Bubbly Joe Biden vs. Attila the Republican
It’s just not fair. Our sassy and vivacious Vice President is about to get smushed by his younger, smarter, wittier, more able, more fit, more handsome, more charismatic, more knowledgeable, more prepared, more everythingish rival for the job.
Look away. Send the children out of the room. But on the other hand…
Doesn’t everybody like Joe? I sure do. Pert and perky little fighter without a mean bone in his body. And whether he’s making a routine fool of himself or a very big fool when he’s in over his head, it’s all good, it’s Joe. Rides the same train to work in DC every day for decades as the Senator from Delaware, just another commuter. Hey, howya doin’, Joe, thumbs up, a wink. Good man.
Uh oh. Here comes Paul Ryan. Elected to Congress at age 28, VP nominee at 42, that lean and hungry look in his eye, a shark and there’s Joe floating around like a side of bacon. Ryan not only understands the budget, he’s the only pol in Washington who could actually write his own budget, and he has. Wonkier than the wonkiest wonk, and wonkage is the Democrat game—there is their worst nightmare, Milton Friedman meets Genghis Khan—a Republican who can count, with 0.0% body fat.
So it’s not whether or not he’ll smash up poor pert and perky Joe Biden, it’s only how many pieces. 10, 20, 50, 1000?
So I think of Gerry Spence, master trial lawyer. Screw representing Dow at $700 an hour if you can sue ’em and get a third of a multi-million dollar verdict. [Do the math. How many million hours are there in a year?]
Story is, in his earlier days, Gerry has this unloseable case, a pooch that can’t be screwed, and takes it to jury trial. He has the greatest time in the world, delighting in his own brilliance:
When I was a young lawyer feeling my power, my strategy in a certain case was to attack and destroy every witness the other side put against me. I took on the witnesses, old men with watery eyes who I knew were but company sycophants trying to keep their jobs. I took on the experts, scholarly actors who I knew were but paid witnesses attempting to earn their fees rather than reveal the truth. Cut them up, shredded them, pulverized them.
The jury was out only fifteen minutes before it returned a verdict against my client.I was devastated. Hadn’t I won every battle? Hadn’t I destroyed the witnesses? Hadn’t my power on cross-examination been overwhelming?
As the jury was filing out of the courtroom, one of the women approached me. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes. It was obviously hard for her to turn my severely injured client out of a court of justice with nothing.
“Mr. Spence,” she said quietly, “why did you make us hate you so?”
So if I’m Joe Biden’s cornerman, I say just let the Ryan kid talk. All you can do is be Joe Biden, the guy on the train who everybody likes, good man. They already like you, Joe, and the only one who can make them hate Paul Ryan is Paul Ryan, that he’ll blind himself with his own brilliance. That’s the play.