Nearly every audience reaction poll that didn't oversample enraged, pugnacious Romneys has declared Barack Obama the winner of Tuesday's debate. And so, naturally, pundits affiliated with the GOP — that party of restraint and prudence — have responded by freaking the fuck out and comparing Candy Crowley's performance as moderator to all sorts of tragedies, including terrorism. Proving, once again, that the GOP is the Party of Not Understanding How Similes Work
Some Romney supporters aren't only ALL-CAPS OUTRAGED by Crowley's Libya Moment, when she countered Mitt Romney's claims that the President had not called the Benghazi attacks an "act of terror" for almost two weeks by pointing out that in a Rose Garden speech the next day, Obama literally used the words "act of terror" to describe the tragedy. They're also claiming that the questions she picked from audience members were specifically selected to make Mitt Romney look bad, that she interrupted their dear wincing hero, and that she let Obama dominate when what she should have been doing is shutting up.
Crowley arguably overstepped her expected role as moderator with her live Libya fact check of Romney. She told The View that she stepped in because she saw that the discussion had reached a sticking point, and could have gone on forever in an endless "No, you didn't." "Yes, I did!" loop unless she intervened. But, Rose Garden speech or not, ultimately Romney lost the debate by not being as good at answering questions as the President. And that whole women/binders/going home to make dinner/single mothers cause assault weapons crimes by not being married thing certainly didn't help the Governor's case.
Regardless, when your preferred existence is in a comfortable cocoon of facts of your own design, confrontation with facts that counter your carefully cultivated version of reality can be jarring, and lead to some overwrought shirt-rending fits. CBS has compiled a nice treasury of screechy morning-after tantrums from the right wing, and they're impressively overblown. Americans for a Limited Government called Crowley "despicable" in a statement released on Wednesday, proving that while they may be for a limited government, they are decidedly not for limiting their use of Daffy Duck-inspired vocabulary. Glenn Beck decried Crowley's "policing" of Romney during the debate, which is funny because if Mitt Romney is so tough and manly and girls are wimpy, fainting damsels, then why was Crowley able to allegedly push the former Governor around? Mystery! Jonah Goldberg, ever apt at mixing metaphors in a confusing fashion, wrote, "There goes Candy holding Romney's feet to the fire while, letting Obama unchain his muse." Another conservative referred to her performance as "disgraceful." Sputtering lump Rush Limbaugh referred to the debate as "an act of journalistic terrorism." And others have called on CNN to fire Crowley.
Sometimes I read articles about parents who get into fistfights with coaches at youth soccer games in some suburban wasteland and I wonder, What sort of person would do that? I believe I've found my answer: Rush Limbaugh listeners. Residents of Glenn Beckistan.
The level of overreaction to what was essentially Mitt Romney not doing as good a job as Barack Obama is pretty majestic, but there's still some cylinders with which right wing talking heads aren't yet firing. After all, you know it's not a full conservative tantrum until they start comparing Candy Crowley's debate moderator performance to Candy Crowley personally raping them.