Sunday, October 14, 2012

Biden Ryan debate: How to win the battles and lose the war

This purpose of this post is to tie up a few loose ends from the previous posts about the Veep debate this past week.  The most important point is that this is an attempt to get at the Moosehead Truth (MHT) about the debate.

Some of the points may seem minor and off the mark a bit.  Like the post about the Ace Rothstein character in the movie Casino.  As much as that may seem to be irrelevant, I will try to weave this into this post so that it may at least fit in some way with what the MHT really is.  

Ace Rothstein is really like me, in a way, as I am pretty doggone serious about what I do.  That character was really serious about gambling.  The movie character was based upon a real person, I might add.  So, when it comes to the truth about things, I can get pretty doggone serious.  I may not be an Ace in this kind of thing, but I am serious about getting at the MHT.  As I wrote before, the truth is a slippery thing.  But I like to get into pig pen and fight that hog until I pin him down.

Rothstein's world was about games and how to win them.  I've written that politics is a game.  So you could say that the discussion of politics here is how the "game" is won or lost.  Furthermore, as a point in comparison, I got the title of this post from a recollection of how a certain NFL team in one season managed to win nearly all of its games and still did not win the championship.  As an analogy, it seems that this election is like the Super Bowl of politics.  The outcome of it will affect the course of events of this country for decades to come.  With that in mind, I think the MHT of this debate is that Biden may have won more of the battles in the debate, yet he could have lost the war.  It may be too early to tell just yet on the election, so I'll back off of it just a bit.

How might he have lost it?  First of all, you have consider what Biden was trying to accomplish.  In my opinion, he was trying to eliminate Ryan as a viable alternative.  That was what he was doing with all the silly grinning, laughter, and  general disrespect he was showing towards Ryan.  In the meantime, he argued aggressively for the liberal point of view.  There's no doubt about that, his passion was real.  On that point, he may have furthered his cause in winning the debate.  But his attempt to discredit Ryan fell far short of the mark of the greater objective.  So, while winning most of his battles, he lost the main objective of the "war"-- which was to discredit Ryan..  If he had succeeded in discrediting Ryan, he may have won the war.

Furthermore, while failing to discredit Ryan, he may have gone too far.  As a consequence, questions about his own viability may now be asked.  After all, he put the issue on the table.  If he conducted himself less aggressively, this may not have come to the fore.  But now, thanks to his over the top behavior, questions can and should be raised about not only this performance, but his overall performance over the years.  It should be noted that he plagiarized Neal Kinnock's speech and this once forced him to drop out of a previous race for the Presidency in the eighties.  His frequent gaffes are all too obvious.  He may well have done it again in the debate itself.  When the issue came up, he countered that he always said what he meant.  If that is true, did he really mean to say that the last 4 years have been especially hard on the middle class?  What does that say about his own qualifications when he can't stay with the script?

Did Biden really win the debate then?  If he did, it was a Pyrrhic Victory.  In trying so hard to discredit Ryan, Biden may have done far more to discredit himself.  The victory as such, didn't do much to help win the war.  It may well have paved the war to an eventual defeat.  For credibility matters in politics.  The incumbents must demonstrate capability above all, for that is their greatest selling point.  If, by demonstrating otherwise in a debate, he may well have opened up a question that may not have arisen in the first place.  Incumbents are supposed to know what they are doing.  After all, that's how they get to be incumbents in the first place.  Yet, but going so far over the top as Biden did, he may have given that advantage away.

Yes, that could be the MHT of this debate.  In trying so hard to dispatch Ryan, he may well have dispatched himself.  He went for a Hail Mary and fumbled the ball.

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