Reading after-the-fact debate analysis can make you crazy, even more so if you actually viewed the event. The first two hours of reaction tend to be a muddle, but by the third hour the official Democrat version is released and the mainstream media release their main stream. The Democrat won either by being more aggressive or less belligerent, more detailed or less wordy, more passionate or less out-of-control, depending on the situation at hand. In the NFL they watch last week’s film to change next week’s game; the Democrats watch last week’s film to change last week’s game.
Let me make a bold and fearless prediction. Not a single analyst in a major press organ will call your attention to Joe Biden’s monstrous act of moral depravity, revealing in two distinct ways separate pathways of Democrat hypocrisy and cynicism.
Here is what happened. The penultimate question to the candidates was: is there any position you changed while in office upon achieving new insights into the legislative process? Biden said yes. When he arrived in the Judiciary Committee, he brought with him a belief from law school. It held that if a President nominates a qualified jurist for the Supreme Court, the Senate was bound to confirm the nominee. He soon came to conclude that ideology should also be considered as a factor, so he proudly fought the elevation of Judge Robert Bork to the court.
Then Biden was granted the privilege of offering a closing argument. In it he assured the audience that Senator Obama and he would govern in a bipartisan spirit.
This pair of presentations combine to shine a piercing light into the dark soul of the Democrat worldview. If we decode – or “unpack”, in the jargon – his first point, he is telling us that until he arrived there was a bipartisan custom in place for handling Supreme Court appointments. Distinction was the only criterion for a Supreme Court Justice, with no thought of the Senate playing an adversarial role in their Constitutionally mandated “advice and consent”. When Biden arrived he decided that would no longer do, and henceforth every confirmation hearing would become a partisan wrangle.
So his self-described epiphany involved his bringing “change” to the Senate by making it more partisan. Immediately thereafter, he promises to usher in a new era of post-partisan cooperation. Wow, talk about the audacity of hope! That takes some “noiv”.
As rank as this overt contradiction is, the history he is admitting to here is even more reprehensible. What he is telling us, behind the self-satisfied smirk, is that the Democrats rolled the Republicans by the old rules, and when that no longer worked, they just went and changed the rules to suit themselves.
You see, Presidents like Eisenhower were seduced into putting up jurists like Brennan and Warren based on this system of putting judicial education and experience before ideology. Only when realists like Reagan wised up and more closely scrutinized their appointees did the Democrats in the Senate suddenly discover that their procedural role could be deployed for the purpose of sabotage.
Discerning viewers should note this unique moment in the Palin-Biden debate. It provides a rare highlighting of the duplicitous, unprincipled Democrat approach to gutter politics. Anything goes when promoting the one true ideology. Rules are fine when they work in your favor. Otherwise, they are suspended in favor of fairness or inclusiveness or compassion or tolerance or whatever code word is in vogue today.
Contrast this with the way Republicans behave. In 2000, John Ashcroft was running for reelection to the Senate from Missouri. His opponent was Governor Carnahan. Carnahan was killed in a crash shortly before Election Day, too late to remove his name from the ballot. When the votes were counted, the dead man won. Ashcroft immediately conceded the election and allowed Carnahan’s widow to be seated as Senator.
In technical terms, Ashcroft had not lost the election. Any court would have been forced to either institute a new vote, with the widow listed openly as his opponent, or perhaps grant Ashcroft the victory by default for lack of an opposing candidate. Instead he graciously bowed to decency and forfeited the race… only to be hammered afterwards by partisan Democrats on Biden’s committee when he was nominated by President Bush as Attorney-General.
Yes, Palin won the debate with her poise and clarity and pleasant demeanor. But besides for all that, Joe Biden lost it by revealing the nasty, tacky partisanship that has become the Democrat trademark.