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Bert at the Han


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The Republicans were the clear victors in the confrontation between Vice President Biden and Senator Ryan.

By a contemptuous default.

The meeting was advertised as a debate. Certainly the country needed a debate. The nation has profound concerns about many issues. We want and need to have those issues discussed clearly and completely to help us understand the significance of our vote in the coming elections. An actual debate would have been invaluable, for us all.

Unfortunately, although Senator Ryan attempted to present the Republican positions logically, and support them with facts, the Vice President mainly attempted to prevent this. He constantly interrupted Ryan's most significant arguments before they could be clearly developed, usually not refuting them with complete arguments but rather with loud and sneering attacks on selected points. In between the verbal interruptions, Biden constantly made broad gestures and contemptuous facial expressions with the apparent intention of distracting the viewers and making it difficult for us to concentrate on the factual significance of Ryan's presentation.

Had Biden felt the Democrat position was sound he would have behaved quite differently. He would have wanted Ryan to present the Republican positions clearly, so that he might clearly refute them. He would have presented data supporting his own party's record and objectives clearly and completely, challenging Ryan to find valid faults. Had Biden been confident, he would have wanted the American public to see the comprehensive strengths and weaknesses of both major parties. He would have wanted an actual debate.

Instead, he continued the attack and destroy policies all too prevalent in partisan politics. For me, Biden was admitting that he dare not present his party's record and objectives clearly, in actual comparison with those of the Republican party.

For me, he was conceding Democrat defeat, by default.

How much better for the country, had the issues been clarified by unimpeded discussion. Instead, Biden forced us to draw our conclusions from a debate ... that never was.

Bert Kortegaard

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