Dear Gov. Romney:

I apparently disagree with many (most?) of my philosophical compatriots in my assessment of your performance last night.  They think you did much better than I think you did.  But that’s no surprise.  We disagreed after both of the previous debates, too.

Why is this?  It’s because I don’t listen to what you say—or, for that matter, what President Obama says.  I listen to what you don’t say.

This man Barack Obama has presided over an unprecedented decline in America’s stature, prospects, and standard of living.  Your not pointing that out repeatedly is, to me, inexcusable.

Even considering how you have to live down the stereotype of Republicans wearing devil horns, Obama is a target-rich environment for witty ripostes and devastating one liners that can be thought up and rehearsed in advance.  (See, for example, Iowahawk, who’ll be happy to feed you one a minute.)  Not doing so allows Obama to pretend that he’s the challenger, not the incumbent.

In my opinion, you missed several opportunities in the previous debates.  But none of them was as huge or as critical as the one you missed tonight when you didn’t repeat Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, lies, lies lies, cover-up, cover-up, cover-up, al Qaeda, al Qaeda, al Qaeda. Et cetera.

I just can’t understand it.  If the debate had been a golf game, the Benghazi issue would have been a two-inch gimme.  If it had been a football game, Benghazi would have been an extra-point attempt.  Basketball?  A layup.

My goodness, Bob Schieffer even began the debate with a question about Libya.  It was right there—the moment to rub the president’s face in his own administration’s lies.  At the very least, it would’ve gotten under that thin skin of his like a herd of gerbils in a horror movie.  But you didn’t do it.  Why?

Again, sir, I hope my friends who are so excited about the election know something I don’t.  I pray they do.  But if we awaken on November 7 to a reelected President Obama, I’m going to blame that on your failure tonight to make Barack Obama explain why he claimed that Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were killed by Youtube.

Some of my co-religionists and I have a word for your missed opportunity.  It’s a shonda, we say—a pity, a shame, a wrong.