This campaign needs an enema.  The Bell Tower has been on vacation for too long.  There are so many myths and false stories hovering around this election, it will take two posts just to hit the high points:

1. Mitt Romney is a tax cheat.

Really?  Why hasn't the President brought him to justice then?  We're supposed to believe that the man who singlehandedly killed Osama Bin Laden can't prosecute a tax cheat hiding in plain sight and running against him for president?  You're kidding me, right?  If Mitt is cheating on his taxes, Barack Obama is either incompetent or negligent.  The Treasury Department enforces the tax code, not CNN.

2. President Obama didn't cause the debt.  He inherited two wars and the Bush tax cuts.

I notice the word wars is plural but the last time I checked, President Obama was fully onboard with the war in Afghanistan.  In fact, he's conducted a drone assasination campaign so ruthless, even the war criminal George W. Bush would cringe.  This President only gets to complain about one war on the books, not two.  

As for Iraq, Obama was so against President Bush's foreign policy approach that the first thing he did was fire extend George Bush's Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates' tenure for another 2 years.  Remember that?  Of course you dont.  Asking progressives to remember all of this is like asking progressives to remember Obama's campaign promise to shut down Guantanamo Bay. 

Which brings us to tax cuts.  The President's position on the Bush tax cuts is to extend them for everyone making under $250,000 per year.  In other words, the difference between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama regarding the deficit on the issue of taxes is basically chump change.  Politicians move the numbers and baselines around all the time to favor their argument.  When Paul Ryan does it, the media calls it lying.  When Bill Clinton does it, the media calls it math.  The fact is, there's not much difference between the parties on this issue.  No politicians on either side of the aisle have any interest in significantly cutting the deficit by raising taxes, at least not while they're still trying to get elected. 

The only reason the President discusses this is because he wants to exploit your envy of rich people.  It's a wedge issue to get your vote.  This should concern you if you're interested in a booming economy because economies don't boom unless people get rich.  If we could get the economy back on track, growth would drive up revenues regardless of the tax rates.  The President's position on this is revealing.  It demonstrates that he believes he has to fight over the declining yields of a shrinking pie.  He has indicated no confidence in America's long term prospects for wealth creation. In fact, he seems to have no interest in growth at all.  

Whether this means he's a socialist or an anti-colonialist or a liberal or a communist or a bedwetter or a carpetbagger or a meatball sandwich is completely unimportant.  It makes no difference why he's indifferent towards growth, it's only important that he is indifferent towards it.  Mitt should be ignoring the whys and hammering this home every second of every day using the endless examples of administration policy he can refer to as evidence.   

3. Mitt Romney knows nothing about foreign policy and George Bush's was a disaster.

Excellent.  Let's go back to the two wars for a second.  We certainly have spent a lot of money on those wars.  The question is, what have we gotten in return for our investment?  Let's review:  A dead Sadaam Hussein.  A liberated Iraq.  A deposed Taliban.  A diminished Al Quaeda.  A liberated Afghanistn.  A dead Osama Bin Laden.  Whether or not you agree that those results are desirable, these are pretty much exactly the results that President Bush wanted to achieve.  We got precisely what we paid for.  Meanwhile, President Obama has spent robustly on the domestic economy and what have we gotten for our investment?  Persistent unemployment, a struggling stock market, the slowest rebound from a recession in modern American history and a bunch of excuses.  It's so bad, the Fed has decided they're going to basically print money indiscriminately until things turn around. 

As for Mitt knowing nothing about foreign policy, this is a fair point.  Look what happened the last time we elected a president with absolutely no foreign policy experience.  His name?  Barack Obama.  Since 08:  Iran is about five minutes away from building a nuclear weapon, North Korea has increased hostilities towards the West and South Korea, China has become emboldened in Asia and consumed massive portions of American debt, Vladimir Putin has cracked down on his people in Russia while thumbing his nose at America, Bashar al-Assad is ruthlessly massacring his people in Syria, Israel is more isolated internationally than at any time in its history.

Lest we forget the most blatant collapse of Obama's foreign policy... numerous American embassies have been overrun, American citizens have been killed and an American Ambassador was kidnapped, possibly tortured and then killed and nobody in the White House seems to konw who did it, how it happened, when it happened or how an entire American embassy could be out of American control and in the hands of terrorists for so long.  The administration's story has changed daily, even hourly and their dithering and fumbling has been a deplorable embarrassment.  That our people will be killed overseas is something often beyond a president's control, but how this whole thing has been handled is directly under President Obama's control and he has failed spectacularly, dramatically and tragically.

The point is not to blame President Obama for every single event that happens across the globe.  That is of course ridculous.  What's important to remember is that the central myth of the last election has been completely discredited:  that Americans were hated because of President Bush.  Enemies hate the United States because we're free.   So long as America exists, our freedom remains a formidable threat to every totalitarian government from Russia to China and particularly to radical Islamic fundamentalism.  This is because a powerful and free America presents an alternative and an ideal for oppressed people to strive for no matter what their obnoxious rulers might try to tell them.  For that reason, we will always be targeted, and no apology or friendly gestures will ever change that.  If human history holds any lessons at all for us, by far the most important one is this:  it's hard to be free.

Mitt Romney's foreign policy experience is pretty negligible, it's true, but let's not pretend that Barack Obama is some grizzled, foreign policy veteran.  This President's thin, apologetic moral relativism has been an abject failure.  In almost every important area where he's tried this approach, the United States has become weaker as a result.  Come to think of it, the only theater of foreign policy where President Obama can claim any success at all has been where he has carried on the vision of George W. Bush:  Afghanistan, Iraq and killing Bin Laden.  Congratulations.  I'll trust Mitt Romney to appoint a team of people who actually know what they're doing and who aren't afraid to speak proudly of American freedom.