OpEd: Thursday night’s Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan perfectly illustrated the difference between the two parties.
The Democrat was dishonest, deceptive, emotional, irrational, condescending, and holier-than-thou.
The Republican was calm, earnest, rational, considered, and truthful.
Joe Biden’s total dishonesty, his offensive demeanor, and his general buffoonery demeaned the office of the Vice Presidency.
Paul Ryan provided a nice contrast holding his own against the Vice President, who was first elected to the Senate when Ryan was two. There is no doubt the debate elevated Paul Ryan as a national figure.
Appropriately, much of the coverage post debate has focused on Biden’s over-the-top performance.
While parts of it may have been effective temporarily, the net result is to discredit him and his ticket.
Vice President Biden debates using a model he demonstrated in 2008, when he closed his Vice Presidential debate with Sarah Palin by rhetorically inviting the audience on a trip with him to a certain restaurant in his home state of Delaware where we could come to understand the concerns of the average person such as himself. It turned out the restaurant had been closed since the 1980s.
His performances simply are not authentic.
Ben Domenech said it well in his recent Transcom newsletter:
"Last night Ryan ran into one of the consummate liars and demagogues of our political age in Joe Biden, a blustering boisterous blowhard of a man who careens forward, capped teeth flashing in the sun, through inaccuracies and conflations of all shapes and sizes with reassuring emotional appeals and tough-sounding rhetoric. His entire career is built on his ability to tell blatant falsehoods and sound convincing while he does it. I actually enjoy Biden’s style – he is the ideal modern specimen of Senator qui absurdum est, his DNA strands traced to the very first braggadocios of Rome, clad in the toga candida, who so enjoyed interrupting the stammering Cicero. Joe, crazy uncle Joe, ended up as Vice President – can you believe it? Biden just thinks he’s lucky to be along for the ride, and he’s the best there is in politics at following the Costanza advice."
The famous Constanza advice from Seinfeld: "It’s not a lie if you believe it."
Indeed the number of falsehoods Biden spewed was astonishing. He claimed the Obama administration was not waging war on the Catholic church or forcing Catholic institutions to abandon their religious teachings, when it was widely reported he had advised President Obama that his policies would be considered to do just that.
He claimed the administration had not cut Medicare by $716 billion but had instead put that amount "back" into Medicare. That’s a flat out lie. The number on the size of the cut comes straight from the CBO.
He repeated Obama’s lie about Romney’s supposed plan for a $5 trillion tax cut, which even their own deputy campaign manager has acknowledged is nowhere near the truth.
Most appallingly he continued the administration’s lying about the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi and the deaths of four Americans. He said the administration had never been told the facility needed more security, even after evidence has emerged to prove they had. When confronted about the administration’s bizarre, false, and misleading statements after the attack, presumably for political reasons, he shamefully put the blame on the U.S. intelligence community, contradicting numerous news reports and even his own State Department’s concession that the administration knew the truth about the Benghazi terrorist attacks within 24 hours.
The White House’s failure to tell the truth about the attacks is a scandal. Finally, the Vice President’s gratuitous dishonesty about it in the debate has shaken the media into covering it. President Obama will suddenly have an awful lot to answer for in his upcoming foreign policy debate.