Friday, October 12, 2012
Paul Ryan Gets Tag Teamed And Still Wins
Tonight's debate was, well, a travesty. There's really no other word for it.
Joe Biden was not merely 'aggressive' but was downright disrespectful, rude and arrogant on an unprecedented scale. And what was worse, he was actively aided abetted by Martha Raddatz, the supposed moderator who abandoned any sense of impartiality. She allowed Biden to interrupt Paul Ryan 82 times during the debate, concentrated on Ryan when it came to follow ups and even interrupted Ryan herself a number of times. Once or twice, she even interrupted Ryan while he was attempting to respond after Biden interrupted him with a question. And literally every time Biden looked like he was out on a limb, she decided it was time to move on to another topic.Fortunately, Raddatz was so over the top that it was obvious to anyone who watched the debate.
As an example of how one sided the moderating was, Joe Biden ended up with eleven minutes more speaking time than Paul Ryan.
In other words, this was a tag team match. But Paul Ryan still triumphed in the end.
Aside from true believers like the MSNBC crowd, what people saw in Biden was a sleazy lunatic chuckling over important issues, a cranky, condescending old man mugging, yelling, sighing who seemed to resent Ryan being given a chance to speak. I'd call Biden a sphincter, but that would be wrong because sphincters serve a useful purpose.
"They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning Medicare into a piggy bank for Obamacare," says Ryan. And as Biden interrupts, Ryan says: "Mr. Vice President, I know you're under a lot of duress to make up for lost ground, but I think everyone will be better served if we don't keep interrupting each other."
Of course, tonight wasn't about undecided voters. What Biden was there to do was to gin up the Democratic base, and he undoubtedly succeeded there. He followed the advice of the Chris Matthews character in a recent Saturday Night Live skit after the presidential debate whose angry line was: 'Interrupt, yell and talk over people. That's how you win debates.'
Except it didn't work, except for the MSNBC crowd.A CNBC website poll, had Ryan winning 56/36.In CNN's viewer poll, Ryan won 48% to 44%.The AP had it as Ryan 51%-43%, while CBS had Biden winning 50%-31%. Undoubtedly, there will be more polls form the usual suspects showing Biden 'winning' handily. But more importantly, Ryan had 53%-43% advantage on being more likable in the CNN poll, and the results in most other polls were similar on this subject. Joe Biden's disgraceful conduct cost him a substantial part of his likeability ratings tonight. You don't win independents and undecideds with that kind of blatant misconduct.
What people saw in Paul Ryan was a self-possessed young man armed with facts who kept his cool, and managed to get in some major shots at Biden in spite of the way the game was fixed.
Undecided voters saw one man who appeared able to lead in the event he had to, and another man for whom sat there giggling and mugging when important issues were being discussed, and the thought that he's just a heartbeat away from the presidency had to be downright scary.
Biden's top whoppers tonight? The Washington Post fact checked the debate and found that Biden lied quite a bit and that Ryan's "misstatements," are mostly debatable and open to interpretation. The ones I caught? Oh, I could go on for pages, but here's a few that absolutely shocked me in their rank dishonesty and stupidity.
First Biden claimed that he never voted for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.In fact, he voted in favor of both.
Second, even more importantly, he dismissed Iran as a threat because 'they don't have a weapon' to deliver a nuclear bomb. In fact, it's the other way around. They have had the means to deliver a nuke for some time, including a satellite but don't have the bomb yet. The vice president apparently never heard of Iran's Shehab and BM25 missiles which are capable of hitting targets anywhere in the Middle East as well as most of Europe, and there's ample evidence that the Russians have supplied them with even more sophisticated toys lately.
And then there's Libya, where the vice president claimed that the administration wasn't aware of requests for more security in Libya before the Sept. 11 attacks, thus contradicting two State Department officials and the former head of diplomatic security in Libya who just testified before congress to that effect.
Finally, there was Vice President Biden's chest thumping on ending the Iraq war.
That result was only possible because of General Petraeus' surge strategy,and Senators Biden , tr Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the majority of the Democrats then in congress tried to sabotage General Petraeus and the surge it every chance they got.
President Obama inherited more than just an economic downturn from the previous administration, and the fact that Joe Biden would boast about accomplishing something that was done under President Bush's watch that he and the current president did everything they could to derail is unmitigated gall of the first order that would shame men with a shred of decent character.
Joe Biden is going to get a lot of attaboys from partisan Democrats, but he failed to win over the voters who are taking a serious look at Romney at a point when he is rising in the polls.Even worse, after tonight's debate, Paul Ryan, who was able to state his case concisely and reasonably is no longer the caricature who's going to push granny over the
The millions of dollars the Democrats spent to create that sordid fiction are now just so much wasted effort except among the True Believers.
In that sense,Paul Ryan did pretty well tonight.