You know you’re in serious trouble, if you’re a leftwing Democrat, when you’ve lost Bill Maher. President Obama’s performance in the first presidential debate with Governor Mitt Romney was so abysmal that even Maher, a $1 million contributor to an Obama super PAC, had to throw up his hands in despair. “i can’t believe i’m saying this,” he tweeted, “but Obama looks like he DOES need a teleprompter.”
And Maher wasn’t the only celebrity melting down like the Wicked Witch of the West splashed with a bucket of ice cold water. “Gore 2016!!!!!” tweeted Bette Midler. “Romney gave a solid performance. He’ll gain in polls. Obama was very passive. This race just got very close. Scary,” tweeted Adam McKay, co-creator of Funny or Die, a leftist humor site dedicated in large part to slandering conservatives. Samuel L. Jackson, given to racist rants of late, preferred to suggest that the debate was meaningless – a contention he wouldn’t have made if Obama had won. “What Really happened tonite?!” he tweeted, in a motherf-ing rage. “NOBODY changed who they’re voting for!! NOBODY!!!” Rapper Lil Jon was more succinct: “EVERYBODY SAY IT WIT ME NOW #F—ROMNEY.”
he rage for many was palpable. Olivia Wilde, who has made a career out of kissing members of her own gender, tweeted, “Mittens, if you want the federal gov’t out of our health care decisions, then stay the F out of our VAGINAS. #debate2012.” Of course, Romney has never proposed that anyone go near Olivia Wilde’s vagina. Neither has any other conservative. She has full control over her own vagina. Apparently, she does not have full control over her mental faculties.
But she’s not alone.
Alec Baldwin went with the textbook “Obama’s too nice and smart for his own good” meme: “Obama is a potentially great man who remains mildly uncomfortable in public life. Mitt is a gifted off-shore money tycoon and tax preparer.” Well, no. Obama’s a horrible president who is more than comfortable in public life. He’s just not comfortable with criticism. And Romney showed himself to be a gifted debater with a tremendous command of the facts. But Lady Gaga agrees with Alec Baldwin: “I believe its important to note before this begins that Romney is a millionaire and paid well below the average tax rate, paying only 13.9%.” Well, Ms. Gaga, how about turning over some tax returns so we can see how much money you’ve handed over to the federal government,, and, equally important, how much you’ve given to charity? Or are you going to say your accountant’s likely use of tax loopholes merely happened because he was “born that way”?
Some of Hollywood just kept insisting that Obama had won. Eva Longoria, fresh off cutting a “war on women” ad for Obama, tweeted, “I’m in New Zealand watching the presidential debate! Obama is killing it on health care! #Obama2012.” She might want to rent in New Zealand if she’s going to remain this disconnected from realities here in the United States.
The best line of the night went to Chris Rock, an Obama partisan who also happens to be hysterically funny. “Obama is waiting for the right moment to pull out Bin Laden’s skull from behind the podium. Wait for it. Wait for it …” Sure enough, Obama trotted out the “I Killed Bin Laden” bumper sticker just before the end of the debate. It fell flat.
In truth, nobody should be happier than Hollywood about a potential Romney victory in the presidential race. Hollywood has suffered massively under the Obama administration. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, US/Canada admissions were down in 2010 and 2011, and slated to be down again this year. The only thing keeping revenues even close to even has been the rise of 3D movies and the uptick in ticket prices. But with demand falling, prices will soon have to fall as well.
As for television, the market remains increasingly fragmented by the internet. More importantly, the Obama administration’s rotten economy has hurt advertisers, which indirectly affects the profit margin of the TV industry. Only Fox gained ad revenue in 2011 of the major broadcast networks. CBS declined 3.3%; ABC’s fell 3.9%; NBC’s fell a whopping 12.9%.
What would help Hollywood? Less regulation. Less taxes. And a booming advertising market driven by consumers spending more money. That can only happen when people earn more money. Hollywood, more than any other industry, is dependent on the disposable income people have. When disposable income drops, as it has for the past four years, people cut back. And one of the places they cut is on their entertainment choices.
With Bill Clinton, Hollywood got the best of both worlds: a liberal president who governed as a conservative on the economy. But with Barack Obama, they’ve had to face the consequences of the socialism they claim to love. It’s clear that most in Hollywood would choose socialism over capitalism if given that choice, even if it hurt them – at least, that’s what they say. The truth is more complicated, and many Hollywoodites would simply blame capitalism for the failure of socialism, even if it is socialistic spending policy in states like California that drive socialistic Hollywood to produce its product elsewhere.
In the end, Hollywood’s opinion about the debate isn’t really going to matter. Mitt Romney has shown himself capable of speaking directly to the American people – and that’s what frightens Hollywood so much. For years, they’ve been able to control the political narrative because so few national Republicans have been up to the task of providing a direct alternative. Romney is a good communicator. And the Hollywood left has no clue how to deal with that. Neither does their favored candidate.