Before the Great Debate takes place, one last word on Mitt Romney’s writing off nearly half the electorate as trough-feeding welfare moochers: He at least gives Obama supporters credit for knowing what they’re up to.

That’s not always the case in partisan argument during an election year. Consider the following, from a recent Wall Street Journal column by Daniel Henninger, a frustrated partisan who thinks “the content and course of the Romney campaign does not feel equal to an historic mandate election.”

“Barack Obama is asking voters for a mandate to pursue the visions and policies he outlines in speech after speech,” writes Henninger. “As of now, if Mr. Obama wins, it will be because a confused electorate gave him their default, not their mandate.”

Now that’s more like it. Check the record, whenever hot-eyed (and dull-witted) idealogues take stock of why their side isn’t doing well in (or at) the polls, it’s always a case of their candidate’s not getting his Message across. Why else would the electorate not see the “historic mandate” at stake in this year’s election and come down on Romney’s side? The idea that voters might actually get the Message and reject it – how many years has Mitt Romney been campaigning? – is out of the question.

You know, like the dogs that, despite millions in advertising, don’t like the dog food. The mutts are obviously “confused.”

Sound bite to remember (circa 1955)

“With all respect, counselor, I’d rather blow the f—— case.”

Mafia don Frank Costello on being advised by his lawyer to wear Sears Roebuck suits at his trial for tax evasion.