Thursday, October 11, 2012

Is Biden Too Crazy To Be Defeated in Debate?

"You can't beat crazy!"
I think we can all agree; Joe Biden is a bit crazy! Some people think he's crazy in the sense that he says things that politicians don't normally say. Some people think he's crazy in the way your crazy uncle is crazy - it's a bit alarming but it's also kind of endearing. Some people think Joe Biden is legitimately crazy - not-fit-to-be-President crazy or not-fit-to-be-employed crazy.

Regardless of the type of crazy or the degree of crazy, crazy people are hard to pin down. They don't play by the rules! When most of society (the number appears to be dwindling) has agreed to use logic and reason in discussions and debates, it puts most of us at least on similar wave lengths. We can still have big disagreements and differences of opinions, but we are still generally able to understand where others are coming from. But, when someone comes from an entirely different wave length, it is so foreign and odd that it is hard to discuss ordinary ideas. You may have logic, reason, facts and style on your side, but a crazy person can put on such a bizarre show that it frustrates you and distracts you from your objectives that the crazy person can actually start to make you think you're crazy.

As a litigator, I have had the unfortunate experience of facing several pro se (people who represent themselves) parties. In many ways it is a great advantage to face someone who doesn't have a lawyer, but it can also be confusing, time-consuming and maddening. Pro se parties do crazy things like filing non-existent, insane motions. You are left to wonder: do I even have to respond to this considering it is insane or do I still have to answer just to be safe? Usually you answer the crazy motion to protect yourself and your client, which is time-consuming and expensive for the client. Then, when you draft the response you have to combat the craziness and sometimes the only way to combat it is with craziness. I admit that sometimes it is fun, but usually it is annoying.

Paul Ryan is slick, smart and focused. He seems to dislike nonsense and frivolous debate. Well, he's going to get it tonight! Biden is going to be all over the place. He's going to attack Romney/Ryan, he'll make some outrageous allegations, he'll appeal to the working class effectively and he'll try to paint Ryan as a young punk who doesn't know what he's talking about. He will make some good points, but he will also say some crazy things. If Ryan can't bring the debate back to reason, he will open the possibility that Crazy Uncle Joe might appear to have bested him, even if Ryan wins on substance, reason and sanity. In addition, crazy people often gain sympathy because of their plight. Many Americans will have a soft spot for Joe, so if Ryan goes at him too hard, he might come off as a mean bully.

I actually find Joe Biden somewhat endearing, especially when he is making good points for the GOP, but I wouldn't want to have to debate him. Expectations for Biden (and most crazy people) are so low that if he is still clothed at the end of the debate, it will be a victory. Who would you enlist for debate prep as a stand-in for Biden? Leave suggestions in the comments. Here is my pick.

The sh**er will be full when Biden leaves the stage Thursday night

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