Biden’s Impressive Evening

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12 Responses

  1. I agree, esp. when Sen. Biden came out with:

    ““When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, “Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.”

    Sure – none of that actualy happened but only someone with an impressive foreign policy background could have made it up so effortlessly.

  2. Larry Sheldon says:

    A lawyer’s opinion, clearly.

    22 lies professionally given is wonderful.

    God help us.

  3. Thomas says:

    The first two comments I think get at why I hated debate. In most other contexts the truth of an assertion matters. Neil is impressed by Biden’s confident assertion of things that just aren’t true, demonstrating I think that Neil isn’t the sort of person we should listen to about a candidate’s knowledge of public policy. For example, when Biden said “The vote she’s referring to, John McCain voted the exact same way”, he was lying. In debate, that doesn’t matter unless Palin goes back and counters the lie, which means that someone can win with a strategy of spouting BS, with the idea that not all of it can be quickly refuted. (That apparently was the Biden strategy.) But for those who are actually interested in truth, it does matter.

    More relevantly, these sort of things just aren’t debates, and thank goodness for that. “Winnning” a debate doesn’t appear to have much to do with winning the election–at least, it didn’t have much to do with it 2004, 2000, 1988, and 1984.

  4. Though they don’t take away points for spouting content-free platitudes, sites like this are great for fact-checking political statements…

    http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/factchecking_biden-palin_debate.html

    But I’d really like to see a tally, and ranking of severities, of the errors.

  5. Neil H. Buchanan says:

    Thanks to Logical Extremes for the link to factcheck.org. The truth of assertions clearly does matter, and it hardly surprises me that both candidates made statements in the course of the debate that were wholly or partially untrue. The problem is that, if one wants to judge the debate by who had to be corrected more by the fact checkers, Palin loses almost as badly as she did the live debate. Taking out the errors from the live debate would also leave much more of Biden’s content standing than Palin’s. Debates might not change many people’s votes, but it’s clear that Palin is out of her depth and that Biden was impressive.

  6. “…but it’s clear…that Biden was impressive.”

    damn – if he had had you as a professor in law school, he wouldn’t have had to plagiarize that paper.

  7. Thomas says:

    If one were to judge the debate by who had to be corrected more by the fact checkers, one is delegating the work to the fact checkers. That doesn’t seem a worthwhile exercise–the question isn’t what some supposed fact checker thinks, but whether and which candidate was telling the truth. I’m not sure what it means to take out the candidates’ “errors”–I’m assuming that includes both Biden’s fantastical statements such as “we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon” as well as his blatant lies such as “He did not say sit down with Ahmadinejad.” When you judge the performances, do you mean that, aside from the fact that Biden demonstrated that he’s a liar and that he has difficulty separating fact from fantasy in the Middle East, you found Biden impressive? Or was it those qualities you found impressive?

  8. The Ref says:

    Is this rant and intellectually stunted opinion from an attorney practicing law in Russia? The naivety expressed in your argument should preclude you from practicing law in this country. One has a right to an opinion, but this is beyond the pale. The lack of constitutional understanding and the writers inability to separate fact from fantasy is just sad. It is no wonder the legal system in this country is intellectually and morally bankrupt. As far as having debate experience, please, you are deluding yourself. I recommend medical screening for any attorney that thinks too much of themselves. Apologies to the many fine and truly gifted lawyers that honorably ply their trade.

  9. Michael Lee says:

    I do not concur.

  10. Anon says:

    Wow, was this post linked somewhere? Weird amount of vitriol.

  11. Anon says:

    Wow, was this post linked somewhere? Weird amount of vitriol.

  12. If I read Mr. Buchanan’s post correctly, he is not taking a position on any of the policy issues discussed in the debate, but rather is identifying the stark contrast between the debate skills of the two participants. As someone with formal training and experience in argumentation, I really don’t understand the relevance of the clearly partisan attacks by some of the other commenters. In any forum like these debates, there are bound to be some of what I referred to as errors. Unless we are certain of motivations, we can’t judge whether they are misstatements, misunderstandings, or lies. But the opposing candidate has a rebuttal opportunity to refute errors, and Biden’s and Palin’s efforts in this aspect were worlds apart.