This of course, dismayed fully half of the on-air punditry. Much pearl clutching and gasping for air on the fainting couches about the heinous incivility of derisive laughter. It totally ruined their pre-written script for Old Joe the Gaffer versus the Whiz Kid of the GOP. Their whimpering was largely drowned out by the rousing cheers of newly heartened liberals in my seating section. Indeed, the collective sigh of relief from the left blew the roof off their newly constructed house of dark despair and let in the light again.
As might be expected, Charlie Pierce has the best telling of the Fall of the Mighty Paul Ryan:
On Thursday night, Biden dragged out the old Paul Ryan — and, I would argue, the real Paul Ryan — and put him on display, and he made the new Paul Ryan own him. ...The GOP's whiz kid ended up looking like all kid, no whiz. I was reminded of those movie scenes where the wise, vaguely amused older guy is holding a little enraged kid at arm's distance, while the kid wildly flails at the air.
The ideas [Ryan] could explain were bad enough, but the profound ignorance he displayed on Thursday night on a number of important questions, including when and where the United States might wind up going to war next, and his blithe dismissal of any demand that he be specific about where he and his running mate are planning to take the country generally, was so positively terrifying that it calls into question Romney's judgment for putting this unqualified greenhorn on the ticket at all. Joe Biden laughed at him? Of course, he did. The only other option was to hand him a participation ribbon and take him to Burger King for lunch.
Unclear how much any of this will matter generally, but if it did nothing else but restore joy and some semblance of serenity on my social nets -- that's good enough. [Getty photo via Holly Bailey tumblr]
[Cross-posted at The Impolitic. More posts daily at the Detroit News.