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Forum Post: VP Debate 2012: The Real Paul Ryan Is Bad for America

Posted 7 years ago on Oct. 13, 2012, 3:20 a.m. EST by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR
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VP Debate 2012: The Real Paul Ryan Is Bad for America

By Charles P. Pierce

at 12:43AM

Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The profound ignorance Ryan displayed was so terrifying that it calls into question Romney's judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all.

For the second time in as many presidential elections, Joseph Biden got to debate a young, attractive Republican candidate who was demonstrably less qualified to to be president than I am to be chairman of the World Bank. Joseph Biden is a very lucky man. The Great Political Matchmaker in the Sky keeps handing him people who are trying — and failing — to fight above their weight class, and he keeps blowing through what can now legitimately be called the Bum of the Quadrennium Club.

There is a deeply held Beltway myth of Paul Ryan, Man of Big Ideas, and it dies hard. But, if there is a just god in the universe, on Thursday night, it died a bloody death, was hurled into a pit, doused with quicklime, buried without ceremony, and the ground above it salted and strewn with garlic so that it never rises again. On foreign policy, Ryan occasionally rose, gasping, to the level of obvious neophyte. (He was more lost in Afghanistan than the Russian army ever was.) On domestic policy, his alleged wheelhouse, he was vague, untruthful, and he walked right into a haymaker he should have seen coming from a mile off, when he started bloviating about Biden's role in the "failed" stimulus program, only to have Biden slap him around with Ryan's own requests for stimulus money for his home district back in Wisconsin. He also made it quite clear that a Romney-Ryan White House will do everything it can to eliminate a woman's right to choose. This should make for some fine television commercials over the next few weeks.

(A brief note here about Martha Raddatz, who's an old pal from our baby journo days in Boston. She did a fine job holding feet to the fire until her last three questions. She asked the two men to define their Catholicism only through the issue of abortion, which is not only insulting, but also limited a more interesting line of inquiry, given the open opposition of the Catholic bishops to the zombie-eyed granny-starving that is the hallmark of Ryan's career. And that closing if-you-were-a-tree question was simply embarrassing.)

Moreover, the battering that Biden gave Ryan brought something into sharp relief that the Republican party has been fudging ever since Romney put the zombie-eyed granny-starver on the ticket — that, for his entire political career up to that point, on critical economic issues, Paul Ryan was an extremist even by the standards of the modern Republican party, which are considerably high indeed. He was for full privatization of Social Security. He was for the absolute elimination of the defined-benefit Medicare and Medicaid programs. Since being selected, it has become clear that the Romney people have forced him to soften these positions. (His stance on Medicare, for example, has evolved from Kill It Now to Arrange for Its Slow Death Later.) On Thursday night, Biden dragged out the old Paul Ryan — and, I would argue, the real Paul Ryan — and put him on display, and he made the new Paul Ryan own him. For one brief moment, he almost got Ryan to commit to Social Security privatization again. You could hear the screams from Romney headquarters all the way up the Charles to where I was watching.

Ryan got hit on the stimulus. He looked ridiculous trying to defend his refusal to specify what "loopholes" he and Romney plan to close to make the magic arithmetic in their tax plan work; Raddatz treed him completely on the mortgage-interest deduction, on the elimination of which neither Ryan nor his running mate will commit to a position. He looked even more ridiculous when Biden started pounding him on his career-long quest to end Medicare and throw old people onto the tender mercies of large insurance companies. Biden kept saying "vouchers" until Ryan, at one point, said, "It's not a voucher. A voucher is a check you get in your mailbox."

Wait. So if Paul Ryan gets his way, and Medicare as we know it gets eviscerated in favor of a pot full of offal on which Paul Ryan has slapped a label reading "Medicare," and my inadequate health-insurance allowance comes by e-mail, then it's not a "voucher" because it wasn't a check I got in the mail? And this is the issue on which Paul Ryan is supposed to be Genius on roller skates. This was humiliating enough, but when they started talking about war and peace, specifically in Afghanistan, Ryan looked like a toddler trying to cross the Hindu Kush.

He stammered. He vanished into his syntax. He gave Biden the chance to ask him if he preferred that American soldiers carry the fighting in the worst parts of the country rather than Afghan troops, a devastating comeback for which Ryan had no answer. He kept rambling about maintaining the country's "credibility" until, if you closed your eyes, he started to sound like Robert McNamara in 1965. And when Raddatz asked him, deftly, what would be worse, another war in the Middle East or Iran with a nuclear bomb, he leaped in precipitously with the latter, while about 75 percent of the country, including the two other people on stage with him, looked at Ryan as though he'd lost his mind. He did, however, demonstrate a certain talent for pronouncing long foreign words that his briefers had taught him on Tuesday. Also, he explained winter.

For years, Paul Ryan has been the shining champion of some really terrible ideas, and of a dystopian vision of the political commonwealth in which the poor starve and the elderly die ghastly, impoverished deaths, while all the essential elements of a permanent American oligarchy were put in place. This has garnered him loving notices from a lot of people who should have known better. The ideas he could explain were bad enough, but the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions, including when and where the United States might wind up going to war next, and his blithe dismissal of any demand that he be specific about where he and his running mate are planning to take the country generally, was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney's judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.

You know what's the difference between Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan?




UPDATE: Roe v. Ryan — Even Worse Than You Thought >>

FURTHER READING: All of Pierce's Coverage of Paul Ryan and the Best Onion Photo

Follow The Politics Blog on RSS and Twitter, and Stay Tuned for Live Coverage from Tuesday's Presidential Debate

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/paul-ryan-debate-joe-biden-13626962#ixzz29A0wyiM5



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[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

How did I miss that??

Gotta hear yesterday's Friday Randi Rhodes show, unbelievably awesome!

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8242) from Phoenix, AZ 7 years ago

Quick note if you take the "--" from in front of your link it will work I think.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Thanx-- If there is a way to screw up, I'll find it.

[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8242) from Phoenix, AZ 7 years ago

Great post, I love that pic in the article looks like Ryan is so proud of the lie he just told and Biden is praying for strength.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Thanx, BTW

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Friday's Randi Rhodes Show deconstructs the whole debate with awesome clips and outrage. Very satisfying. On line or repeats over the weekend if you have a station.

[-] 1 points by factsrfun (8242) from Phoenix, AZ 7 years ago

read the piece missed it on my local station


[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

VP Debate: Roe v. Ryan, Even Worse Than You Thought

By Charles P. Pierce at 1:24PM

Well, the reviews are in, and America has made a decision.

Most of the self-proclaimed "independent" — or, if you prefer, "undecided" voters — are simpletons who probably have to hire someone to cut their oatmeal into tiny chunks every morning so that they don't choke to death, and also have to explain to them that the raisins are not tiny landmines that will detonate in their mouths and destroy their molars.

If you believe that Thursday night's vice-presidential debate was a "draw" because Joe Biden was "rude" and "disrespectful" while Paul Ryan was obviously being disingenuous and uninformed, or that you've decided to go with "disingenuous" and "uninformed" because its manners made it more "likable," then you deserve the inadequate health-care voucher that's coming your way in 2014, as well as the letter from the Social Security Administration that your benefits will be down to 85 cents a month because International Embezzlement LLC went belly-up and took your retirement with it. Tough luck, kids. Them's the risks of an Opportunity Society.

Bear in mind: A lot of the elite media was pitching this line of, yes, malarkey while the debate was in progress. David Gregory was on the magic Twitter machine, telling us that his "moderate" acquaintances were wondering about Biden's demeanor. And Luke Russert was being, well, Luke Russert, which is to say somebody who ought to be filing his dispatches every day in Colorforms.

As I pointed out earlier, the actual news in this debate was Biden's ability to make Paul Ryan own his earlier, extremist self on everything from Social Security to a woman's right to choose. Going back over the transcript, on the latter issue, I find that Ryan was even worse than I thought....

RYAN: "We don't think that unelected judges should make this decision; that people through their elected representatives in reaching a consensus in society through the democratic process should make this determination."

I may be wrong here, or I may still be distracted by Joe Biden's laughter, but I think that the zombie-eyed granny-starver here is professing his belief that the involvement of the courts in this issue — up to and including the involvement of the United States Supreme Court — is (and always has been) fundamentally illegitimate. This is the position of the very far fringe of the anti-choice movement, the point at which that movement connects with the Tenthers and the whole rest of extreme right opinion on the judiciary.

This is where the argument goes beyond whether the right to choose is grounded in the Constitution or not to a place where the involvement of the courts in making that decision is in and of itself illegitimate. Push that far enough, and you get people with their heads glued to clinics and doctors shot down in their kitchens. And in case the audience he was pitching didn't get the point, Ryan added a wink and a nod to constitutional conservatism — look, Glenn Beck's dog just perked up its ears! — later on.

But the other guy laughed, so, ladies, don't worry, you can always fly to Sweden to buy your ladyparts medicines.

ON THE DEBATE: The Real Paul Ryan Is Bad for America >>

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/paul-ryan-roe-v-wade-13644273#ixzz29A2rA84F

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

On Today's Show (Randi Rhodes)

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Friday, ya bastids!

Now that’s how you debate! I think I had almost as much fun watching that as Joe Biden seemed to be having doing it. The relentless lying of Romney and Ryan is a problem, and it’s horrifying to think that their strategy might work. Joe’s attitude told us that we can deal with it. All you have to do is keep a smile on your face… oh, and go ahead and laugh out loud at the really bad lies. Joe Biden believes that you cannot call a person a liar, even if they are blatantly lying. But he also knows you can use facial expressions to let everybody know that you know that they are a liar. The takeaway from this debate is—don’t be afraid to stand up to the malarkey! Some people are saying that using a term like malarkey makes Joe Biden sound old. That’s a bunch of hogwash! It’s horsefeathers, hokum, hooey, bunkum, and slushdoodle. OK, I made that last one up. Let’s just put it this way—it’s a “bunch of stuff.” Yes, at another point, Joe Biden used the phrase “bunch of... stuff.” I think he got halfway into it and decided that he had done enough dipping into the Big Book of Jazz Age Colloquialisms.

Once again, if you want to properly gauge how well Joe Biden did, just take a look at how poorly Fox News was trying to say that he did. Brit Hume actually called Joe Biden a “cranky old man.” Look, the guy is no spring chicken, but I guarantee he’s younger than anybody watching Fox News. (And yes, I deliberately used the term “spring chicken” so that the old-timers watching Fox News would understand.) Besides, what’s more likely to make an old guy cranky than a bunch of lies? Remember Big Daddy’s diatribe about “mendacity” in “Cat on Hot Tin Roof”? Did Joe laugh and smile at the things Paul Ryan was saying? What is he supposed to do when Ryan says Mitt Romney is “a car guy”? He’s lucky Biden didn’t throw up in his lap.

It’s somewhat less difficult to fact check this particular debate. Oh, Paul Ryan told plenty of lies... but at least Joe Biden began the fact-checking process during the debate itself. According to Think Progress, Paul Ryan told 24 myths in 40 minutes. That’s a lot of myths! He’s the Bullfinch’s Mythology of politics. Paul Ryan was spinning so many myths that I’m surprised that he didn’t get around to telling how Zeus made love to Leda in the form of a swan.

Today’s Homework | Discuss | Blog Archive

Read more: http://www.randirhodes.com/main.html#ixzz29Batuvhd


[-] -1 points by WeThePeop (-259) 7 years ago

Only thing that is truly bad for America is the obama admin, vote them out

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

If you think Obama-Biden are bad, and you can't even mention the Bush-Cheney disaster, a Romney-Ryan regime would be like B-C on meth+acid+steroids!

Not good.

[-] -2 points by WeThePeop (-259) 7 years ago

But Obama is in favor of socialism and the Marxist will send us back to the stone age

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

OMG!! Who let the Walkers in??

How many times a day do you listen to Rush, Beck, or O'Rielly?

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Are you serious? You don't drive, do you?

Look around on this site and see if you can learn something: http://www.alternet.org/