mind me stealing his construct.

“Ask not what’s wrong with Romney. Ask what’s wrong with America!”

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