For those of you just coming off tonight’s vice-presidential debate, you’re probably realizing that all the action and knock-out blows took place not in the Steelers-Titans game, but between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. You’re probably also wondering where in all that’s sacred was President Obama with all this gusto last week and, well, it’s probably because President Obama chose the scrappy but thoughtful sparring partner from Scranton as his VP in order to say the things that he can’t. Obama gets to be the lofty JFK, whereas Biden gets to be RFK; that is, the fiery, witty and loquacious defender of Obama like RFK was to his more professorial and thoughtful brother. Captain Capitalist’s little free market boy wonder really stood no chance at weaving all the fantastic fiction and fact-checker wet dream fodder that Romney so effortlessly did during the Presidential debate. Although the frisky puppy in Paul Ryan bit back, he was ultimately tossed aside by the much more experienced and wiser dog.
While many of Obama’s supporters — and even casual observers — were scratching their brains in wonder over Obama’s lack of hitting Romney back on the very popular democratic 47 percent meme. They could finally put their hands down as Joe Biden used a large chunk of the debate to take on not just Paul Ryan, but Mitt Romney too. Biden brought it up within the first half-hour of the vice president debate, but he didn’t just stop there. Biden also took aim at Ryan’s smug remark that 30 percent of Americans are parasitic leaches that want the “welfare state” on speed dial.
“It shouldn’t be surprising for a guy who says 47 percent of the American people are unwilling to take responsibility of their own lives,” said Biden.“My friend [Ryan] recently said in a speech in Washington said 30 percent of the American people are takers. These people are my mom and dad, the people I grew up with, my neighbors. They pay more effective tax than Gov. Romney pays in his federal income tax. They are elderly people who in fact are living off of Social Security. They are veterans who are fighting in Afghanistan right now who are not quote, not paying taxes.” (Huffington Post)
But Biden certainly wasn’t going to stop there. After all, this is a man who famously called Yugoslavian tyrant Slobodan Milosevic a “war criminal” to his face and lampooned Mayor “I was on TV the most on 9/11” Giuliani on his complete and utter lack of foreign policy qualifications and exploitation of the September 11th attacks. At any rate, Biden wonderfully brought up Grover Norquist, the conservative president of Americans for Tax Reform and practical fiscal terrorist who all Republicans must worship if they wish to remain relevant. Moreover, Biden called out Republicans for consistently signing Norquist’s unyielding, uncompromising pledge vowing not to raise a single penny in taxes.
“Instead of signing pledges by Grover Norquist not to ask the wealthiest among us to contribute to bring back the middle class, they should be signing a pledge saying to the middle class, ‘We’re going to level the playing field. We’re going to give you a fair shot again. We are going to not repeat the mistakes we made in the past by having a different set of rules for Wall Street and Main Street.'” (Huffington Post)
I think Bill Maher said it best when he tweeted, “This isn’t the kind of ‘feeling the burn’ Ryan enjoys.” Clearly, Paul Ryan was out of his league and looked like the sniveling, arrogant first-year poli-sci freshman trying to school the tenured poli-sci professor. Better still, Biden was not going to let Rep. Ryan lie they way Romney did.
Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab if you love political humor from a progressive point-of-view. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.