The title of this post does not fully express the disgust with which I watched the Vice-Presidential debate last night. Paul Ryan and Joe Biden sat down at a table in the first face to face meeting of the two tickets vying for the Presidency since Mitt Romney wiped the floor with Barack Obama. There was never a doubt that Paul Ryan would be in command of the issues. He always is and is more than capable of articulating them with precision and accuracy. There was also no doubt that Joe Biden would be on the attack and that is exactly what happened. Given his bosses performance in Denver, he had no choice. In that regard, he did not disappoint his supporters. From the beginning of the debate, he went after Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan with everything he could muster.
Why did I feel disgust while watching the debate? The first thing that comes to mind is the moderator. Martha Raddatz was completely horrible. The questions she asked were pertinent enough, but she consistently allowed Joe Biden to interrupt Paul Ryan, with almost no rebuke. By some counts, Biden interrupted Ryan 82 different times. There were several times during the debate when Paul Ryan was not allowed to even finish his answer. Most notably was during the exchange on Libya. I realize the debate had to move on at some point, but time after time, Ryan was interrupted by Biden, and then was not allowed to come back and finish answering the question. I have already read several articles that say Marth Raddatz did a fairly good job as moderator, but I disagree. She was an epic failure.
Going to the reason I titled this post as I did, Joe Biden reminded me of the famous character from the Batman comic series. The Joker always had a smile on his face and he was always laughing, but his humor would kill you. He and Batman were always talking to each other during their fights and no matter what happened, the Joker kept right on smiling. Every time Paul Ryan tried to answer a question in his serious and studied manner, Biden started laughing. That laughter almost always led into him interrupting Ryan while he was trying to get his point across. In that regard, Joe Biden won this debate, hands down. Paul Ryan was too polite to assert himself, even though he had every right to do so. He tried to answer the questions and the Joker kept right on laughing and interrupting.
On the issue of the answers each candidate gave, I didn’t keep notes and failed to watch the last 15 minutes of the debate, but I believe Paul Ryan did okay on that. Of course, Joe Biden consistently and constantly called him a liar and misrepresented what Ryan was saying, but that was to be expected. There were several glaring examples of this tactic. It first cropped up when the two candidates were talking about Libya. With the facts that we now have available, I am surprised Biden stayed with his story, but that didn’t seem to bother him. Even though we all know the Obama administration knew within a day that the attacks in Libya were coordinated terrorist attacks, Biden had no trouble throwing everyone under the bus, except the administration he works for.
Another example of this came during the exchange on Medicare and Social Security. Joe Biden continually accused Paul Ryan of lying about his plan, and that of Mitt Romney, to reform the two programs. He accused them of trying to lower Medicare benefits by turning it into a voucher program. Even though the voucher part is true, they are not trying to lower benefits. No current recipients of Medicare would be affected. Only future generations would see changes. Joe Biden completely fails to mention the pilot programs the Obama administration is allowing to be put into place that does exactly that. Current Medicare recipients are being forced into these programs, with no warning. They can then choose to opt out, but are not specifically given that information. This is a favorite tactic of liberals. They are accusing their opponents of being guilty of the very things they are in the process of implementing. Joe Biden is a master at it, as we saw last night.
One last about last night’s debate. I am sick of hearing these calls for specifics from Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. As Ryan tried to point out last night, when asked for the specifics of their tax reform plan, Romney plans to sit down with Congress and work out the details of which loopholes will be closed. A note to the Obama administration, that’s called bipartisanship. They should try it sometime and see how well it works. But again, Paul Ryan was not allowed to finish his answer, as the Joker started laughing and interrupted him, thus ending his chance of explaining the truth to the American people.
I would like to say Paul Ryan won this debate. I do believe he did no harm to the Romney campaign, but I’m not sure he helped it much. He had the right answers and he did a good job at trying to articulate what he knows, but he wasn’t allowed to give those answers. In that regard, Joe Biden did a masterful job of controlling the debate. He was lying the entire time, but he played his role of the Joker very well.