I was only mildly pained last night, and a good deal of that was because Obama really faltered. But Romney also did pretty good, got in a few good shots, and he was fairly animated at least -- and, even if you disagree with him, he came off as something other than an evil person wanting to enslave everyone. He made the Obama campaign's maligning of him to seem simply malicious, which it is.
On the other hand:
- Romney is really not a conservative. We have a huge government, and we will continue to have a huge government under Romney. And it's not only because it's difficult to really cut back on government because of inertia and processes, but because he's really not a small-government guy. He might be a step in the right direction, but the difference between him and a big-government liberal is not as dramatic as would like.
- The federal government will remain entrenched in healthcare, just as it is in retirement and other things that it really has no business being entrenched in. And this is a great, great, great victory for liberal politics. Romney talks "repeal and replace" but if you "replace" with something fairly the same, then the government remains entrenched where it really doesn't belong. If Romney's plan will truly dis-entrench the government, well, I'll believe it when I see it.
Anyway, I'm only mildly pained after last night.