Joe Biden and the debate

A clownish Joe Biden mugged, groaned and interrupted Paul Ryan for 90 minutes last night. It was an odd spectacle but, apparently, just what the Democrats wanted. He lied about the Libya story and now Bill and Hillary Clinton may be thinking rebellion. Biden strongly suggested that the State Department was to blame for the murders because they did not ask for more security, in spite of the testimony before Congress the day before. If Hillary thinks she sees the bus coming, she may jump ship and it won’t be pretty.

With tensions between President Obama and the Clintons at a new high, former President Bill Clinton is moving fast to develop a contingency plan for how his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, should react if Obama attempts to tie the Benghazi fiasco around her neck, according to author Ed Klein.

Biden also lied about Iran and their nuclear ambitions. He dismissed the danger of doing nothing. He said they do not have a “delivery system.” They have a delivery system named Hezbollah. Iran may not have an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the US, yet. If Iran were to choose to attack the US, a container ship and a US port are much more likely to be involved than a new missile. Certainly, Israel is within reach as are the countries of Europe. Saudi Arabia is within reach. The Sunni-Shia rivalry is sufficient motive but the other reasons should not be ignored. Iran is ruled by a sect of suicidal maniacs.

Ryan capably described the Romney-Ryan tax proposals and his Medicare plan. I expected the abortion question and I thought it was well handled. Biden, of course, lied about the administration’s rules for health insurance coverage of contraception and abortion. That is not a big issue for me as I am pro-choice but the dishonesty is annoying. The “47% issue” and Ryan’s mention of a “30% who are takers” will not bother many people who agree and the offended are likely Obama voters no matter what happens.

It will be interesting to see what the result will be. The left, of course, is excited by the nasty tone Biden adopted.

On their $5 trillion tax cut, Romney/Ryan really need to either start naming the loopholes they’d close to pay for it or just admit they can’t make it revenue neutral without whacking the middle class. The VP was appropriately relentless on this point. Even I’m starting to feel sorry for them every time someone brings up this little flaw in their plan. I suspect I’m not alone in realizing that this country simply can’t afford to elect people promising a tax cut of this magnitude who, when it comes to paying for it, essentially say “trust us, we’ll find a bipartisan solution.”

The “$Five trillion tax cut” has been thoroughly debunked, including Stephanie Cutter’s retreat from the claim.

But, as I pointed out, Gov. Romney has already taken capital gains and dividends-for example-off the table. Now, here’s the revealing part: Larry said, and I know many in the investment community, including Mitt, feel exactly the same way, “I don’t consider those loopholes.”

So, here is a lefty who wants to raise taxes on investment income and capital gains. I don’t see enough responses pointing out that this income has already been taxed as ordinary income. Mitt Romney and most investors had salary income, taxed at the rates of the time, which they saved and invested. The capital gains and dividend income is income that was already taxed once. The left simply does not understand this.

Ryan kept his cool and Biden played the fool. Ann Althouse was impressed as I believe many women were impressed.

As I said, I’m tired of the yelling. I found the debate really hard to watch, but I kept watching because I was committed to live-blogging. Even still, I got catatonic. There was a point when I didn’t write anything for 20 minutes and then I said:
Biden has been yelling at Martha Raddatz for the last 15 minutes (as the subject is war). It’s so inappropriate!

The previous post had been:
The stress level is rising. Biden is so angry. Why is he yelling? Ryan needs nerves of steel not to lose his cool. I’m impressed that Ryan, when he gets his turn, is able to speak in an even, natural voice. It’s hard to concentrate on the policy itself, because the emotional static is so strong.

That shows how I felt: pain. So here’s my question. Ratings were down, I see, but when were the ratings taken? In the beginning? How did the ratings drop off over the course of the 90 minutes?

I have seen many comments about people, especially women, turning off the debate because of Biden’s rudeness and blustering. The ratings were down and the question is when were the ratings surveyed ? Of course, last night was also a big sports night. I think Ryan did better than the initial impressions suggest.

If Obama uses the Biden debate tactic as a model for next Tuesday, the election may well be over.

23 thoughts on “Joe Biden and the debate”

  1. Yep, the loophole question was a big “?” hanging there.

    Biden was weird.

    The party is “all” to these people, I know. It would be wonderfully interesting, though, to see Hillary per-emptively resign and wage a write-in campaign. It could be a better shot than she’ll have in 2016.

    Ha, more likely, it would be the end of their party. It’s not to late Mrs. Clinton!

    Didn’t pay much attention to the ideas, watched the men (because, essentially, R + R aren’t serial murderers, and, the big positive, they’re not BHO and Joe Biden). Couldn’t take it after about 45 minutes and went to bed.

  2. The debate was just plain wierd – and we could only bear to watch the first third of it. Biden came off like a pig, a rude and condescending pig. Tell me again, how this administration so values civility in public discussions?

  3. The buzz from what I am hearing today is that Biden’s behavior excited his base, disgusted the independents who they have to attract.

    All I know is if this jerk were at a cocktail party you’d try to disengage yourself after the first 2 minutes.

    I am thinking – cancelling my dog’s grooming apt so I could see this

  4. Biden was feeding the base. You can see that at Washington Monthly and other lefty sites. They loved it. They may now be resigned to Obama losing but want a few slaps at the hated GOP first. Losing independents, and women, which was such a big deal a month ago, doesn’t seem to matter now.

    I will be very interested if Obama models himself on Biden next week. Hating the enemy is what it’s all about. No talk of bipartisanship.

  5. If Obama models himself on Biden I think Romney will give him a different kind of response. He had been through the ringer during the primaries and has encountered just about anything.

    I was a bit mad at Ryan for not telling him to shut up (diplomatically of course) and that stupid “moderator” for sitting there saying nothing – but I think this is backfiring on Biden.

  6. I agree with Michael’s post and the comments made thus far. I don’t think BO will throw Hillary under the bus because, unless he is a total idiot (a possibility I do not entirely discount), he knows he’s the one who will end up wearing the treadmarks. BTW, the INTRADE numbers for BO have dropped 6% (to less than 60%) since the VP Debate, and Romeny’s have risen 9.1% (to above 40%). Also, although BO is still the favorite, the London bookies have lengthened the odds of his winning and considerably shortened them on Romney’s winning.

  7. Thers, if that’s the best you can do, then don’t

    Oh, that’s just for openers. But do you really take Ed Klein seriously? Why? Or The Daily Caller? Why again?

  8. Oh, because I’m bored:

    The “$Five trillion tax cut” has been thoroughly debunked, including Stephanie Cutter’s retreat from the claim

    The link doesn’t prove the claim. The point is, what cuts? And even in the most generous to you interpretation of Cutter’s remarks, a trillion dollar gap is a hell of a gap.

    But I’ll also stick with… Ed Klein? Youse can complain about being laughed at, or youse could doff the motley.

  9. Basically Biden said that the reason that the economy was in such bad shape was that rich people weren’t being taxed enough. Logical? No.

  10. “The capital gains and dividend income is income that was already taxed once.”

    Yes, the original salary, saved and invested, has already been taxed once. However any profit (gains, interest, dividends) from that investment has not yet been taxed.

    Also, to commenter JFM, it’s not just rich folks who pay taxes on interest income….

  11. Taranto discusses demonstrations of power and applies it usefully to the debate.

    Ryan was less effective, because he felt respect for age, position, and the “self” of the other – but also humility, understanding his own youthful power. Part of your mind must constantly screen and absorb what is going on next to you, when someone like Biden is acting as he does. This “to his face” rudeness is something Republicans have learned to absorb stoically (think of the Bushes sitting behind Carter and Kennedy as each chose to demonize them; think of Ryan and the Supreme Court sitting before Obama as he spoke).

    Ryan was up to the job – perhaps not, as Kristol argued, was this the “great” Ryan, but certainly the quite good, better than anyone else on the numbers, rational, thoughtful, Ryan. The quite good is better than about anyone else’s “great.” And I suspect the opposition knew that. But they threw out all they had. And what they had was Ryan’s own innate sense that to bully another, a foolish other, was not ethical. Indeed, such manners were clearly innate to him, but it also would not have been an effective ploy because we don’t like bullies – and the man with wit and poise, with youth and the facts, really had it all over the guy without them. Ryan could not help Biden from looking foolish. But while his facts dominated Biden’s (and it was there that Raddatz’s “followups” and interruptions of Ryan were unattractive), he didn’t embarrass Biden.

    Ryan is a mid-west, Irish guy: he’s not a Virginian of the old aristocracy. He doesn’t think that way – he doesn’t value stasis, he doesn’t value the old order, he is more in the western tradition of movement, of invention, that values competency very highly and sees in change the chance for improvement and growth. But I suspect Ryan, as many a heroic and strong man, has internalized the values Lee posited for a gentleman:

    The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman.

    The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly–the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light.

    The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.

    But Lee was quite capable of sending 300,000 or more men to their deaths for a cause that even he must have known was dying, but because that was his responsibility.

    Romney and Ryan are, unlike Lee, on the right side of history. It is the people on the left that are defending a dying cause. But they are doing so with neither dignity nor honesty. They bully – but while that may be the tendency of a dying cause, it does not come from strength.

  12. Iran will have 3 bombs worth of enriched uranium by February 2013. They have Pakistani plans. They graduated from MIT. New York City is the logical target, not Jerusalem. After all, Osama ignored lots of tall buildings in Israel when he planned to destroy the World Trade Center.

    A dirty bomb will make NYC unlivable for decades. Afganistan has the delivery system. Every month it ships 3 tons of heroine to NYC. Little Boy weighed 5 tons. So the mullahs plan to just send the bomb with the next Afgan drug shipment to NYC. They will blame Al Qaeda.

    Or the mullahs in Iran can send the bomb by diplomatic pouch to a friendly embassy at the UN in New York.

    So why is Joe Biden laughing about the Iranian bomb? Why are liberals cheering?

  13. As usual, I’m sloppy – I didn’t mean I think Ryan was less effective than Biden (surely Biden appeared silly even to a neutral viewer) but less effective than he could have been.

  14. Yes, the original salary, saved and invested, has already been taxed once. However any profit (gains, interest, dividends) from that investment has not yet been taxed.

    The corporation has already paid its taxes on those dividends – the stockholder taxed again.

  15. “Yes, the original salary, saved and invested, has already been taxed once. However any profit (gains, interest, dividends) from that investment has not yet been taxed.

    The corporation has already paid its taxes on those dividends – the stockholder taxed again.”

    Bill, his comment makes my point better than I could have. They simply don’t understand how the economy works. It is all magical thinking. Even the leftists who have investments have them in 401ks or other pension vehicles. Others do the investing and know about these things. The leftists think the pension is a black box. They also cripple their own retirement by adding frivolous limits on companies that the pension fund can invest in.

  16. No problems or major disagreements with most of the comments, jusst want to throw an idea out there for comments, the question comes from comments by Ryab and Biden:
    Premise: Since its beginning, the US has been a job creating machine, this job creation and need for labor led the importation of slaves. Until recently the US continued to be a signiificant job creator.
    Item for comment: Abortion – per numbers we see about 50 million Americans were not born owing to abortion, that means that there are fewer native born to enter the labor force. There are about 15 million (plus or minus)illegals in the US, how many may be here to provide labor not available because of abortion? (Let’s not get into a discussion on if abortion is right or moral, only on the likely consquence.)

  17. Several black ministers have made the point that abortion has caused black genocide. Of all black pregnancies, 70% are aborted. This is going to be a bigger problem for China which is facing a demographic collapse because of the one-child policy (apparently waived for elites) and the traditional Chinese preference for boys. The skewed population that has resulted has a fertility rate below replacement and the effect, because of the sex differences, is even greater.

    I also see a trend of Chinese women marrying non-Chinese men, something that was pretty rare in the past. I won’t speculate about the reasons but I know a number of well educated Chinese girls who are uninterested in Chinese men, especially in China. One couple are close friends of my daughter, who had visited them in Shanghai and they came to her wedding two years ago. The man, who was teaching English in China, came back for an MBA and I believe they have now returned to Shanghai.

    They may also be facing an exodus of wealthy Chinese.

    The scale of the exodus of wealth from China caused by investor immigration is much larger than previous estimated, according to China Daily’s interviews with emigration agents and experts.

    Last month, Legal Evening News, a Beijing metropolis daily, said 10 billion yuan ($1.57 billion) has found its way abroad annually since 2009.

    The figure was based on the investor emigration requirement and the number of investor emigrants publicized by the governments of the United States, Canada and Australia. Investor emigrants to those three countries are believed to account for 80 percent of the total number of Chinese emigres.

    Why ?

    “Most of the investor immigrants go to Canada for their kids’ education,” Cai said. The country offers free pre-college education for permanent residents, and their children can enjoy a college education at less than one-third of the tuition fee paid by international students pay.

    Relatively cheaper house prices are another attraction. A detached house usually costs from C$500,000 to CS$600,000 in Vancouver, and C$400,000 to CS$500,000 in Toronto, much cheaper than in Beijing or Shanghai.

    Based on the assumption that 80 percent of the 2,000 investor immigrants would buy a house at an average price of C$500,000, Canada’s investor immigrant program alone could draw C$2.4 billion from China.

    Also, he US and Australia are popular destinations

    The US is the top emigration destination, followed by Canada, Singapore and Europe, according to a joint survey by Bank of China Ltd and the Hurun Report last year. The report found that 60 percent of about 960,000 Chinese with assets of more than 10 million yuan were either thinking about emigrating or taking steps to do so.

    Australia, another popular destination, requires foreigners to apply for a provisional visa before applying for permanent residency four years later. There are various visa types under the “Business Skills visas” system, which allows overseas investors, senior executives and entrepreneurial talents to settle in Australia by developing businesses in the country.

    For example, the 890/892 visa allows provisional visa holders to obtain residency if they have had an ownership interest in a business in Australia for at least two years, with significant personal and business asset turnover.

    Applicants for the “Business Skills visas” from China totaled more than 9,000 last year, nine times the number from South Korea, the second-largest group, according to the Australian immigration authority.

    Kevin Stanley, executive director of global real estate consultancy CBRE Group Inc, said it has seen very strong interest from Chinese individuals looking to buy apartments, predominantly for family use and particularly in connection with children studying in Australia.

    Sorry to go off topic but it is interesting that China is heading into a crisis that makes our look more manageable.

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