It’s Not Debatable

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I wasn’t expecting much Tuesday night. I knew President Barack Obama would be declared a winner by the effete elite if he managed to show up and not vomit on himself.

Since Vice President Joe Biden’s smirkfest last week against Congressman Paul Ryan— which looked very much like a cry for either help or a Thorazine prescription— Obama has been granted amnesty for everything from faked jobs reports to wildly divergent tales about the terrorist attacks in Benghazi. The Democrats have backed him through the endless stream of scandals, assaults on individual freedoms and even murders which have defined Obama’s tenure. At this point, I think he could stomp on a box of puppies and/or murder a Border Agent (heaven forbid!) and the Democrats would still snuggle up with him in the morning.

I would be remiss if I failed to note that these guys went after each other like fat guys fighting over the last piece of real cake at a vegan birthday party. Any voters who place “likeability” at or near the top of their list of criteria about which they give a damn will probably be writing in their own names come election day.

Both candidates behaved like slightly less-creepy versions of Biden from last week; although Obama appears to have missed a few days of rehearsal. If American politics had a live soundtrack, this debate would have been accompanied by one of those sad trombones they use in cartoons.

I originally intended to present a condensed version of the running commentary I maintained throughout the night’s festivities; but then something occurred to me: None of it really matters.

Obama and Romney are in a true horse race; and though Romney has nosed ahead in recent days, the question is still very much in doubt. As evidenced by the desperate enthusiasm feigned by liberal mouthpieces following Obama’s even-weirder-than-Biden’s-performance, Obama can’t really lose these dog-and-pony shows we call debates.

He double-, triple- and even quadruple-talked virtually every answer he proffered; most notably his tortured and twisted response to the aftermath of the Benghazi nightmare; and the Democrats cheered him for it. His answers on gas prices and so-called “green” energy boondoggles not only failed to meet the stink test (he claimed they would lower gas prices; when might those lower prices be kicking in?), they didn’t really even make sense. He presented himself as a friend of the coal industry; which might actually have been the biggest howler of the night; although none of his supporters even noticed, much less cared.

Romney and Obama will go toe-to-toe once more next Monday night. Obama will either go back to the cowering passivity which marked his disastrous debut debate, or he’ll come out swinging— and missing— wildly like he did in Hempstead, N.Y. Either way, his supporters will cheer his rudeness, ignore his mendacity and shriek at the opposition; just like every other day during the long national nightmare which has been his Presidency.

The debate ended with a member of the audience asking both candidates to describe their best features; essentially: “So, tell us why you’re awesome.” The question was silly; but Obama then made it sillier by using the time to attack Romney… again.

Look, people; Obama’s effort to reshape himself as an assertive executive has produced a twitchy, unlikeable liar with all the warmth of a teenaged prom queen. Perhaps, like Biden, Obama just doesn’t take to confrontation particularly well— although he doesn’t seem to struggle with behaving like an unruly child who feels slighted when mommy pays too much attention to the other kids. While Romney clearly stuck to his strategy of keeping Obama on defense; Obama— despite not-inconsequential help from hapless “moderator” Candy Crowley— shifted away from the cool, detached demeanor which he has cultivated throughout his term and toward a short-tempered, snide and juvenile attitude which might work on MSNBC but has no place in the Oval Office.

I understand that the true believers of the left will continue their blind support of Obama. But it strikes me that the most important lesson the Democrats SHOULD have learned during Obama’s latest public face plant missed them completely: The person for whom they should be rooting wasn’t even in the country during the debate; she was down in Peru.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.