To be honest, I didn’t know how bad Obama did in the first debate until I looked at twitter an hour into it. I thought he was weak, but not terrible. I thought Romney was energized but bordering on overly aggressive. I didn’t think the debate would change anything.
But then I looked at twitter and understood that Obama’s performance was the debate equivalent of the Titanic’s maiden voyage. When Andrew Sullivan (who has 25 points of IQ on me) started screaming “lower the lifeboats,” I new that Obama’s debate was a catastrophe.
Then after the debate, Obama’s performance deteriorated hour by hour. And so did Obama’s poll numbers as people learned from the media (and the blogosphere) that the debate was no more debate. It was a game changer, that Romney demonstrated his stuff while Obama showed that he is an empty suit (or chair as the New Yorker cover has it).
And so the game changed.
The right is determined that they achieve a repeat tonight. Did you notice how they are going after Martha Raddatz because her husband is Obama’s law school pal. That is designed to intimidate Raddatz and ABC. The right does this all the time because the media, composed mostly of nominal Democrats, feel they have to “bend over backwards” to suck up to Republican to show that their personal affiliation doesn’t affect them. (See Tapper, Jake)
That is why if Biden so much as stumble on a word tonight, they are all ready to call him old and tired. A joke. If he attacks Ryan’s positions too strenuously they will say he seemed mean and that Americans don’t like mean. They have no problem attacking Obama and Biden for being too full of passion or too empty of it depending on circumstances.
They are just waiting to declare Biden dead and the race over. That will prove that they are not liberals. They will then vote for Obama because, in fact, they know how bad Romney and Ryan are. But their careers come first. And that means not playing it fair but demonstrating a unique kind of fairness by tilting big to the GOP.
This will be avoided if Biden destroys Ryan. And that may happen. But, if not, the whole first debate mechanism comes into play.
Here’s how we can help. Bloggers and tweeters should avoid hysteria no matter what happens tonight. The MSM does not need us to help them put out the story line they are eager for. Just like GOP yakkers do not trash their guys publicly, we can exercise a little reserve. Powerhouse bloggers Andrew Sullivan, Matt Yglesias and Josh Marshall: I am especially talking about you.
I’m not suggesting anyone lie. I am just suggesting we avoid public grief, hysteria, hari-kari, etc. We don’t need to feed the MSM beast. They are quite good at destroying Democrats on their own.