Tasty Blues, The VP debate, and Famous Uncle Joes. (or, I’ll say “Uncle,” Joe)

Ok, I admit it. I didn’t watch the debate last night. I dvr’d it. A blues player that I’ve listened to for years, Jimmy Thackery, was playing at a local blues club, and I wanted to see him. Never saw him before, just had some CD’s. Wow, he was good. So, I spent my evening consuming some tasty blues licks. Nice job, Jimmy. Of course, by the time I get to watch the debate, I’d heard all about it.

So, thanks for stopping by for some serious political commentary. I think we’ll have to get to that later, since now I’m going to make some observations about the vice-presidential debate.   I’d like to take it seriously, really, I would.

I read a tweet the other day, something about “Who is the relative you least want to see over the holidays?” This morning I realized, why it’s old Uncle Joe. America’s uncle. You know, he’s got 5-6 cocktails in him by the time anyone cuts the turkey, talks down to everyone, wins all the arguments simply by  TALKING LOUDER when he’s losing until everyone submits, and has pinched every woman’s ass by 5 oclock.

Coming from a long line of smart-asses myself, I think I could be Joe Biden’s debate coach. Not that he’d listen, but it would be a fun gig. Here are my top 5 pointers I’d give to Biden to improve his debate performance.

  1. Only say half of what comes to your mind. That way, you could eliminate all the stupid things you say by 50%.
  2.  Don’t make big, sweeping gestures with your hands. Someone might take a picture and you’ll look foolish (See Fran’s post).
  3. Cut back to three cocktails before the debate.
  4. Just don’t go.
  5. At least try to act like you’re taking this seriously. A lot of the people that voted for you are unemployed.

Of course, as Fran said, it really doesn’t matter, because this debate doesn’t change anyone’s mind. See, here’s how the percentages play out for Biden:

53% of the people don’t like him, won’t like him, and think he’s a fool.

Out of the remaining 47%

30% don’t like him and think he’s a fool but wouldn’t admit it.

15% are die-hards who would support anyone on their side of the fence (for reference, see Al Gore supporters)

8% are too ignorant to have an opinion.

Yes, I know it doesn’t add up to a hundred, but the last two categories overlap.  Hey, this is science, I don’t just make it up.

For my last observation, I wish I had the money Joe Biden spends on teeth whitening, Botox and the tanning booth. If I had some of that money, I’d spend it on a hair stylist for Paul Ryan.

Other Famous Uncle Joes

Uncle Joe from the “Petticoat Junction.” Perhaps the quintessential “Uncle Joe.”

Uncle Joe Stalin. Bad man, nice ‘stache.

Uncle Joey from “Full House.” I seriously can’t think of anything clever to say about this.

Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls. Yea, there are several jokes here, but I’m not going to make them.

VP Debate: Say it ain’t so Joe!

He didn’t?! No I just can’t…  What the HELL Joe!! He did it, he really trotted out that tired old line.  You know the one.  You’ve been hearing it from the President since he was inaugurated, “We inherited an economy that was in free fall, we came into at…” Yeah just shut up Mr. Vice President.  No one frigging cares what you inherited, we only care to know what you’re going to do about it.

To that end, Biden, who most of the time reminds you of your crazy uncle Joe, drunk as a skunk at the fourth of July BBQ, spoke passionately and with sincerity about the things the administration has tried and what they plan to do.  Unfortunately, a person can be sincere and still be sincerely wrong. Biden knew this so he engaged his inner Archie Bunker ripping Meathead a new one.  Joe yelled, he smirked, he gestured, he outright laughed at Paul Ryan.  This shot encapsulates how the night went for both men.

Joe readying to part the Red Sea or calling down the flaming hail? We report you decide.

For the most part Crazy Joe got the better of Ryan.  To his credit Ryan seemed truly surprised by Crazy Joe’s antics.  The picture to the left is an actual screen shot courtesy of Reuters News Agency.  That’s not shopped in any way.  Crazy Joe was popping on all eight cylinders. Now as for context of what he said, well kind of hard to say.

You know it sounded good, but not really sure about some of his facts.  Joe blatantly lied about the law requiring Catholic Hospitals to provide contraception as part of it’s health insurance plan for employees.  I don’t give a rip one way or the other but he didn’t misstate the law he flat out lied about it’s impact.

On foreign policy he was always going to have the advantage.  Incumbents know more simply because they have a higher clearance and they are privy to briefings the challengers just don’t get.  However Ryan did ok, not great, with the foreign policy stuff. C- for the moderator in this area.  She asked some good questions and then some good follow ups in foreign policy but stayed on that topic much longer than the average voter would ever care about. At times it did feel like Ryan was debating Biden and debate moderator Martha Raddatz.

Raddatz did a decent job, but she interrupted Ryan much more than Biden, by 2:1 margin at least.  She cornered Ryan on specifics about the Romney/Ryan tax plan so on that question alone republicans and Fox will hate her.  However Ryan dodged it, and with no where near the grace that Crazy Joe was dodging the questions about the shameful handling of the Libya Embassy disaster. She failed miserably to get Joe under control. Check that, she never even tried to get Joe under control.  But at least it made for a fun debate.

Here is some of the reaction from Twitter:

Mike Murphy – smartest republican political strategist not on TV





Don’t know this dude, but that’s funny right there.






Truer words….






And finally this gem…

Patton Oswalt, the funniest comedian you’ve never heard of







It went on and on like that.  Every time Ryan tried to make a point, Crazy Joe would have a seizure or laugh or just mumble to himself.  It was a little embarrassing for the Vice President in my opinion.  A little low class.  Well a lot low class.  At the end Ryan thanked Joe for the spirited debate, Biden just smirked at him and then never thanked Ryan for the debate.  Low road continues for Team Obama.

However, that’s what they sent Joe out there to do.  Look, after the last debate the democratic base is nervous.  Conservatives do whiney outrage, liberals cowering fear. Crazy Joe went out there for them, not the independent voters.  History shows most people aren’t swayed by debates, especially not Vice Presidential debates.  Crazy Joe was the balm, the ointment, the salve if you will, to ease the burn democrats got from the blistering Obama took last time.

Forget substance, this was about payback.  Romney interrupted the President several times, without paying for it.  Crazy Joe went to even the score and make the democrats feel better.  End of story.  The President even sent out a semi-coded message to the gang cowering around their short wave, radio free America radio’s, when he said, “it’s time to let Joe be Joe.”  Hell we know what that means, UNLEASH THE BIDEN!

Tweet of the night: This was in response to some of thew more wilder claims Ryan made about Syria.  Ryan was overmatched by Biden in foreign policy.  It showed on the exchange about Syria and Assad.  But again that’s to be expected.

Follow Scahill – dude spends 350 days a year in Yemen and elsewhere. The rest of the time he’s in US just to file his story.







From the I’ve seen everything department: Sarah Palin critiquing Paul Ryan’s performance.  She likened him to being trampled by some obscure Alaskan animal.  What a hoot.  She’s dead from the neck up, still mad because they got crushed in the election, largely because of her and she’s busting Ryan’s chops!?  Amazing.

Who Won?????  

Ryan, on most cards he won.  Biden will get the W but Ryan won.  Again history tells us that the losing VP debate candidate never wins an elected office they try for in the future. Ryan may have upped his street cred for standing toe to toe with one of the most savvy politicians in the land.  Keep in mind Joe has been at this for longer than Ryan has been alive.  Ryan will easily win future elections, if he’s not the Vice President in 3 weeks. That alone makes him the winner.

On facts and content, forget it, neither man was any more outlandish or dishonest than the other.  But Joe looked like a crazy bastard who’s been cheeking his nutso pills and Ryan looked like what he was, a newbie getting yelled at by the crazy guy on the corner.

Overall impact – zero.  You heard it here first folks.  This will move the needle not one peg.  Never does.  But this was beyond a shadow of a doubt the best, most entertaining VP debate since they started televising the VP debates.

Anyone care to guess which VP debate was the first to be on TV?  Answer in the comment section.