But we are at the stupid moment of the campaign. David Axelrod spelled it out to cognoscenti Doyle McManus of the L.A. Times: “Romney is more vulnerable than Obama because he is less known.” …

Most elections end up being relatively sensible arguments about getting, keeping or restoring prosperity. In a modern welfare state, another top-of-mind priority also jostles for a sizeable number of voters: hands off my benefits!

These perhaps should be two sides of the same coin. In the long run, after all, there can be no benefits without prosperity. But look at Europe: It becomes worrisomely clear that welfare states can devolve into lose-lose fights over a stagnant or shrinking pie. See Greece: Big government also has a way of spawning big corruption.