Google the words “Biden bully” today and you’ll see a surfeit of defensive responses to last night’s debate, which most polls found to be a moderate win for the current Vice President. (We’re not sure how we’d come down on that issue, but it was certainly more entertaining than last week’s snooze-fest.)
But is this really the appropriate response to a debate between political candidates? Has anyone seen how they do things overseas? Check out Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s bombastic rant labeling opposition leader Tony Abbot a misogynist and a hypocrite if you really want to see a politician on the receiving end of an epic beat down.
Even The Wall Street Journal op-ed page ran an article titled “The Bully vs. The Wonk.” We get it—your editorial team doesn’t much care for the Democratic Party. In other shocking revelations, we hear that fire is hot and water is wet. We’re not saying Biden didn’t show obvious contempt for his opponent, but is The Wall Street Journal seriously arguing that debates should be more respectful? Of course not–they’re just making up for the fact that their guy got pummeled, and this is the best line they could come up with. But wait, don’t both sides do it? Of course they do. In fact, we’re a little surprised we didn’t notice anyone calling Mitt Romney a “bully” last week.
So let’s consider: Has the word lost all meaning?