This week was a bit different from last week. Since I got last week so wrong, let's take another perspective this week.
We apply an examination of the contrast between the debates.
President Obama became Professor Obama, showing complete mastery of his subject. The lecture he delivered to the class touched on every point. Pay attention. You will be tested after the bell rings.
Mitt Romney was the personable sales guy. The deal is great, and this car is cherry. Trust me.
Obama wins on policy, which appeals to me. Romney wins on theatre, which apparently appeals to most everybody else. I thought Obama won. The rest of the universe, including neighboring galaxies, thought Romney won. My cousins and nephews thought Romney won. Barack Obama thought Romney won. Eeeek.
On the other hand.
Joe Biden became the guy next door working on his house, who is also the one everybody else on the block goes to for personal advice. Yeah, these guys want to change a defined benefit system to an independent account system which means THEY WANNA REPLACE MEDICARE and THEY'LL PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY. They say they'll replace a harsh international system of sanctions with a tougher system of bluster and ultimatums which means THEY'LL TAKE US TO WAR, WAR, WAR. Clear enough?
Paul Ryan was transformed into the eager young guy who wants to win first prize for his science project by impressing the teacher at the open house demonstration. The guy working on his house takes a break from swinging the hammer to visit the school. He keeps asking the kid polite questions the kid can't answer but they both smile a lot. The hammer guy has an easy manner about him. The kid is fidgety.
Biden wins on policy. Biden wins on theatre. Ryan gets a passing grade on his science project, even though it breaks during the demonstration. Biden helps him stand it back up, pats him on the head, and promises to help him get it right next year.
Paul Ryan wears a suit coat two sizes too large. He borrowed it from his overweight uncle. His mom helped with the Windsor Knot.
And that's how Democrats win debates.
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The problem was, Obama did not win on policy. He did not answer attacks and he did not generally rebut Romney. I am not saying he is incapable. I think he could have won. He didn’t. He lost.
Biden crucified Ryan, however. Ryan often did not answer attacks, including the stimulus he requested to stimulate his own economy and what he would do different, which he was asked repeatedly, and which did nothing but make him stutter. He repeatedly said Obama’s foreign policy was all wrong, but he would do essentially the same thing if it were up to him.
On almost every confrontation, Ryan was the obvious loser, often embarrassingly so. If Biden hadn’t been such a smart aleck / jackass, it would have been beautiful. It was a seasoned, knowledgeable, capable Biden debating a little boy who heard his dad say something and tried to repeat it.
Neither side scored a decisive victory, and neither side was significantly damaged. It was clear that Biden's continuous interruptions (over 80 of them) were intended to disrupt and distract since they occurred every time Ryan was making a point that the democrats did not want to be stated in public during the debate.
These debate club tactics might work well when you are pandering to your base, but the "undecided" voters, the voters that each side knows are necessary for victory in November, characterized Biden's interruptions and put-on laughs and smiles as rude and asinine.
If Biden hadn't been such a jackass, we might have been able to hear Paul Ryan explaining what Romney would do and how he would do it. But the democrat plan was to prevent that information from getting out. In that respect, Biden might have won. But the VP debate will have little to no effect on the eventual outcome of the election.
I agree with your assessment on both debates, and I applaud your hilarious and fully accurate portrayal of Lyin' Ryan. This man, although extremely ambitious and quick at lying on his feet, is definitely not adequate for the demands of the presidency, nor is his running mate!
"It was clear that Biden's continuous interruptions (over 80 of them) were intended to disrupt and distract since they occurred every time Ryan was making a point that the democrats did not want to be stated in public during the debate."
What's this? You're able to discern Democrats intentions and feelings and interpret their actions? Yet you condemned Burr for attempting to do this with Romney...
Let's just be clear: You don't speak for Obama. You don't speak for Biden. You don't speak for Democrats.
"If Biden hadn't been such a jackass, we might have been able to hear Paul Ryan explaining what Romney would do and how he would do it."
Absolutely ridiculous. Romney and Ryan are free to release all of the details of their plan at any time. In fact, it is preferable that they do so BEFORE a debate (and hopefully before an election!) so that everyone--including the competition--has time to consider it.
When Romney has a plan, I am sure he will be happy to share it.
Biden was a, well let's just say it rhymes with dick. He lied many times, and the press will not fact check him the way they did Romney.
Overall, as a Republican watching, it was probably a draw.
On the other hand, if I'm a Democrat watching the VP debate, I think Ryan had his talking points down but wasn't up to defending against aggressive attacks.
Biden may have blurred the truth a few times, but overall I agree with what he said and was happy to watch him dismantle Ryan. Plus, he was a dick, and that's what I want on the ticket this year.
Overall, as a Democrat watching, Biden won, although not by as big of a margin as Romney last week.
As an Independent watching the VP debate, I think Ryan was likable and smart. He didn't sound as evil as Democrats have made him out to be, but he looks a little inexperienced. Ryan didn't give me a reason to vote against him.
Biden was a real dick. If I am seriously considering voting for Romney, Biden confirmed it. After seeing Obama fail to defend his record or offer a plan for four more years, followed by an a**hole who can't be civil, I am not persuaded.
Biden won, but he won like the Oakland Raiders: he won dirty.
Probably everyone can agree that Biden was a dick. No Republican or Democrat votes were changed. I don't imagine Biden won any independent voters.
You are correct, I do not speak for democrats, or for Obama or Biden.
Releasing documents on a web site reaches a much different audience than a televised debate. The forum here was critical to the reason for Biden's childish antics. Allowing so many millions of Americans to hear the real, non-filtered details of what Romney and Ryan would do to fix the problems we all face could be devastating to the Obama campaign and the democrats know it.
Deductive reasoning can lead to false conclusions if the premises are false. To conclude that Biden interrupted Ryan to prevent him from sharing the "real, non-filtered details" of Romney's plan because he knows that it would be devastating to the Obama campaign, you must assume the following:
1.) Biden (along with other Democrats) believes that the details of Romney's plan would be devastating to Democrats
2.) Biden's interruptions were intended to prevent the details from getting out
In short: your argument depends entirely upon the assumptions that you make without deductive reasoning. Your opinion of Democrats then guides any actual reasoning that you perform, which in turn convinces you that your opinion is accurate. That doesn't require faith, but an unwillingness to acknowledge and account for your bias.
This if from memory, so forgive me if I my quotes are not direct citations.
Ryan accused Obama of wasting money with a stimulus plan that would do no good (the second one, I mean, not the one the GOP passed before Obama took office). Biden said that on two occasions Ryan sent him a request for stimulus money because Ryan needed it to "create growth and jobs." That was money for his state. Ryan did not really respond to that. How could he? It had been exposed as a hypocrit.
Biden referenced the 47% where Romney literally did not really understand what he was talking about. Ryan did not really respond to that. You woud think he would have if he had an answer, as that was the most damaging thing to the Romney campaign to date. No answer was tantamount to saying “you got me. Romney is a liar.”
Biden repeadly ask Ryan, “What would you do different?” in response to Ryan’s accusation of Obama’s “Failed foreign policy.” Ryan effectively stuttered a lot and stated he would do the same thing, only as he did it, he would make sure the world understood that it was unilateral and the rest of the world was irrelevant. America dictates. Other than that, he had no answer.
Biden asked Ryan what he would do differently short of “boots on the ground.” Ryan really had no answer, other than that he would make it clear to the world that America will control the world without international cooperation. He would do the same thing Obama did with concensus, only without concensus, so our enemies would know how serious we are. I think the last GOP administration taught the world how serious we are about not cooperating with the rest of the world and the world needs no more tutelage.
What Ryan would do to correct Obama’s “failed foreign policy,” is to put the same sanctions in place that Obama (and the rest of the world) have put in place.
Ryan foolishly alluded to the pathetic argument that Catholics are denied freedom of religion by Obamacare. Biden called him out on it and he had no answer.
Ryan spoke of those returning from the military. Biden pointed out that they become part of the 47% that Romney does not care about. Ryan had no answer.
Ryan looked very much like a little boy repeating lines he heard his father say, and that he did not understand. What he did well, in my opinion, was defend his stance on abortion and religion in an intellectually honest way, which you rarely here. It may not serve him well, but I think he was honest. His closing was very good. Those two things did not save him, though, and he certainly did not do better than Obama did against Romney. In fact, it would seem that he watched Obama, admired his performance, and emulated his performance. For this, I give him the same rave reviews I gave Obama.
You know I respect you as one of my republican heroes, but ...
I think Ryan the Blogger is wrong and it does require faith.
The notion that Ryan the Debating Buffoon has details, but just was not allowed to finally share them, is beyond absurd. Since people are screaming for them, why not add them to the now 87 page RomneyPlan.pdf from Romney’s website that is basically is 87 pages of meaningless babble mixed with blatant lies?
Note, I do acknowledge the PDF does sometimes inform. It tells me a lot about Romney’s character and his lack of confidence in discussing our actual economic situation; such as when he cites data about "the jobless recovery" form the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The problem is this: The Bureau of Labor Statistics own published PDF contradicts his data. He achieves this by only putting in the section of the bureau's data that covers the period when Obama had just sat in his Oval Office chair. He omits the next three years because it refutes his argument soundly (of course, he has the “facts.” They are in his PDF. They must be true, right? Perhaps he could remove that section from his PDF, as it is a lie, and he could put the details of his plan in that newly vacant spot. That way, he still gets to include the details of his plan, but he does not have to worry about creating a document that is too large for his GOP base to digest.
Regarding your point 1, I admit that my bias clouded my original comment to a degree. “Devastating” is a strong word, “damaging” would have been more accurate.
Your comment number 2 addresses the root of the argument better than number 1. Obviously we do not have any democrats admitting to their strategy, so we have to analyze the behavior in order to be able to draw any specific conclusions. My assertion is based on the timing of the interruptions. Biden interrupted when Ryan was making specific points. His interruptions ranged from smiling to laughing out loud to vocal sneers to talking over Ryan. The severity of the interruption was related directly to the content of Ryan’s comment. For example:
1. Biden’s “so now you’re Jack Kennedy?” comment to distract from Ryan’s point regarding tax cuts, after Biden said that tax cuts never helped the economy and Ryan corrected him with a list of facts and examples.
2. Biden’s multiple interruptions when Ryan was discussing the GOP plan for Medicare, and the democrat plan to decrease funding for Medicare by $716B over 10 years. Biden did not let the GOP plan or the GOP’s take on the democrat plan come out except in fractured, interrupted pieces.
3. Less severe laughing and vocal sneers when Ryan was talking about Iran sanctions, etc.
There were obviously many other examples, 82 of them, but I’ll stop here.
While my argument may rely on certain assumptions, those assumptions are based on an anaylsis of the available information. I understand that correlation does not necessarily imply causality, but at the very least a high level of correlation implies a common cause. Since there was clearly a high level of correlation between Biden’s interruptions and the content of Ryan’s comments, even if there is not enough independent evidence to prove the interruptions were intended to prevent the broadcast of Ryan’s comments to a wide audience, the high level of correlation does indicate that Biden believed certain comments would be damaging to his cause. And it does follow that if that is the case, it would be likely that Biden might want to prevent the communication of the most potentially damaging of the comments.
"Since there was clearly a high level of correlation between Biden’s interruptions and the content of Ryan’s comments..."
Since a debate is supposed to get both candidates' messages out, interruptions inevitably interfere. I don't see how this is meaningful.
"...the high level of correlation does indicate that Biden believed certain comments would be damaging to his cause."
This is the problem. You have dismissed every other explanation in favor of the one that makes Biden and Democrats look the worst. Could it be that Biden interrupted so often because he has no respect for Ryan? Could it be that he has no respect for Ryan's policies? Could it be that he was instructed to make up for Obama's debate with Romney by being rude and mean?
No, according to you, the best explanation is that he believed that Ryan could damage the Obama campaign with information that he apparently cannot share outside the context of a debate.
Biden's behavior was disrespectful, inappropriate, and potentially harmful to the Obama campaign. I will not defend him for that. But little else in politics bothers me as much as the tendency for people to develop cynical, even conspiratorial beliefs about each other based on so little evidence.
Support a policy that affects races disproportionately? You're a racist!
Say something incorrect? You're a liar!
Do anything I disagree with? You want to destroy America!
We have enough (and more important) disagreements over policy; we don't need to drag character speculation, which fuels division and is in turn fueled by it, into the mess.
Mr. Myste: Could you be more specific with the content of the Romney/Ryan plan that you see as "lies"? The one that you brought up, i.e. when to begin counting unemployment numbers against Obama, or in other words, when does the unemployment stop being "Bush's fault", is possibly open to debate, but is certainly not a clear example of a "lie".
It has been discussed widely that the Obama administration wants to start counting their employment data from the lowest employment point in about October 2009, whereas Romney believes Obama's term started in January 2009 and his record includes that period of time. So by counting from Oct 09, Obama believes he has created nearly 5 million jobs. Counting from the beginning of his term, however, he has created only a few hundred thousand jobs in four years.
Democrats have also attacked Romney's claim that his plan will create 12.5 million jobs in the next four years. The democrats claim that "economists" say the economy will create this many jobs all by itself, that Romney's plan does nothing to improve on the natural improvement. Using that line of reasoning, it is safe to say that even if the economy did create 5 million jobs in the past three years, the economy would have done that anyway, without any interference from Obama. Many republicans would go as far as to say that the economic recovery, as weak as it has been, occurred in spite of Obama's policy rather than as a result of his policies.
One other important point in the argument that Obama's policies have failed is that the economy has turned down again, and GDP has been declining for several months. It appears that, if Romney does manage to scale the mountain and defeat the incumbent, he will inherit another recession from Obama.
But if Obama wins, who will he blame for the new recession? Romney? Bush? House Republicans? You can bet he will not admit that he has any culpability.
"...the main point you continue to overlook is that the level of Biden's interruptions correlate with the content of Paul Ryan's comments. The most vocal of the interruptions corresponding to Ryan's most potentially damaging comments."
There was nothing to overlook. Consider:
1.) Biden interrupted 82 times, far more often than would be necessary to interfere with "damaging comments." There is no correlation.
2.) Your belief that Ryan's comments would be damaging is not proof that Biden agrees with you (such that his interruptions were intended to interfere) or that your belief is true. You should not impose your own beliefs upon Biden.
I am amazed that you think that you are applying some sort of scientific method to reach your conclusions. Democrats need not resort to interruptions to be critical of Romney's plan.
“Mr. Myste: Could you be more specific with the content of the Romney/Ryan plan that you see as lies"? The one that you brought up, i.e. when to begin counting unemployment numbers against Obama, or in other words, when does the unemployment stop being "Bush's fault", is possibly open to debate, but is certainly not a clear example of a "lie.”
During the Bush administration America was shedding jobs as the economy was in free fall. Obama came in and stylized the situation and started adding jobs. Romney called this the “Jobless Recovery,” and continues to do so.
For the lie to which I was referring, see the section called “The Jobless Recovery” here:
This makes it look as if Obama’s Recovery was disastrous for America, which is the claim he makes. The chart shows the state of jobs up to a few minutes after Obama sat down, where it mysteriously cuts off. To make it more hypocritical, he cites the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which actually has all the data, which refutes the exact point he is trying to make:
Hours and Earnings:
This chart shows that Obama took office and there was no change (not worse, but the trend continued unaffected for several months before stabilizing. Then it flattened lower. The charge the GOP makes is that Obama caused an unprecedented rise in unemployment. They use this chart, less the last three years to “prove their point.” However, the chart refutes it. If unemployment is ascending the chart almost vertically before Obama takes office, and it continues in that direction, the same direction it was headed when he sat down, for several months and then stops dead it in tracks, this does not prove that Obama caused it. It proves he did not. He could not have caused a trend that happened before his time. It does offer evidence that he may have stopped it if one wanted to go there.
The site I reference here, calls this “unemployment” it is actually “number of jobs,” I believe:
It shows a constant loss until Obama took office, where the trend quickly turned.
I do not give Obama credit for stopping the avalanche. I merely maintain that it started when the GOP held the office and it stopped shortly after they left. Therefore, it is utterly hypocritical to accuse Obama as the cause (and ridiculous). Additionally, Romney should not post on his website a graph that goes up to 2009 and call its damning numbers Obama’s Jobless Recovery. He is outright lying. If he is going to persist in telling this lie, he should not cite the exact source that refutes the lie as his “proof.”
Note: I have both the Bureau of Labor Statistics PDF and Romney’s PDF on my desktop. If you would like to see them so that you can compare and contrast, send me an email and I will send them to you.
Now the rest:
“It has been discussed widely that the Obama administration wants to start counting their employment data from the lowest employment point in about October 2009, whereas Romney believes Obama's term started in January 2009 and his record includes that period of time.”
So, are you saying that you believe that the direction of the economy had been shaped by Obama in 2009? I need you to answer this question.
“Democrats have also attacked Romney's claim that his plan will create 12.5 million jobs in the next four years. The democrats claim that "economists" say the economy will create this many jobs all by itself, that Romney's plan does nothing to improve on the natural improvement. Using that line of reasoning, it is safe to say that even if the economy did create 5 million jobs in the past three years, the economy would have done that anyway, without any interference from Obama.”
I think it is safe to say that we have no evidence to the contrary.
“Many republicans would go as far as to say that the economic recovery, as weak as it has been, occurred in spite of Obama's policy rather than as a result of his policies.”
I think it is possible that they occurred outside the significant influence of Obama’s policies. The economy is far bigger than Obama, Bush or any other megalomaniacal super hero we choose to worship.
“One other important point in the argument that Obama's policies have failed is that the economy has turned down again, and GDP has been declining for several months. It appears that, if Romney does manage to scale the mountain and defeat the incumbent, he will inherit another recession from Obama.”
If that is true, it will be nothing like the Bush recession. Also, consider this: Obama took office, the stock market recovered quickly. It looks like Romney could come in, and people are getting nervous. Once Romney is defeated, I think the jitters will subside.
“But if Obama wins, who will he blame for the new recession?”
Who do I blame now? Are you paying attention?
“But if Obama wins, who will he blame for the new recession? Romney? Bush? House Republicans? You can bet he will not admit that he has any culpability.”
House Republicans did almost destroy the economy with their “let’s don’t pay our bills” plan. They reduced our credit rating and they played games with the American economy. Don’t worry, though, I don’t blame Bush for any of that.
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