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Author Topic: Duh Debates
KidTokyo
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quote:
Because I can't really think of one good answer Ryan provided.
He answered something?
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AI Wessex
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We didn't learn anything from Ryan about what they would do, only that they were committed to do it.

The abortion and women's rights issues were strange. I think I heard that Ryan said that legislators should decide the abortion question, because it's a matter of principle, not one for voters or the SC to decide. Did I hear that right?

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
One of Biden's best points was that the small businesses which are the sole justification for Romney's upper class tax cut, make up only 3% of actual small businesses (and consist mainly of hedge-fund managers and the like). He put it right in Ryan's face, and Ryan didn't deny it, which kicks out the only leg that tax cut was standing on, at least for most people.

It's a shame that he didn't point out that if the business is clearing enough net profit to be subject to the tax, then it's already failing to spend the money on hiring or expansion, and it could easily avoid having a net income high enough to put it in that bracket by hiring people instead of sitting on the profits.
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Chael
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1) The interrupter-virus struck again. I need to come up with a name for it; it seems endemic in politicians. It wasn't polite when Romney did it, and it wasn't polite when Biden did it--and unless I'm misremembering the first debate, Biden did it more aggressively (probably to assuage the talking heads). I didn't appreciate how difficult Biden made it for Ryan to get a word in edgewise.

2) The moderator was better about not letting herself be talked over. Definitely more lively--and once again, there was more information presented in this debate than I recall in previous years. There was one question that I don't think either one of them actually listened to at all (the 'ashamed of your attack ads?' one)--seemed to me that both of them blanked out after she used the word 'military'--and at the beginning they had rhetoric-itis, but there was also some actual discussion of where they stand on various issues. I appreciated that.

3) I thought she asked some pointed questions of both sides (the pointed questions at the Biden side of the desk were mostly in foreign policy, not domestic policy), but it did seem to me that she agreed more often with Biden. And yes, she showed bias.

4) No specifics on the Romney tax plan again. I know this isn't news for politicians, but it would be nice to know what is and isn't on the table for them so I know what I'm getting when I vote.

5) No actual refutation from Biden that 'the administration' was pushing for watered-down sanctions on Iran (and if they were, why that would be good).

6) No substantive disagreement on Syria--so why were they arguing?

7) Social security. Something probably does have to change, and I know it's just pandering, but I do get annoyed when candidates say 'they paid into the system, and we'll keep our promise to them' of people 55 and older, ignoring those of us who are under 55 and have been paying into the system as well.

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KidTokyo
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Al, I think he said it should be left to voters and legislators. Meaning, "the States." Meaning, repeal Roe v. Wade.
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KidTokyo
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I liked Biden's rudeness and interrupting. I think it's proper to interrupt to correct a blatant inaccuracy. Then again, I'm just excited to see that one of the four candidates is a living human with a pulse. Everyone else -- Obama, Romney, Ryan -- is just a blank screen on which we project our little voter fantasy lives.

I don't even agree with half of what Biden said. He was just refreshingly non-pathetic.

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JoshuaD
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quote:

2) The moderator was better about not letting herself be talked over. Definitely more lively--and once again, there was more information presented in this debate than I recall in previous years. There was one question that I don't think either one of them actually listened to at all (the 'ashamed of your attack ads?' one)--seemed to me that both of them blanked out after she used the word 'military'--and at the beginning they had rhetoric-itis, but there was also some actual discussion of where they stand on various issues. I appreciated that.

Why do people want an active moderator? I want the moderator to read the question, keep some basic time guidelines, and otherwise not talk. I don't see how or why people want a moderator to be getting in there swinging at the candidates.

[ October 11, 2012, 11:32 PM: Message edited by: JoshuaD ]

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JoshuaD
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quote:
4) No specifics on the Romney tax plan again. I know this isn't news for politicians, but it would be nice to know what is and isn't on the table for them so I know what I'm getting when I vote.
What is wrong with the answer that was given by Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan? Here is the goal, here is the basic structure of how we'll do it, we will work in a bi-partisan way, and it will be affordable because we'll grow the economy (thereby increasing revenue without increasing tax rates).
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Actually, I agree that the moderator was biased. I liked and agree with how she was hammer Ryan on his campaign's claims, but Biden didn't get hammered as often at all.
Most of that seemed to stem from the fact that Biden answered her questions while Ryan tried to dodge them- especially the one about given any specifics of guarantees about what deductions they were planning to cut.

It was enlightening to hear Ryan point out that they're planning to do the tax cuts for rich folks first and then maybe eventually get around to cutting taxes for everyone else.

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TCB
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JoshuaD said:
quote:
It will likely be called as a win for Mr. Biden. I was impressed with Mr. Ryan's demeanor and ability to keep cool with both the moderator and Mr. Biden interrupting like that.
I was also more impressed with Ryan's comportment than Biden's (although I thought Biden walloped him on substance). But I also didn't think Obama's demeanor was so bad during the first debate, so I clearly prefer my politicians sedate. [Smile]

I don't expect this debate will move the poll numbers like the first one did, and I don't expect it will make any difference to the next debate. But it will buy Obama a respite from a week of bad headlines, helping to alleviate the Democratic enthusiasm problem.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
One of Biden's best points was that the small businesses which are the sole justification for Romney's upper class tax cut, make up only 3% of actual small businesses (and consist mainly of hedge-fund managers and the like). He put it right in Ryan's face, and Ryan didn't deny it, which kicks out the only leg that tax cut was standing on, at least for most people.

It's a shame that he didn't point out that if the business is clearing enough net profit to be subject to the tax, then it's already failing to spend the money on hiring or expansion, and it could easily avoid having a net income high enough to put it in that bracket by hiring people instead of sitting on the profits.
Another nice bit that Biden missed was pointing out that that 3% of "small businesses" that Ryan was referring is disproportionately hedge fund managers and real estate moguls that hire few, if any people, while the productive businesses that represent many more workers run much tighter margins. Not only the kind of people that were at the heart of the financial crisis, but ones that were following the exact path of perverse incentives that keeping the rates low on such high incomes creates.
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Chael
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Yeah, I don't know. I would have liked to listen to what Ryan had to say, when it was his turn to speak. As it is, I don't know if he had very little substantive to say on a number of issues, or if he had very little to say because he couldn't get a word in edgewise, not being as loud as Biden.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Chael:
5) No actual refutation from Biden that 'the administration' was pushing for watered-down sanctions on Iran (and if they were, why that would be good).

He did try to get it in, but it got a bit drowned out- the administration was moving slowly on them because it was trying to build international commitment to the sanctions rather than just imposing them and hoping everyone else came along. US sanctions alone wouldn't have made much of a difference- it was getting India and Iran's other big customers and banking associates on board that actually made the sanctions effective, rather than just spitting in the wind.
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KidTokyo
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CNN stop-watchers report that both men spoke a roughly equal amount of time -- within 1 minute for the whole night.

[ October 11, 2012, 11:42 PM: Message edited by: KidTokyo ]

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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
Why do people want an active moderator? I want the moderator to read the question, keep some basic time guidelines, and otherwise not talk. I don't see how or why people want a moderator to be getting in there swinging at the candidates.

I want a moderator who will say 'you aren't answering the question; please actually answer the question.' Otherwise, my experience has shown that politicians will spout rhetoric instead of actually addressing the issue that they were asked to address. This leads to less information and more noise.

I don't want a moderator saying who is wrong and who is right; I can figure out my own opinions on that. I just want a moderator who moderates.

quote:

What is wrong with the answer that was given by Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan? Here is the goal, here is the basic structure of how we'll do it, we will work in a bi-partisan way, and it will be affordable because we'll grow the economy (thereby increasing revenue without increasing tax rates).

Because there are a bunch of reasonably smart people saying that what Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan are saying they will do can't be done, and the reason those reasonably smart people are saying this, as far as I can tell, is because they don't have any actual details to work with so they're plugging in guesses.

I wouldn't feel betrayed if they gave a very specific plan and then didn't follow it to the letter. Plans adapt to circumstances--that's fine. But it would be nice to know that they weren't just hoping things would work out the way they say they will. More details would also enable me to guess at how I personally would be affected by the legislation they would push. Will my net taxes increase? Decrease? Stay the same? I have no idea.

Mind you, I suspect that they are not unique in this. Obama's 'detailed plan, posted on his website' (from the last debate) isn't very detailed and doesn't give specifics. Ryan's refusal to address specifics in this debate still bothered me. If there's one thing an incumbent has on his side, it's that I've had four years of him and know more or less what to expect from another four.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshuaD:
[QUOTE]Why do people want an active moderator? I want the moderator to read the question, keep some basic time guidelines, and otherwise not talk. I don't see how or why people want a moderator to be getting in there swinging at the candidates.

Because the moderator is responsible for keeping them on topic and preventing them from pivoting on questions and ignoring them in favor of reciting their preferred talking points. There's no point in having a moderator at all if the moderator can't call them on dodging the question.
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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by KidTokyo:
CNN stop-watchers report that both men spoke a roughly equal amount of time -- within 1 minute for the whole night.

Interesting.

Some kind of count on full sentences uttered would also be helpful as a metric. [Wink] But this is indeed a point against my previous statement.

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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Chael:
5) No actual refutation from Biden that 'the administration' was pushing for watered-down sanctions on Iran (and if they were, why that would be good).

He did try to get it in, but it got a bit drowned out- the administration was moving slowly on them because it was trying to build international commitment to the sanctions rather than just imposing them and hoping everyone else came along. US sanctions alone wouldn't have made much of a difference- it was getting India and Iran's other big customers and banking associates on board that actually made the sanctions effective, rather than just spitting in the wind.
I did hear him say that. Could you elaborate, please? It does not seem to me that what you just said applies to the nature of the sanctions, but rather to their timing--but I may be misunderstanding your point.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
I did hear him say that. Could you elaborate, please? It does not seem to me that what you just said applies to the nature of the sanctions, but rather to their timing--but I may be misunderstanding your point.
The nature of the sanctions would directly affect what countries were willing to support them, so there would have likely been back and forth on both sides about what needed to be in them to have the greatest effect and get the most countries to sign on, while at the same time working out secondary deals that would help make certain terms more palatable for countries that would otherwise be hurt by losing a trading partner. As part of that process, the Dept of State would absolutely have spent some time going back to Congress with proposals to adjust terms, even if it was just to return to the international bargaining table with a clear no-go.
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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
I did hear him say that. Could you elaborate, please? It does not seem to me that what you just said applies to the nature of the sanctions, but rather to their timing--but I may be misunderstanding your point.
The nature of the sanctions would directly affect what countries were willing to support them, so there would have likely been back and forth on both sides about what needed to be in them to have the greatest effect and get the most countries to sign on, while at the same time working out secondary deals that would help make certain terms more palatable for countries that would otherwise be hurt by losing a trading partner. As part of that process, the Dept of State would absolutely have spent some time going back to Congress with proposals to adjust terms, even if it was just to return to the international bargaining table with a clear no-go.
Thank you. This makes sense.
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noel c.
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Chael,

I respect your sincere effort to assume the best of people's motives. It is clear to me that the details for a Romney economic recovery will not be delivered with the detail/clarity that you would like for a very simple reason; cutting taxes has not been useful to a liberal agenda since JFK. Ryan made passing reference to both him, and Reagan, and he was nearly Quailed. Pointing out that even Canada has successfully adopted the trickle-down approach was virtually ignored. It is politically dangerous to plainly state that individuals have more power over their economic welfare than a paternalistic national government. Apparently, Romney has tied his future to genuine conservative principles, and I am somewhat surprised at this development. The "details" can be inferred, much as the socialist aspects of the 2008 campaign were clear to read in Obama's "non-mandated, tax free" health care plan. Character, and ideology are much better indicators than specific details. Obama's character is now a known quantity... I am skeptical of Romney's.

The real gift issuing from this debate has not been recognized:

First- Biden blamed the first successful terrorist attack upon sovereign soil in eleven years on Ryan's non-vote for $3,000,000 in embassy security upgrades. Evidently, the ambassador's request for a detachment of Marines was fiscally excessive in the opinion of this Administration.

Second- Biden threw the intelligence community under the bus in explaining Obama's two week delay in acknowledging that this was, in fact, a 911 anniversary terrorist attack, and not a "spontaneous protest" against a Youtube critique of Mohammed. This is going to dog the Obama campaign right into retirement.

Third- The same intelligence community that Biden hung out to dry is the source for his *certainty* that Netanyahu is wrong on his timeline for an Iranian bomb.

Fourth- Biden appears to have forgotted that he voted for the authoriztion of force in Iraq, and Afghanistan.

These folks are going to be in full damage control mode through November, and if Barry had a hard time in the first debate, watch the sequel.

US intellegence services are not going to bend over for this one.

[ October 12, 2012, 04:05 AM: Message edited by: noel c. ]

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TommySama
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quote:
Originally posted by Adam Masterman:
I'm generally pretty bad at predicting how the media hive-mind will call a debate, but I think they'll give this one to Biden. He made the case for Romney/Ryan elitism effectively and repeatedly; Ryan had one good comeback about people not always being happy about what comes out of their mouths (while looking at Biden), but he totally failed to give those quotes any explanation that makes them sound less evil.

Yeah, Romney's handlers really made sure he knew what to say and what not to say tonight.

Another important moment from the debate was when Ryan told us that him and his wife loved Enders Game and Enders Shadow.

[ October 12, 2012, 04:56 AM: Message edited by: TommySama ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Evidently, the ambassador's request for a detachment of Marines was fiscally excessive in the opinion of this Administration.
There was no such request. The Ambassador's request was to extend the term of the current security arrangement at the embassy.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Nobody else? I think Grant should 'splain to us what happened over the past 90 minutes...

LOL. I didn't watch, man. I was asleep.
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Viking_Longship
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quote:
6) No substantive disagreement on Syria--so why were they arguing?
Because the Romney/Ryan campaign is implying otherwise.

The Republican narrative has been that the Obama foriegn policy is a failure due to the appearance of weakness Obama projects. If Romney/Ryan want to maintain the same policies as Obama then how will they not be projecting the same weakness?

Biden is correct to ask if Romney / Ryan want another ground war in the Middle East.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Chael:
Yeah, I don't know. I would have liked to listen to what Ryan had to say, when it was his turn to speak. As it is, I don't know if he had very little substantive to say on a number of issues, or if he had very little to say because he couldn't get a word in edgewise, not being as loud as Biden.

Given that the times were about equal, there were times that Biden used his grin to let the world know that Ryan was lying, and Biden's "Don't take the whole four minutes" comment, I think it might actually be that many of Biden interruptions happened when Ryan ran over and it was technically supposed to be his turn anyway.

Purely speculation there without actually seeing how the timing worked out.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Biden is correct to ask if Romney / Ryan want another ground war in the Middle East.
That's about where the only nominal difference lies- Obama/Biden are trying to appear (if they don't actually believe themselves to be) reluctant and forced by events to escalate involvement, while Romney/Ryan appears like they're eager to get their hands bloody whenever the opportunity presents itself.
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Grant
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Well, it's nice to see that the VP gave the Democrats their bawls back. [Smile]
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AI Wessex
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The moderator set an aggressive tone with the first question, in which she challenged Biden to explain why what happened in Libya was not an international disaster. I didn't hear her go easier on him than on Ryan.

Ryan is getting props from Republicans (mostly) for standing toe to toe with Biden, but I think that sets the bar too low, somewhere around Dan Quayle height. He needed to be more aggressive and specific, but instead was polished and polite. I think Biden beat up on him, some will say unfairly, but his full-throated defense of Obama's record was effective and made Ryan's attacks seem like sniping.

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AI Wessex
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"I liked Biden's rudeness and interrupting. I think it's proper to interrupt to correct a blatant inaccuracy. Then again, I'm just excited to see that one of the four candidates is a living human with a pulse. Everyone else -- Obama, Romney, Ryan -- is just a blank screen on which we project our little voter fantasy lives."

Biden is what was once called a "kitchen table Democrat", a piece of him never having left hard-scrabble Scranton. He's the same on the job as he is at home, speaks his mind and is passionate about things. Agree or disagree, but if you want to get into the discussion, you have to speak up. He was one of the last truly popular Senators with all of his colleagues in that Chamber, showing the personality matters.

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NobleHunter
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quote:
Pointing out that even Canada has successfully adopted the trickle-down approach was virtually ignored.
We did?

Canada's success in the nineties was based on restraining spending while global growth helped spur revenue.

Canada's success post-2008 was based on not letting banks run wild with speculative games and toxic assets.

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AI Wessex
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"It is politically dangerous to plainly state that individuals have more power over their economic welfare than a paternalistic national government."

If that's the case, then how did the economy get into the mess it did? The Bush era saw deregulation and tax cuts. Isn't that how you give power to individuals?

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AI Wessex
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"LOL. I didn't watch, man. I was asleep."

Don't let that stop you. Half of the comments here and on the web sound like they were made by people who didn't see it, either.

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:

Don't let that stop you. Half of the comments here and on the web sound like they were made by people who didn't see it, either.

That's why I rely soley on your razor keen insight and commentary, Al. [Wink]
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:

Biden is what was once called a "kitchen table Democrat", a piece of him never having left hard-scrabble Scranton. He's the same on the job as he is at home, speaks his mind and is passionate about things. Agree or disagree, but if you want to get into the discussion, you have to speak up. He was one of the last truly popular Senators with all of his colleagues in that Chamber, showing the personality matters.

There was a point in the debate where he tore into Ryan for criticizing the stimulus by pointing out that Ryan had sent him letters twice asking for stimulus money to create jobs in his home state. It was a pretty devastating attack, especially when the moderator turned and asked Ryan "is that true", and he had to sheepishly admit it. But right after, Biden made a quick remark that I bet a lot of people missed; he told Ryan to keep sending those letters, and that he would always consider them. And, for me, at least, there was a very strong impression that he was being totally genuine; he really did intend to continue working with Ryan in that area. It struck me as the kind of personality trait that would let you fiercely debate people, but still stay friendly and work with them (and I think that's admirable, within the context of our political climate). Did anyone else catch this, and if so, how did you read it?
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AI Wessex
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Yes, I read the same nuance into it. Biden really is a holdover from the days when the Senate was a collegial place with adversarial but not aggressively hostile positioning. Reagan and Tip O'Neill argued vehemently against each other in the daytime and got together for cigars and poker in the evenings. Given the opportunity Biden would sit down with anyone who was willing to work in that same bi-partisan spirit, while never yielding his personal principles.

For me the most telling comment was about abortion, where he avowed his personal consent and commitment to his Church, but made it clear that he couldn't make that decision for anyone else. Ryan, on the other hand, said that denying abortion is a matter of fundamental principle that no one should be allowed to decide for themselves.

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G3
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According to polling data, Ryan pulled out a narrow "win" as Biden came off as the braying, drunk uncle who's primary response to anything is "I was there!". I'm not sure rude, arrogant, condescending and general jackassery was the goal for a national audience (Biden locked up the hyena vote) but it plays well to the liberal base so Biden seems to have stemmed the hemorrhaging from Obama's first debate debacle which would make this a success for Biden and Obama. Jesus, Biden is such a buffoon.

Speaking of Barry, he was the personification of the Dunning–Kruger effect wasn't he? Barry thought he won, took a full 24 hours for him to realize he stepped on his crank and lost in one of the worst debate performances evah! It's always amazing to see these things actually occur.

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D.W.
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Ryan did OK in a hostile situation where he was apparently instructed to not give any specifics which may paint them into a corner.

The disrespect both Biden and the moderator showed to him made it unfair but there's no way Ryan overcame this and "won".

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by G3:
According to polling data, Ryan pulled out a narrow "win" as Biden came off as the braying, drunk uncle who's primary response to anything is "I was there!". I'm not sure rude, arrogant, condescending and general jackassery was the goal for a national audience (Biden locked up the hyena vote) but it plays well to the liberal base so Biden seems to have stemmed the hemorrhaging from Obama's first debate debacle which would make this a success for Biden and Obama. Jesus, Biden is such a buffoon.

Speaking of Barry, he was the personification of the Dunning–Kruger effect wasn't he? Barry thought he won, took a full 24 hours for him to realize he stepped on his crank and lost in one of the worst debate performances evah! It's always amazing to see these things actually occur.

Interesting, according to other polling data Biden wiped the floor with Ryan (70 to 30 at Wapo) and he came off like a teenager surprised and dismayed to be debating a grown man.

It seems that without Batman helping him Robin just couldn't beat the Joker.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
Ryan did OK in a hostile situation where he was apparently instructed to not give any specifics which may paint them into a corner.

The disrespect both Biden and the moderator showed to him made it unfair but there's no way Ryan overcame this and "won".

I'm surprised this wasn't a bigger talking point for Republicans. I can't stand Paul Ryan but I still thought he was getting poor treatment from the moderator. (I noticed her try to call out Biden once, which he ignored. Ryan seemed to be getting called out a lot more.)
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