Election 2012

More Debate Reaction

[Above: Full video of the debate in case you missed it.]

All righty. Can we all stop panicking about this thing now? Seriously.

First things first. You should absolutely not expect the president to be as outraged, giddy and aggressive as Joe Biden next week. The president has his own style in these kinds of confrontations. You should, however, expect that the president will press Mitt Romney on fact-checking, much like Joe Biden, but not in the same way. Calibrate your expectations accordingly. Anyone who's followed the president should be familiar with his style. If the president were to suddenly act like Joe Biden it would be totally disingenuous and fakey. And weird.

Okay, with that out of the way, it's clear that Joe Biden walked all over Paul Ryan last night.

Not only did he literally (har!) laugh in Ryan's face, but he was a supremely tenacious fact-checker throughout. At certain points, Biden was so confrontational that I genuinely thought Paul Ryan might take a swing at him. Regardless, Ryan was already nervous and over-prepped, and Biden simply didn't allow him a second to settle in and relax. Brilliant strategy.

On top of everything else, he hit Ryan on asking for stimulus money and even trapped Ryan into admitting it. To Ryan's credit, Romney would've denied it. He also hit Ryan on supporting George W. Bush's effort to privatize Social Security. Biden nailed Ryan on voting for the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, the Medicare Part-D program, and the Bush tax cuts without paying for any of it -- all of which compose much of the current deficits and debt. Whoever prepped Biden has clearly been reading the volumes of blog posts and columns about the utter hypocrisy of the Republican Party on the deficit.

While I'm here, how about this debate format? Win or lose, this is the way the debates should be. Free form open discussion of the the issues. For years we complained about the rigidity of the debates and how there's no room for confrontation or spontaneity. How quaint. We're into a new era here.

And finally, the scariest bit of information that should motivate every Democrat to the next nearest Obama headquarters: We learned last night that Robert Bork is Mitt Romney's Supreme Court adviser. Robert Bork. If Romney wins, as the vice president noted last night, Romney, under Bork's far-right advisement, will replace one or two justices with far-right anti-reproductive rights conservative justices. If that happens, Roe will be overturned and women with unintended pregnancies from rape victims to those whose lives are in danger will become fugitives from the law.

Oh, and it's clear that Romney/Ryan will take us to war in the Middle East again. And I assure you, they won't offset the cost with tax hikes, thus creating more record deficits for the next Democratic administration to resolve.

Some of my favorite tweets of the night:

  • usapoll

    Do you have any idea of how stupid Biden’s “nailing” Ryan on the costs of “the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, the Medicare Part-D program without paying for it”, was? Ryan was not even in Congress at the time and Biden voted FOR every one of those. Do some fact checking before repeating such rubbish. And BTW, when you do and find that Biden LIED, you will probably say he “misspoke” – the new euphemism for Democratic lies.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole


      Paul Ryan has been in Congress since 1998. Nineteen Ninety-Eight, you moron! He voted for BOTH wars. He enabled BUSH. He didn’t say the words “budget” or “debt” or “deficit” even ONCE.


      Oh, and since Bob probably won’t see your blatantly lying and stupid post, I’ll say it for him…..FUCK YOU.

  • D_C_Wilson

    I have to give VP Biden credit. He spent an hour with Ryan without succumbing to the urge to punch him in the face. I don’t know if I could show such restraint.

  • TerranceGilmore

    I am a H.S. social studies teacher. Yesterday we watched the ’08 VP debate, today we watched Biden/Ryan.

    The students were shocked by the difference in Biden’s demeanor.

    There were more than a few fist-pump moments around our house last night. I thought Biden was pitch-perfect. And anyone who had a problem with his style, I am reminding how Mitt Romney acted last week. This tone was set my Mitt in Denver.

  • Linda Perry

    Now if the media were as interested in why 9-11-01 happened, No way would the Iraq war could have happened.

    4 dead brave Americans died in Banghazi, Libya and the Media is interested of a cover up? Using rightwingers talking points to ask their questions?

  • http://twitter.com/SugaRazor Razor

    It was like watching the Hulk fight the kid from Jerry Maguire.

    Ryan: “Did you know babies are shaped like beans? And the human head weighs eight pounds!”


    Biden certainly doesn’t have the finesse of someone like Clinton, but goddamn that was brutal. Exactly what I hoped from Biden and I’m so glad Romney picked someone like Ryan because Joey Shark could be unleashed. He could not have had a performance like that against Sarah Palin, the media would’ve crucified him.

    • BuffaloBuckeye

      Yep. That was a pretty clear distinction of which guy I want as being a ‘heartbeat away’. It looked like Biden had been saving up for four years for last night. I do feel a lot better this morning.

    • Chris Andersen

      Someone else posted a clip of the Hulk vs. Loki as their commentary on the debate. A perfect comparison I think.

      Which brings up the question: if Biden is the Hulk, which Avenger is Obama? (my suggestion would be Captain America: not particularly flashy, but a clear leader when in the thick of it and a guy who can’t stand bullies.)