Obama’s most successful reset, it turns out, was not with Russia but with the mainstream media: In their eyes we are back where we started, in 2008, and Obama is once again nothing more or less than a symbol of racial and political progress whose opponents are ideologues or reactionaries or bigots.

This is the story line that has dominated news coverage of Obama ever since that first tingle ran up Chris Matthews’ leg, and we know the media love story lines. They have been committed in this election to the twin notions that the Republicans are radical obstructionists and that Romney is an out-of-touch and gaffe-prone plutocrat. Neither the Republicans nor Romney can do anything to change such an impression once it has been set in media concrete. It is left to the rest of us to show the media oligarchy that it is wrong, and that the election is not over until Nov. 6 (and perhaps, God help us, not even then).

But be warned: If Romney does lose, not only will you have to deal with the consequences of a second Obama term. You also will have to watch as the smug and puffed up soldiers in Obama’s vainglorious army pat themselves on the back, and pompously remind the country that they were right all along. And that is a price even the most eager voter should be unwilling to pay.