Vice Presidential Debate: Live from America’s Couch

Scroll down for updates throughout the night

The fact that I’m doing this again speaks to one of two things. Either I have a criminally inflated sense of ego, or I was so disappointed in the relative lack of import in the first Presidential debate that I’ve returned tonight in hopes of redeeming myself. If we’re lucky, Big Bird will come out on the Danville, Kentucky stage wearing a prosthetic phallus of some sort. With Christmas lights on it.

So, what did the people of America’s Couch do since the first 2012 Presidential Debate? We did our jobs, participated in youth sports, exercised, ate leftovers, and settled into the deep down feathers of America’s resting place. We checked that our voter registration–a futile, symbolic designation in our particular voting district–was up to date. We participated in more youth sports. We cooked at home and recycled. We paid our monthly taxes, paid our private healthcare premiums, and made doctor visits we’ll have to pay for out of pocket. We made s’mores on our patio, drank local beers, and watched our university alma mater lose to an academic school. That’s how the people of America’s Couch spent the last week. We worked, paid our due, and stayed out of every one else’s way.

Now, from our spot on America’s Couch, we return to watch what might be one of the most celebrated and meaningless practices in political theater, the 2012 Vice Presidential Debate, a contest of almost zero real consequence between a hyper-disciplined, hardbody life nit and undisciplined, suave, one-time plagiarist with gaffe problems (who also happens to be the sitting Veep). And, yeah, we’re going to live blog it…live from America’s Couch.

America’s Couch

8:07pm–I don’t know how the rest of America prepared for tonight, but we did it with a home cooked meal: seared scallops with jalapeño/bacon creamed corn and roasted parsnips. And wine. Yes there was wine. Meanwhile, we’re trying to decide how little attention to pay to the fact our eight-year-old son turned on the TV today and watched enough of “Sex Games” on Cinemax to probably qualify him as an expert in human sexuality. My protestations to the wife that “It was simulated sex!” don’t seem to be holding up. This is all because I didn’t turn the channel after getting my Denzel Washington fix last night. Maybe you can sleep without watching Denzel talk softly and shoot somebody in the head, but I certainly can’t.

8:15pm–There are 45 minutes until the debate begins. We’ve chosen to spend it making sure this bottle of wine tells no tales tomorrow and watching NFL THursday. My wife is insisting Kurt Warner has had some work done. Trying to decide whether to watch the debate on CNN as usual or give this wine a real test and watch FOX. The latter is almost as as unlikely as me making it to 9pm without breaking into the Tito’s vodka.

8:23pm–“That’s one thing Nashville does,” the wife said. “Look at that! They support their losing team.” Probably something to be said about politics there, but…well, there was wine.

8:38pm–So, I’ve spent all day thinking, “Damn, that Paul Ryan is tall drink of water. I’d like to party with that guy.” Why? Because he had the courage to do this.

Paul Ryan, tall drink of water, courtesy of Time magazine

All that, and then I learn that Ryan is all upset about Time publishing these photos today. His aide complained they were promised the pictures would never be published–an account Time disputes. I’m of two minds on this. First, the dude is cut up. I’d be proud if I looked that good. But, two…come one. You know who believes “no one will ever see these pictures?” You fill in the blank, because every punch line I came up with would get me fired, pilloried, or engaged to a second marriage, and I, for one, don’t believe in bigamy.

8:59pm–Paul Begala just declared both of these candidates are as “nervous as a hooker in church,” which is as tired an analogy as Begala’s relevance in anything post 1999.

9:01pm–There is a Commission on Vice Presidential Debates. There is a COMMISSION on Vice Presidential Debates.

9:04pm–I am sitting here wishing, apropos of nothing, Biden had started the debate by turning to Paul Ryan and saying, “How do you like them apples?”

9:06pm–Paul Ryan is less than four years older than I am. He was a senior in high school when I was a freshman. Nothing on him, but most of those guys were complete pricks, as I recall.

9:07pm–So, yeah, the wine is gone.

9:08pm–Joe Biden spent the past two weeks perfecting–PERFECTING–the shaking-my-head-rueful-smile this-kid-is-too-much look.

9:09pm–“That’s a bunch of malarky..Not a single thing he said is accurate.” –Joe Biden, playing the role President Obama forgot to play last week, which was a person with testicles.

9:11pm–Let’s just get out in front of this. A moderated debate is a lot better than a non-moderated debate.

9:13pm–Rapid Eye Reality’s independent media and political consultant Mr. G-Rob asks “Given the issues in this election, can Martha Rattatz be impartial given her dating history?”

Elmo: “Martha, no one will ever see these pictures. I promise.”

9:17pm–“All this loose talk? What are they talking about?” –Joe Biden, probably not talking about that widow’s peak, which Mr. G-Rob insists points toward Ryan’s “Crystal blue eyes, blinding white smile, his adorable dimples?”

9:19pm–New drinking game. What Does the Ayatollah See?

9:20pm–“Facts matter.” There is your headline of the night.

9:23pm–Biden has been friends with Bibi for a couple of decades. My acquaintance BeeBee recently had hormone replacement therapy and discovered the joys of prostitution. I feel fairly certain the experiences are different.

9:25pm–What’s the score in the Steelers/Titans game?

9:26pm–That hometown unemployment exchange was a good one for Ryan. Prediction: Romney loses next month. Ryan wins Presidency in 2016.

9:29pm–Via RER contributor Mr. G-Rob: “If the old trope: ‘Which candidate would you want to have a beer with?’ matters at all, this has to be the single most lopsided election in all history. It’s Biden right? In fact, I think Clinton is the last person to enter Biden’s airspace there and I still think Biden’s a winner.”

9:32pm–Biden Rope-A-Dope with stimulus money made this half hour.

9:34pm–Mr: G-Rob: “Here’s a thinker: Who was hotter in their Prime, Martha Raddatz, Cokie Roberts, or Diane Sawyer?”

9:35pm–Okay, so imagine this moment five minutes from now.

Biden: “You are the nuttiest, the stupid, the phoniest fruitcake I ever met.”
Ryan: “You, Joe Biden, are the most arrogant, self-centered –”
Biden: “Shut Up! Shut your fat mouth.”
Ryan: “Make me.”
Biden: “Make you? My God, I’m, I’m gonna, I’m gonna bounce you off every wall in this office.”
Ryan: “Try it and you’ll be walking funny tomorrow, or shall I say funnier.”
Biden: “You know, you know I always wanted to pop you one, maybe this is my lucky day huh?”
Ryan: “You disgust me, I hate you.”
Biden: “Are you as turned on as I am?”
Ryan: “More.”

9:39pm–Mr G-Rob: “The correct answer was Diane Sawyer”

Diane Sawyer…mamacita.

9:41pm–By the way, if you don’t recognize that script above, you need to read this: “”The Best TV Show That’s Ever Been”

9:43pm–Every time Biden says “Martha,” I can’t help but think of Hank yelling for his wife in “Breaking Bad” to check his delivered his rock boxes for damage.

9:45pm–Halfway through and I’m down a Mule. What we’re seeing here is an actual debate. It’s two human beings fighting the issues, bare-knuckled, like men who care about how they come out. Why? Biden has nothing to lose, Ryan has everything to gain.

9:47pm–Mr. G-Rob: “Does Cokie Roberts look exactly like David Bowie?

David Bowie?

9:48pm–This Ryan line on not enough rich people to pay for Democratic spending is perfect. It’s exactly what GOP needs to do to combat the Democratic argument. Biden should’ve jumped in a broken him up.

9:52pm–“Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy?”

9:53pm–Place your bets. How long will it take me to make this next Moscow Mule?

9:55pm–Two minutes. With fresh limes.

9:56pm–I want to make out with Martha Raddatz. I don’t even care what she looks like. She is winning this debate.

9:58pm––Bringing up Iraq, a war we entered based on false intelligence, reminds me of this episode of Radio Lab. During its segment about capital T “Truth” it looked back on America’s excuse for getting back into to the chemical weapons game when I was a kid. When you have a chance: “Yellow Rain.”

10:02pm–The Steelers are losing to the Titans. This debate is a better game.

10:04pm–To be fair, I wouldn’t want to debate either of these guys.

10:06pm–Paul Ryan’s grasp of military strategy and policy is fairly impressive. At the very least, he knows more than almost everybody watching.

10:07pm–Mr: Rob is casting for new reality shows.

“If Sarah Palin could get ‘Sarah Palin’s Alaska’ can I get a season or two of ‘Joe Biden’s Delaware?’
Paul Ryan’s ‘Wisconsin?’
Mitt Romney’s ‘Planet Kolob?’
Barack Obama’s ‘Kenya’

10:08pm–“Afghans to do the job. Afghans to do that job.” If that isn’t remixed, I’ll eat my hat.

10:09pm–“The last thing America needs is to get in another ground war in the Middle East.” –Joe Biden.

10:11pm–A smart friend:

“Why does the policy [of sending more military to Libya] not apply to Syria?”
“It’s a different [fucking] country, [you fucking idiot].”

10:13pm–That was interesting. Paul Ryan said boots on the ground only happen if American security interests are in jeopardy. Humanitarian concerns won’t get troops. Really?

10:17pm–I mean, really? We’re only concerned with American security concerns? That’s what we’re going to boil down to?

10:18pm–Joe, that your religion defines you doesn’t endear you to me, but this line nailed it. “I refuse to impose that on other people like my friend the Congressman.” Knocked it out of the park, there.

10:21pm–There won’t be a Presidential debate as substantive as this VP debate. I don’t know what that says about the election, but it says something.

10:24pm–Ryan-Biden 2012.

10:25pm–I mean, is it really possible the two VP candidates are smarter and more charismatic than the Presidential candidates?

10:28pm–Imagine that. A ticket for the executive office that has two guys who disagree almost completely but have to find middle ground before acting as the executive branch. A little less than 20 years ago, I wrote a long paper on this very subject…the executive branch by committee. I recall my professor laughing at it. I remember feeling a little naive at the time. Looking back, I think I wasn’t quite as naive as I thought then.

10:32pm–Scoring the debate:

Gold: Martha Raddatz.
Silver: Me
Bronze: Candidates (tie)

Now, back to the NFL