The great Danish author of morality tales, Hans Christen Andersen, tells the story of a vain emperor who is sold a special “invisible cloth” by two conniving tailors who entice the emperor to purchase the fantasy cloth by proclaiming the cloth invisible only to those undeserving or too incompetent for their public posts. The emperor, “wearing” the special invisible garment, sees himself standing naked in the mirror, but is too vain and embarrassed to admit that he might not be smart or deserving enough as emperor to see the cloth and declares it beautiful. He proceeds to parade among his people in the cloth quite naked and in denial, until one little boy too honest and unaware of the “secret” declares, “the Emperor has no clothes!”
And so it was with our “Emperor” last night in front of a national television audience watching the presidential debate between challenger Mitt Romney and President Obama. The President, treated to almost four years of complete deference to his wobbly logic, cockamamie schemes, and self directed platitudes by an enthralled, unquestioning media, had his record and his performance laid out nakedly in the klieg lights by Mitt Romney and the exposure was every bit as startling to Obama as to Andersen’s fictional emperor.
The two pillars of ‘invisible cloth” of this President – an unquestioned superior “grasp” of complex governmental issues by a totally unprepared, inexperienced college professor on the basis of his supposed superior intellect, and and the glossing over of an abysmal record of performance unmatched since James Buchanan came crashing down under the persistent attack of the smarter man in the room, Governor Romney.
The President seemed almost stunned by the lack of deference to previously accepted paper thin logic used to underpin a multi-trillion dollar binge on the economic stability of the United States. The challenger Romney struck with blow after blow of report card assessments on the President’s performance in his four years in office – “23 million unemployed”, “half of college graduates leaving school with no hope of employment”, “32 million on food stamps when you started, 46 million Americans currently”, “one sixth of America living in poverty” , and “projected greater accumulation of national debt than all the other American Presidents combined.” The feeble recitation of a so called plan to apparently cut the budget deficit deficit while raising taxes and adding more stimulus spending for “100,000 teachers” left one aghast at the numerical logic. Even this one small retort was crushed under a devastating Romney rebuttal. To paraphrase the governor:
Mr. President, you talk of spending even more stimulus money for teachers while helping to pay for it by eliminating “subsidies for Exxon Mobil”, yet the 2.8 billion in current oil subsidies pales in comparison to the 90 Billion for so called green subsidies to friends of Obama. You want to pick winners and losers in this economy, but you seem to have a knack for picking losers only, such as Solyndra. A hundred thousand teachers? Had you truly considered education your number one priority, the 90 billion wasted on losing green industries could have paid for 2 Million teachers!
The need to defend the indefensible proved an impossible task for the President, and this time there was no media to spin the vacuousness into stature. This time, an opponent with principles rock-rooted in the fabric of American exceptionalism, was ready to debate the liberal daydreaming of what ifs, if onlys, and how it should bes, with the cold hard logic of how to get our game back. It was a beautiful thing to watch, and the exposure of the mythical emperor as ,after all, only a man, and an average one at that, can never be again foisted upon the discerning voter.
On this particular night the professor was schooled on what should really be our nation’s curriculum, and the effect on the rest of this election preamble will be fascinating to watch. This President may be committed to his losing argument, but it is a two fisted death grip on a loser, and now we all can see it for what it is.