For the record, I don't think this warrants the attention of Steve Benen (even if he does write more posts in a day than should be physically achievable), but I too couldn't help notice that whilst Transformers suggests George Bush is something of a slobbish goomber, Revenge Of The Fallen depicts President Obama cowering in a secret bunker whilst negotiating with alien terrorists over the life of a US citizen, having shut down the only fighting force in the world that could defend America. I would like to think people have enough sense to differentiate between fiction and reality, but no-one ever lost money assuming people were irredeemable idiots (see Road To 9/11, though fiction dressed up as political history is far more damaging than massive robots twatting each other, obviously). It's also interesting that this portrayal of Obama plays directly into well-established and pernicious Conservative memes about the 44th President, but I would call coincidence on that (especially since any negative portrayal of Obama would hit a wingnut meme somewhere; the film could imply he was a cross-dressing vampire and it would transpire the Washington Times had run a feature on that exact possibility). It's not exactly uncommon for American films to portray authority figures as incompetent cowards so the heroes can have some extra antagonists, though this is as far as I know the high water-mark of that tendency.
Anyways, I don't want to sound like a hysterical conspiracy theorist (not in this post, at least). I'm not accusing Bay of deliberate political commentary (though if he were to try it, it would be exactly as ham-fisted as this is), at most he's hoping that the seriousness of defamation is is inversely proportional to the ludicrousness of its delivery system (which he would probably be right about). I mainly just find this an interesting development. Have any other democratically elected major political characters been so badly portrayed during their time in office? Have we moved beyond the days of "generic President"? Or has this been going on for a while and I've just not noticed?
Update: Several posts in Benen's comments section point out that decrying film-makers for including political messages (however implied or benign) is exactly what liberals tend to mock conservatives for doing. It's a good point, but whilst hypersensitivity to these issues may be equally ridiculous from either side of the political spectrum, it's worth noting that the specific objections from each side are not entirely equivalent. Specifically, and this is just a general sense having been doing this for four years, it seems that liberals complain when liberals are seen to have been badly served. Conservatives complain about the same thing from their end (see The West Wing), but what really gets them going is when liberals are served well, or worse, when liberalism itself comes up smelling of roses. One possible interpretation of this is simply that so many people in film and TV are liberal you come across positive portrayals of the attendant philosophies far more often, but even my ever-growing conviction that far too many conservatives can only define themselves in terms of what they're against, it's an interesting trend to note.
Update II: Oh, and whilst we're back on Revenge Of The Fallen, this made me laugh pretty hard.