Ok, this is a bit of piling on, but I so, so, so hated the 1916 Navy line that Romney had been using that my delight about horses and bayonets cannot really be topped. The problem, of course, is that we do not have any good material on modern weapons vs 1916 navies. We do, however, have one of modern navy vs 1941 navy:
The Final Countdown is a classic time travel movie--if you are commander of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier with modern technology--F14's, early warning planes, air to air missiles and all the rest--do you stop the Japanese fleet the day before Pearl Harbor?
If Romney had seen this movie, he might not have spent so much effort talking about a 1916 Navy? Of course, the real story is that more ships = more jobs, just as Obama's discussion of cheap tires from China was really aimed at Akron, Ohio.
Still, if you have a line that is "tendentious" at best and you over-use it, be prepared to have it thrown back in your face. Indeed, the big failure that Obama made the first debate was not to anticipate the pivot by Romney back to the middle. Last night, Romney failed to anticipate the likely criticisms, perhaps waiting for another callback to 47%. As we submit articles and manuscripts to journals and presses, we academics try to anticipate and defuse the likely criticisms. We never can anticipate all of them, of course, but somebody should have gamed out the 1916 Navy line in debate practice. Oh well, we knew that Romney would be a poor academic, right?