What a pair! Even allowing for the fact that the addition of what might politely be called entertainment value has long been a function of the Vice-Presidency. More profoundly, it has long been said that American Catholics were "Protestants who went to Mass". But Biden is a secular liberal who goes to Mass, while Ryan is an Ayn Rand devotee who goes to Mass.
While it gives even less pleasure than to come down on the side of either of this year's candidates for the top job, Biden does at least have the advantage that he has already been doing the job of Vice-President for four years, that he might conceivably be a Presidential nominee in his own right (unlike a 42-year-old member of the House of Representatives), and that he does not imagine "our allies in Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar" to be the appropriate arbiters between "al-Qaeda" and anyone else at all, still less between that and some mythical "Free Syrian Army" which is allegedly in favour of Jeffersonian democracy and of Coca Cola.
Neither of these men has any real interest in reducing abortion. But at least the pursuit of Biden's favoured economic and healthcare policies would not actually increase it, unlike Ryan's, and might even reduce it, like the Christian and Social Democracy of Continental Europe which together make possible 12-week limits or outright bans, or like Britain for a generation after the Attlee Government when abortion remained illegal.
Roll on 2016, when a heavy enough defeat for Romney-Ryan this year ought to have ensured that none of the present quartet will be a candidate for either office.
And thank God for Russia and China.