Vice President Joe Biden, in his debate with Congressman Paul Ryan last Thursday, attempted one of many of the strategies liberals use when debating conservatives. The American public got a great display of advancements in cosmetic dentistry. The Vice President, however, failed to pull off the most popular of liberal debating techniques.
I should know the liberals’ strategies because I work in academia and I participate in contra dance, a New England-style folk dance. Like academics, most contra dancers assume that everyone in the room agrees with them. The same could be said for PBS, most media outlets, and government agencies. These liberals hold power by virtue of their numbers, so never feel the duty to engage in serious debate.
The strategies liberals use vary, depending on the setting. For example, liberals are much bolder when they have a big mob or the protection of the police behind them. They are also very good in academic settings where they are assured that college freshmen will be flummoxed by their rapid-fire delivery of postmodernist neologisms. They are also good in schoolhouse settings where they bring students to tears by telling them about starving illegal alien children whose stomachs are ripped open by the barbed wire on the way over. That is why 25% of the SDS went into education, and Bill Ayers taught in a college of education and specialized in curriculum for young children. They excel at debating third graders on social justice.
The truth is liberals are intimidated by debates based on reason and evidence with adults, so they resort to different strategies. The favorites are:
1.) Outright ridicule, Saul Alinsky style. Biden attempted to do this on Thursday but adjusted it to the setting: a television broadcast, with support only from Martha Raddatz instead of the cast of MSNBC. And he was not in a backroom or bank boardroom with ACORN covering his back. So in that new setting, when Biden bobbled his head and pulled his lips back from the porcelain, he looked like one of those people you see at places where medication is regularly dispensed in little white cups. Not too many people got the jokes, which is to be expected because they emerged only as twitchy grins. As with others who need to spend time in such places, I think a simple game of Uno would have helped calm Mr. Biden’s demons.
2.) The Bill Maher sneer and locker-room (or prison-yard) jokes. These are only funny if you do not have, or never intend to have, a fourteen-year-old daughter, as Sarah Palin did, when Maher joked about her getting impregnated by a baseball player.
3.) The PBS look and inflection. This is the most subtle of all and the subtlety allows journalists to claim objectivity. Then they can come hat-in-hand for more money from the government. This is the raised eyebrow of Judy Woodruff. It is the “really?” of the PBS host that comes after the statement by the reluctantly booked conservative guest. It is the stammering question of Terry Gross that indicates that she cannot believe that the interviewee said this, but is too cultured and polite to say so.
4.) Incredulity. This is what happened to me when I wore my Romney/Ryan t-shirt to contra dance this weekend, after years-long debating via our email list about the appropriateness of wearing political attire or making political comments from the stage before dance calls, at an event sponsored by a non-profit, taking place in a hall supported by tax dollars. It looked like the Obama-bots might hold off this election season, but they did not. So when I saw someone wearing a “Contra Dancers for Obama” button I slipped into the ladies room to change into my pink Romney/Ryan t-shirt. The incredulity came from a woman who, upon reading my shirt, raised her eyebrow and asked if I was being “ironic.” I said no, and went dancing down the line. She almost tripped over her own feet as she went into a dosy-do.
The rest of the dance was not that way! I thought I knew all the conservatives in our group of over one-hundred. But I was surprised by how many I discovered as people told me they liked my shirt while I was going down the line, allemande-ing, chaining over, and swinging.
I was particularly surprised by one man. “So you’re conservative?” I asked.
“No, I’m just normal,” he replied. “I can see what’s going on. These people can’t.”
Maybe it was all the drugs in their youth.
As I was leaving that evening and changing my shoes I had more people stop to talk to me. They told me how “brave” I was.
Now isn’t that a statement to make in the United States of America! My parents brought me over when I was a baby from a communist country and now I am told that wearing a t-shirt endorsing a Republican is an act of bravery?
Fortunately, we are not yet at the point where Eric Holder is sending in agents to do shirt checks. I firmly believe that if this administration gets a second term that they will start doing that. Most liberals will call me a conspiracy theorist, but Holder seems to already have his surrogates working in our public high schools, where they publicly accuse their students of allegiance to the KKK for wearing Romney/Ryan shirts.
At the dance, I encouraged my fellow conservatives to show their allegiance and not be cowed by group pressure. Once I had seen the Obama buttons I had felt it my duty to demonstrate to anyone who might enter that public room that there was a diversity of political opinions there.
Had everyone who complimented me on my shirt worn a Romney/Ryan shirt as well, they would have taken away much of the boldness of the liberals.
Yes, boldness is all they have, as we saw at Thursday’s performance as Biden echoed Susan Rice’s lies about Benghazi between Cheshire Cat grins.
What do we make of this debate, if we can call it that? Opinion among the pundit class about who “won” varies. But no matter what happens on November 6, all will agree that Vice President Biden’s October 11 audition for Dr. Bob’s Tooth Whitening Powder model was quite a success.