He didn’t mean to suggest he’d kick the president’s ass now.

He only meant that he would have kicked the president’s ass then. Back in high school.

When they were both gearing up to show the Viet Cong what badasses they were.

It’s been fun this week watching Democratic pundits wrestle with whether Biden calling out Trump is a good thing or bad thing. Good thing, says Bill Scher, echoing my point that it may take a fake tough guy to beat a fake tough guy among working-class voters in 2020:

Biden should not get an advantage for being male. But let’s face it: A presidential candidate is more likely to win if she or he is an alpha, and especially so against Trump. However emotionally stunted or insecure he is on the inside, Trump plays the uber-alpha on TV. That energy is going to have be met…

In preparing to go toe-to-toe with Trump, Democrats will have to take some sparring practice, and not all the punches are going to land. But to insist that candidates shouldn’t treat the campaign like a schoolyard brawl is to deny the reality that one of the candidates is going to make sure that it is one.

Bad thing, counters Peter Beinart, echoing Ed’s (and George Bernard Shaw’s) point that it’s foolish to wrestle with a pig since you’ll only get dirty and the pig likes it:

If Trump’s insults degrade public discourse, then so do Democratic insults. And if it’s wrong for Trump to egg on his fans by romanticizing violence, then it’s wrong for Joe Biden to do it too.

On Thursday morning on Twitter, Trump responded, predictably, that if they fought, Biden “would go down fast and hard, crying all the way.” It was a vain, stupid eruption, and Biden had it coming. If you behave like Trump, you forfeit your right to be outraged when Trump does too.

Two funny parts to this clip, the first Jon Lovett’s suggestions for naming a Trump/Biden bout (“Spar-a-Lago” is clearly best) and Joe Biden — Joe Biden — getting indignant about treating women with respect. Excuse me? Does “respect” mean lightly groping them during press conferences?