The Obama Myth Will Not Survive the Debates

Last night's presidential debate between President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney was an astounding contrast with the past four years. Conservatives must finally feel validated, while non-conservatives can only be shocked. The supposedly great orator Obama was vastly outdone in both substance and delivery by a very articulate and well-prepared Romney. And while the next few days will certainly see both sides of the aisle parsing every word and "checking" all the facts, what must not be glossed over is that shock of defeat felt on the Left.

That shock is due to the massive gap between perception and reality that has been created and maintained by the liberal media for decades, but more so than ever in the last four years as they've defended this abysmal presidency. The fraudulence of Obama's presidency is so great that only an analogy can bring us close to sufficiently expressing that fraud. In the movie The Gladiator, Roman Emperor Commodus abuses his power to rule over the people with an iron fist and to ensure that he is viewed favorably, while the truly great man in Maximus is initially thought to be a mere slave and far inferior to Commodus. When confronted with the man himself, however, the Coliseum crowds come to adore the brave gladiator, and Commodus' advantage of holding favor by hiding behind the power of the state is diminished. Eventually Commodus has no choice but to engage the truly superior Maximus face-to-face, and despite cheating, Commodus loses. The last four years and their culmination in last night's debate have been quite similar.

From the time Obama gave his now-famous speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 to today, the liberal establishment that pervades and indoctrinates American society has relentlessly pushed the idea that Barack Obama is the most well-spoken, brilliant, wisest president that ever graced this country with his service. After being president for about five minutes Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The historian Michael Beschloss told radio host Don Imus that Obama is the smartest president with the highest IQ ever.  David Brooks was amazed that, in addition to his "perfectly creased pant" Obama was even smarter than Brooks on both policy and political philosophy. Chris Matthews felt a "thrill" going up his leg when listening to Obama speak. San Francisco Chronicle's Mark Morford said Obama would show us "a new way of being on the planet". And Newsweek's Evan Thomas declared on MSNBC, "I mean in a way Obama's standing above the country, above - above the world, he's sort of God."

This sort of treatment by the liberal establishment has gone on for four years, with Obama being credited for all American successes -- both real and imagined -- while blame for America's struggles is assigned to anyone but Obama. Last night, however, The University of Denver served as the Coliseum, the people's Maximus was found in Mitt Romney, and our Commodus-like-president had nowhere to hide. And while we slave-like peasants -- as we conservatives are viewed by Obama -- knew the strength of our fellow gladiator, the blinded masses had their eyes opened for the first time. Just as Commodus, the privileged son of the Emperor, never had to actually fight, Obama has never before had to reconcile his view of the world with reality. From community organizer to "constitutional scholar," to absentee Senator to the presidency, Obama has lived his entire life in a world of mere ideas without ever having to depend on the truth of those ideas. Obama never needed a speech or a dissertation or a memoir to have any basis in reality in order to house himself or feed his children; he needed only to perpetuate the lies that his liberal followers were so eager to believe. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has gone from management consultant to CEO to a United States governor. In addition to building his own fortune in the financial sector, as the governor of Massachusetts Romney was responsible for managing the United States' sixth highest state-GDP per capita.

Before last night, though, non-conservatives, having little interest in or understanding of politics, could only rely on the liberal orthodoxy of pop culture to decide which presidential candidate was best. Not hearing the candidates exchange ideas directly, the overwhelmingly liberal news media, Hollywood, and academia have undoubtedly given Obama an unfair advantage. After four years of hiding behind ads and speeches, fake polls and documentaries, and cheap slogans and divisive tirades, though, Obama had to come out of hiding for last night's debate. During the 2010 Health Care Summit we were given a glimpse of what happens when Obama is directly challenged. Obama waded into shark infested waters, two of those "sharks" being Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor. Being challenged was obviously new to Obama and he was clearly both angered and intimidated, but desperate to maintain the appearance of belonging, as the two true intellectuals Ryan and Cantor exploited Obama's lack of qualification for the office.

The duel of Maximus versus Commodus was completely one-sided, so much so that even the liberal media seemed to concede the debate to Romney in their post-debate analysis. Chris Matthews and Ed Schultz both asked, "Where was Obama tonight?" In terms of style, Romney clearly articulated conservative principles, cited specific policies, and buttressed both with plenty of facts and figures. Romney looked Obama in the eye when addressing him, and looked at the camera when addressing America, and spoke clearly without hesitation. When Romney rebutted Obama he would take Obama's statements point by point like a lawyer prosecuting a case, as it was described by Senator of Ohio Rob Portman and FOX News analyst Neil Cavuto.

When speaking, Obama looked down at the podium or searched the ceiling for answers, but rarely at Romney or the camera. His usual agitation at those who disagree with him was apparent, and he even snipped at moderator Jim Lehrer. Obama's overall strategy was to accuse Romney of being vague no matter how specific Romney was, and to make false claims about Romney's intentions as president.

The debate result itself will not surprise conservatives. After all, Obama is already known by informed citizens to be "the least qualified man in any room he walks into," to paraphrase Rush Limbaugh. The title of Ed Klein's new book on Obama, The Amateur, sums up well the dirty little secret of this presidency; Barack Obama has no idea what he's doing. As conservatives we've disliked liberal presidencies in the past but usually felt that the president, albeit wrong, at least had some basic understanding of what the results of his actions would be. Obama, however, leaves one with the gnawing fear that his qualifications are more akin to a teenage emperor of ancient China than the adult emperor of Rome. As for Romney, let us hope that our conservative gladiator has many more successful battles in the near future.