Mitt Romney had a rout on Tuesday, while Jim Messina announced the monologue is over, so the general election is obviously on.

“…and try as I might, I’m having difficulty giving a f*@!” – Jon Stewart

The feeling is wide spread.

Politico added to the umpteenth articles about 2016, though at least it had a twist, instead of being just another speculative opus leading to the same who knows? conclusion. This one meandered into the Cuomo vs. Clinton rumination.

It’s just silly, but it’s hard for new media sites to generate enough interesting stories about the horse race they love to follow, so they’re forced into endless speculation.

I’m with Jon Stewart on this one, though perhaps for different reasons.

The political bookends of the big two parties, Obama vs. Romney, is going to be all about buying the presidency through making your opponent look like the devil.

Former Pres. Jimmy Carter made that a little harder yesterday.

Carter created quite a dust up when he declared Mitt Romney just isn’t that scary to him. Carter’s interview on MSNBC has now been picked up by the Christian Science Monitor.

Asked for his thoughts on a Romney presidency in an interview Wednesday with MSNBC, Carter said that while “he’d rather have a Democrat,” he would be “comfortable” with Mr. Romney as president because, as he put it, “I think Romney has shown in the past “” in his previous years as a moderate or progressive “” that he was fairly competent as a governor and also running the Olympics.” He also complimented Romney as “a good, solid family man.”

I’m not a fan of Jimmy Carter, though his post-presidency has been impressive. But his comment was important for another reason.

Play politics by nonpartisan patter, as Barack Obama has done for years, and eventually you’ll be hoisted on your own petard.

What’s worse is that a Democrat used the one word that helps Mitt Romney the most: competent.

If this is a low turnout election, which it will be unless the stakes are raised along with interest, dissatisfaction with how things are could push people to take a chance on Mitt Romney, because people don’t feel any peril if they do.

Somewhere between the endless flip flops of Massachusetts Mitt compared to presidential candidate Mitt, the moderate versus the pandering politician to the far right emerges as the Etch A Sketch Republican, another in a line of politicians who does what he needs to in order to get elected, but who doesn’t give the impression of being a wingnut himself.

However, unless Mitt Romney finds a way to open a path for himself in the American west somewhere, with NBC’s Chuck Todd mentioning the Midwest states, beginning with Wisconsin and Michigan, Romney’s done before it begins.