10/12/2012 02:41 pm ET Updated Dec 12, 2012

What's in a Face, or Rather, Facial Gesture?

Maybe there are personality differences underlying political party affiliations. After Obama slept through the last debate and almost put his presidency to bed, most Democrats were at least willing to acknowledge the truth that our man got trounced. We moaned about Romney's lies but acknowledged reality.

Today, the Republicans are comically claiming victory for Ryan. He lost virtually every round with his canned stories, fabrications, and his unwillingness to be specific on issues such as the tax loopholes that a Romney/ Ryan administration would close. But the truth about last night's contest is written in between the lines of Republican ballyhoo.

Karl Rove and company are all in a feigned dudgeon about Biden's body language last night. This morning, Peggy Noonan wrote that while the debate was even on substance, Ryan had the edge on style. Why? Because of Biden's snickering and interruptions. It is enough to make me pull some faces.

Repeatedly lying is outrageous and in a situation in which you are unable to straight out call a person on their deceptions, it is perfectly legitimate to wince and, yes, roll your eyes. By remaining quiet and with your face calm as a lake the con artist has all but conned you into treating his or her inventions respectfully. It as though the victim has been strong-armed into silently saying that a series of boldfaced lies deserves serious consideration as a contender for the truth.

What was Biden to do when the congressman used his time to falsify the Obama record and plans? What was Biden to do when Ryan was spouting his fusillade of fabrications about Obama defanging the military or supposedly snubbing Bibi Netanyahu, or cuddling up to Assad? Calmly take notes, as the president did with Romney? I don' t think so. Instead, Biden chuckled as if to say, "this is absurd" and then growing serious as a storm, he deconstructed each of Ryan's fantasies. It was a decisive victory for Biden and I can only hope the president was taking some notes on Joe's performance and on the vice president's ability to mobilize an appropriate level of aggression.