Well, that's going to leave a mark. Just as gravity stakes its claim on a balloon, once the hot air runs out, so too has reality staked its claim on the mythology of Barack Obama. The man who received a Nobel Peace Prize by virtue of having his very own pulse, whose relationship with the truth is platonic at best, and whose every utterance is received by the press with the unquestioned adoration previously reserved for stone tablets from Mt. Sinai, came face to face with an alien presence Wednesday night; …an authentic critique made not from straw, but from the very heart and sinews of American intellect, experience and exceptionalism. The result was a man who seemed to shrink before our very eyes. Not even Jimmy Carter, when facing Ronald Reagan, appeared so utterly defeated and resigned as the sullen and diminishing figure we saw Wednesday night. Here was a man who couldn't even look his challenger in the eye.
How far the pompous have fallen. The gigantic crowds in Berlin, the fake columns in the stadium, the throngs of humanity chanting hypnotically or, alternately, passing out altogether, …they became distant echoes as the once towering persona was made, finally, to face the human consequences of his demagoguery:
* 23 million Americans unemployed
* 368,000 Americans dropping out of the labor force in August
* 8 million Americans dropping from the labor force since his inauguration
* 48 million Americans on food stamps
* Unemployment rates over 8 percent for the longest sustained period since the Depression
* 14% black unemployment rate
* $16 trillion in national debt
* First ever downgrade of America's credit rating
* Rising healthcare costs under a program that promised to reduce costs.
* The hollowing out of our military
* American embassies under siege and our diplomats murdered as mindless mobs scream now as they did over 30 years ago, "Death to America."
Excuses are being made by people whose job it is to make excuses. Al Gore suggests it was the altitude in Denver. James Carville held that Obama was prepared to have a civil conversation, except that Governor Romney brought a chainsaw to the discussion. David Axlerod suggests that Governor Romney deserves an Oscar, but little else.
Meanwhile, the President's cheerleaders in the media have their collective pom poms in a knot. "I don't think he explained himself very well on the economy," lamented Ed Shultz, ignoring the fact that Obama used all the references to corporate jet owners and "fat cats" that previously sent his media groupies into multiple Obasms. It's just that the platitudes can't withstand scrutiny from an economically literate opponent. "Where was Obama tonight?" pouted Chris Matthews. The answer of course, is that Obama was standing right there, sans teleprompter, with no fawning media, no ability to duck tough questions by dismissing them as "talking points," and ultimately nowhere to hide.
On the one hand, the debate was the inevitable result of what happens when someone who is never challenged in any meaningful way, finally encounters real opposition. It was like watching an obscure college football conference champion face a top notch Southeastern Conference team. The results are never pretty for the obscure conference. For that, the President may thank the American news media, whose objectivity and rigor has been dwarfed by Univision.
On the other hand, what we saw on the stage in Denver is precisely what happens when the platitudes, assumptions, and prescriptions of the liberal (or the collectivist, or the statist, or the utopian, or the progressive, or whatever they will call themselves the day after tomorrow) are exposed to such concepts as free people and free markets. It happened to George III, it happened to Jimmy Carter, and it is happening to Barack Obama. But to his eternal credit, Governor Romney didn't face President Obama alone. He brought along the accumulated wisdom of human experience as expressed in our Founding documents, which tell us that free people are far superior to any government plan. For ultimately, the bright light of freedom pulls back the curtain and the previously omnipotent central planner, full of bombast, accompanied by his acolytes, is revealed to be a man who can barely string his own thoughts together, yet who presumes to be able to order almost every aspect of your life. He is, in the final analysis, a plain and simple fraud.