Luther Ray Abel writes for National Review Online about President Biden’s poor debate performance.

There is but a step between a proud man’s glory and his disgrace. — Publilius Syrus

For Joe Biden on Thursday night, that step between glory and disgrace was more of a shuffle.

I have very little patience for those who are pretending that Joe Biden was ever anything other than a lightweight braggart with a pool shark’s smile and the lung capacity of Harry Houdini. The postdebate subheading from most mainstream publications went something like, “Trump lies while Biden sounds hoarse.”

Commentators were wondering why Biden didn’t fact-check Trump in the midst of the 45th president’s lies. Answer: Biden doesn’t know the truth well enough to check his own facts, let alone audit what’s coming out of his opposite’s mouth.

Like most hustlers, Biden made it 50 years in the game because he could muster enough bluster and hogwash to run over his opponents while maintaining enough arrogance to look sure-handed while doing it.

But maybe I’m still sore about Paul Ryan’s debate with Biden in 2012, when as a first-time voter, I was dismayed to see just how much better prepared and presenting Ryan was and how that it didn’t matter because Biden used many of the same guffawing interjections and pejoratives that Trump would use four years later — only Biden did so to the delight of Democrats twelve years ago. Ryan prepped for an American Enterprise Institute summit, and Biden, a bottom-of-the-class type, knew every way to distract from the substance deficit he had relative to the valedictorian across from him. Biden knew the power of bullsh**.

Trump and Biden are BSers. The expectation for Thursday was that one BSer would BS better, claiming the BS-bout belt. Biden lost his BS-bilities, especially his ability to soften or sharpen language. The cunning he had in 2012 has given way to a double-time march of words as he forces them out of his mouth before they have a chance to mutate into something unseemly.