. . . was on full display last night during the vice-presidential debate. Which is why the wave of relief that ran through Progressiville was so palpable in the event’s immediate aftermath. In perhaps the most personally disgraceful performance in the history of debates, Joe Biden smirked, mugged, snorted, and sneered his way through 90 minutes of heckling his opponent, Paul Ryan — often aided and abetted by the moderator, Martha Raddatz, who was every bit as bad as we all feared the ex-wife of president Obama’s Harvard Law School classmate, Julius Genachowski, would be.
And the Left loved it. Why? Because in their hearts, they think we deserve it, and have it coming to us for the crime of disagreeing with them. The depths of their animosity danced across Biden’s toothy visage all evening, Ryan’s reasonable arguments, delivered reasonably, being met with sneering condescension and a wonted air of smug moral superiority. For the libs, this was a dream performance, and all the Right could do, like Ryan himself, was grin and bear it.
How it will play in flyover country, however, remains to be seen. Coastal-state aggression and personal rudeness don’t play well in the red states, and no doubt many were rooting for Ryan to throw just one verbal sucker punch and deck his tormentor. There were, after all, two Irishmen on the stage and I did find myself wishing that one of them would act, however briefly, like a righteously indignant Hibernian instead of the drunken paddy at the bar trying to pick a fight with the new kid on the block.