The "debate debacle" did more than prove that the emperor had no clothes. It also proved, once and for all, that liberalism as a political philosophy is an indefensible failure. After all, look at the criticisms Obama's allies on the Left offered post-debate: He should have brought up "the 47%", called Mitt a liar, and been...much much angrier. Maybe so, but those are tactics, jabs and feints, and not actually a rallying cry to line up behind the president's ideology.
The Left as a whole sees the existential damage that is being done to their cause, and they are "freaking out", to quote Jennifer Rubin:
The left’s freak-out is instructive of their view that Obama the candidate flopped but that liberalism as a cause was unblemished. In fact, Obama’s record and rhetoric on everything from hostility to business to regret for America’s international “triumphalism” to pro-abortion extremism to the expansion of the liberal welfare state is as close as a president has ever come to the left’s undistilled worldview. His failure to revive the economy after gorging on Keynesianism, like his one-man-wrecking crew in the “peace process” (evidencing the hard left’s antipathy toward the Jewish state), is, in essence, not only a personal failure. His ideas, the left’s hymnal, collapsed on contact with reality.
Grappling with a reality that has shown their life's philosophical work to be useless, and their soul's allegiance to be sworn to a false god (liberalism, not necessarily Obama himself, but one sees more and more why he was viewed as their "messiah made flesh"), how does the Left react?
By curling into a ball, and hiding behind Sesame Street.
It's fictional. It's childish. It's as fictional and childish as the make-believe world of Obama's liberalism—a liberalism that scorns Wall Street, and disdains Main Street … but embraces Sesame Street.
This is not going to end well for the True Believers...