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In the wake of President Barack Obama’s weak performance in the first presidential debate on Wednesday, many liberals reacted by openly panicking that the president has let Romney back into the race.

Of course, this comes as little surprise — whenever there’s a bump in the road, a certain reactionary element of the left immediately heads for the ledge. Having been demoralized by 16 combined years of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, many Democrats are never far away from pushing the panic button.

They should relax.

Almost every time that reactionary liberals lose their heads, it turns out to be much ado about nothing. If recent history is a guide, Obama’s debate “crisis” will turn out alright too.

Here are five recent cases of minor events sparking intense — and ultimately unwarranted — liberal panic:

PUMAs Will Deliver The 2008 Election To McCain

After Barack Obama narrowly beat out Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, many liberals feared that disillusioned Clinton voters — who branded themselves “PUMAs” (an acronym for “Party Unity My Ass”) — would support John McCain over Obama, swinging the election.

Liberals across the blogosphere panicked to the point that even the mainstream media floated the theory that Clinton supporters would flock to McCain or sit the election out entirely.

Of course, in reality, Obama consolidated his base and, with Hillary Clinton’s support, won the 2008 election in a borderline landslide.

Sarah Palin Is A Game Changer

When John McCain picked Sarah Palin, some liberals — perhaps wary of the “PUMA effect” — worried that the then-unknown governor of Alaska would shift female voters away from the Democrats.

Palin did end up changing the game, but it was a change that Obama and the Democrats would celebrate every time.

Health Care Reform Is Doomed

When Republican Scott Brown completed his stunning upset victory in the special election to fill the late Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Senate, Democratic strategists anonymously took to the media, fretting that Brown’s election would render health care reform impossible.

Back in reality, President Obama would sign the Affordable Care Act just two months after Brown’s election.

Health Care Reform Is Doomed (Again)

The Affordable Care Act was initially considered to be rock solid legally, but when Solicitor General Don Verrilli stumbled through a challenging defense of the law before the Supreme Court it sparked major fears that it was in trouble.

If you took liberal bloggers’ word for it, Obamacare was certainly doomed.

Once again, however, the panic was unwarranted; the Supreme Court upheld the law in a 5-4 decision.

Rick Perry Will Defeat President Obama

When Texas Governor Rick Perry made his late entrance into the 2012 race, it instantly terrified many Democrats. As Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman put it in Politico“Perry panic has spread from the conference rooms of Washington, D.C., to the coffee shops of Brooklyn, with the realization that the conservative Texan could conceivably become the 45th president of the United States.”

Of course, that’s not exactly how it played out. Perry’s campaign flamed out without winning a single primary, and is now commonly remembered as one of the worst in history.

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