I feel like I just watched my Uncle Joe play tug of war with the new Shar Pei puppy. You know, with the rope thingie, where the dog pulls back, shakes his head, growling a little. Uncle Joe laughs and gives it a shake himself, sort of dragging the dog around the living room by his mouth because the dog won’t let go of the toy. The puppy keeps his eyes on Uncle Joe, those big eyes following his every move, emphasizing that adorable perpetual wrinkle of his forehead.
And when the puppy snaps a little, shows his teeth thinking he’s a Doberman for a second? Uncle gives him a tap on the nose to let him know who’s the big dog in the house. You gotta train a puppy so he knows the house rules. The dog thinks he’s doing okay, it’s all playing, right? Uncle Joe is having a good time playing… except, you know, Uncle Joe can get a little rough sometimes. He raises his voice a little more in happy and a little more in frustration than the rest of your uncles. But you wouldn’t trade Uncle Joe for the world because he doesn’t put up with malarkey.
I could go on like this for my own entertainment. The bottom line is that all of us who already loved Uncle Joe Biden still love him, still respect his knowledge, experience, and his command of the issues, and give him a pass on any bluster that sneaks out when he feels like you’re trying to put one over on him – and on us. Overall, it seemed to me, that Biden was trying to let us know the consequences “malarkey” and “loose talk” would have on our economy and our middle-east involvement, particularly with regard to policy on Iran.
As for Congressman Ryan, he kept his composure, offering thin-lipped, almost smiles and grimaces, coloring within the lines as Biden responded. Ryan didn’t make any big gaffes – unless you count referring to Romney as “a car guy.” Ryan seemed to have a grasp of the issues, though we still did not get specifics about how the math would work on a tax cut. What struck me most, was that I didn’t perceive that Ryan had any understanding or insight into the consequences of the Republican/Romney stance with regard to policy on Iran.
If you’ve read my previous blogs, you know that I am an Obama/Biden supporter. But I support the Democratic candidates not just because I believe they have an understanding of the issues that makes sense to me. I support Obama/Biden because they embrace measured, holistic thinking about the issues, and reject reckless talk and rash actions.
While talking about Medicare, Ryan said:
“This is what politicians do…try to scare people from voting for you.”
It is not what Obama and Biden are saying about Romney and Ryan and their policies that scare me.
It is Romney and Ryan’s proposed policies and what they themselves say that scares me.
More on both sides:
Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: Biden wins debate, proves Romney-Ryan ticket is a joke by Georgia Logothetis
Analysis: In vice presidential debate, “tie goes to the incumbent” by Andy Sullivan
Biden Upstages Biden In Debate; Ryan Wins By Default by Tom Domke