2012 Analysis Election Foreign Policy Review

Nothing Even Matters: VP Debate 2012

I hesitate to say anything at all about the one and only Vice-Presidential debate of 2012 which happened last Thursday. Full disclosure: I was sloppy drunk while watching it, and I missed some of it while moving among rooms for reasons I don’t need or care to elaborate. I took some notes of what I could hear while many of us were talking over it at an impromptu viewing party that changed venue twice, but they’re mostly illegible. So I’m about to phone this in and I recommend you just stop reading right now. Really. There’s a lot of porn on this internet thing, and if for some reason that isn’t your bag, there are pictures of cats too. So a lot to do. Then again, maybe Biden and Ryan will kiss?

If you hate your wretched life as much as I do and are still reading, there are a few points I’ll make that are no more hazy than the debate itself. It was opportunistically dickish to lead about the attack on the Libyan embassy. No one, and I mean no one, cares about Libya. We invaded them illegally not because anyone was concerned about fatalities: check out our indifference to Syria, despite an incredible body count, or our suppression of Bahraini resistance if you have any orgiastic claims to the contrary. The world cared about Libya because of easily obtained oil resources in an otherwise strategically unimportant and barely peopled Mediterranean country, and because it was in vogue in the early days of the Arab Spring to pretend brown people in a different hemisphere are more important than jobsjobsjobsjobsjobsjobsJOBSJOBSJOBSJOBS. But a diplomat got killed so suddenly security is a big deal! Security for what? Our ‘mission’ in Libya? What mission is that exactly? Who cares! Nothing really matters when there’s TEEEEEEEEERRRRRRROOOOOOORRRRRRRIIIIIIISSSSSSSMMMMMM!

Anyway, moving on. Biden said some fun bullshit that I’ll paraphrase:

  • There is no difference between Israel’s views and ours (but can they see Russia from their house?)
  • Assertions that the Administration doesn’t love Israel is “a bunch of stuff”
    • According to Biden, this is a translation from the Irish ‘malarkey’
  • War should always be the last option (That one’s for you, Yemen!)
  • Afghans are expendable (not exactly news)

And Ryan was a little engaging too:

  • Afghan withdrawal dates make sense but also don’t
  • Fewer troops in Afghanistan means those there are less safe
  • Vladimir Putin controls the UN Security Council (since Barack Obama doesn’t of course)

But as is always the case in contemporary American politics, much less hinges on what is said but rather on how it is said. By this measure, I think Ryan won the debate. Biden seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of shit-eating grins which, while gorgeous, were condescending. And he interrupted constantly! Ryan, by contrast, was polite to a tee and handily won the demeanour contest. As my only evidence offered of Biden’s body language missteps, consider selections from this hilarious photographic montage:

The Chuckle Bucket

The This is a Bunch of Stuff

The Two Tickets To The Puppet Show

The Nyuck Nyuck

The Ambien

I’d feel bad for Paul Ryan, except for these images, released the day of the debate:

May Allah and His Prophet have mercy on us all.

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