One of the reasons why liberals were so shocked by President Obama's disastrous performance in last Wednesday's presidential debate is that it ran completely counter to what they expected based on one of their most important fictional experiences. And that fictional experience was when "President" Jed Bartlet wiped the floor of his Republican challenger Ritchie ("richie" get it?) during a "West Wing" debate episode. You can see Bartlet destroying Ritchie as completely scripted by Aaron Sorkin in his liberal fantasy below the fold.
Since that fictitious debate has served as a liberal reference point as to how debates between a Democrat and Republican contenders for the presidency are supposed to turn out in real life, Maureen Dowd of the New York Times has invoked the spirit of Jed Bartlet to advise Obama in preparation for the next debate. One can only conclude that Dowd must have accidentally ingested some magic mushrooms because her fantasy Jed Bartlet advises Obama to prepare for the next debate by resuming smoking, appear condescending, and calling Mitt Romney a liar.
Although the brutal reality of Wednesday's debate did not come near the liberal fantasy of the video above, Maureen Dowd still channels the fictitious Jed Bartlet to prep Obama for the next debate starting with a "health" suggestion:
[JED] BARTLET Let’s go in another room, Mr. President. You want a cigarette?
[BARACK] OBAMA I stopped smoking.
BARTLET Start again.
After that bit of "healthy" advice comes Bartlet's suggestion (as channeled by Maureen Dowd) to appear condescending:
BARTLET They told you to make sure you didn’t seem condescending, right? They told you, “First, do no harm,” and in your case that means don’t appear condescending, and you bought it. ’Cause for the American right, condescension is the worst crime you can commit.
OBAMA What’s your suggestion?
BARTLET Appear condescending. Now it comes naturally to me —
OBAMA I know.
BARTLET It’s a gift, but I’m likable and you’re likable enough.
As if that wouldn't alienate enough viewers, "Jed Bartlet" also tells Obama to flat out call Romney a liar during the debate:
BARTLET ...Mr. President, your prep for the next debate need not consist of anything more than learning to pronounce three words: “Governor, you’re lying.”
Since Maureen Dowd has presented her fantasy of Jed Bartlet advising Obama, please allow your humble correspondent to indulge in his own speculation as to what could happen if the President actually follows Bartlet's advise during the next debate:
OBAMA Governor, you're lying.
ROMNEY I'm lying? And how would you characterize your administration's position that the assault in Benghazi was spontaneous due to a silly video rather than than a planned attack as your own intelligence community told you within 24 hours.
OBAMA Huh? This isn't what was scripted for the debate. Maureen, Aaron, Jed... Throw me a lifeline here! HELP!!!