First diary, so sue me.
I watched the debate on Wednesday and saw President Obama calmly, collectively, and seriously state what his plans for the country are. I saw him articulate, patient, and damn... presidential. Sure, he didn't talk about the environment, or abortion, or really much else besides the economy, but what he said was spot-on to the public. He talked about what he's accomplished -- and not just the ideas, but actual things! -- while simultaneously elucidating flaws in the most-recent version of Mitt Romney's political platform.
Obama even took some time jabbing at Romney, "it's... math. It's arithmetic." I also very much enjoyed Obama's statement that, "Governor Romney has said he just wants to repeal Dodd-Frank, roll it back. And so the question is does anybody out there think that the big problem we had is that there was too much oversight and regulation of Wall Street? Because if you do, then Governor Romney is your candidate. But that's not what I believe."
Meanwhile, Romney was all over the podium, incoherent at times, and at others acting like a school-yard bully. He was lying faster than I could call out the fact-checks. And Jim Lehrer... hoo boy! He was about as useful a moderator as footies are for a polar bear.
Immediately after I'm watching MSNBC as Chris Matthews loses his shit over Obama "losing" the debate! Pundits picked it up, calling him weak, tepid, half-asleep, looking down too much, not as angry, not as aggressive, etc etc, and all the White guys were agreeing -- even Tim Wise was tweeting that Obama lost! And it was on every channel. It was like every White dudes everywhere had tapped into some crazy zeitgeist where presidential politics resembled a high school popularity contest. And only the biggest douche wins!
I shudder at this trend.
But everyone else I watched, talked to, and read about said the opposite: Romney lied the whole time while Obama avoided playing into an "angry Black man" stereotype and stayed on message. Polls showed the public felt Obama cared more about them and their issues than Romney, who had nary a bump. This trend was especially prevalent among women and People of Color, two groups who make up the majority of Obama's supporters -- not to mention more than 75% of the country.
So why is it that the White male debate story meme is the one everybody's crowing about? In part, because of privilege and racism but... Why is it that even Daily Kos is strongly asserting that Obama "lost?" How do ya figure? Is it because Obama didn't punch Romney in the mouth? Is it because he didn't waste time attacking him and more time on substance? I know it's a debate, but seriously... Romney says he'll kill Big Bird and yet we're spreading the lie that Obama lost??? It's like I'm watching Fox News.
This is the problem with echo chambers, with group-think, with sheeple-like narratives that just takeover regardless of reality or other opinions. 5 people say Obama lost and suddenly that's the story. End of story. No take backs!
Well, frankly I'm just disappointed. I thought we progressives were smarter than that! I thought we could, y'know, think critically instead of digest the same fecal matter as every other consumer. But in the words of a great American author, "so it goes."
As for me, I know that to most of the country, the ones who don't own popular blogs or media empires, Obama won that debate. It was poorly trained journalists who flipped the script. And for whatever reason everyone is buying it. But not me and, based on the numbers, not the voters either.