The great James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal and The American Spectator long ago posited what is called the "Taranto Principle." In short, it means that the liberal media so coddles liberal politicians that they have no idea how to cope outside that liberal media bubble.
It's safe to say that Barack Obama tonight came face-to-face with the latest embodiment of the Taranto Principle -- which is to say, Mitt Romney.
Barack Obama has been so totally coddled by the liberal media that he looked absolutely shell-shocked in this debate. Stunned, unhappy, angry, sour -- and at some points genuinely incoherent.
Romney has had nowhere near that kind of treatment. He had serious opponents in the primaries -- all of whom in their own way forced him to confront his ideas in a serious fashion. Conservatives were on his heels. The Obama media never let up. The man went through the political equivalent of boot camp.
Tonight, the Taranto Principle kicked in. Big time.
Outside the liberal bubble -- forced to be alone on a stage with a very serious, very prepared candidate -- Barack Obama was in trouble. Big Trouble.
And he has no one but himself -- and his media coddlers -- to blame.