Some years ago a friend of mine was going through a divorce. She was worried that her ex-husband was going to trash-talk her to their child. "I'm afraid he's going to say terrible things about me," she said. "He'll tell our son I'm a bad mother."
"The solution to that is easy," I said. "Be a good mother. Then, if your ex-husband says otherwise, your son will think he's crazy."
The Republicans have gotten pretty good at trash-talking Obama. The problem is, Obama isn't the monster they want him to be. And that's going to become apparent once the general election starts.
Obama's October surprise won't be one for the American people. But whatever Republican ends up sitting across the stage from him is going to be in for one hell of a shock. He's going to discover that actually Obama is a very normal, affable American, an avid sports fan, the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with. He's going to discover that Obama's health care plan was not only modeled after Romney's plan (something they already know), but also after Richard Nixon's. He's going to discover that Obama isn't just reading from a script or a teleprompter -- he's actually extremely well versed in policy. He's going to discover that Obama has done more to combat terrorism than any president in history. He's going to discover that Obama has cut taxes and favors reducing government. He's going to discover that Obama is a capitalist, very favorable to businesses, behemoth and minuscule. He's going to discover that it was actually George Bush who was the food stamp president.
I don't know if the Republican nominee is prepared for these discoveries. The demonization of Obama has been their religion. It's a religious fanaticism, based on ignorance and fear. It may fuel them now, but it will cost them later.