October 13, 2012 By Jack Jodell
Thursday night’s vice presidential debate between sitting Vice President Joe Biden and his challenger, Wisconsin congressman Paul RUIN, was a victory of Biden’s depth and substance over RUIN’s shallowness and attempt at “style”. Biden passionately defended the current administration’s support for government programs which aid the middle class and poor, while RUIN (aptly named that because his proposed budget would completely RUIN our economy) appeared dispassionate and callously unconcerned about the real, unwealthy world all around him.
On the subject of the war in Afghanistan, RUIN showed particular ineptness. It was clear he was out of his element, delivering canned, clearly-memorized talking points given to the Romney camp which were developed by notorious neocons like ex-Bush advisor Dan Senor. Lyin’ Ryan gave little evidence he really knew what he was talking about and even hinted that the U.S. should not be withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in the middle of their summer fighting season. Biden wasted little time in educating RUIN that these troops were being replaced by trained Afghanis, and that a full 49 of our allies, plus our Joint Chiefs of Staff, had approved the withdrawal. RUIN also unfairly criticized Obama for his lack of action against Syria. Biden again educated him, pointing out how the administration had worked skillfully with all the important Middle East countries, ranging from Turkey to Saudi Arabia to Jordan, in an effort to prevent the Syrian civil conflict from expanding into a full-blown regional war.
On the topic of Women’s Reproductive Rights, it was easy to see RUIN squirming when discussing the subject. His own view is that all abortions, as well as Planned Parenthood, should be abolished, yet he is forced by his associaton with Romney to take the less extreme, less controversial position of approving abortions in the case of rape, incest, or health endangerment to the mother. Biden took a more sensible overall approach to the subject. He pointed out that he did not like abortion, but that he didn’t think it was right for him, as a Catholic, to force his own religious beliefs on others, particularly those who may be Jews, Moslems, Protestants, or nonbelievers. He also pointed out correctly that both Romney and RUIN would sponsor Supreme Court nominees in favor of reversing Roe v. Wade, and that Planned Parenthood is essential for maintaining women’s overall health.
But it was on the subjects of Health Care, Medicare, Social Security, and tax fairness that Biden’s arguments beat those of Lyin’ Ryan hands down. For Biden exposed the sheer folly of RUIN’s and Romney’s plan to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act and turn Medicare into a ridiculous voucher system! After all, without “Obamacare” in place to thwart insurance company discrimination, how in hell could an ill person in their 80s ever obtain insurance on the free market? And, without Medicare, how could they ever afford it? RUIN also failed again to disclose which SPECIFIC tax deductions he and Romney would eliminate to guarantee that their far-fetched t20% tax cut for everybody wouldn’t adversely affect needed middle-class tax deductions , despite prodding from moderator Martha Raddatz.
Paul RUIN was obviously trying to score points by appearing as if he were genuinely concerned about the plight of unemployed and poor Americans, but his proposed “solutions” were vague and uninspiring. He claimed again that he and Romney would help create 12 million new jobs, but he never provided a satisfactory explanation as to exactly HOW this would be done. Somehow, his and Romney’s vague explanations of further deregulation and tax cuts for everyone would do the job just didn’t seem to pass the smell test. Biden, on the other hand, appeared genuinely pained at the thought of privatizing Social Security and destroying Medicare. He claimed, quite accurately, that most poor and elderly people could not afford the radical transformation of social services that Romney and RUIN are proposing.
Several times last night, Joe Biden looked directly at the camera and asked, “Who do you trust?” For THIS viewer, it is HIM. For he talked specifics and didn’t insult us with vague promises or foolish cliches. Paul RUIN, on the other hand, failed to inspire me or gain my confidence, especially wearing that impatient, simplistic, shit-eating grin he had on all night!