The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, October 04, 2012


Commentators who point out (correctly, I might add) that Mitt Romney crushed Barack Obama in the first presidential debate completely miss the point when they state that "The President didn't bring his 'A' game." Shell-shocked Obama supporters completely miss the point when they wail that Obama never even mentioned the '47 percent' and had he done so things would have been different.

This debate demonstrated a few things that took a while to evolve:

1. Over the past three months the Obama campaign created a false narrative about Mitt Romney in its desperate effort to hide Obama's atrocious presidential record. That false narrative (e.g., Romney, the rapacious capitalist, Romney, the out-of-touch plutocrat, Romney, the tax cheat) worked moderately well in 30 second TV spots, but like many memes that the Left creates, it crashed when it encountered reality. Last night the meme encountered reality.

2. The Obama campaign believed its own B.S. When the supporters of the President claim that he is a great leader who saved the country from collapse, a great statesman who has calmed a turbulent world, a great intellect who is "deliberative" and open to opposing ideas, a great orator who can sway even his strongest detractors,a bipartisan politician who is more than willing to reach across the aisle, the President has to deliver. Unfortunately, without his ubiquitous teleprompter this president can't even fake being those things, and this debate was a stark demonstration of that.

3. The Obama campaign wanted desperately to make this election about "choice," not a referendum on this president (understandable). The supposed geniuses who run Obama's campaign seem incapable of realizing that even if the election is about choice, the key criteria that the public will use to choose lie in the President's record, not his empty words. Mitt Romney exposed the President's record in a way that made Obama look very defensive (possibly because that's the only response when you've done more harm than good).

4. Leadership requires preparation, it requires a vision that dovetails with the majority of those you lead, it requires a true effort to work with those who don't. To paraphrase Lloyd Bensten, 'I've seen and worked with true leaders, Barack Obama is not one of them.' His lack of preparation, his extreme ideological positions, his partisan demonization of opponents are hard to defend, particularly when face-to-face with a man who understands how to lead.

5. A true leader doesn't obfuscate. If you listened to the President last night, you'd think that 'education" was the core issue facing America today. Like a life preserver, Obama returned to it, over and over again—probably because a handler told him it resonated with soccer moms. The problem is that when you're talking about debt, jobs, and big government, using platitudes about education seems oddly out of place.

It struck me that Barack Obama was like a guilty, spoiled child throughout this debate. His father, Mitt, calmly confronted him on his myriad failings, his fibs, his lack of effort. And like a small child, Obama decided to hide behind the same excuses, repeated over and over again, even after the father demonstrated that they were, well, lies. In a way, it was sad, but in another way, it was very instructive.

The true Barack Obama came to light last night. The public, possibly for the first time, saw clearly that this emperor has no clothes. Let the preference cascade begin!

Update (10/4/12):

After discussing the profound disappointment among Obama's most ardent supporters in the media, James Taranto writes:
What we saw last night was the real Obama--a bright but incurious and inexperienced man who four years ago was promoted well beyond his level of competency. The Obama that guys like [Chris] Matthews and [Andrew] Sullivan expected instead was a character in a fairy tale--a fairy tale written by guys like Matthews and Sullivan.