Sunday, October 14, 2012

NEW VOICE COLUMN UP, about last week's Vice Presidential debate and Joe Biden's unconscionable lack of deference toward Paul Ryan. (I must say, James Taranto's Ann Althouse gag is pretty good. Who knew he had a sense of humor?)


  1. hells littlest angel11:38 PM

    I worry that Biden's aggressively bullying behavior will cause the Democrats to lose the GLBT vote for a generation.

    Jeebus, was that Ryan as an aging, shaven Maynard G Krebs photo really necessary?

  2. hells littlest angel11:49 PM


  3. Another Kiwi11:55 PM

    I like the "left's enthusiasm for Biden's performance arises out of sexual confusion."
    I'm so confused, I thought rugged manly chaps such as Six-Pack Ryan could beat up a loony old guy, anytime.

  4. JennOfArk12:08 AM

    I love how bullying style over substance = WINNING in Rmoney v Obama, while in this case interrupting the moderator and showing open contempt for Ryan = LOSING. In both cases, interpretations held solely to paper over the fact that the Team R players utterly failed in terms of offering rational substantive responses to the questions. Also too, Doughy Pantload's Monday morning quarterbacking about what Ryan SHOULD have said..."Faaaarrrt."

  5. calling all toasters12:30 AM

    You'd think they'd be thrilled with the debate. Col. Jessup, I mean Ryan, spoke up the truth, for privatizing Medicare and Social Security! Isn't that much better than Romney going liberal in his debate? I'm almost beginning to believe they mean something other than what they say.

  6. synykyl12:31 AM

    I think Romney should open the next debate by demanding an apology for Biden's behavior ;-)

  7. Formerly_Nom_De_Plume12:49 AM

    Biden "showed once and for all just how big a bullying buffoon he really is," blubbered Donald Douglas at American Power.

    "What a selfish bastard", growled Ayn Rand.

  8. Fats Durston12:52 AM

    How does it go again? Every ten years or so, the Democrats need to pick up some small crappy little congressman and throw him against the wall, just to show the world they mean business ... I think.

  9. redoubt1:40 AM

    Comrades Fellow Republicans, let us all celebrate the glorious performance of our People's Republic soccer team Vice-Presidential candidate!

  10. Halloween_Jack1:43 AM

    Taranto also told us that while "the left's Angry Birds found Biden's
    performance gratifying," it had certainly turned off "independents like
    blogress Ann Althouse,"

    That's our Althouse: putting the ogress in blogress. And I have to make some time for Bobo t-t-talkin' 'bout their generation:

    What do independents want most? They want people who will practice a
    more respectful brand of politics, who will behave the way most
    Americans try to behave in their dealings: respectfully, maybe even
    pausing to listen for a second. To them, Biden will seem like an
    off-putting caricature of the worst of old-style politics.

    No driving of enemies before them for them, nosirreebob! None of that angry noise. (Except when their guy's behind.)

  11. fraser2:22 AM

    I was much amused by Brooks' assertion Biden's style comes out of the politics of 30 years ago when everything was bareknuckled and confrontational. Isn't that the era pundits are supposed to identify as when Tip and Ronny hung out together and Washington was all compromisey and stuff?

  12. Christopher2:41 AM

    You know, as somebody who loathes Paul Ryan, I did feel that Biden's behavior was shockingly rude.

    And, quite frankly, Tobin's right: I have essentially zero respect for the Republican party.
    In my defense, I don't much believe in civility. These two people are attempting to reach positions where they'll have influence over perhaps billions of lives. If either of them, God forbid, becomes President, they'll be responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people. The substance of what they are talking about is so important that, to me, it completely eclipses any concern about civility. If somebody shouts "You lie!" at the President, the proper question is whether the President was lying, not how anybody could be so rude.

    The other thing I took from the debate (Which I half watched because it was on in the background where chess club was meeting) was that Biden is massively more informed about foreign policy than Ryan, I'm not really a foreign policy wonk, but pretty much the only thing Ryan criticized was Obama's speeches, which is pretty fucking weak. Biden was an ass, sure, but he also scored some major hits on substance, too. Maybe the undecideds noticed that? Who can tell what those types are thinking.

  13. ADHDJ2:45 AM

    I don't understand why Plato didn't better prepare Bill S. Preston, Esquire for the debate. Now the Wyld Stallyns will never get to play the white house!

  14. KudaBux3:47 AM

    And Paul Dano completely drank Daniel Lewis' milkshake.

  15. satch7:11 AM

    Maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty sure that Ryan is the spitting image of Stan Laurel.

  16. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:32 AM

    Beaker from the Muppet Show.

  17. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:37 AM

    Because the right bloggers talk like alpha males but smell like gammas. We're not sure whether to fight them or pee on them.

  18. Doghouse Riley8:01 AM

    Noonan's comment made me long for a Constitutional amendment requiring that in every instance of public debate at least one of these bozos speak without realizing the mic is still on.

  19. chuckling9:39 AM

    Of course I didn't watch the debate. And speaking for other independent, undecided voters, I doubt that too many other of us did either. I read afterwards that Democrats overwhelmingly thought Biden won, Republicans overwhelmingly thought Ryan won, and most independents felt is was a tie. That sounds about right to me, at least on the presumption that most independents didn't really watch it and just lied about the tie thing. Typically, we get a kick out of fucking with pollsters.

    I also read that women were overwhelmingly disgusted by Biden's performance. These were anecdotes. If there is a poll that found that, I missed it, but I wouldn't be all that surprised. Just imagining some old country club white guy smiling condescendingly and rolling his eyes at a woman's quaint (in his view), ill thought-out ideas, I guess at least some portion of women saw his actions as "mansplaining" and were repelled. Not that Ryan is a woman, but he does look very weak and some ways feminine so I can see how many women who have been on the wrong end of "mansplaining" could identify with him. Going further, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people, at least on a subliminal level, saw Biden's performance as something akin to gay bashing.

    I suspect a similar dynamic was going on in people's criticism of Obama's horrific debate performance. Like Ryan, Romney comes off as weak and in many ways feminine and Obama, like Biden, is usually seen as a male who is comfortable in his sexuality. So just as many found it ugly to watch a man like Biden beat up a womanish fop like Ryan, even more were horrified to see a pretentious pansy like Romney thoroughly trounce a man like Obama. Although many are turned of by the sight of the strong picking on the weak, many are not t all that bothered by it. But when the weak, and I mean the laughably, ignobly weak beat up one who was thought to be a super strong hero, it makes him look pathetically weak to the point that even independent, undecided folk like myself are appalled.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think this gender related power dynamic is right, nor the way it should be, and it's not part of my decision making consideration when the issues are so unequal. But I suspect it's a common facet of human nature and present in this case for many more casual observers.

  20. Fellow Democrats ....


  21. Halloween_Jack10:02 AM

    And yet another post from the Chuckster that supports my idea that, like many of the bloggers that Roy takes apart, he may be posting from an alternate reality in which he can not only repeat the running gag about being "independent" and "undecided", but claim that Romney, a living parody of American masculinity on the order of American Dad, is somehow "feminine".

  22. Halloween_Jack10:04 AM

    Pope Zebbidie XIII: does it do it automatically?

  23. Really? Mr. Cheese-Chompin' P90X Curlbro Ryan is a feminine fop?

  24. Halloween_Jack10:08 AM

    @popezebbidiexiii:disqus : I have to type in the @ symbol at the beginning of a new reply to get it. (It won't come up in an edit.)

  25. Haha, I get it, you're insinuating that the prior statement is actually supposed to be the opposite, because you changed the word to make the sentence mean one thing when it used to mean another, and that's funny.

  26. BigHank5310:24 AM

    Miss me yet?

  27. Budbear10:29 AM

    Sweet jumpin'jesus, chuckie. What in the wide world of sports are you going on about? All Biden did was show a pretentious lightweight just how pretentious and lightweight he actually is. Do you get paid by the word? I knew Charles Dickens, son, and you're no Charles Dickens.

  28. I imagine the Biden debate prep team made the calculation that since the media would be combing through all his statements looking for yet another Biden gaffe anyway, he might as well just unleash himself and own the debate. The civility-obsessed independents barely exist outside the NYT op-ed page anyway.

  29. calling all toasters10:34 AM

    Shorter chuckling: When will the Republicans nominate a real man, like Sarah Palin?

  30. The Dark Avenger10:35 AM

    Our friend is obviously posting from Counter-Earth.

  31. Leeds man10:41 AM

    Chuck, the gadfly thing works better in shorter form.

  32. chuckling10:46 AM

    All Biden did was...

    Well, As Roy notes in the article I commented on, there are quite different interpretations out there concerning "what Biden did." I merely seek to understand the discrepancies among the different understandings and, in this case, offer an analysis which fits the observable facts. Why do different people observe the same event and come away with such radically different conclusions? I know it can be difficult for politically committed types to understand an independent approach that seeks understanding rather than valediction -- received wisdom is much more comforting-- but I've always thought it was something we should at least aspire to.

  33. Maybe we ought to have a debate between Romney and Biden. They'd probably end up skinning the moderator alive.

    Meanwhile, the Obama/Ryan debate would be very quiet...

  34. chuckling10:55 AM

    I wasn't doing the gadfly thing there. That was an honest analysis in response to Roy's column. And to the larger issue harkening back to Al Gore's debate with George W. Bush. Both are examples of one man seemingly destroying the other on facts with the result being widespread perception that he lost the debate by winning so convincingly. And in both cases, the perception was (apparently) much more widespread among women. I don't personally consider "feminine" to be a synonym for "weak," but many people do and I think it plays into these kinds of perceptions.

  35. KatWillow11:04 AM

    As a commenter here mentioned a few days ago, TELLING LIES is also shockingly rude. Why should our side be polite and quiet when the repugs are sitting at the table picking their noses and eating with their fingers, farting and burping and throwing food?

  36. Fats Durston11:06 AM

    Why do different people observe the same event and come away with such radically different conclusions?

    You know the answer to this. TV Republicans are lying through their teeth, because they saw what they fear worst: the inexplicable reverse gendering (in what's their vision of masculine/feminine) of Democrat/Republican men in this debate. Immediately, a memo is sent out by panicky spinners says, play up the smirk! (Watch the TPM supercut of rightwing media personalities repeating the exact same phrasing.) They (or Ryan) lost the debate on their terms.

    Aside from Axelrod, how many Democrats said Obama was victorious? Many complained about the same issues with Romney--lying, smirking, and "bullying"--but admitted that Romney's performance outclassed the president's.

  37. KatWillow11:06 AM

    "Being undecided, I didn't watch the debate". Yep, that's the best way to become informed so youse can make a decision, listen to the spinmeisters after the debate, NOT the debate itself.

  38. Leeds man11:09 AM

    Serious analysis based on apparent perceptions? You should work for CNN.

  39. tigrismus11:13 AM

    It adds it automagically at the level of embeddedness when they all post at the same tab point, looks like the fifth response level.

  40. fraser11:17 AM

    As has been reported elsewhere, the initial public reaction was that Gore won. Only after several days of the media saying "No, he lost, it was awful!" did that change.

  41. chuckling11:24 AM

    Really? You think these debates are informative? Do you make your decisions based on them?

  42. BigHank5311:26 AM

    To be fair, it is a good method for familiarizing oneself with the flavors of bullshit you'll have to consume following the election. Sadly, one mouthful of shit is much like another, so it's a pretty futile exercise.

    Unless you like the taste of shit, of course, in which case...

  43. Leeds man11:29 AM

    Are you the Duncan of thisislikesogay?

  44. chuckling11:30 AM

    You should work for CNN.

    Yep. We had a discussion but it didn't work out. Lines are still open though, so who knows? But in this case what can we base an analysis of people's perceptions on other than their perceptions? Or in this case, their perceptions in the context of spin. And I don't hear the modifiers like "apparent" thrown around too much in the shoutfest. Would you prefer analysis based on pure spin? Plenty of that out there.

  45. GregMc11:40 AM

    Gabe from The Office.

  46. I think Obama should open the next debate by putting a bar of soap in a sock and beating Romney unconscious.

  47. Ellis_Weiner11:53 AM

    The Dude: That's your OPINION, man!

  48. John D.12:50 PM

    Be careful with what you wish for, my man; if Rmoney actually made such a demand, Obama might just oblige him.

  49. John D.12:54 PM

    Gotta disagree. As I said recently at a Sadly, No comment thread: With his widow's peak hairline, eyes set too close together, thin, lipless mouth and vulture beak nose, Ryan is the spitting image of a young Charles Montgomery Burns!

  50. If somebody shouts "You lie!" at the President, the proper question is
    whether the President was lying, not how anybody could be so rude.

    The president wasn't lying. So the outburst was not only rude (and a breach of protocol for the forum/occasion, which has to be taken into account when discussing the appropriateness of making such an outburst; we're not talking about standard rules of civility here), but a lie in itself.

  51. petesh1:14 PM

    Rude? Biden? In which gated community liveth thou?

  52. satch1:20 PM

    Congratulations,Chuck, you've taken "Both Sides Do It" to escape velocity.

  53. Also, both the public reaction and the media reaction were from people who, you know, watched the fucking thing.

  54. So why the Paglia-esque analysis of such an uninformative piece of effluvia?

  55. Jay B.1:56 PM

    I was shocked that Biden would hold bullshit in such contempt. They usually enjoy such complicity in it. Simpson-Bowles! To the ramparts comrades! We must destroy Social Security in order to save it.

    To be fair, Biden is much more old school on the New Deal than that stalwart technocrat on top of the ticket. I'm still pissed his mail-in, Bain-free "debate" with Romney.

  56. whetstone2:00 PM

    They want people who will practice a more respectful brand of politics, who will behave the way most Americans try to behave in their dealings: respectfully, maybe even pausing to listen for a second.

    If I thought for a fucking second David Brooks actually believed this, I would be tremendously worried about him, seeing as I'm not sure how anyone could function in American society while believing it. On the other hand, it would explain why Brooks is the easiest mark in punditland.

  57. stratplayer2:01 PM

    Dude, if you're going to troll around these parts you need better chops than that.

  58. whetstone2:06 PM

    Ryan does have a propensity to really flash his puppy eyes when he's getting thrashed, instead of looking aggressively incredulous.

    When Biden brought up his stimulus begging Ryan damn near morphed into an anime character. I'm not sure I'd go as far as to call it "coquettish" but it's in that vein.

  59. Derelict3:14 PM

    Let's see if Disgust works this time. It seems to have developed complete amnesia for me today.

  60. Don't worry.

    Biden, like his boss, loves banks and insurance companies.

    Heads or tails, Social Security is on the chopping block.

    Both serious parties agree.

  61. paleotectonics7:13 PM

    I didn't know Patton Oswalt had a metal band. Cool.

  62. I also read that women were overwhelmingly disgusted by Biden's performance.

    Links, por favor.

  63. Roy T.7:31 PM

    I have nothing to say, at least after reading Chuckling's sexual analysis of the debate. I'm just trying to figure out how to post under the new (to me) regime. I used to be Roy T., but may appear as Myroro (a phony name that Facebook thinks is real). I may even be styled by my full real name, which Facebook got hold of once before I figured out how to game them. In that case, I hope nobody shows up at my house to roll their eyes, smirk, laugh, and chase me around the ring.

  64. KatWillow7:32 PM

    Yese, he does look like Burns. Burns is much nicer. Ryan, as they say, is a con man moron acting the part of an intelligent person. Too bad his economic plan is to complicated for him to explain.

  65. KatWillow7:32 PM

    Heh. Reminds me of a long time ago we used to call Jack in The Box "Jerk in a Sock". Then we'd laugh like loons. Ahhh...good times, good times!

  66. wileywitch7:33 PM

    You've reminded me of the time me and my cohorts went to Jack in the Box on acid. It's the only time I ever laughed at a clown.

  67. Another Kiwi7:52 PM

    Yeah, it's the smirking. Stings, man

  68. M. Krebs7:52 PM

    We wish.

  69. AGoodQuestion7:52 PM

    I just discovered that the Disqus ID I sometimes log into the Awl with works here. Used to comment as Ben, BTW.

  70. AGoodQuestion7:52 PM

    Many complained about the same issues with Romney--lying, smirking, and "bullying"--but admitted that Romney's performance outclassed the president's.
    Republicans are very, very good at message discipline, even when it takes them deep into the realm of delusion. The scary thing is that the resulting spin actually convinces a huge portion of our brilliant and fair-minded media.

  71. AGoodQuestion7:52 PM

    I was thinking "blanket party" but your idea is just as good.

  72. XeckyGilchrist7:52 PM

    What do independents want most? They want people who...

    Of course, they wouldn't want policy, they want people.

  73. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard7:52 PM

    Not having a T.V., I wasn't aware of Ryan's water-chugging bit. Now that I've seen it, I think he was playing the debate drinking game, so he had to drink whenever he told a lie.

  74. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard7:53 PM

    So that's where they get their secret sauce... I don't think we even have them "back East". That being said, as I child, I heard an older guy reference Jack in the Box with the aphorism, "Eat there, and die on the road."

  75. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard7:53 PM

    That debate spanking really tied the campaign together.

  76. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard7:53 PM

    They pay hookers to pee on them, so we don't have to.

  77. Big_Bad_Bald_Bastard7:53 PM

    Did Disqus buy you a fixie?

  78. M. Krebs7:53 PM

    I think the vitriol [directed at me, chuckling] come from people who have to some extent tossed whatever morality they once may have had out the window [i.e., alicublog commenters]. For example, [alicublog commenters] used to think it was wrong to mass murder children, to specifically target them at weddings and funerals. Now [alicublog commenters] have to tell themselves they're okay with murdered children. So [alicublog commenters] lash out and anyone who reminds them of what they used to be. Sad, really. But understandable.

    -- pathetic, unemployed "journalist" chuckling

  79. redoubt7:53 PM

    OK. It's glaringly apparent that you don't even read yourself anymore.

  80. XeckyGilchrist7:53 PM

    Amazing he didn't drown.

  81. DocAmazing7:54 PM

    Well, Soylent Green isn't policy.

  82. You know, Chuck, I'd really rather you didn't try to speak for women. It's mansplainy.

    How about a link or two to back up what you're saying here?

  83. BigHank537:55 PM

    Well, that explains why I can't even get a hooker to give me the time of day anymore. Too busy in this red ol' town, I guess.

  84. Pope Zebbidie XIII7:56 PM

    I now wear all my clothes too tight, too short, and too buttoned.

  85. Origami_Isopod8:01 PM

    Brooks is issuing a classist dogwhistle against all those uncouth working-class types who brought their wifebeater-clad screaming argumentative style into politics once upon a time. There is a comment somewhere in the NYT thread that nails it precisely:As a child of 1970s Stuyvesant Town, Brooks grew up in perhaps the one neighborhood in America where the Honeymooners lifestyle lasted for 40 years. He name dropped Scranton and Philly and Providence to give his column national relevance, but anyone who spent any time in a Stuy Town kitchen with the Hunter fans on full blast in the dead of January to compensate for the oppressive steam heat coming up through the radiator, while screaming back and forth with their civil-service dad or public-school teaching mom one minute and joyfully opening Christmas presents with them the next, has precisely the same image in his or her head as Brooks had while writing those second and third grafs.

    That's the demographic to which Biden, in Brooks' view, was playing last night.

  86. Origami_Isopod8:01 PM

    1. Calling out lies isn't "rudeness."

    2. W/r/t Joe Wilson, you completely elide the fact that Obama wasn't lying and, of course, the fact that you could practically SEE Wilson biting back the word "boy!" from the end of his accusation.

  87. Origami_Isopod8:01 PM

    And speaking for other independent, undecided voters,

    Oh, you're a moron. Okay. Stopped reading your Wall O'Text there.

  88. Origami_Isopod8:01 PM

    I know it can be difficult for politically committed types to understand an independent approach that seeks understanding rather than valediction...

    Chuckles, the entire point of politics is to agitate for what you want. It's not a goddamned enlightenment seminar with crystals and incense.

    Aside from that, those of us who have been following the right wing for decades are pretty sure we understand them.

  89. Origami_Isopod8:01 PM

    Oh, so misogyny is your shtick. Pity that there are too many assholes like you on the left who'll let you get away with it if the woman "deserves it" (as if it doesn't splash over onto those of us who "don't").

  90. chuckling8:01 PM

    those of us who have been following the right wing for decades are pretty sure we understand them.

    Unfortunately, too many of you have become them.

  91. chuckling8:01 PM

    Both sides do what?