Martha Raddatz: Welcome to the Vice Presidential debate. I’m your host, Martha Raddatz, and I’ve spent most of my life reporting the news from war-ravaged hellholes like Iraq and Afghanistan, and I’ll damned if I’m gonna get walked all over like Leher last week. Biden, Ryan, front and center!
Joe Biden: [ Showcases freakishly white toothy grin and 1" American flag lapel pin ] Thank you. Ah, shucks, it’s nice to see all you little fellers and gals out there in tee-vee-land.
Paul Ryan: [ Showcases dreamy big blue eyes and 14" American flag pin adorned with five-pointed Secret Service star in gold leaf ] Thank you. I’d also like to remind you, as per our previous arrangement, you’re forbidden to call me “Congressman,” on the grounds that it will unfairly bias voters against me for voting in favor for all the things I will later declare the fault of President Obama for being unable to stop.
MR: Enough small talk. First issue. Time: last month. Place: Libya. Event: Embassy attack that killed 4 Americans. Fact: There were no protesters at the time, only a pre-planned terrorist assault. Question: Mr. Vice President, how do explain this as anything other than a massive intelligence fuck-up on your part?
JB: [ Oh crap. ] Well… er… yeah… I guess it was a mistake on our part… but don’t we get bonus points for killing Osama bin Laden?
PR: This administration bends over backwards to apologize to every Tom, Dick, and Abdullah who hates America. It makes us look weak.
MR: Well, Congressman Ryan, since you brought it up: how do explain your running mate running his mouth about apologies and weakness at a press conference in the middle of the crisis as anything other than a massive act of douche-baggery on your part?
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] Obama agreed with us on Day One —
JB: With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.
JB: It’s Irish. It means “a heaping pile of horse poop.”
MR: I know what it means, you grinning geezer. Explain to me your “mistaken intelligence” nonsense.
JB: We reported to America what the intelligence community reported to us, and when they changed their assessment, we changed ours.
MR: It took your intelligence weeks to figure out the protesters were nonexistent? That the embassy wanted and needed extra Marine protection? You expect us to believe that?
JB: [ Begins to whimper slightly ] Um… but… er… uh… yes?
MR: Fine, go off and cry, old man. [ To Ryan ] I’m not done with you either, pretty boy. Your boss always says “No Apologies.” Does that imply we get to post YouTube videos of us pissing on Taliban corpses with impunity?
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] Um… but… er… uh… no?
Mitt Romney at home: [ Facepalm ]
MR: You both sicken me. Second issue: Iran. Both your bosses oppose a nuclear Iran. How effective would a military strike be, and be specific, dammit. Let’s start with you, Eddie Muster.
PR: Let’s be clear: we want to prevent war. But if we say we want to prevent war, then Iran will ignore us. So then we’d have to threaten war, but if don’t follow through, then Iran will still ignore us. Hence, the only war to prevent war with Iran is to wage war against them. It’s the only logical way.
MR: Now you, Gramps.
JB: [ Grins ] I can’t talk about classified information. Because, yeah, I know some seriously classified shit that would blow your minds away. But what I cay about Iran is this: they’ve got crippling sanctions, worldwide condemnation, and a bunch of low-grade uranium that isn’t strong enough to make a Roman Candle.
PR: But one day, they could make a bomb out of it. And we’re busy apologizing and looking weak and negotiating timelimes and being indecisive and—
MR: Fine. Explain how Romney-Ryan will be decisive and get it done, say, by March, because I’ve got shit to do in June and I don’t want to be stuck doing news reports in the desert again.
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] Well, first we negotiate a timeline—
MR: [ Facepalm ]
JB: [ Grins ] Malarkey!
MR: Let’s try this again. Which is worse: another war in the Middle East, or a nuclear-armed Iran.
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] I’ll tell you what’s worse. I’ll tell you what’s worse. Oh, let me tell you what’s worse. And when I tell you what’s worse, you’ll—
MR: ANSWER ME, DAMMIT!
PR: [ Looks at shoes ] A nuclear armed Iran, ma’am.
MR: [ At Biden ] NOW YOU.
JB: [ Looks at the corner ] War, ma’am.
MR: Well, I’m convinced you’re both clueless abroad; how about at home? Third issue: unemployment. Obama said he’d get unemployment down to 6%, but screwed that up. Can you unemployment get there, and how long? You first, old guy.
JB: Yes and I dunno, respectively. [ Grins ] But look, we fixed an economic freefall, and saved the car industry, which saved a million manufacturing jobs and gives Mike Rowe and excuse to be on TV again. But the real problem is Republicans and their 47% mentality, holding the middle class hostage because they think they’re fat, listless, useless fodder for billionaires.
MR: You’re up, Skippy. Unemployment under 6%: Can you do it, and how long?
PR: Let me tell you a story about a little town I grew up in, where my stay-at-home mother made apple pies every evening and I played All American stickball with Timmy and Billy in our white, picket-fenced backyard…
JB: [ Grins ] Malarkey!
PR: … and then Obama took office, and we all lost our jobs and now have to live in a dystopian Mad Max hellscape…
JB: [ Smirks ] Boloney!
PR: … and that’s spreading to the whole United States. Why, I just read a statistic that 5 out of every 1 Americans is out of work…
JB: [ Rolls eyes ] Hogwash!
PR: … and this administration’s crazy exponential increase of the deficit is entirely to blame…
JB: [ Hair plugs explode ] I call shenanigans! You were in Congress when you charged two foreign wars and trillion-dollar tax cut for billionaires to the credit cards of the middle-class, you heartless little monster…
PR: … and Mitt Romney can make it all better, because he loves and cares for 100% of Americans. An emphasis that, with the benefit of hindsight, I find paradoxically reminds voters of precisely the “47%” comments I was deliberately trying to avoid.
PR: Look, we have to face facts: President Obama has raped the economy of the United States. Forcibly raped, even. And I know about rape. I’m Catholic.
MR: That’s sweet, and completely off-topic. 6% unemployment. How and how long. Don’t mess with me, punk.
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] Mitt Romney’s patented and trademarked three-step Plan for AmericaTM. Step 1: Cut taxes. Step 2: ??? Step 3: Profit.
MR: I suppose that answers how. Now tell me how long?
MR: How long, Congressman?
MR: HOW LONG, you zombie-eyed little shit?
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] I believe the “???” clause in Step 2 speaks for itself.
MR: Eh, close enough. Fourth issue: entitlements. Medicare and Social Security are going broke. You’ve got a roll of duct tape and a scalpel: how do you fix it? You take this one, Mr. 2-Hour-Marathon.
PR: It’s a simple binary choice. Us? A voucher system that gives young people a choice, because if it’s the one thing that young people know how to do, it’s to carefully plan out their retirement some fifty years down the road. Them? 716 billion dollars, stolen from your dying grandmother, to pay for death panels.
JB: Malarkey! We cut $716 billion in wasted spending in the programs and put that money back into Medicare. AMA liked it. AARP liked it. And yo momma, she really liked it. [ Grins ]
MR: SHUT UP.
JB: [ Under his breath ] uh-huh.
MR: Alright ladies, let’s try an easy one. Who should pay more in taxes, and who should pay less? You first, Mr. Get-Off-My-Lawn.
JB: [ Grins ] The middle class pays less. The rich pay more.
MR: You can follow directions. Good for you. Congressman? Who should pay more in taxes, and who should pay less?
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] Well, to answer this, you have to first understand the philosophical, legal, economical, and moral underpinnings of the Republican ethos and order to properly appreciate the necessity for and, frankly, brilliance of our plan for wholesale tax reform….
MR and JB: Oh God…
PR: Fine. Everybody pays 20% less.
MR: Yeah, that sounds legit. Do you have any specifics on how you’d pay for all of it?
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] Well, there’s some stuff with loopholes…
MR: Specifics, Congressman.
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] Also, there’s some bibartisian stuff…
MR: TELL ME HOW YOU’D DO IT!
PR: [ Looks at floor ] Magic?
Karl Rove at home: I miss Jim Leher.*
* Hilariously enough, this is legit:
JB: [ Turns to television camera ] To my fellow senior citizens out there, who are you going to trust? Me, the septuagenarian? [ Grins ] Or him, the punk kid with his PX90s and PS2s and MP3s and rock n’ roll?
MR: What’s that, Old Fart?
JB: [ Grins ]
MR: Isn’t your plan just to grab a couple of billionaires by the short-hairs to tax ‘em to death?
JB: [ Stops grinning ] Um… no?
PR: Job killer.
JB: Senior snuffer.
PR: Defense defunder.
MR: Really, Boy Wonder? You want to go there? Fine, you and your boy R-Money want to boost military funding by 2 trillion dollars, right?
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] Well, we don’t want to not increase funding…
MR: Zip it. I’m not even going to bother to ask if you have any specific ideas on how to pay for it. What the hell kind of national security crisis justifies that kind of increase with this kind of debt?
PR: As I said earlier, to not have a war with Iran, we need to bomb the living shit out of it first.
MR: Oh, not this again. I’m sure you both have some sound bites to make about Afghanistan. Knock yourself out… I need to take some Advil. You guys are giving me a headache. Hey, where’s my water?
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] We need to end the war in Afghanistan, but we can’t let Al Qaeda know the war has ended in Afghanistan, or they’ll just rise up again. Hence, the only way to have permanent peace in Afghanistan is to wage permanent war against it. We have always been at war with Afghasnistan. Any other alternative is doubleplusungood.
JB: [ Grins ] Look, we said we’d train Afghan security forces and we’d be out by 2014. We trained ‘em and its 2012. And now the very forces we’ve trained are killing our guys, so we’re out. Let ‘em get the kids off their own damn lawn.
MR: Alright, let’s wrap this up. You’re both Catholics. So how has all that stuff about sacred transmogrified crackers and immaculate conceptions formed your views on abortion. You, bromance buddy with Todd Akin, go:
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] I don’t see how a politician can separate their religious beliefs from their public duties, no matter what the Constitution says. I’m pro-life because of Catholic Church and science, because those two things have always been in perfect agreement about every issue in history. So, no abortions… except [ grumble grumble ] in cases [ grumble grumble ] of rape and incest and to save the life of a mother. Meanwhile, Obamacare is forcing all good Catholics to take contraceptives and have sex with gay people. It’s true.
MR: Gaffe-master B?
JB: I’ve been a practicing Catholic my whole life. I accept my church’s position on abortion. Life begins at conception. That’s the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and — I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.*
* That’s his actual quote. I thought it was too good to mangle for fun.
MR: Last issue: I know a serviceman who thinks you guys have run a mean-spirited campaign. What would you say to him, and have the common decency to act embarrassed, you spoiled brats.
JB: [ Grins ] I’d say to him that the only sacred obligation we have is to properly equip soldiers when we send them off to fight, and take care of them when they return. They’re not the shiftless, aimless 47-percenters that that draft-dodging gazillionaire Ebenenzor Romney makes them out to be. I’m embarrassed for him.
PR: And I’d thank him for his service to our country, remind my running mate not to call him an unimportant bullet on a laundry list, and then call Obama a Liar, liar, pants on fire for being a secret Muslim socialist fascist, and remind everyone that if Obamacare is allowed to go into effect, the terrorists have already won.
MR: [ Speechless ] …
PR: [ Gulps glass of water ] I’d add that we can do better than this.
MR: I agree, which is why I’m going off to have a stiff drink. You guys can pander your talking points to the camera for all I care. Just don’t forget to lock up. Martha Raddatz is out.
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