Have you ever noticed how selective is the issue of "civility in politics"? David Boze of KTTH radio in Seattle makes the following observations at mynorthwest.com that, I suspect, are right. However, only time will tell how the Biden tactics of interruptions, smirking condescension and general rudeness went over with previously undecided voters (as opposed to partisans on both sides) who watched last night's Vice Presidential debate:
"I was reading some columns in Slate and Politico this morning in which liberals were ecstatic that "Joltin Joe Biden" wiped the floor with Paul Ryan. Roger Simon opined, "Biden smirked, sneered, and openly laughed at many of Ryan's responses. It could have looked rude, but Biden made it look tough."
"I thought it made him look childish, small, rude, and diminished his office. It was as though he watched the infamous Gore vs. Bush debate and thought, "That big sigh behind Bush was a master stroke!"
"Columns on the left are relishing in the attacks on Ryan because it's how they feel. They WANT him attacked. They want a big fight. They believe this is the kind of thing that Obama should have been doing last time around.
"I can't imagine non-political voters--those not engrossed in the horse race, but endure it to perform their civic duty every 2 to 4 years--will see this rudeness as a plus.
"In 2008 the Obama promise was of a new era of Hope and Change that would herald a new tone in Washington. If the 2008 campaign were a fruit it would be a fruit from Eden, promising paradise. Four years later, the fruit has proven that while it was beautiful to look at, it was poor to consume. And Biden's performance exposed a rotten core with his rude laughter like the buzzing of flies around the carcass of what might have been."
(Michael Medved also was quick with an analysis, available here. It was, as he said, very odd the way V.P. Biden attempted to bully Ryan and make him wobble--which he did not. On the contrary. A debate bully, especially if enabled by the moderator, can score points with people unused to normal debate decorum. But Michael makes the sage comment that there are people in the undecided column, who have had very bad experiences with bullies.)