About that VP debate

Yes, I started watching it. Yes, I gave up after an hour. Biden was good when serious, but all his laughing (at what?) drove me nuts. Ryan was well rehearsed and didn’t give up any details of Romney’s mysterious plans for our future, even though moderator Martha Radditz pressed him on it. She did a good job and I declare her the winner.

16 comments

  1. Blogger Duane Graham posted an excellent analysis of the debate this morning, based on his own admittedly liberal opinions, and it included a good many transcriptions of the exact interchanges between the two men. My own comment was, for the most part, this:

    I found particularly interesting the debate on the Afghan War and the scheduled termination of our involvement in it. In complaining that by setting the 2014 date we are unnecessarily aiding the Taliban, Ryan is appealing to a maxim of traditional war, but the Whiz Kid is failing to think outside the box here. Just like the last “war”, the one in Iraq, this one is not traditional. It is a morass the purpose of which has been muddled and overtaken by events over the past eleven years. Under George W. Bush it became an exercise in nation-building and a financial stepchild. There is no way to wind nation-building down secretly, without letting the enemy anticipate our departure – the idea is absurd. Mr. Ryan fails to appreciate the scope of the misguided nation-building mission that his party set us on. He fails to see the difference between strategy and tactics and thereby reveals his inexperience.

    This election is truly a fork in the road. Under a leader of malleable convictions and a party controlled by Teavangelical ideologues the GOP wishes to take us back to a former time, a time when similar political passions prevailed. I was struck by the similarity between now and a hundred years ago when I read a remarkable story in today’s Joplin Globe by Andra Bryan Stefanoni. In one of the most unusual Presidential elections in history Woodrow Wilson prevailed over Theodore Roosevelt and, notably, Eugene Debbs, a Socialist candidate who had been propelled into contention and national attention by an enterprising journalist in Girard, Kansas of all places. And although Debbs failed, what is notable are the conditions that he and other “radical” socialists publicized. As the article stated:

    “. . . the Socialist Party movement began as an organized political force in the years immediately after the American Civil War when industrial workers who had few financial resources were working long hours in poor conditions and earned very low wages. Many were children.”

    What radical ideas these socialists had! These were ideas just as strongly opposed in this part of the country then as now, so much so that the publisher was socially ostracized. But the movement gave birth to such socialist institutions as women’s right to vote, workers’ compensation, Social Security, MediCare, public services paid for out of a public tax, and the direct election of Senators. To what extent do the right-wing ideologues wish to roll back this radical agenda? We could ask Grover Norquist, but I don’t think he’s granting interviews lately. At least not to the liberal press.

    Duane, posting as “The Erstwhile Conservative” works hard at his craft and I can vouch for his integrity based on a two-year association. Anyone interested can see his full post at:

    http://duanegraham.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/the-revivalist/

    1. I saw that exchange, and Ryan completed missed — or chose to overlook — Biden’s repeated point that the Afghans we train, not American troops, are supposed to be taking over the fighting. Whether they choose to step up and do so is their problem, not ours. The nation-building is over. Our departure is long overdue as far as I’m concerned — the trainees are shooting the trainers.

      1. I couldn’t agree with you more. We have overstayed our “welcome” – which we all know we weren’t welcome to begin with. But it’s time to let them take their country back into their own hands. Bring our troops home so we can stop this horrible suicide rate as well as other injuries and deaths.

  2. Martha Radditz did an excellent job! I loved how she pressed Ryan for more details and he just kept side-stepping her. It was very clear that he had no answer for specifics of their program. And I agree about Biden’s smile and chuckling… it was annoying. But when he got his groove on, about halfway through, that diminished considerably.

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