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Biden-Ryan Debate Mostly A Draw

My own impression of last night’s Vice-Presidential Debate was largely similar to the one that James Joyner noted in his post last night. I found Vice-President Biden’s constant interruptions, eye-rolling, smirks, and laughs to be rather annoying after awhile. It’s as if his debate handlers decided they would just let Joe be Joe and he responded by treating the debate more like a bull session in a bar in Wilimington than a serious debate about issues of national importance. Paul Ryan, on the other hand, came across as earnest and knowledgeable  but somehow out of his element, especially at the start of the debate when the two men spent the better part of a half hour talking about foreign policy.  The debate moderator Martha Raddatz, meanwhile, did next to nothing to control the debate, although I do give her credit for choosing to start out with a question about the debacle in Libya. In the end, I suspect that the debate ended up being mostly a wash. If you’re a Democrat, you thought Joe Biden won. If you’re a Republican, you thought Paul Ryan won. If you’re an Independent or one of that ever shrinking population of undecided, you were likely just completely damn confused.

The New York Times said that the two men quarreled aggressively, but I think Jonathan Harris and John Martin get it right at Politico when they say that Biden and Ryan basically did the bare minimum of what they needed to do:

DANVILLE, Ky. — Vice President Joe Biden gave Democrats what they needed most from the debate here Thursday night — a jolt of energy that came from hitting Republicans in all the places they are presumed to be most vulnerable and chasing away memories of President Barack Obama’s flaccid debate performance the week before.

But Biden didn’t do much more than that. It is clear that Biden’s substantive high points — and there were several places where he took clear command of the debate on issues ranging from entitlements to taxes — will be partly shadowed by his nonstop succession of incredulous smiles, sneers, taunts and guffaws that were apparently intended to show self-confidence and fighting spirit but struck many viewers as undignified and rude.

Paul Ryan, for his part, gave Republicans the minimum they needed. He turned in a passable performance with no big errors and with very occasional — and very faint — flashes of the energetic young domestic policy activist that first won him the national spotlight.

But Ryan didn’t do much more than that. His earnest-but-bland performance rarely if ever dominated the evening, and it is unlikely that he left many Republicans fantasizing about the day when it is Ryan himself running for president and taking the fight to Democrats. If he didn’t do any damage to Romney, it is possible he did himself some slight damage to his own long-term reputation.

If all this sounds like a pretty mixed verdict, that’s exactly right.

Republicans, thanks to Romney’s strong performance and Obama’s weak showing last week, have closed the gap in many swing states to where many political strategists long thought the race would be in the final stretch: competitive but with a clear Democratic advantage in the Electoral College. The president was never going to roll with high single-digit leads in states like Ohio and Virginia, and now Democrats have had their inevitable correction after a near-perfect six-week run.

Biden calmed his party’s nerves and gave Democrats something to get about excited Thursday, but few people in either the campaign headquarters in Chicago and Boston or in the professional operative class in Washington expect the race will return to its September high-water mark for Democrats.

The Biden-Ryan exchange presents challenges for both presidential nominees when they meet at Hofstra University on Long Island on Tuesday. Obama will need to match Biden’s substantive aggressiveness, while avoiding stylistic excesses that would look especially out of place for a president. Romney must revive his momentum from the Denver debate after Ryan did little to help the cause at the Centre College debate here.

 Marc Ambinder notes that Biden likely succeeded in revising the spirits of Democrats who were dispirited by last nights debate and Ezra Klein agrees:

Last week, President Obama looked like he didn’t want to be debating Mitt Romney in the first place. This week, Vice President Joe Biden seemed like he never wanted his debate with Paul Ryan to end.

Post-debate commentary tends to focus on who won and who lost. I’d give the edge to Biden, but Ryan delivered a solid performance, and it’s hard for me to imagine many voters changing their minds because of a vice presidential debate.

But what’s unquestionably true is that Biden succeeded tonight. He had a simple job: Stop the bleeding. Buck up the troops. Make all those Democrats out there who’ve been fighting for the Obama campaign feel that the Obama campaign is also fighting for them. And so Biden came out tonight and picked a fight. He did everything Democrats wished Obama has done a week ago. He called out Ryan’s “malarkey” early and forcefully. He returned again and again to the 47 percent comments. He fought for core Democratic issues like protecting Medicare and Social Security.

As I noted in my pre-debate post yesterday, it’s rarely been the case that a Vice-Presidential debate has had any real impact on the race for President, but that doesn’t mean that both candidates don’t go into the encounter with a job to accomplish. In Biden’s case, that job was to both defend the Administration’s record from the attacks that would come from his opponent and, largely thanks to the President’s disastrous performance in Denver last week, to turn around the narrative that had developed over the past week and send a message to Democrats that he and the President were still fighting this thing. In both respects, Biden succeeded quite well I’d argue. On the first account, it was very much like Biden was appearing on Meet The Press or one of the other Sunday shows, and he did a fairly good job of making the points that the President had utterly failed to make just a week ago. On the second, his aggressiveness, while off-putting at times, clearly seems to have warmed the hearts of Democrats who seem to have spent the last week going through the five stages of grief over the President’s debate performance. So, in that regard, Joe Biden did exactly what he needed to do.

It also strikes me that Paul Ryan accomplished what he needed to last night. In Ryan’s case, the primary task was to demonstrate his readiness on the national stage to take over should something happen to Mitt Romney. I was actually surprised that the issue didn’t specifically come up during the debate itself, but I’d say that in his answers on both foreign and domestic policy, Ryan demonstrated that readiness quite effectively. If the Congressman fell short, it was that it didn’t strike me that he came off as the overwhelming debater that some of his Republican boosters were anticipating. Nobody on the right seems to be disappointed in Ryan this morning, but it does strike me that he fell below the bar on several occasions. While he seemed to answer foreign policy questions passably enough, Ryan did seem to me a bit like a fish out of water during those parts of the debate, especially when compared to the far more experienced Biden. Additionally, Ryan walked into a trap when he criticized the stimulus only to have Biden come right back and say that his office had gotten two letters from Ryan requesting stimulus funds for Wisconsin’s First Congressional Districts. On the whole, though, I’d say that Ryan did well enough, something that at least one poll seems to agree on, and that, most importantly, he did nothing that’s going to cause harm to the ticket.

In end, I’d score the entire debate a draw. Both Biden and Ryan landed some punches on each other, but nobody delivered a knockout and nobody made any serious mistakes. As far as the polls are concerned, I doubt we’ll see much movement in either direction based on what happened. Instead, it’s likely that all that these two men succeeded

Walter Russell Mead summed up the debate this way:

The vice presidency was, said the first man to fill the position, the most insignificant office humanity had ever devised. It was another vice president who compared it to what, in a gentler day, the press called a pitcherful of warm spit.

Tonight’s debate more or less lived up to the office. The current pitcherful, Biden, was rude and blustering. The aspiring pitcherful, Paul Ryan, was clearly taken aback and unable to develop an effective response. Both debaters scored some points here and there, but it’s unlikely that many voters wanted either of these gentlemen at the top of their respective tickets.

That about gets it right. Anyone who tuned into last night’s debate looking for a serious, sober discussion of the issues facing this country was sadly disappointed. Both sides got off their talking points quite well, but at times the entire thing seemed more like that bull session in the bar that I mentioned earlier. Long, loud, and in the end a waste of time. Kind of like the Vice-Presidency itself.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Rafer Janders says:

    My own impression of last night’s Vice-Presidential Debate was largely similar to the one that James Joyner noted in his post last night. I found Vice-President Biden’s constant interruptions, eye-rolling, smirks, and laughs to be rather annoying after awhile.

    In that case, I can just repeat my comment from Joyner’s post, when he sneered that “Last night, I thought Biden’s sneering and condescension were much worse than Gore’s eye-rolling and sighing”:

    Last night, I thought Ryan’s plans to destroy Medicare, end a woman’s right to choose, and get us involved in yet another Middle East war were much worse than Biden’s supposed tone.

    But I suppose it’s to be expected that Democrats focus on substance and policy while Republicans are reduced to whining about style and whether they feel disrespected. It’s the difference between the adults who actually have to do the work and emo teenagers who have the luxury of never having to take responsibility for their actions.

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  2. john personna says:

    Ryan needed to make the Romney economic plan credible. That was his wonkish role. As far as I’m concerned he failed, and more than that, the right is in full retreat on plans and policies.

    That should be apparent to any listener seeking to listen past the BS.

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  3. James H says:

    I award the victory laurels to Joe Biden’s dentist.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  4. Tillman says:

    I found Vice-President Biden’s constant interruptions, eye-rolling, smirks, and laughs to be rather annoying after awhile. It’s as if his debate handlers decided they would just let Joe be Joe and he responded by treating the debate more like a bull session in a bar in Wilimington than a serious debate about issues of national importance.

    The amount of gravity you assign to our national predicaments is interesting since you also often point out how much of a farce our political discourse is. And yet, somehow, you interpret Biden’s body language as laughing at the predicaments and not at the farce.

    Weirder still since Biden had plenty of moments of somberness (in fact, he could switch between joviality and solemnity quick enough to make my eyes spin in my head), and seemingly only laughed at Ryan.

    To be sure, I agreed with you in the earlier portion of the debate about Biden’s smugness and condescension. As the debate went on, though, and Ryan spouted more BS, it was hard not to laugh with Biden. This Is What We Have Come To, after all.

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  5. stonetools says:

    You know the conservatives think Biden won when they call it a draw. Also too, when they complain about Biden’s facial expressions rather than outlining what Biden got wrong.

    Anyone who tuned into last night’s debate looking for a serious, sober discussion of the issues facing this country was sadly disappointed.

    Obama showed up last week trying to be serious and sober. How did that work for him? He was steamrollered by an aggressive Romney and conservatives thought that was just fine. Well, turnabout is fair play.

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  6. Aidan says:

    If Republicans were going into the debate hoping that the man they’d spent the last few years building up into the intellectual leader of their movement would get torched by the man they’d spent the last few years building up into a buffoonish gaffe machine, then Paul Ryan definitely accomplished what he needed to.

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  7. Ben says:

    I have to say, it is quite interesting to see you, Doug, and James as well, engage in some pretty amazing double-standards. I normally think that you two are quite balanced and fair, and tend not to be overly partisan in your analysis.

    Ryan was overly calm, passive, and and non-engaging. He never called Biden out or directly rebutted much of anything he said. He had no fire, passion or conviction. Everything people complained the President did wrong last week.

    Biden is a jerk, everyone who knows anything about politics knows it, it’s a given going in. But that aside, he was aggressive, he called Ryan on his BS pretty consistently, he got his message across, dealt with Obama’s record, got in the 47% zinger several times, and directly rebutted several of Ryan’s points. That is everything that people complained the President DIDN’T do last week.

    And yet last week it was a landslide, and this week it’s a draw?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  8. mantis says:

    The Republicans’ super genius “brain” got smacked around by someone they consider a total moron.

    Doug doesn’t want to admit how bad that looks because Ryan likes to talk about inflicting pain and sacrifice on poor people, which as a libertarian is sweet music to Doug’s ears. Ryan is Rand-loving, granny-starving hero to libertarians.

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  9. stonetools says:

    Heh, our buffoon beat their boy genius (Democrats) or at least fought him to a draw (Republicans).

    As to substance, they discussed

    Libya
    Afghanistan
    Syria
    Tax policy
    Jobs
    Reproductive rights

    Those are substantive issues. Ryan may have bested him on Libya, but the rest was all Joe.

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  10. john personna says:

    For what it’s worth, the kids on reddit all think Joe won, and for them things like this matter:

    If only more politicians thought like Joe Biden. On abortion: ‎”That’s my Church’s position and I accept it in my personal life, but I refuse to impose that on the rest of America.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 1

  11. stonetools says:

    But that aside, he was aggressive, he called Ryan on his BS pretty consistently, he got his message across, dealt with Obama’s record, got in the 47% zinger several times, and directly rebutted several of Ryan’s points. That is everything that people complained the President DIDN’T do last week.

    And yet last week it was a landslide, and this week it’s a draw?

    Aggressiveness is OKIYAR. If you are a Democrat, that’s rude. That’s the rule, apparently.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  12. Rob in CT says:

    Since I was busy watching an even more futile display (13 innings of absolutely pitiful Yankee “offense”), I can’t comment on substance. I will say that I’m pleased Biden appears to have, at a minimum, stopped the bleeding.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  13. Mikey says:

    @john personna:

    For what it’s worth, the kids on reddit all think Joe won

    /r/politics is a bigger liberal hive mind than Daily Kos. You have to scroll down about five pages to find a single item from a conservative point of view because anything conservative gets downvoted into oblivion within milliseconds. Of course they all think he won.

    BUT…

    On the particular Biden point you posted, I agree. And unless the GOP figures out “the kids” are going to be “the voting mainstream” before long, it risks irrelevancy with an entire generation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  14. Geek, Esq. says:

    Mitt Romney lost the debate last night. Any time one side is talking about butt kicking and the other side is complaining about manners, it’s a clear win.

    On substance, how stupid was Ryan to make his boss the guy who might keep us in Afghanistan ad infinitum?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  15. john personna says:

    Hmm.

    According to Google DoubleClick Ad Planner’s estimate, the median U.S. Reddit user is male (72%), 25–34 years of age, has college education. The analysis also shows that many of the top ten audience interests are in the tech field, suggesting a computer savvy demographic.

    I believe Mr. Santorum has a solution for that …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. stonetools says:

    @john personna:

    For what it’s worth, the kids on reddit all think Joe won,

    The front page here is pretty much a sausage fest, as is a majority of the commenters. We tend to forget that for women, especially younger women, reproductive rights are a BFD, that means far more to them than wonkery about taxes or foreign policy.

    The discussion about abortion gave them a helluva reason to vote for the Democrats.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  17. Rafer Janders says:

    Anyone who tuned into last night’s debate looking for a serious, sober discussion of the issues facing this country was sadly disappointed.

    No one tuned in last night looking for a serious, sober discussion of the issues facing this country, because everyone knew that Paul Ryan was going to be speaking. You can’t have a serious, sober discussion with a lying fraud.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  18. The debate also demonstrated how all over the place the Romney campaign is. Last Tuesday Romney himself said he wanted to spend an additional $2 trillion on defense. Now a week later Ryn is telling us, no, they wouldn’t raise defense spending at all–that’s ridiculous, how could you possible think such a thing?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

  19. OMG I finally figured it out–while I was watching the debate last night, I got this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that Ryan was reminding me of someone I don’t like, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on who it was.

    I just figured it out. He’s basically the grown up version of Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  20. Modulo Myself says:

    Biden is the type of salesman who knows that the guy buying a 1999 Honda with 200K miles needs that car to start in the morning. What’s inside the car may not exactly be clear, but at least Biden and the buyer are on the same wavelength.

    Meanwhile, it’s painfully obvious that Romney and Ryan are guys who have spent their lives selling crap to middlemen who make out no matter what happens. The car can explode, run perfectly, or be made of cardboard. There are absolutely no standards.

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  21. sam says:

    Let’s sum up. Obama lost because he was a pussy. Biden lost because he wasn’t a pussy.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  22. legion says:

    It’s not just Reddit. As I just put over in James’ thread:

    This morning, on anything except the most absurdly extremist sites, you can’t find _anyone_ willing to say Ryan came out ahead last night. James, I love you guys, but you really did just leap on the first thing that said “Ryan won!” and ran with it. Just as comparison, here’s a veritable laundry list of people talking about Ryan getting crushed…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  23. Anderson says:

    And yet last week it was a landslide, and this week it’s a draw?

    Biden offended their delicate sensibilities.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  24. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    Vice President Biden (aka “Joey Plugs”) reminded me of a loudmouth guy that used to come into my father’s favorite bar, “Archer’s”. Once, when I was about seven, my father took me there on a Saturday afternoon to watch the then New York Giants baseball game on TV. I was sitting at the bar with my father, having my Coke with two cherries, when the loudmouth guy thought he saw an opportunity to insert himself into our afternoon. Over he comes, in his gladhanding way, and says much too loudly, “Well, Ted, are you going to introduce me to your boy-o?”


    Now, my father didn’t suffer, and had no intention of ever suffering, fools gladly. Taking a long pull on his Lucky Strike and exhaling slowly, he answered, in that New York way, with a question, “What are you doing at this end of the bar?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  25. gVOR08 says:

    @Geek, Esq.: Agree. If they’re whining, we’re winning. They’re whining a lot this morning. Dropped by NRO earlier this morning. Hilarious.

    I suspect one’s perception of Biden’s laughing depends largely on your perception of Paul Ryan. If you believe Ryan is a smart, knowledgable policy wonk, then it appeared disrespectful. If you believe that Ryan is a lying sack of stuff, Biden’s attitude looks pretty spot on. What was Biden supposed to do? Raise his hand and politely ask, “Martha, may I note that Congressman Ryan just said something of dubious veracity.”? They expected Ryan to be as slippery a weasel as Romney was last week. Ryan wasn’t actually nearly as good at it as his boss, but Biden dealt with it effectively.

    Had to be a real bring down to see the guy they think of as a gaffe prone fool take down the guy they think is a smart young gun. Think they’ll learn anything from the experience?

    And speaking of lying sack of stuff, what ever possessed Raddatz to follow up and ask Biden what he meant by “stuff’. And I thought Ryan was actually quite helpful getting Biden off that hook. Thanks, you sniveling weasel.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  26. michael reynolds says:

    Biden won.

    He won on substance — he had some. He won on the optics — despite the screeching and mooing going on over at Fox, Biden was authentic and memorable, while Ryan looked like the silly little fraud he is.

    I know James cherry-picked the insta-poll that gave him the reaction he wanted, but there was also a CBS insta-poll that had Biden way out ahead. Both are meaningless, by the way, but if we’re quoting nonsense let’s quote all of it.

    Proof that Biden won? Republicans are spending their time attacking the moderator and whining about Joe’s grin. That’s not how Republicans celebrate a win. Republicans celebrate a win by beating their chests, bellowing, roaring, guffawing, belittling and generally behaving like entitled college business majors after one too many beers.

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  27. @11B40:

    Wow, a guy once said hi to you. What a complete jerk.

    On the other hand, your Dad, who apparently decided it’s up to him to decide who is allowed to come into the bar sounds completely swell.

    PS – in most of the country, “in that New York way” is a euphemism for “like a total asshole”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 2

  28. legion says:

    @11B40: You grew up in a Raymond Chandler novel?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  29. @legion:

    Damn you, now I’ll be hearing all his posts in Humphrey Bogart’s voice.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  30. Jr says:

    Biden won, lets not kid ourselves.

    He won on substance, style, and facts. The fact that Republicans are bitching about Joe’s smiling or demeanor…..pretty tells us they know he kicked their boy’s ass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  31. Rafer Janders says:

    @Anderson:

    Biden offended their delicate sensibilities.

    For such manly men who claim to be all about projecting strength, conservatives do tend to have to reach for the smelling salts and stagger to the fainting couch fairly often. “My stars! Such rough, salty language! I’ve…I’ve never heard such…dear me, I suddenly feel all-aflutter…”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  32. stonetools says:

    Jonathon Chait compares and contrasts Obama’s and Biden’s styles:

    he contrast with Obama lies not merely in their very — very, very — different energy levels. Obama approaches debates with the same intellectual method he uses in his books, his speeches, and his policy discussions. He instinctively tries to find common ground first, trying to work within the framework his opponent has established and acknowledge what he agrees with before delineating his disagreements.

    Biden does not bother. He simply casts aside his opponent’s frame and works within his own. He simply casts aside his opponent’s frame and works within his own. He did not ignore Ryan’s arguments, but he barreled over them like an enraged truck driver plowing over orange cones, before moving on to his own intellectual turf. Sometimes he barreled so fast his points were wrong or incomprehensible — most notably when he appeared to attribute the financial crisis to Bush-era fiscal profligacy, and seemed to set the bar for who should pay higher taxes at $1 million a year, not the $250,000 line Obama has labored to align his party behind. But it was a highly effective way to handle the smarmy evasions that Ryan predictably served up.

    RTWT.

    Its clear that Biden’s style is what works when you are dealing with someone who is not arguing in good faith, and is being lying or evasive. Obama, take note.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  33. Rafer Janders says:

    @11B40:

    Now, my father didn’t suffer, and had no intention of ever suffering, fools gladly. Taking a long pull on his Lucky Strike and exhaling slowly, he answered, in that New York way, with a question, “What are you doing at this end of the bar?”

    Yeah, so your father was kind of a nasty little jerk-off. So what?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  34. mantis says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    He’s basically the grown up version of Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon.

    I’m not fan of Paul Ryan, but that’s just mean!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  35. mantis says:

    @legion:

    @11B40: You grew up in a Raymond Chandler novel?

    FTW.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  36. Mikey says:

    @stonetools:

    Its clear that Biden’s style is what works when you are dealing with someone who is not arguing in good faith, and is being lying or evasive.

    The problem with that, in the context of this debate, is many (if not most) of the undecideds do not see Ryan as lying, evasive, or arguing in bad faith. So it’s likely Biden didn’t look to them like someone who was “highly effective,” but rather like a condescending, rude jerk.

    Personally, I thought Biden won on substance. In fact, I think there’s little question he dominated Ryan. But I was so turned off by his manner that I found myself rooting for Ryan just because Biden was being an asshole.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  37. jan says:

    While Ryan followed the rules of the debate, letting Biden talk, ceasing to finish his answer when Martha Raddatz called time on his time, Biden interrupted his “friend” 82 times, amounting to every 66 seconds of the actual debate, and/or every 29.4 seconds of Paul Ryan’s time.

    While some describe Biden’s style as aggressive, it has been interpreted by other’s as being a ‘bully,’ and actually making some listeners’ ‘anxious.’ Basically, whatever points Biden tried to make were deep-sixed and outshone by his every-moving mouth and flashing, condescending smile. More people were talking about his teeth this morning, making jokes, such as “My eyes are having a hard time recovering from all that bright white”, to an inquisitiveness about whether or not Biden had dentures, as “his teeth looked too perfect.” This is not what you want as the after taste of a debate, IMO.

    As for Ryan, he appeared deferential and polite to an elder statesman, Biden, as well as to the moderator. He was wonkish, clear-headed, made no mistakes in his messaged facts (as Biden did about the Benghazi security, or his own votes for the wars). You either agreed with Ryan and his ideology or you didn’t, as he laid it out like he always has done — nothing really new or, for that matter, brilliant. I did identify, though, when he described the event of hearing his unborn child’s heartbeat, as it was associated with his own beliefs on when life begins. I had a similar experience with my son’s first sonogram. When you see/hear the beginnings of life, it becomes difficult to compartmentalize it as a non-life, and only being ’tissue.’ That fetus becomes an endearing human being.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  38. David M says:

    I still think Biden chose the right strategy to deal with a campaign untethered to reality, laugh, interrupt, point out where they are wrong, and don’t worry about respecting their nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  39. @jan:

    You either agreed with Ryan and his ideology or you didn’t, as he laid it out like he always has done — nothing really new or, for that matter, brilliant.

    The problem is I do believe with what Ryan claims his ideology is. That’s part of why he and Romney piss me off so much. Because I think both of them are full of it, and by claiming to be doing it on behalf of my beliefs, they make me look full of it too.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  40. Janis Gore says:

    @jan: Presumably, that fetus was the result of coitus with your husband, not the result the result of a rape with a first date.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  41. @jan:

    When you see/hear the beginnings of life, it becomes difficult to compartmentalize it as a non-life, and only being ’tissue.’ That fetus becomes an endearing human being.

    It’s the president’s job to compartmentalize. We need leaders that make decisions based on rational processes, not people who go along with whatever their knee jerk reaction is. The biggest thing I learned in the years following 9/11 is how badly I’d allowed my emotions to get the better of me and had ended up supposrting a variety of foolish policies as a result.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  42. mantis says:

    He was wonkish, clear-headed, made no mistakes in his messaged facts

    I guess lies aren’t mistakes. He sure offered a lot of those.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  43. David M says:

    Paul Ryan’s ideology is this: “We need to kick old people out of nursing homes and stop taking care of the disabled so we can cut taxes for the wealthy and increase military spending”. I guess that appeals to some people.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  44. wr says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “PS – in most of the country, “in that New York way” is a euphemism for “like a total asshole”. ”

    In New York, too…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  45. john personna says:

    @mantis:

    Wow, that is a good link.

    At The Vice Presidential Debate: Ryan Told 24 Myths In 40 Minutes

    That is more than I caught myself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  46. wr says:

    @jan: It seems like just a week ago that Jan was waxing rhapsodic about how Romney had triumped at his debate, ignoring the moderator, making his points no matter what, never letting the format get in his way, while pointing out that Obama was just dull, dull, dull.

    Now we learn that dull is actually the best thing you can be in a debate, and it’s just horrible to think of some mean man actually talking over the moderator and interrupting.

    Gosh, I wonder what happened to make Jan’s standards change 180 degrees in just a few days…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  47. C. Clavin says:

    “…While some describe Biden’s style as aggressive, it has been interpreted by other’s as being a ‘bully,’ and actually making some listeners’ ‘anxious….”

    WHINEY ASSED TITTY BABIES.
    These are the same people who think that the sick and the poor and the elderly don’t pay enough taxes, that women should have to go through invasive procedures to have a legal abortion, and have never seen a war they won’t send other peoples kids into…but wahhhhh…you interupted me while I was telling a lie….
    Let me say it again…
    WHINEY ASSED TITTY BABIES.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  48. bookdragon says:

    ?

    I just didn’t see Biden as bullying or whatever. He called Ryan on lies without *quite* coming right out and calling them lies. It wasn’t proper debate format, but it felt more like the sort of give and take people have in real conversations.

    Of course, maybe that’s just my blue collar roots showing. Ryan says he comes from the same sort of background as Biden, but Biden still feels authentic. Despite the press about his Midwestern manners, Ryan doesn’t come across as someone who would actually fit in in Lake Wobegon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  49. mantis says:

    @wr:

    Gosh, I wonder what happened to make Jan’s standards change 180 degrees in just a few days…

    As always, in all things, IOKIYAR.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  50. Modulo Myself says:

    While some describe Biden’s style as aggressive, it has been interpreted by other’s as being a ‘bully,’ and actually making some listeners’ ‘anxious.’ Basically, whatever points Biden tried to make were deep-sixed and outshone by his every-moving mouth and flashing, condescending smile. More people were talking about his teeth this morning, making jokes, such as “My eyes are having a hard time recovering from all that bright white”, to an inquisitiveness about whether or not Biden had dentures, as “his teeth looked too perfect.” This is not what you want as the after taste of a debate, IMO.

    COMRADES JOE BIDEN IS BIG BULLY TALKING POINT XXX JOE BIDEN IS LOOKING VERY LAME WHITE TEETH TALKING POINT XXX PAUL RYAN SINCERE EYES TALKING POINT XXX SINCERE ASEXUAL MAN PAUL RYAN TALKING POINT XXX SET ON BY BULLY TALKING POINT XXX REPEAT PASS ON COMRADES XXX

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  51. C. Clavin says:

    @ JP…
    It’s a good campanion piece to this:
    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/10/27-lies-in-one-debate.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  52. Janis Gore says:

    I have been thinking some about this “rape/pregnancy” issue.

    The women most likely to become through rape are those who are either not sexually active, are too innocent to take precautions, practicing NFP, or actively seeking to become pregnant with their partners.

    Haggard old harridans like me know better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  53. Geek, Esq. says:

    If this were a Biden/Obama ticket, Democrats would be comfortably ahead. Biden, for all his flubs, never backs down, never quits, never mails it in, never runs out of passion.

    We Democrats were feeling pretty good about the debate last night, but a quick look at the national polls shows a very grim reality. Three weeks out and behind in every single national poll is a really bad spot to be in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  54. mantis says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    We Democrats were feeling pretty good about the debate last night, but a quick look at the national polls shows a very grim reality. Three weeks out and behind in every single national poll is a really bad spot to be in.

    The election is not decided on a national vote. I’ve asked you before, are you familiar with the electoral college? You don’t seem to be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  55. JKB says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Paul Ryan and Joe Biden were asked to tell Americans the degree to which their faith informs their politics, particularly on the issue of abortion.

    It’s an interesting worldview, isn’t it? Government-sponsored theft is legitimate on moral grounds, but government protection of innocent, defenseless life is unreasonable. That’s the modern Democrat Party.

    Democrat view: dead babies, yea. lower taxes, nay

    As for Biden, he was just doing Troll Face

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 15

  56. David M says:

    @JKB:
    So you think the deficit should be bigger? (lower taxes = bigger deficit)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  57. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Democrat view: dead babies, yea. lower taxes, nay

    You aren’t keeping up. Romney in his debate, and Ryan again last night. promised that the 20% headline reduction in taxes would be totally made up by cuts to deductions and credits. That is not lower taxes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  58. @mantis:

    I’m not fan of Paul Ryan, but that’s just mean!

    So you’re saying you WOULDN’T totally want to see Peter Dinklage bitchslap Paul Ryan?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  59. Janis Gore says:

    I wish these jerks wouldn’t pull the “all sperm are sacred” sh*t with me. I washed your sheets when you were adolescents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  60. An Interested Party says:

    But I was so turned off by his manner that I found myself rooting for Ryan just because Biden was being an asshole.

    As if it isn’t being an asshole to lie through your teeth with a smirk and/or a smile like both Romney and Ryan did…

    While some describe Biden’s style as aggressive, it has been interpreted by other’s as being a ‘bully,’…

    As any bald-faced liar like Ryan deserves…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  61. legion says:

    @JKB:

    Democrat view: dead babies, yea. lower taxes, nay

    You are a truly despicable human being.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  62. David M says:

    @legion:

    @JKB:

    Democrat view: dead babies, yea. lower taxes, nay

    You are a truly despicable human being.

    It’s a severe case of ODS, with no expectation of lucidity in sight.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  63. john personna says:

    Daniel McCarthy, the editor of The American Conservative, on Romney’s economics:

    Economically speaking, both major-party candidates are prisoners of outmoded ideologies. Obama, a Keynesian without gusto, has been remarkably short on proposals for reviving the economy: he offers just more of the same. Romney pins his hopes to “growth” stimulated by low taxes and lower interest rates, a recipe that notably failed to cook up a solution to the impending crisis during the Bush years. Where the economy is concerned, Obama has had basically nothing to say, and nothing Romney says can be trusted.

    Obama’s steady-on is much safer, IMO.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  64. Mikey says:

    @john personna:

    Romney in his debate, and Ryan again last night. promised that the 20% headline reduction in taxes would be totally made up by cuts to deductions and credits.

    This is where they totally lose me. “Deductions and credits.” WHICH. ONES. And FOR. WHOM.

    I can tell you from experience that pretty much every credit starts to phase out well below an AGI of $250K. My AGI isn’t even half of that and I still lost half the child tax credit and student interest loan credit last year. They can’t take those credits away at the $250K level because they ALREADY don’t exist for those people.

    So are they going to move the ceiling even lower? If they do, they’ll be biting well into the middle class in any major metro area.

    I’d actually be happier if they’d just say something like “the American federal tax system hasn’t had a necessary overhaul since the early 1980s and if we’re elected we’ll work with Congress as Reagan did to get it done” or something like that. But putting out a specific number without a specific path to achieve it is just stupidly frustrating.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  65. Tillman says:

    Am I the only one who’s noticed that the reaction to the last debate from liberals, that Jim Lehrer was a crappy moderator and Romney was a jackass, is basically the reaction of conservatives to this debate, that Martha Raddatz was a crappy moderator and Biden was a jackass?

    Do you people, like, pay attention to this stuff? This is revealing stuff. It’s an actual, bona fide case of “both sides do it,” and I can’t believe Doug missed this one.

    @Stormy Dragon: I don’t think anyone’s saying that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  66. john personna says:

    @Mikey:

    I agree with you that tax reform is a good thing, but I think the Romney campaign likes the confusion they’ve sewn. It allows them to tap general tax pain, general desire for growth, general desire for jobs, without showing anything that can be checked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  67. john personna says:

    This article is sub-titled: “Libertarians are better off with Obama”

    Like Ron Paul? Avoid Mitt Romney

    It is foreign policy centered.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  68. David M says:

    @Tillman:

    Am I the only one who’s noticed that the reaction to the last debate from liberals, that Jim Lehrer was a crappy moderator and Romney was a jackass, is basically the reaction of conservatives to this debate, that Martha Raddatz was a crappy moderator and Biden was a jackass?

    I’ll disagree on that a little, as the reactions had a key difference.

    Dems: There was a crappy moderator, Romney was a jackass, but still won
    GOP: There was a crappy moderator, and Biden was a jackass so Ryan won

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  69. john personna says:

    @Tillman:

    Well, I think this post-debate focus on policy is what I wanted the first time around. To be blunt, liberals should have been digging into Romney’s misdirections and sudden changes in platform, rather than bed-wetting.

    I even thought Lehrer did a good job, letting the candidates run when they were defining their differences.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  70. Mikey says:

    @john personna: I understand, to an extent, the reluctance to put out a lot of specifics. After all, they might not survive contact with Congress, and then they’ll be “broken promises.” But for goodness’ sake, if you’re going to put out one number, you at least have to put out some information that generally supports it, and they’re not. They just keep repeating how it’s “revenue neutral” and it’s “not going to reduce the portion of taxes paid by top earners.” Well, if you know all that, you must have a plan somewhere from which you’ve derived it, right? So show us.

    On the other hand…Joe, is it $250K or $1 million? Because Obama’s saying one and you’re saying the other.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  71. jan says:

    As this blog is always seeking out the ‘lies’ in politics, I’m sure they will be interested in the following:

    Catholic Bishops: Biden misrepresented HHS mandate in debate.

    Couple this with his Benghazi security, voting for the wars, Iran and the bomb comments, Biden either stretched or totally misrepresented the truth.

    BTW, the money taken out of medicare and transferred over to the ACA, to fiscally make sense of it, will weaken govt. medicare payments to care providers, giving credence to Ryan’s speculative comments that more facilities and physicians will be less willing to take on medicare patients with this in place. If anyone is doing ‘granny’ a disservice, it is what will be the unintended consequences of the ACA. Ryan made it clear last night, that people don’t see or feel the effects yet, demoting, and making irrelevant, Biden’s claims that more people were applying to medicare advantage programs than ever, since the ACA won’t be implemented until 2013.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  72. Geek, Esq. says:

    @mantis:

    I’m familiar with it.

    I’m also familiar with the studies that show that, at most, a candidate can hope/expect to outperform the popular vote by 2% in the electoral vote in a close election.

    So, where we are probably headed is an upside-down version of 2000. With likely court challenges to razor-thin vote totals in one or more states like Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, or Wisconsin.

    That’s the best case likely scenario for Obama. Yippee!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  73. David M says:

    @jan:

    Hmm, we care what the bishops say about the HHS mandate why? Seriously, Churches were always exempt, and the mandate is now that insurance companies have to provide the coverage and are not allowed to pass the costs onto the religiously affiliated institutions.

    And wow, you really don’t understand the Medicare cuts in the ACA at all do you? That really is the point you made best there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  74. wr says:

    @Geek, Esq.: It’s so nice that we finally have our very own concern troll here. Thanks, Jenos!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  75. john personna says:

    @Mikey:

    In defense of Biden’s use of “millionaires,” if he is speaking in the old way, of net worth, then many people making $250K per year are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  76. David M says:

    @jan:

    Ryan made it clear last night, that people don’t see or feel the effects yet, demoting, and making irrelevant, Biden’s claims that more people were applying to medicare advantage programs than ever, since the ACA won’t be implemented until 2013.

    As a reminder, the cuts to Medicare Advantage began in 2011, and enrollment is increasing and premiums are decreasing. So I think Biden probably has the better argument than Ryan on that point.

    Secondly, how many times does it have to be pointed out that Ryan and the GOP support the exact same cuts to Medicare and want to use them to fund tax cuts for the wealthy? How is that preferable to using the savings to fund Obamacare?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  77. Mikey says:

    @john personna: He specifically used the $1 million threshold for tax rates to expire. He said “The middle class will pay less, and people making a million dollars or more will begin to contribute slightly more.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  78. Scott says:

    @jan: I don’t understand this argument. If reducing payments to providers to reduce the overall cost of medicare will drive providers out of the business of taking on medicare patients, how does the reverse work? How does increasing payments to providers reduce the cost of medicare? Is it the position of Republicans that cost of medicare doesn’t matter? Or is it that we must drive the demand for medical services by increasing costs to patients? Or by reducing the number of patients all together.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  79. Geek, Esq. says:

    @wr:

    Concern troll, no.

    But, have you read 538 today. Silver describes Obama’s fire wall as having a ‘brittle foundation.”

    Let’s assume that Romney–the leader in virtually every national poll–wins the popular vote by 1%.

    That would in all likelihood sweep in FL (+4% conservative compared to rest of the country), NC (+6% conservative compared to rest of country), and Virginia (+1% conservative compared to the rest of the country).

    That puts Romney at 257. Assuming that Obama’s got NH and NV wrapped up, that leaves realistically 34 electoral votes up for grabs.

    Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio.

    There are 8 possible scenarios with those three states. 5 result in Romney winning, 3 result in Obama winning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  80. john personna says:

    @Mikey:

    Oh, I missed that one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  81. wr says:

    @Geek, Esq.: Yes, and if I assume that in the next debate Obama is going to shout out “Ha Ha! Fooled you all! I’m really a Kenyan Fascist commie here to enslave all white people!” the Romney will win in a landslide.

    We can “assume” anything and then draw all sorts of conclusions from that.

    When you consistently “assume” the worst for one side and then express concern and worry about how bad this will be, it’s pretty obvious you’re nothing but a concern troll, even though you’ve come up with yet another screen name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  82. mantis says:

    So, where we are probably headed is an upside-down version of 2000. With likely court challenges to razor-thin vote totals in one or more states like Ohio, Nevada, Iowa, or Wisconsin.

    That’s the best case likely scenario for Obama.

    Ha! That’s the best case scenario? Did you just jump here from a parallel universe?

    Best case scenario for Obama is outperforming 2008 in EV and popular vote. It’s highly improbable, but it is the best case.

    Seriously, give it up concern troll. It’s tiresome.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  83. Geek, Esq. says:

    @wr:

    What’s not realistic is assuming that Obama can win 300+ EVs while losing the popular vote.

    When Bush lost the popular vote but won the electoral college, he barely crawled over 269.

    When Kerry lost the popular vote, had he won Ohio he would have barely crawled over 269.

    If Obama loses the popular vote and wins the electoral college, it’s going to come down to just a few states, and they will be very, very close.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  84. mantis says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    But, have you read 538 today. Silver describes Obama’s fire wall as having a ‘brittle foundation.”

    He also gives the president a 66% chance of winning the EV and 62.6% chance of winning the popular vote.

    Let’s assume that Romney–the leader in virtually every national poll–wins the popular vote by 1%.

    That would in all likelihood sweep in FL (+4% conservative compared to rest of the country), NC (+6% conservative compared to rest of country), and Virginia (+1% conservative compared to the rest of the country).

    Why would we assume a 1% win and Virginia for Romney?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  85. stonetools says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    That’s the best case likely scenario for Obama. Yippee!

    You do know that these polls swing back and forth, right? Let’s say by next week the polls swing back and put Obama back in the lead. Will you then be saying that Obama has the election in the bag?

    (somehow I doubt it).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  86. mantis says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    If Obama loses the popular vote and wins the electoral college, it’s going to come down to just a few states, and they will be very, very close.

    Sky = blue, water = wet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  87. @Tillman:

    @Stormy Dragon: I don’t think anyone’s saying that.

    Actually, I think that should be the format for the next debate. Make Peter Dinklage the moderator, but instead of asking questions, he just starts slapping the crap out of both Obama and Romney, so that we can observe who handles it better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  88. wr says:

    @Geek, Esq.: Right. If you “assume” that Obama loses the popular vote, then blah blah blah.

    Bring back Hoot!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  89. mantis says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Make Peter Dinklage the moderator, but instead of asking questions, he just starts slapping the crap out of both Obama and Romney, so that we can observe who handles it better.

    As long as it’s got Dinklage in it, I’ll watch it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  90. Geek, Esq. says:

    @stonetools:

    And if I had a fifth of whiskey, I’d be drunk.

    The polls moved decisively in favor of Romney because of the last debate. Not some random fluke.

    Nothing has changed to turn that dynamic around.

    Obama has the opportunity to change the direction of the race next Tuesday. Assuming he won’t get any help from Romney, the question is whether he’s got the game to do so.

    When was the last time he delivered a really strong, compelling performance outside of typical stump speech settings?

    I guess if one has faith that Obama’s still a formidable candidate/politician, one could hold out that hope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  91. jan says:

    @Scott:

    I don’t understand this argument. If reducing payments to providers to reduce the overall cost of medicare will drive providers out of the business of taking on medicare patients, how does the reverse work? How does increasing payments to providers reduce the cost of medicare? Is it the position of Republicans that cost of medicare doesn’t matter? Or is it that we must drive the demand for medical services by increasing costs to patients? Or by reducing the number of patients all together.

    If care providers, either physicians or medical facilities, are given smaller payments for serving medicare patients, there will be more incentives to exclude this demographic. As it is, there are physicians who are complaining about government payments being already too little to make it worth their while or even cover their expenses. That’s why we have the disingeneous ‘doc fix’ funding every year, including when the AMA was passed to keep these people from going AWOL in dealing with medicare and medicaid patients.

    There is no reverse….I don’t know where you get that anyone is saying to increase payments to providers???? What Romney/Ryan want to do is insert more consumer choice in medicare — giving options, instead of forcing people into government medicare. Giving choices and further educating people as to cost and services will help to contain costs, and that is the axiom behind many policies that conservatives back — choice, education and more reliance on one’s self promotes a more efficient use of one’s own money or government money.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  92. jan says:

    @David M:

    Secondly, how many times does it have to be pointed out that Ryan and the GOP support the exact same cuts to Medicare and want to use them to fund tax cuts for the wealthy? How is that preferable to using the savings to fund Obamacare?

    That’s simply not true. Money taken out of medicare to fund the ACA is different than the containment of costs model being pushed by R/R, where costs would be reduced because of a change in the fundamentals of the medicare program for younger people. This has nothing to do with your favorite class warfare meme of advantages for the wealthy. That is getting to be so old, and such a disservice in finding real solutions to our real problems.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  93. stonetools says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    The polls moved decisively in favor of Romney because of the last debate. Not some random fluke.

    And they could move back the other way because of Biden’s performance, or Obama’s performance next week. Your point?

    I’m doing some swinging myself. At first I took you at face value but now I’m swinging in favor of the concern troll/sock puppet inter[interpretation of your posts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  94. stonetools says:

    @jan:

    That’s simply not true. Money taken out of medicare to fund the ACA is different than the containment of costs model being pushed by R/R, where costs would be reduced because of a change in the fundamentals of the medicare program for younger people.

    If you are right, you surely should able to provide a link supporting your view. By all means, share it

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  95. David M says:

    @jan:
    As always, Jan, you are uninformed. Politifact rates your statement as False. ” the Ryan budget plan included cost savings that were part of the future health care law [Obamacare]”

    By the way, are you in the age group you’re advocating ending Medicare coverage for?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  96. Geek, Esq. says:

    @stonetools:

    And they could move back the other way because of Biden’s performance, or Obama’s performance next week. Your point?

    1) VP debates don’t move numbers.

    2) Obama’s position in the polls almost mirrors to the decimal place where Kerry was in 2004. And Kerry was a better debater against a less capable opponent.

    3) http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/10/obamas-swin.html

    The correct description for the trendline in Obama’s numbers is “nosedive.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  97. stonetools says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    OK, my mind is made up.

    Hi, Jenos/Hoot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  98. David M says:

    @stonetools:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    OK, my mind is made up.

    Hi, Jenos/Hoot.

    There’s been a lot of accusations of name changes lately, and I don’t think any of them are right. Geek doesn’t remotely sound like Jenos, and even if he was, who cares? (Same goes for Buzz Buzz, etc.) I just assume there’s a lot of people on the Internet.

    PS It shouldn’t be a surprise when a couple people sound alike, wingnut or not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  99. stonetools says:

    @David M:

    So jan is wrong again? (creates macro).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  100. Scott says:

    @jan: There are several underlying assumptions here. There is assumption is that people are consuming healthcare as a matter of choice instead of need and that drives up costs. Assumption two is that there is sufficient supply of providers,etc. that they are in competition for your dollar. Assumption three is that an increase in price (and or ability to pay) will result in a reduction of demand. All of these assumptions have problems. And the market based solutions have not been shown to work even on a demonstration basis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  101. wr says:

    @David M: No, Geek’s style is almost identical to Jenos/Jay Tea’s. He tried a slightly different voice when invented Hoot, but quickly forgot to use it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  102. Geek, Esq. says:

    @wr:

    Look, I want Obama to win. But, we’re three weeks out, he’s behind in all of the national polls, and the state-level trendlines are all against him.

    If you can tell me someone who’s pulled it off given those headwinds, please advise.

    Sometimes wars are lost in a single battle, and that may very well prove the case with regard to the debate last week.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  103. john personna says:

    Geek, Esq. seems like a new person to me.

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Oops, I hit -1 by accident.

    I think the timing may not be terrible. Pendulums swing back and forth. If the post debate #1 swing for Romney can be reversed, the swing can carry for Obama through the election.

    It would be a good start if the VP debate win started showing up as a turn in the polls in coming days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  104. David M says:

    @john personna:

    I agree Geek is a new commenter, and I’m biased towards just accepting new arrivals, as they make the comments more interesting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  105. legion says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I would pay money to watch that debate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  106. CB says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Freakin’ brilliant.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  107. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    The problem is that Obama hasn’t been an effective candidate.

    His campaign has been very, very effective. Lethal, in fact. Had Obama turned in even a Bush-like performance last week, he would still have an iron grip.

    But the man is allergic to self-promotion these days. Maybe he internally assigns himself too much blame for not doing enough. I dunno. But, this goes back through the DNC speech, the Univision forum, 60 Minutes Interview.

    But, he doesn’t act like he believes he’s the best person for the job. He can rip Romney a new one on the stump, no problem. But he doesn’t seem as confident selling his own merits.

    It doesn’t matter how smart, how virtuous, how dedicated someone is at their job–if they lack confidence and/or the ability to project that confidence, they have trouble getting ahead.

    Things are getting better. Some optimism is filtering through the consciousness.

    He needs to OWN that dynamic rather than let Romney expropriate it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  108. john personna says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    The problem is that Obama hasn’t been an effective candidate.

    If you take the days Romney has led, and the days Obama has led, and do a percentage, what do you get? If I recall correctly Obama has led for about a year, and Romney has touched him in the last few days. A 2 or 3 percent lead ratio for Romney, versus 97 or 98 percent for Obama?

    Something like that.

    Surely the “ineffective candidate” would be the one that leads 2 or 3 percent of the time.

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  109. Clanton says:

    As a person who voted for and has high regard for VP Biden, let me say that I was not pleased with the condescending, arrogant attitude that I saw in their debate: laughing, grinning, smirking. That was not needed. Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey would never have done that (if he would have had two more weeks, he would have won that election over Nixon). Uncalled for. Days of statesmanship are long over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  110. David M says:

    @Clanton:

    Here’s the alternate view: Biden was right to laugh

    The GOP positions and arguments are the opposite of statesmanship, they are a direct insult to the audience. Their nonsense is disrespectful and uncivil and needs to be called out forcefully.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  111. Geek, Esq. says:

    @john personna:

    Obama’s campaign is much better than Romney’s. That includes media people, ground game, finance, etc.

    It wasn’t Obama the candidate that spiked Romney’s negatives up over the summer and poisoned the well for him in Ohio. It was his campaign operation.

    It only took Obama the candidate 90 minutes to p!ss all that away.

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  112. Geek, Esq. says:

    @David M:

    How could you not laugh at “Governor Romney is a car guy?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  113. stonetools says:

    @David M:

    If you read Tiabbi’s analysis, its clear that the Romney tax plan is a ludicrous con game. Maybe Obama should laugh at Romney next week:

    VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Can I translate?

    REP. RYAN: – so we can lower tax rates across the board. Now, here’s why I’m saying this. What we’re saying is here’s a framework –

    VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: I hope I’m going to get time to respond to this.

    REP. RYAN: We want to work with Congress –

    MS. RADDATZ: I – you’ll get time.

    REP. RYAN: We want to work with Congress on how best to achieve this. That means successful – look –

    MS. RADDATZ: No specifics, yeah.

    Raddatz did exactly the right thing. She asked a yes-or-no question, had a politician try to run the lamest kind of game on her – and when he was done, she called him on it, coming right back to the question and translating for viewers: “No specifics.”

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/the-vice-presidential-debate-joe-biden-was-right-to-laugh-20121012#ixzz297rLk0vx

    If that’s not laughable……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  114. stonetools says:

    More good analysis from Dana Milbank:

    the emphasis on congressional Republicans was key to Biden’s strong performance in Kentucky, because it provided a more favorable way for Democrats to frame the campaign: not as a choice between President Obama and some abstract alternative but a choice between Obama and the dimly regarded Republican-led House, which would be in a dominant position under a President Romney. Romney’s views may be all over the lot, but the positions of Republicans on Capitol Hill are clear and stark.

    Despite much hyperventilating by dismayed liberals, it looks to me that the Democrats have figured out how to handle the debates from here on in: outrage and ridicule at the Romney program.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  115. Geek, Esq. says:

    @stonetools:

    That was the game plan going into last Wednesday’s debate too.

    What we got is:

    Four years ago I said I wasn’t a perfect man and I wouldn’t be a perfect president and that’s probably a promise that Governor Romney thinks I kept.

    Maybe the same guy that went out and delivered the worst performance in the history of Presidential debates will deliver a compelling performance on Tuesday. Not holding my breath.

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  116. Geek, Esq. says:

    By the way, Nate Silver has Obama with only a 56% chance of winning were the election to be held today, with a projection of 276 electoral votes and a .3% margin in th electoral college.

    Those numbers will get worse over the weekend, since there won’t be much change in the numbers, making the current situation of Obama trailing being the new normal.

    He was at 90% 8 days ago.

    But, chill out, the Great Communicator’s got this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  117. David M says:

    @Geek, Esq.:
    I’m not sure where you’re coming from, as most if not all Obama supporters here agree he needs to do a better job next debate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  118. Geek, Esq. says:

    @David M:

    The problem is that he needs help from Romney to turn this around. If Romney fights him to a draw on Tuesday, this election is over.

    Look at the trendlines at Nate Silver’s blog–he just updated.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

    This is exactly what happened to Jimmy Carter. He built up his entire campaign on disqualifying Reagan, and then when people got to see them unfiltered side by side, he looked like a loser and Reagan looked like a winner.

    And then came the collapse.

    And, this isn’t a voter enthusiasm thing–Senate candidates in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin etc are doing just as well now as they did before the debate. It’s purely a reflection on what voters think of Obama vs Romney.

    People can make fun of Andrew Sullivan, but he was prophetic.

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  119. stonetools says:

    @Geek, Esq.:

    Don’t understand the doom and gloom. Obama has done better in the past, and there is no reason to think he can’t be better in the future, especially since Biden will be advising him.
    Moreover, Obama has other cards to play that Joe Biden didn’t play- immigration, gay rights, housing reform, Osama is dead.

    Cowboy up, Francis.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  120. jan says:

    I’m glad that the social progressives on this blog are so energized from last night’s debate performance. Apparently, the unfolding analysis of Biden/Ryan was that each did what they were supposed to do.

    Ryan was to be serious, showing a demeanor and knowledge of issues, reassuring people, that this relatively young newbie to the national stage, was VP material, with a solid potential for becoming President. He accomplished that, especially with the base and moderates.

    Biden, OTOH, was to pick up the slack from last week, and enthuse the base who had become melancholy because of what was seen as a below par debate response from Obama. And, by reading the liberal media, and people on this site, Biden’s mission was also accomplished.

    However, when you peruse conservative blogs, listen to moderate or unbiased liberal pundits, people are not happy with Biden. I, for one, would have flipped out had Paul Ryan acted in the same manner as Biden had. When my husband and I were watching, the jeering Biden face became repulsive. My husband wanted to know if he was on meds, or was crazy, suffering from dementia. It appears that woman, in particular, found Biden so unpleasant that many wanted to turn off the debate. Punditry everywhere is saying that indies, moderates, women and seniors were the demographics Biden lost.

    One conservative pundit even called the democratic performance an act of self-immolation, which, as this debate seeps in more, seems about right. I think the dems are destroying their credibility with the over usage of the word ‘lie’ to explain policy differences between them and Romney. Also the hyperbole, vitriol, inability of Biden to even listen to his opponent just doesn’t bode well for the left to reach across the aisle, in any sense of the word, finding any future consensus for our problems.

    Lastly, Biden’s efforts, to ease people’s anxiety over Iran’s bomb-making capacity, were further conflicted when he wanted to blame intelligence for their lack of knowledge in what went on in Benghazi. If he upends them for not doing their job in Libya, why should he be so sure he and Obama will know when Iran finally has mastered making a bomb? Maybe when they fire one off?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 7

  121. Geek, Esq. says:

    @stonetools:

    He would have to be much better than he’s ever been on Tuesday to make this a race again.

    He’s the incumbent, and he’s not only below 50%, he’s below 47%.

    And losing momentum on a daily basis.

    No incumbent has ever won in that situation. Truman was on an upward trajectory in 1948, and of course most working class voters didn’t have phones back then.

    Democrats now should focus on the Senate and how to handle fiscal cliff negotiations with the Republicans and President-elect Romney.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  122. David M says:

    @Geek, Esq.:
    That’s seriously concern troll level nonsense there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  123. Clanton says:

    @David M: Ok, but Humphrey and Johnson would still be far better: in every way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  124. Pags says:

    I don’t understand how anyone could watch a 70-yr-old man act like an 8-yr-old child and think that he did a good job. He did plenty of lying and misrepresenting…as do all Pols in an election, make no mistake…but he’s the first I ever saw doing it with a huge-smug smile, with arrogant gestures, with complete immaturity. I used to be an Independent, but after the WARN act and illegalities proposed by Obama and now this BS ‘performance’ from Biden, I am now a member of the ‘Anything-but-Dem’ party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  125. jan says:

    FYI:

    Obama’s big money PACs pulled out of FL last week.

    Nate is conceding CO, VA, FL to R now with current data. He has R at 254 and says that the debate was not a bump but a realignment (per Kirsten Powers)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  126. Clanton says:

    @stonetools: Biden would never have gotten by with that stuff if he had been sitting there with Goldwater, Humphrey, or Johnson.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  127. Geek, Esq. says:

    @David M:

    Name someone who was at 46% nationally in a two-person race this late and won–besides Harry Truman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  128. jan says:

    Ricochet is a conservative blog which is echoing a different by-line for the bottom-line takeaway from yesterday’s VP debate: The edge of panic.

    Biden aimed to throw the Obama base a lifeline. He fed the Kos Kidz desperate need to see some fight, but at the cost of his remaining (and mostly notional) dignity. If you want a gibbering, snorting, mumbling clown with a rictus-grin locked on his mug a heartbeat away from controlling America’s nuclear arsenal, Joe Biden’s your guy.

    Ryan aimed to meet the standard of gravitas and presence, to demonstrate to the fabled female/suburban/swing/moderate voters that he’s not a scary granny-killing Terminator sent from the future to throw seniors into the snowbank. He had to demonstrate steadiness, stature and knowledge. Done and done.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  129. jan says:

    This Forbes piece dovetails into my husband’s questioning of Biden’s mental capacity: Joe Biden’s gaffes call for a throough neurological examination.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  130. An Interested Party says:

    When was the last time he delivered a really strong, compelling performance outside of typical stump speech settings?

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with this? For someone who claims to be so concerned about the President, you really do appear to be trollish…

    …and I’m biased towards just accepting new arrivals, as they make the comments more interesting.

    Indeed, except when said new arrivals appear to be disengenious in their concern for a particular topic and/or person, that kind of interesting doesn’t add much to the conversation…

    Days of statesmanship are long over.

    Oh please…those days ended long before Romney and Ryan decided to lie and grin…

    I, for one, would have flipped out had Paul Ryan acted in the same manner as Biden had.

    Oh really? I’ll bet Ryan’s bald-faced lies didn’t even make you blush…

    Also the hyperbole, vitriol, inability of Biden to even listen to his opponent just doesn’t bode well for the left to reach across the aisle, in any sense of the word, finding any future consensus for our problems.

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Speaking of things to laugh at! That’s quite rich considering that Congressional Republicans have done everything within their power to follow the wish of the top Republican in the Senate to make sure the President only serves one term…

    Biden would never have gotten by with that stuff if he had been sitting there with Goldwater, Humphrey, or Johnson.

    Nor would Ryan or especially Romney, as Goldwater and Johnson probably wouldn’t of had any problem calling both of them liars right to their faces…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  131. Dazedandconfused says:

    @David M:

    The Geek is quoting polls that were taken before this debate. I sense fear.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  132. michael reynolds says:

    @jan:

    If Biden has diminished mental capacity what does that say for little Paul Ryan who Biden spanked on national TV?

    Who’s whining? The Republicans are whining. Which tells you who won.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  133. Scott O says:

    @jan: Who does your husband think is crazier, you or Biden?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  134. David M says:

    Ryan aimed ..to demonstrate to the..voters that he’s not a scary granny-killing Terminator sent from the future to throw seniors into the snowbank.

    Why does Ryan have to hide his agenda from the voters? Isn’t the GOP proud of wanting to kick seniors out of nursing homes and leave the disabled on their own in the streets? And make no mistake, those are the policies they support, as Romney/Ryan want to make massive cuts to Medicaid, so their rich friends can pay less taxes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  135. Andre Kenji says:

    @jan:

    Money taken out of medicare to fund the ACA is different than the containment of costs model being pushed by R/R, where costs would be reduced because of a change in the fundamentals of the medicare program for younger people

    Romney and Ryan are not proposing containing costs. They are working under the illusion that you could simply transfer Medicare to private insurers and then costs would be cut magically. The idea that Obama would be “stealing” Medicare is ludicrous. Sou, we have to expect Medicare to grow forever? Or, we have to say “F* you to anyone that´s under 50 while keep Medicare as it is, forever, but only to the Baby Boomers?

    That should sound as nails scratching a blackboard to any REAL Fiscal Conservative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  136. An Interested Party says:

    Who’s whining? The Republicans are whining. Which tells you who won.

    Indeed

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  137. michael reynolds says:

    Another poll shows Biden winning.

    The conventional wisdom was wrong: Biden’s reaction shots were fine.

    There’s a lesson in this. There is no one-size-fits-all on things to do with personality. Gore didn’t work, Biden did. Different performances. Biden was authentic, Gore was not.

    Oh, plus this: Paul Ryan is a ridiculous fraud, just like his maxi-me, Mitt Romney. The idea of Paul Ryan as president is preposterous. Paul Ryan even lied about his religion: he’s a Rand cultist. He’s about as Christian as I am.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  138. jukeboxgrad says:

    geek:

    Assuming that Obama’s got NH and NV wrapped up, that leaves realistically 34 electoral votes up for grabs. Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio.

    Mitt can have FL, VA, CO, NH and NV (and of course NC and MO). Obama still wins if he gets WI, IA and OH (and of course PA, MI and NM). Rasmussen polled those three states (WI, IA and OH) since the debate (10/3), and show Obama still leading in all 3.

    If you can’t trust Rasmussen, who can you trust? And Mitt has still never, ever had a lead (or even a tie) in the RCP average for any of those three states.

    OH, as usual, is the place to watch. Right now the electoral math still favors Obama, and it will stay that way unless we see Mitt start to lead in the RCP average for OH.

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  139. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    How remarkable. All those people obsessed with calling Romney and Ryan “liars” are totally turning a blind eye to Joe Biden’s lies during the debate.

    Biden said he voted against the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted for both.

    He said that they saved GM from bankruptcy. GM and Chrysler did go bankrupt.

    He said that the Benghazi attacks were an intelligence failure. They were a political and policy failure.

    He said that ObamaCare will not force the Catholic Church to pay for birth control, in direct contravention with their long-held beliefs. It will.

    But hey, it’s just Joe Biden. He’s been brain-damaged since his stroke back in the 80′s, and it’s just not fair to expect him to fully grasp reality. He’s in his own little world, and we shouldn’t interrupt him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  140. David says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Most of your points are opinion or splitting hairs, not sure about the voting thing, possibly voted one way and then another as there were more than one vote for each of the wars. It’s Saturday and I really don’t feel like doing research on my day off.

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  141. Clanton says:

    @michael reynolds: Ok, Ryan was the pupil. But Biden could never have pulled that junk on Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Gerald Ford, or Goldwater. He would have gotten whacked but good! We are in an age of leadership vacuum. Rank amateurs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  142. michael reynolds says:

    @Clanton:

    Of course he couldn’t have pulled it on LBJ, Johnson was a grown-up. It worked on Ryan because Ryan is a joke.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  143. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Why don’t you source that war vote accusation. I smell your usual brand of bullshit Indiana Tea.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  144. john personna says:

    @Clanton:

    Those others might not have gone out with such a weak script. I mean, when you say “you are weak on Iran, but we will do the same thing, with more feeling …”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  145. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David: Most of your points are opinion or splitting hairs, not sure about the voting thing, possibly voted one way and then another as there were more than one vote for each of the wars.

    Biden, in the debate: “By the way, they talk about this great recession like it fell out of the sky–like, ‘Oh my goodness, where did it come from? It came from this man voting to put two wars on a credit card, at the same time, put a prescription drug plan on the credit card, a trillion dollar tax cut for the very wealthy. I was there, I voted against them. I said, no, we can’t afford that.”

    Biden voted for both Authorizations for the Use of Military Force.

    Biden, on ObamaCare, claimed to present the Catholic Church’s position. The Church disagrees.

    He said Romney wanted GM to go into bankruptcy. It did — June 1, 2009, in Manhattan. The difference is, under Romney, it would have been governed by existing laws and private money; under Obama, the law was ignored and Democratic backers got rewarded, while others got stiffed.

    You can’t call what Biden said “opinion.” They are actual historic facts — Biden’s vote and the GM bankruptcy, especially. What Slow Joe said was simply not in sync with reality.

    But that’s OK, because that’s just what Joe Biden does. He simply invents his own reality, and lectures us from Cloud Cuckoo Land. We’re just not supposed to point it out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  146. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Do you remember the price tag the Bush administration put on the Authorization of Force vote?

    The White House is downplaying published reports of an estimated $50 billion to $60 billion price tag for a war with Iraq, saying it is “impossible” to estimate the cost at this time.

    That from January 01, 2003

    Now you want to blame the Democrats because they initially accepted those estimates? And not the Republicans who kept cutting taxes as war costs careened towards the trillions?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  147. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Sloe Joe said he voted against it. Period. He didn’t put any qualifiers on it.

    Oh, and he also said there have been no terrorist attacks under Obama. Ambassador Chris Stevens is unavailable for comment, but remember that the underwear bomber and the Times Square bomber both failed because of their own incompetence — not through any efforts or actions of the Obama administration.

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  148. Geek, Esq. says:

    @An Interested Party:

    So, the last time he delivered a compelling performance without a throng of adoring supporters was January 2010. That was 2008-vintage Obama.

    We saw this with Bush–Bush was MUCH better in debates against Gore than he was against Kerry. But, while Bush was a clumsy oaf against Kerry, he at least brought fight and energy.

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  149. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    You just can’t read then. Joe talked about funding, you reply that he was for use of force.

    Many people wanted to get moving against Afghanistan right away. Funding was something that should have been figured out shortly after. It was one of GWB’s great conservative failures, fiscal failures, that he never did.

    As Joe said, he just put them on the credit card, and your side cheered.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  150. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: Slow Joe said he voted against it. Care to show where he did just that?

    And the White House had a great spin for Biden on Libya — he wasn’t speaking for the administration, just himself and Obama. I’m still laughing over that one.

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  151. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    How many times to you want to pretend “use of force” is “war funding for then next 10 years?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  152. David M says:

    @john personna:

    How many times to you want to pretend “use of force” is “war funding for then next 10 years?”

    Romney / Ryan are not being honest about their proposals, so their supporters either have to pretend to believe nonsense or change the subject. My prediction is that Jenos is going to keep yelling “squirrel!” right up to the election.

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  153. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    Biden said he voted against the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    No, that’s not what he said. He didn’t blame Ryan for supporting the wars. He blamed Ryan for “voting to put two wars on a credit card.” The “credit card” part is the problem. Biden voted against the Bush tax cuts, which means he wasn’t “voting to put two wars on a credit card.”

    I realize I’m not the first one to try to explain this to you.

    GWB exploded the debt with the complete support of Paul Ryan, whose reputation as an alleged deficit hawk is a total fraud. Ryan voted to support GWB every single time GWB wrote a huge check that was unfunded. Which is why one conservative said this last year, in response to the idea that Ryan should run for POTUS:

    What many people don’t know, but will find out if Ryan were crazy enough to run, is that he has not been a very good fiscal conservative in the past. The only reason that I can see why Ryan is being touted as the acceptable alternative is that no one is paying any attention to the rest of his record. … [Ryan] supported adding significantly to the government’s long-term liabilities without making any effort to pay for them, and now he is supposed to be the voice of fiscal sanity? On the two biggest, most controversial votes of the last decade relating to the financial sector and entitlements, Ryan was on the wrong side, and if they are at all serious about fiscal responsibility many, perhaps most, conservatives would hold these votes against him if he ran.

    Ryan is a phony, just like Mitt. Both perfect candidates for ignorant Republicans who live in an alternate reality.

    He said that they saved GM from bankruptcy. GM and Chrysler did go bankrupt.

    He didn’t say “they saved GM from bankruptcy.” He said “we immediately went out and rescued General Motors.” That’s true; they did. He didn’t say there was no kind of bankruptcy.

    As usual, you’re having a hard time getting your facts straight.

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  154. jukeboxgrad says:

    jenos:

    He said that ObamaCare will not force the Catholic Church to pay for birth control

    The Church itself is exempt. The issue is Catholic institutions, not “the Catholic Church.” I’ll assume you were making an honest mistake.

    And no Catholic institution is being forced “to pay for birth control.” There are several reasons for this, but I’ll mention a reason that’s rarely mentioned.

    No one is forcing you to hire a birth control user. If a religious institution thinks that it’s immoral to fund BC use, then it can and should refrain from hiring BC users. This is a simple solution to the problem they are whining about.

    These institutions are perfectly content to hire BC users, even though they are then paying salaries which effectively fund BC use (and there is no moral distinction between funding BC use via salary as compared with via an employee benefit; they are both forms of compensation). They already have this moral problem, which they are making no effort to address. Here’s the most parsimonious explanation: they don’t care that much. Which means that no one else should take their complaint seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  155. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: How many times to you want to pretend “use of force” is “war funding for then next 10 years?”

    About as many times as you refuse to show an example of Slow Joe voting the way he said he did.

    Nicely done — defending him without, you know, actually offering a defense.

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  156. jukeboxgrad says:

    Slow Joe voting the way he said he did.

    He was “voting the way he said he did” when he voted against the Bush tax cuts. Unlike Ryan, who voted for them every time.

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  157. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    As far as the Catholic Church goes… they’re currently suing the government because they believe ObamaCare unconstitutionally infringes on their 1st Amendment rights of freedom of religion. I guess that’s news to Joey Plugs.

    Also, I should apologize for bringing up Joe’s brain surgeries. I really doubt they had much to do with his current condition — he was just as full of crap before them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  158. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Biden said he voted against the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. He voted for both.

    He said that they saved GM from bankruptcy. GM and Chrysler did go bankrupt.

    He said that the Benghazi attacks were an intelligence failure. They were a political and policy failure.

    He said that ObamaCare will not force the Catholic Church to pay for birth control, in direct contravention with their long-held beliefs. It will.

    I vote Jenos for most incompetent troll ever. In trying to come up with a list of Biden’s lies during the debate, he managed to create a list of things that aren’t lies.

    The vote: Jenos is deliberately not understanding the english language.
    GM: changed what Biden said
    Benghazi: He could have actually come up with something there, but doesn’t understand the issue well enough to make a coherent point
    Obamacare: tries to turn a simple disagreement into a lie

    Epistemic Closure FTW! The right wing reality is truly a hindrance to making sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  159. An Interested Party says:

    So, the last time he delivered a compelling performance without a throng of adoring supporters was January 2010. That was 2008-vintage Obama.

    The point isn’t when he did but that he did it…if he did it before, he can do it again…and it serves to prove that the idea that he can only speak with a TelePrompter is a complete lie…you act as if everything is frozen in time from the night of October 3rd and nothing else can possibly happen…

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  160. Reality Check says:

    1. I agree that respect is vital.
    We all appreciate politeness and value respect. Hatred can gnaw at dignity, sleights can cause tension that lasts a lifetime. When we see we see proof otherwise, we should look past hate and see the inherent good within each of us. This includes Biden, who was vicious against not Ryan, but the emotional rhetoric employed to avoid stating concrete policies. I am sorry his message was lost due to hate. This does not mean the message is without merit.

    2. Politeness does not equate to truth or respect.
    Please do not confuse the word “polite” and “restrained” with “moral.” If we vote to elect leaders like Ryan, who think war is the solution to all problems in Afghanistan, Iran, and Syria, we must like seeing the caskets close on our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and perhaps grandchildren. This contradicts the belief that “All life conceived is sacred.” I would not elect a person who spills “sacred” blood so fast and with a “calm and cool” attitude towards starting dubious wars in the middle east.

    4. Please do not exchange authentic spiritual values for their corruption in politics.
    Why accept someone like Romney? Since when did it become more important to defeat the progressives than to remain to true to moral virtue? We should respect Christian faith, and understand compassion and genuine love are the best tools we have at hand. Jesus did not demand tax cuts for wealth, condemn the impoverished, or support his local politicians. Why should we let faith be manipulated to do these things? It cheapens the word of God.

    4. Sharks are useful during political intrigue. Guppies less so.
    Should we be concerned with politeness in international government? I understand Biden is rude at times. So is Romney for that matter. Yet do you think the Chinese will care about politeness when international arms deals are underway in North Africa? What about India’s power brokers sending troops near the Pakistani regions? Or warlords in central Africa? No, politeness does not help in the gray zones of the world. Neither Ryan nor Obama gained points for being above the scuffle. I am not saying this is right or moral, but this is how it is.

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