Joe Biden likes to talk. No doubt about it.
But after last night, the biggest thing both independents and partisans will take away from the debate isn’t Paul Ryan’s clear lack of foreign policy experience or Joe Biden’s emotional plea regarding his own family; rather it will be the facial contortions and body language of our sitting Vice President.
Biden’s goal was to fundamentally stop Romney’s momentum coming out of President Obama’s miserable performance last week; essentially, his one job was to call the Romney campaign on their bull…malarkey and recast doubt on the validity of Romney’s authenticity – to which he went above and beyond the call of duty. And while Paul Ryan may have managed to support his base with his calm demeanor, in the face of each of their goals, Biden came out the clear winner.
Hands raised towards the heavens, Biden scoffed and chuckled as Paul Ryan continued a deluge of lies and policy reversals indicative of the Romney campaign and their performance last week. And his lacerating mannerisms effectively put Ryan in his place.
While many may claim that his loud sneers and teasing demeanor were condescending, if not offensive, they served a purpose – to convey the absolute astonishment over a candidate that told lie after lie in the last debate and has been known to support every side of every political issue.
Point after point, zinger after zinger, Biden aggressively pinned Ryan down on multiple issues, making it clear to the American public where the Romney campaign stood. He pinned Ryan on his support for privatizing social security. He pinned him again on Paul Ryan’s flawed voucher solution to Medicare, making an earnest plea straight into the camera not to believe Ryan’s lies.
He even made a point to bring up the now infamous video by exclaiming “but it shouldn’t be surprising for a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility for their own lives.”
On the auto-bailout he bellowed, “I know he had no commitment to the automobile industry. He just said, let it go bankrupt, period. Let it drop out.”
On Ryan’s hypocrisy of attacking the stimulus funds while simultaneously making sure to pocket some for his district, Biden laughed, “He sent me two letters saying, ‘By the way, can you send me some stimulus money for companies here in the state of Wisconsin?’”
And on Ryan’s ironic claim that he would be a bipartisan leader despite leading the Tea Party opposition to block President Obama on every attempt to extend an olive branch he barked, “That’s coming from a Republican Congress working bipartisanly, 7 percent rating? Come on.”
But Biden’s hardest hitting line of the night came when he finally summed up the frustration that many on both sides of the aisle have with the Romney campaign: “Stop talking about how you care about people. Show me something. Show me a policy. Show me a policy where you take responsibility.” Even Martha Raddatz pressed Ryan on his tax plan as she exclaimed “No specifics again”. You could almost hear the cheering in Democratic households across the country.
While the debate failed to get at the heart of many other issues like education, the environment, and marriage equality, the deep irony of the matter is, this is probably the first, most public exchange where someone has called out the GOP and the alternate universe that they live in (a job the President failed to do last week).
Joe Biden’s incredulous antics and bombastic putdowns (i.e “Oh now you’re Jack Kennedy!”) were justified in the face of the modern GOP that has gone so far to the right that even moderate members of their own party have been forced to resign or move along with them.
This is a party that thinks that women won’t get pregnant from “forcible rape”. This is a party that thinks that the sworn 44th President of the United States was born in Kenya. This is a party that thinks that youth are “too stupid” to vote. This is a party that believes that “true” love can only be between a man and a woman. This is a party that has chosen to disenfranchise minority and young voters around the nation to boost their chances of reelection.
This is a party that refused to compromise on every issue from health care reform to climate change (if they even believe it!), choosing instead to call their opponents “communists”, and resulted in our nation’s first credit rating downgrade. This is a party that spent a trillion dollars on a useless war, pushed our country to the brink of a global financial meltdown, and has the nerve to turn around and blame the problem on their opponents.
It’s about time someone showed some Biden-like outrage for all their malarkey.