Joe Biden could not have come across as more of a smug, disingenuous and downright rude career politician at last night's Vice Presidential debate with Paul Ryan. Smirking, chuckling, interrupting, sighing and smiling ever so condescendingly throughout the course of the 90-minute debate, America got an up close, split screen view of the hair-plugged, chiclet-toothed firebrand from Delaware who seemed reluctant to let Ryan so much as get a sentence out of his mouth before dismissing the seemingly capable political upstart's every notion. While many democratic supporters expected ole' Bazooka Joe to come out shooting after Barack Obama's soporific performance at the presidential debate in Denver on October 3rd, Biden's behavior was shocking even for his standards.
And Mitt Romney's the one democrats are worried about saying something overly ardent/impetuous that will inflame the ire of America's enemies? Did any one else have nightmares last night?
Biden, who has always hung his shingle on being some avuncular, self-described champion of the middle class, (he made as much be known on no less than five occasions last night), showed once again that he is never one to shy away from the spotlight. In fact, he likes it so much that, like a six-year-old child or a sixty-nine-year old, increasingly senile bully, he does not care to share it with his peers. That includes Ryan and last night's moderator, Martha Raddatz. Why else would a man make two laughably disastrous runs for President and still keep his mug in the game as a veep on the verge of his seventieth year?
Well, besides the obvious answer, unerring egotism, the other seems to be to lend an air of "knowledge" and experience to the art of political histrionics so diligently practiced by the Obama/Biden ticket (not to mention disguising Obama's socialist-tending policies of centralized government hegemony over individual choice, including that of the unborn child, for middle class, traditional American values). Kind of weird you being a staunch Catholic and all, and yet at least "politically" supporting abortion: "With regards to abortion, I accept my church's takeÂ—life begins with conception," Biden explained. "But I refuse to impose that on others ... unlike my friend here." Biden went on to elaborate: "The next president will get 1 or 2 Supreme Court nominations. That's how close Roe v. Wade is." God forbid the Supreme Court actually reverses a ruling that goes against one of the foundational tenets of your purported religious faith. Now there's something to glance to the heavens about! So basically you're like an abolitionist in private, who favors lynching in public, Joe? One already knows what your stance is on y'all's chains...
Other than Biden's hypocritical stance on abortion and his aforementioned dismissive tactics, one of the few honest to goodness policy confrontations occurred as Ryan and Biden debated the merits of their respective running mates' positions on Social Security. "What I've always agreed is let younger Americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them within the Social Security system," Ryan said in support of the Romney/Ryan plan that has been called by liberals a "privatization" of the regime. Sort of like a person investing some of her employment income in an IRA, 401K or other tax-deferred investment instrument could be seen as a "privatization" of the federal tax system. Riight.
As Biden pointed out, in stark contrast to Obama's utterly clueless take on the differences between the parties' Social Security proposals earlier this month, ("I suspect that on Social Security, we've got a somewhat similar position"), choosing to put one's Social Security money into private accounts "would not have looked so attractive after the market crash of 2008." Yes, Joe, one can all certainly agree that the middle class have been "absolutely buried the past four years", but what exactly is the problem with giving Americans a choice of whether they would prefer to invest their money in the free market instead of traditional Social Security? That, much like your running mate's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on foreign affairs in the Middle East, and infliction of will to concentrate all power regarding decisions traditionally left up to the states, such as healthcare, in the executive branch, are real plug scratchers to say the least.
Most media accounts declared the debate a "qualified" win for Joe Biden, although several polls, such as CNN's, showed that Ryan came out on top. If Biden's performance indeed warranted victory last night, apparently all one needs to do to win a debate is have a predilection for snickering, referring eloquently to your opponent's positions as a "bunch of stuff", "loose talk", "slipshod" and everyone's personal favorite, "malarkey", and generally behaving like a brogue-spouting, "put up your dukes, see", 1920s-era gangster.*
He's like an uncle, alright. Albeit the one that drinks too much, loves to hear himself talk, still treats you like an eight-year old child even though you're a fully grown adult, and always causes a fight at Thanksgiving family get-togethers. Hopefully, in Biden's case, he at least waits until after the prayers are over this year. Because Obama's going to need them.
*A fun fact from last night's debate: Biden called Ryan "friend" fourteen times.