The Instigator
InVinoVeritas
Pro (for)
Winning
6 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Losing
5 Points

Anthony Weiner should not have resigned his seat in Congress

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
InVinoVeritas
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,223 times Debate No: 19832
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

InVinoVeritas

Pro

I believe that, despite his sex scandal, US politician Anthony Weiner should not have resigned from office.

Pro argues that he should not have resigned. Con argues that he should have resigned.

Thank you.
imabench

Con

Reasons why he should have resigned,
1) There were more than one cases of him taking pictures of himself. After the original underwear photo came out several other scandalous photos came out showing Weiner taking pictures of himself and sharing it with others.
http://articles.latimes.com...

2) He lied numerous times about how his account was originally hacked. His confession that he did indeed put the picture on Twitter invalidated perhaps hundreds of previous claims where he was stating that he was completely innocent and after one event where he actually wanted the Senate to commission an investigation about who hacked his account. Again, he later admitted he did put the picture up so he misused resources and lied to the public relentlessly and it was later found that he sends sketchy pictures of himself to numerous women.
http://articles.cnn.com...

3) The uproar that resulted from this scandal were nationwide and he could not get over it.
http://www.post-gazette.com...

Ill end here for now and allow the Pro to state his arguments
:)
Debate Round No. 1
InVinoVeritas

Pro

1) a) It was consensual. b) It was legal.

2) a) He was lying to protect his marriage, his children, and his career. Most men would under the circumstances he was under. b) It was legal; he wasn't under oath when he lied.

3) Yes, there was press across the nation. However, the claim "he could not get over it" should be dismissed as pure speculation. You would think that the public wouldn't get over Clinton's scandal, but it did... And after his acquittal, Clinton continued his successful career.

We have seen throughout recent political history many scandals pop up:

Larry Craig successfully completed his term in the US Senate AFTER his "bathroom sex" scandal and simply chose not to seek re-election. [1]

John McCain left his wife for another woman because of a devastating car crash that left her disfigured and still ran for election for presidency years later with little public worry about the matter. [2]

Newt Gingrich left his wife for another woman when she had been diagnosed with cancer; moreover, he admits to having past extramarital affairs. [3] [4]

We should not judge people's moral decisions in their personal lives when considering whether or not they will make good politicians. Poor moral choices do not reflect a politician's ability to hold strong stances in politics and continue to work for public interest, representing people's political beliefs. I see no logical connection between Weiner's lack of marital faithfulness and sending nude pictures on Twitter to a lack of political effectiveness. It should not matter, especially since no laws being broken.

Despite the scandal resulting from his "immoral behavior," as many deem it, Anthony Weiner should not have resigned.

Thank you.

[1] http://www.politico.com...
[2] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
imabench

Con

1) I agree that it wasnt illegal, but the point of his actions were that they were immoral for someone who is supposed to represent the people who voted for him along with those who didnt. He did that very poorly and the public outcry for his immorality caused him to resign, which he should have and did.

2) Lying is still lying, and that again goes under poor representation of the people. the lying doesnt justify anything he did and the fact that he lied about only further incriminated him and highlighted his immoral behavior. When Clinton was impeached it wasnt on charges of having an affair with an intern it was over perjury for lying about it, adultery is not a crime but perjury is... As for the not under oath argument, lying is still lying and it only further destroy's his public image, credibility, and confidence among voters.

3) When the Clinton affair was exposed, his popularity numbers and approval ratings didnt dip or fall at all because people were happy with his management of the economy. The people also felt that he ultimately should not be impeached.

When the Lewinsky scandal broke out, it became national news in late January of 1998, during that time polls showed no clear drop in approval ratings from January on, in fact the year after the affair, Clinton's approval ratings went up from the high 60's back to the mid 60's and stayed there for the remainder of his term.
http://www.gallup.com...

Weiner though, his approval ratings dropped to 8% approval, half that of George Bush, and his ratings were so low he had the lowest approval ratings of any congressmen.
http://www.politicususa.com...

As for the other scandals, those people didnt suffer from the catastrophic fall in approval ratings that Weiner suffered through as a result of his sexual affairs and thus retained some degree of credibility in politics, Weiner did not...

"Poor moral choices do not reflect a politician's ability to hold strong stances in politics and continue to work for public interest"
Andrew Johnson was an American president who became president following the assassination of President Lincoln. Johnson was a racist when growing up in the southern US who had an early hatred of blacks. He vetoed the Civil Rights Bill granting blacks the right to vote and the bill had to be passed over his veto....

What was Johnson's reason behind vetoing this bill?

"They establish for the security of the colored race safeguards which go infinitely beyond any that the General Government has ever provided for the white race. In fact, the distinction of race and color is by the bill made to operate in favor of the colored and against the white race"
http://wps.prenhall.com...

Johnson vetoed the Bill because it didnt give white people didnt benefit from it....

Politicians can act based on their own questionable morals and beliefs. Anthony Weiner was a very immoral politician whose approval numbers tanked following the controversy and was impossible to overcome, public outcry was very evident since people from the public and Congress wanted to remove him from office (see links below) and at the same time he was found to have lied to the public many times regarding this affair which destroyed any credibility he had left to his name..... That is why I think he should have retired

http://www.foxnews.com...
http://www.economist.com...
http://www.cbsnews.com...
Debate Round No. 2
InVinoVeritas

Pro

1. The opponent is assumes there is a relationship between sexual loyalty to your wife and having the ability to represent people on political issues. There is no basis for this claim.

And, yes, there was a public outcry (as there tends to be after a scandal) but he was not obligated to resign.


2. I agree that to a vast majority of people, lying is immoral. However, I repeat lying is not illegal, so he was not obligated to leave his office.

And, also, most men who cheat on their wives vehemently deny it. Weiner lied because he values his career, his family, and his public image. Clinton lied about his affair, and the public forgave him; the same could have happened to Weiner had to stayed in office.


3. The opponent's illogical rationale is: "because Weiner's approval rating was low after his scandal, he should have resigned."

Let me note that the approval rating of Congress as a whole is 9%. Should we get rid of Congress? [1]

Senator Roland Burris' approval rating was constantly in the teens after his scandal, yet he did not resign. [2]

It is absurd for the opponent to infer that a politician should resign because his or her approval rating is low at a certain point in his or her career.


4. Indeed, Johnson's moral beliefs could have affected his political decisions. That, however, certainly does not prove that moral beliefs MUST affect political decisions. I am curious to know why the opponent believes with such certainty Weiner's immoral sexual conduct would directly affect his political decisions.

Voters are given the right to judge political candidates on any factors they deem important, including moral beliefs; however, they cannot force a politician to leave his office due to moral beliefs, because that is unconstitutional. Even though Jackson may have been biased due to his racist views, I do not think that gives the public the right to force him to resign.

---

The opponent completely avoided my references to John McCain and Newt Gingrich. They both made decisions earlier in their lives that the public would deem extremely immoral. [3] [4] Despite this, they both became successful, effective politicians and presidential candidates. Their immoral decisions certainly did not keep them from moving forward in their political careers. Weiner's situation could have been the same.

Let us also note the late Robert Byrd. Earlier in his life, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan and a top officer in his local Klan unit. Later on, as a politician, he renounced his racist beliefs and became very successful, eventually joining the Senate. The public finds involvement in supremacist groups like the KKK to be extremely immoral, probably more immoral than adultery, yet Byrd was still able to have a successful political career until his death in mid-2010. [5]

---

In conclusion, Weiner should not have resigned because:

I. Immoral sexual decisions is certainly not an indicator a lack of political integrity.

II. A vast majority of men who cheat on their wives lie about it. Weiner did it to protect his career and family, so he had rational reasons to lie.

III. Other politicians such as John McCain, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Robert Byrd were able to overcome immoral decisions in their pasts. Weiner had the potential to do the same.

IV. If he had stayed in office, Weiner could have been an effective politician and fixed his public image.

---

Thank you.

[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[2] http://www.politico.com...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
[5] http://en.wikipedia.org...
imabench

Con

1) The Pro completely missed the point of my argument here, my argument was that because Anthony Weiner is a Congressmen he is supposed to represent his voters with integrity, respect, and leadership. The controversy he had regarding the photos and anonymous women he met through Twitter violates his integrity, loses confidence voters have in him, and questions his ability and right to lead....

If the Public outcry is large enough it could call for someones resignation through an indirect series of events. Had there been a lawsuit filed against Weiner about misuse of authority (Congress authorized an investigation into the phone hacking claim that Weiner knew was uncalled for but let it take place any way) then he could have been impeached because of his original actions or lack of actions in telling the truth...

http://www.cbsnews.com...

2) I have already showed how the US people were rather unphased or not concerned about Clinton's affair with Lewinsky, however the public was simply enraged over the Weiner incident to the point where you could not compare the two. Weiner's controversy was far more damaging to Clinton's because Clinton's approval ratings didnt even dip, where as Weiner's dropped into single digits...

3) "Let me note that the approval rating of Congress as a whole is 9%. Should we get rid of Congress?"
Unless you've never taken a US government course in school then the Pro and everyone else on this site knows that we cant simply do away with Congress seeing as how they are a central part of the US government and how it functions. A single congressman on the other hand is completely expendable.....

Roland Burris's approval ratings is twice that of Weiners and he has done nothing scandalous to warrant a mass movement for his outing...

Why is it absurd for a politician who has shown a complete lack of decency, whose approval ratings can be shown with just fingers, who was under pressure from the public to resign, who was under pressure from his own superiors to resign, who consistently lied about his actions, betrayed public trust, cost him any degree of integrity and ability to lead, NOT be removed from Congress?

4) "That, however, certainly does not prove that moral beliefs MUST affect political decisions."

That was not what I was trying to prove, I was trying to show how your original statement was very incorrect

"Poor moral choices do not reflect a politician's ability to hold strong stances in politics" - second round

I proved that, now the Pro is trying to shift the goalposts....

"I am curious to know why the opponent believes with such certainty Weiner's immoral sexual conduct would directly affect his political decisions."

Weiner showed a complete disregard of the consequences his rash and irrational actions regarding half naked photos sent to women he met online he didnt even know. Such disregard for the risks and consequences of his actions could imply he also dos not fully appreciate the risks and consequences of Bills or Acts he author's or approves of which would then call into question his ability to rule.

"they cannot force a politician to leave his office due to moral beliefs"

Pro is missing half the argument here, the public wanted him to leave because he lied about the affair he was having multiple times, because he did not stop a congressional probe looking into the alleged hacking of his account that he knew was false, and because he admitted to very risky, consequential, and pretty stupid behavior while in office. Very legit reasons why someone should be removed from office.

"The opponent completely avoided my references to John McCain and Newt Gingrich"
Thats because like every example youve compared this to they had a far smaller impact on the media and people than the examples you gave. The public didnt care about these scandals (I myself didnt know about half of them) but the public was very critical of Weiner's scandal and this scandal had a far larger impact on him than the other examples you have listed have had on their respective congressman...

As for Robert Byrd, people forgave him for his actions and Byrd constantly apologized for his involvement and never once openly said he did not regret leaving the KKK. People also forgave McCain, Gingrich, Clinton, and all of these other public figures for their actions, but people did not forgive Weiner. Weiner even today is as shadowy of a figure as Rob Blagojevich who to this day still does not have the empathy or forgiveness of the public like all of these other people you have named, and Weiner is likely to never get such forgiveness like most other people do.

I. Immoral sexual decisions is certainly not an indicator a lack of political integrity.
II. A vast majority of men who cheat on their wives lie about it. Weiner did it to protect his career and family, so he had rational reasons to lie.
III. Other politicians such as John McCain, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Robert Byrd were able to overcome immoral decisions in their pasts. Weiner had the potential to do the same.
IV. If he had stayed in office, Weiner could have been an effective politician and fixed his public image.

- Immoral decisions could potentially reflect a lack of consequences or risks taken by the congressmen,
- A vast majority of men who kill their wives lie about it to protect their careers and family's too but their reasons are still not rational...
- Other politicians have been forgiven by the public, Weiner has to this day not received a large amount of public forgiveness
- That is completely your opinion, If he stayed in office he could have just as easily have continued to take pictures of his balls in the Congressional Gym and sent them to women he met online via Twitter....
Debate Round No. 3
InVinoVeritas

Pro

1) "...Anthony Weiner is a Congressmen[.] [H]e is supposed to represent his voters with integrity, respect, and leadership."
A politician strictly represents voters politically! His lack of integrity in his marriage has not been proven to have anything do with his integrity in regards to his voters.

Yes, his act may cause voters to think more lowly of him, but that just means that he would have a tough time running for re-election, if he were to seek it. It does not mean, though, that he should resign from his current office.

The fact of the matter is that no charges were filed against him, and he was not impeached. Hence, there was no legal obligation for him to resign.

2) Weiner's approval rating dropped, yes. But who's to say that he couldn't have recovered and made his approval rating skyrocket? I don't see how his having a low approval rating immediately after his scandal justified an act of resignation.

3) I agree with the opponent that we could not get rid of Congress just because its approval rating is 9%, because it is a central part of the US government system. Do you know what else is a central part of the US government system? Its politicians, the people who compose it. That is why we cannot say a Congressman should leave simply because he has a low approval rating.

"Roland Burris [...] has done nothing scandalous to warrant a mass movement for his outing..."
Burris was accused of being involved in an illegitimate fundraising scheme with Rod Blagojevich, a man whose scandal led to a sentence of 14 years in prison. I'd say that is pretty scandalous. And there is certainly a mass movement for his outing; 62% of Illinois voters want him to resign. [1] He, nonetheless, stayed and continued his political career.

All of a sudden the opponent states that Weiner should have been "removed from Congress." That, however, would be completely illegal under the Constitution, because he was not incriminated of anything. It was up to Weiner whether he wanted to resign or not, and no one had the right to remove him.

4) The opponent fails to make a logical connection between sexually immoral behavior and inability to represent voters as a politician. The opponent claims that his lack of sexual control would cause him to not think thoroughly about bills and acts he is supporting, but this is baseless. Such claims are simply assumptions.

McCain's and Gingrich's actions were repulsive. These scandals were major points made against them during their campaigns for presidency, yet they did not drop out because of them. McCain did very well in the polls and ended up losing to Obama in a close battle, and Gingrich is looking very good in current Republican polls. This just shows that Weiner had the potential to come back instead of resigning.

Yes, people forgave Byrd and his involvement in the KKK... and, with time, perhaps people would have forgiven Weiner, too. Unfortunately, he gave in to his situation and left his place in Congress, probably avoiding a political career for good.

My argument, with comments on the opponent's refutations:

I. Immoral sexual decisions is certainly does not indicate a lack of political integrity.
The opponent has yet to effectively refute this idea.

II. A vast majority of men who cheat on their wives lie about it. Weiner did it to protect his career and family, so he had rational reasons to lie.
The opponent compares this to a man killing his wife. This is not a strong analogy because Murder is illegal, unlike adultery. Also, the opponent is confused; I am not talking about the rationality of the act itself, but rather the rationality behind defending it. Hence, it would be perfectly rational for the murderer to deny killing his wife, if his motivation is to protect himself, his career, and the rest of his family.

III. Other politicians such as John McCain, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Robert Byrd were able to overcome immoral decisions in their pasts. Weiner had the potential to do the same.
The opponent assumes that Weiner, if he had stayed in office, would not have been forgiven by the public. This is merely speculation.

IV. If he had stayed in office, Weiner could have been an effective politician and fixed his public image.
It is not an opinion. I said "could have." He had the potential of turning it around through effective political leadership and gaining the support of voters back.

The opponent fails to effectively and logically refute Pro's established claims, so vote Pro.

Many thanks to the opponent and the readers.

(And I respectfully ask the opponent to use his last round as strictly a "thank you and vote for me" round, because we have each already had three rounds to argue our cases.)

[1] http://www.rasmussenreports.com...
imabench

Con

I would like to tear into Pro's arguments but he has a point about the equal number of arguments both sides could present since I used the first round to introduce arguments.... I will respectfully abide by the Pro's wish and I thank everyone for reading :)
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Boogerdoctor 2 years ago
Boogerdoctor
InVinoVeritasimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made better arguments 4-IV sealed it for me.
Vote Placed by Double_R 2 years ago
Double_R
InVinoVeritasimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Cons main argument that Wiener's responsibility as a politician is to lead by example was never properly refuted by Pro. He instead tries to argue that others being guilty somehow makes it acceptable, and that his personal life is unrelated. Both contentions are badly false and not very well substantiated. Pro argues that Weiner could have fixed this in time but gave no reason this should be expected, meanwhile Cons arguments showed why this would be difficult.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
InVinoVeritasimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:32 
Reasons for voting decision: Sorry imabench I think his arguments where better overall and in many areas and his refutations trumped yours, but you get sources.