There was one dynamic of last night’s debate—any debate in this campaign—that I completely missed. There is no way anyone would have said that Biden was the clear winner. The reason is that half of the political commentators were going to say that Ryan won, because they are Republican.
Last night, Steve Schmidt noted that Republicans would think that Ryan won and Democrats would think that Biden won. That’s true as far as it goes. But half of that statement could have been made before the debate started. The Republicans are so partisan that they simply could not have found Ryan anything but wonderful.
Contrast this to last week when Democrats were apoplectic about Obama’s performance. Admittedly, Democrats are constitutionally more inclined to be self critical. But Republicans—as I’ve noted many times—are only interested in power and so they are always on board with the party talking points.
Of course, the mainstream media can’t have an opinion about such things. Facts: Democrats and Republicans each say they won. Conclusion: tie!
What I find particularly frustrating about the debate coverage is that much is made of the fact that Ryan seemed to know what he’s talking about. All I can gather from this is that being able to string together intelligible sentences means that one knows what he’s talking about. I thought Ryan was talking in circles. He didn’t want to admit what his economic policies implied and he simply didn’t know what he was talking about regarding foreign policy.
There seemed to be a special kind of expectations game going on here. Ryan was supposedly a smart guy before the debate. During the debate, he was greatly downgraded. But instead of grading his debate performance based upon his starting level they use his ending level. “See: he was no worse than he turned out to be!”
It appears that whenever Democrats and Republicans debate, the best Democrats can do is tie. Republicans will always claim victory. Thus the mainstream media will always always claim a tie—unless the Democrats accept defeat.