Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 15 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds   

Smile and Substance

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)   1 comment
Message Anthony Barnes
Become a Fan
  (17 fans)

(Article changed on October 15, 2012 at 10:39)


(Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA
  AP Photo

Smile when you say that -- Laughter turned out to be a big part of Biden's debate strategy

Another example of an overblown sh*t-storm from the Right -- caused, in this case, by its pigging out on post-debate sour grapes -- is the crap it's been slinging about Joe Biden getting all smiley-faced during his debate against temporary Mitt Romney wingman Paul Ryan.   But for me a fascinating sidebar to the seething spotlight placed on Biden's animated smiles could have been about how little was made of something else.   That "something else" of course, would be the thoroughly smug, sh*t-eating grin that Ryan's mug expanded into during each sharp rebuttal by Biden to a Ryan assertion that provoked the vice-president's facial gesticulations in the first place.  

The pattern was set early: Ryan issues a bug-eyed claim -- about the supposed fiscal wrongheadedness of the stimulus for example -- which sparks an "OMG" response of some kind from Biden; an astonished smile, low chuckle or a cheeky eye-roll.   Biden then unfurls a sharply-informed take down that incorporates the two written requests made by Ryan for a grab at some of that tainted stimulus money for his state.   As the take down occurs, Ryan's face morphs into that tight-lipped sh*t-eating grin.   This smiley-face versus sh*t-face duel goes on until, by the time Ryan's pitching his half-baked claim of "six studies" that validate the convoluted psycho-math of the Romney/Ryan budget, Biden -- likely aware that three of Ryan's "studies" are blog posts while another is an op-ed -- is in full knee-slapping mode as he commences with yet another evidence-based take down that further swallowed Ryan into that God-awful grin of his.

Now could a case be made that the hilarious spin Biden attached to Ryan's assertions was intemperate, undignified and beneath the stature of a vice-president?   In general, probably yes.   And based on their reactions, that was clearly the debate's takeaway for many Romney supporters and others on the Right.

"I've never seen a debate in which one participant was as openly disrespectful of the other as Biden was to Paul Ryan tonight." sniffed Fox News' Chris Wallace.

He was "disrespectful and full of bluster," snooted the Wall Street Journal's resident op-ed page haughty, Peggy Noonan .

"It was so disrespectful," wailed Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer. ""it was sort of almost unprecedented and hugely condescending."

"You don't win a nationally televised debate by being rude and obnoxious," whined the Weekly Standard's utterly insipid Fred Barnes . "You don't win with facial expressions, especially smirks or fake laughs."  

Now this should be one of those appreciatively rare instances when I feel the pain of those die-hard wing-nuts.   But as usual, after hearing their arguments I found myself once again led to a place where rationality steps in to shut down any possibility for empathy.


Copyrighted Image? DMCA

Say, "Cheee-sy" -- Ryan endures another Biden take down. Getty Images

As I see it, rather than being viewed as an expression of pure contempt that's utterly inappropriate for what was transpiring, Biden's smiling, and whatever else peed off his critics., more likely deserves consideration as a show of respect for his opponent's greatest achievement to date:   reaching the point of actually sitting across the table to engage in what Ryan has repeatedly called for -- "a serious debate"-- with of all people, the vice-president of the United States.   Why shouldn't Biden's antics be seen as Joe's way of projecting that he believes Ryan is smart enough to fully appreciate that a debate approach characterized by flinging out assertions that have no basis in fact couldn't possibly be Ryan's idea of a "serious" debate?  

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Anthony Barnes Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Anthony Barnes, of Boston, Massachusetts, is a left-handed leftist. "When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Death of the Republican Party

SURPRISE! Chris Christie's 2016 Gambit

Starlight and Shadows


ERRORS AND NO FACTS: Business as Usual at Fox News


To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend