The conservative blogosphere has exploded in cheers last night and this morning, and it’s easy to see why: Not only (as John Fonte noted) does the Right finally have a candidate who can speak in coherent sentences and paragraphs, but — and I admit this blindsided me — it also has a champion who actually wants to fight and enjoys the combat. Even better, a nominee for high office who is not afraid of his incumbent opponent, who has just taken his measure and, while still wary of a wounded Obama and his Chicago-machine trainers and handlers, will be eager to mix it up with him again.
So, after the thrashing he gave Barry, it doesn’t much matter to conservatives that Mitt went to his left repeatedly last night. In fact, going to his left on his signature weakness, Romneycare — by framing it as an example of bipartisanship sheltered by the Tenth Amendment — proved to be a smart move, especially as Obama is unlikely to wander into that left hook again.
No, what really mattered was that Mitt — until last night practically the epitome of the GOP establishment — rudely stripped Obama of his intellectual pretensions and made fools of the Praetorian Guard media that has both coddled and worshiped Obama since his (in retrospect) one and only great speech back in 2004. Last night was like the scene near the end of The Man Who Would Be King, when the villagers realize their soldier-of-fortune “god” is only human after his bride scratches him and he bleeds.
Or, to keep this morning’s boxing metaphor going, this turning point from Rocky IV:
Now that we know both candidates are only human, may the best man win.