Make no mistake about it: despite Mitt Romney’s changed tone and policy flips during his debate with President Obama, the fact remains that although they will never state it directly, a major political party, the GOP, has built its platform on the backs of the poor, middle-class, civil servants, veterans, elderly, disabled, ‘working stiffs’ and ‘non-elite’ people of this nation — even though unemployment, poverty, illness and disability affects people of all political affiliations. What does all of this mean at this time in our nation’s history? It means that it’s up to Joe Biden to make clear what President Obama did not: Now is not the time for a George W. Bush redux.
On Thursday night Vice President Joe Biden will step onto the debate stage with his opponent, Paul ‘MostPeople Are Takers‘ Ryan. After months of campaigning and interviewing for voters and pundits alike, this is what it has come to: the Vice President must debate someone who, like the leader of his ticket, has no problem with uttering distortions and spewing lies at a level that is keeping the fact-checkers quite busy — and Biden must do so while maintaining his composure. Let’s face it, this is not going to be a debate; if Lyin’ Ryan stays true to form it will be a head-shaking farce.
Joe Biden must clearly state that the GOP of yesteryear is gone. Unlike Eisenhower and other Republicans of the past, what remains of the GOP is a political faction that is actively engaged in a battle against Medicare, Social Security and any other social support that contributed to making America the ‘Great Society‘.
Liberals have focused on Mitt Romney’s unwillingness to produce his shadowy tax returns but perhaps Mr. Biden would do well to focus some attention on how both he and Ryan have been able to use the system to benefit themselves. Romney has been able to take advantage of loopholes and vague but complex tax laws that work against the rest of us, while Ryan gained from using Social Security benefits to further his own education — yet he boldly stands ready to eviscerate the same system through privatisation and vouchers that helped him. A classic ‘I’ve got mine but I’ll keep you from getting yours‘ scenario.
Or maybe Mr. Biden should talk about Paul Ryan’s role in helping to keep the American economy on the precipice of disaster — ranging from blocking jobs bills to escalating a crisis that resulted in Standard & Poor’s lowering the nation’s AAA credit rating — all for the sake of trying to regain control of Congress and, prospectively, the White House for Republicans. Biden should note that during America’s worst economy since the Great Depression, Paul Ryan thought it was more important to remain beholden to his corporate owners and the GOP than to the American people. What a patriot.
Talk about jobs, Joe. We’ve talked about the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ unemployment figures that the ‘truthers’ on the right now believe that after 60 years of calculations are rigged and, therefore, false, in an effort to boost the President’s re-election chances. Hopefully Joe will interject with points about how the unemployment level has declined despite Ryan’s role in blocking jobs bills, most shameful of which was blocking jobs and eduction training for veterans. Maybe Ryan should keep in mind that the 47% of citizens Mitt has written off, and the 60% who Ryan sees as ‘takers’, are more often than not comprised of people who have honourably served this country.
The Tea Party freshmen were swept into office on the twin waves of ‘reduce the debt’ and ‘where are the jobs’ and yet their focus has been women’s reproductive issues. Since domestic and foreign policy will be on the table, maybe the Vice President should discuss the GOP’s willingness to increase defense spending and prolong wars — which will serve only to increase the debt — while they ignore the fact that they supported the war effort and allowed, along with some Democrats, President Bush II to charge the unpaid war debt on the nation’s credit card?
The bottom line is that Vice President Biden needs to focus on what the Republican party calls the “hard choices” so that he can make the distinction between President Obama and Mitt Romney abundantly clear. Joe Biden will need to hammer away at Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” which is for most of us nothing more than a walk down ‘Poverty Alley’ – take a right turn at Skid Row and cross over to More Debt Lane.