90 minutes I’m not going to get back, part two

Now for Senator Biden.

I’ve heard the question/phrase, “Is the juice worth the squeeze,” or a variation of it, in only a few places that I can recall. One is in a film called “The girl next door.” For me, it’s one of those movies that seemed like it was going to be both predictable and forgettable but turned out to be an absolute scream. In fact, it has one of the most hysterical five seconds in a film I’ve seen in I don’t know how long. I still grin when I think about it.

Another time (a bit more recent) the phrase came up was in a meeting with a new director for our company and a vendor (CEO and team). Details aren’t important, but know that particular show wasn’t anywhere close to the neighborhood of funny. 

After the VP debate, as I thought about each of the candidates, that phrase kept surfacing when considering Senator Biden.  

I wrote about the massively low expectations everyone had for Governor Palin in the last post. That people are celebrating she wasn’t completely clueless is still beyond me, but so be it. But that reporters and other talking heads are saying Senator Biden also did a great job leaves me equally confused.

On one hand, though, I get it. If the Senator’s role was to be calm, professional, and continue to push Senator Obama’s message, he did just fine. Clearly, most commentators think exactly that. I disagree.

Sure, in a typical VP debate that ideology makes sense – but this wasn’t a typical VP debate. Thursday night, rather than the policies of the presidential candidates, saw a debate that was actually about the VP. More specifically, this debate was about the Governor. That Senator Biden is an intelligent, informed, and highly effective public speaker was never a question. His ability to assume the role of President was equally never in question. But Governor Palin? After more than a week of fumbling, mistakes, and a lack of knowledge that is absolutely breathtaking, she was nothing but a question mark.  

Where was the “bulldog?” Senator Biden could have been playing the role of her grandfather that night; gently admonishing her from time to time instead of getting in her face and making it clear to the audience and the country that she’s false, unqualified, and (again) an empty suit. He could have done all this and been crisp, professional, and completely free of condescension, but he didn’t. Why? He, and the Obama camp, didn’t want him to be the guy that was mean to the girl.

Crap. Here’s where the story above comes in. For me, the juice is absolutely worth the squeeze. Let any and all say Senator Biden was mean to a girl. Let them do it, please. The problem with most Democrats is that we so disagree with the campaigning tactics of Republicans we’d rather remain silent and (dignified) rather than go anywhere near something even resembling them. We don’t want to be mean. We don’t want to be disparaging. We don’t want to be angry.

Folks, it’s time to get pissed off. 

I promise you, we can be angry and decent at the same time. We can be on the attack and respectful at the same time. Now, more than ever before, the facts, the state of our country, and the importance of this election, ensure that we can do both at the same time.

So why did Senator Biden let the Governor coast through the debate? Senator McCain’s numbers are now up, and there’s really only one reason – Senator Biden, for an evening, turned into a Lab.

photo by Janet Farthing

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