The Instigator
Wallstreetatheist
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
idiotsontheleft
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

George W. Bush was a bad president.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Wallstreetatheist
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,744 times Debate No: 24719
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

Wallstreetatheist

Pro

Resolution: George W. Bush was a bad president.

Rules:
(1) Debater must have typing experience and internet access.
(2) Place your arguments and sources inside the debate
(3) Structure the debate in a readable, coherent fashion.
(4) No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
(5) Must insert one witty quote per round.


Rounds:
(1) Acceptance + Internet High Five
(2) Main Argument
(3) Rebuttal to opponent's main argument
(4) Response to rebuttal + closing arguments + voting issues (one paragraph)


"Full government control of all activities of the individual is virtually the goal of both national parties." -Ludwig von Mises


Definitions
George W. Bush: The 43rd President of the United States
This guy--> http://l.yimg.com...
Bad: Of poor quality; unsatisfactory


I accept this debate which I have thusly created and challenge those of rhetorical wizardry to a verbal duel. With my hand elevated and ready for forearm pronation, I slap yours in a ritualistic manner. Good luck to whomever accepts, and may the Gods smile upon you during this debate.

Kittens!
idiotsontheleft

Con

I am prepared to begin debating for the second round. Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
Wallstreetatheist

Pro

Intro

“Despots and democratic majorities are drunk with power.” -Ludwig von Mises

Those who write presidential history often give titles of “great” or “good” to presidents who start wars, usurp liberties, and intervene in the economy; however, those actions are often unconstitutional and contrary to human well-being. President George W. Bush’s like all other presidents should be judged based on how his policies affected the nation and the world during his presidency and over the course of history. His policies were terrible.

The “ruler” with which I will categorically evaluate Bush’s presidency is the criteria of peace, prosperity, and freedom. Peace allows human beings to be free from unnecessary suffering at the hands of other men and lays the foundation for sound economics and the protection of civil liberties. Prosperity increases the standard of living of humans within its scope and of trading nations. Freedom allows a human to exercise his protected rights in any manner he chooses (so long as it does not interfere with the exercise of the rights of others) and is a fundamental aspect of human nature’s desires. Bush is scored negatively on all of these criteria; thus, making him a bad president.


Peace 1: Invaded Iraq for no good reason and became enmeshed in a militaristic quagmire that hurt U.S. antiterrorism efforts

Existing intelligence undermined virtually every rationale Bush proposed for war with Iraq, but he decided it was worth 150,000 deaths including 122,000 civilian deaths and over $3t dollars. Some analysts have correctly characterized Bush’s decision to invade Iraq as one of the most colossal foreign policy disasters in US history. This action likely increased the long-term terrorist threat to the US. [1, 2]

a) Bush had plans to invade Iraq prior to 9/11
According to Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill, in January 2001, almost as soon as Bush assumed office and about eight months before the 9/11 attacks, the administration began serious talks about how to change the regime in Iraq. Similarly, according to James Risen, who reports on intelligence for the New York Times, officials from the CIA’s Iraq Operations Group told an April 2002 gathering that Iraq had been on Bush’s agenda from the very start of his administration and that 9/11 had delayed the action. Whereas Bush’s critics have correctly pointed out that the invasion of Iraq was a distraction from the more important task of counterattacking the 9/11 attackers, the Bush administration, obsessed with settling old scores with Saddam Hussein, believed the opposite: that 9/11 was a distraction from a Bush vendetta against Saddam. [3, 4]

b) Stated the grounds for war in Iraq were “Weapons of Mass Destruction”

The Bush administration generally claimed that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons and was rapidly getting nuclear weapons; it implied that Hussein might use such unconventional weapons imminently against the US, directly or through terrorist proxies. In a September 12, 2002 speech before the UN General Assembly, president Bush declared, falsely and without hard evidence, that Iraq had nuclear weapons capacity. Shortly before the invasion of Iraq, Saddam allowed the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspectors to reenter Iraq, and they found no unconventional weapons or weapons programs. The IAEA issued two reports before the invasion declaring that no evidence was found to show that Saddam was reconstituting a nuclear program. [5]

c) Stated that terrorism was the grounds for war in Iraq

The Bush administration repeatedly stated and implied that there was a connection between al Qaeda (even the 9/11 attacks) and Saddam Hussein. On September 25, 2002, Bush claimed, “You can’t distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam.” Yet just after 9/11, Bush and his advisers were told that no connection existed between Saddam and al Qaeda or the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, the 9/11 Commission, other investigative bodies, and captured senior al Qaeda operatives all have denied a connection. In fact, the terrorist groups Saddam did support were anti-Israeli groups and did not even focus their attacks on US targets. [6]


Prosperity 1: Set the stage for the Great Recession

The economy of Clinton’s second term was a phony bubble-economy, so there would have been a recession early in Bush’s term, but Bush wanted to get reelected, so he chose to exacerbate the economic problems by using stimulus to get a temporary, artificial relief instead of accepting a restructuring of the economy. The result of the economic stimulus was deficit spending, cut taxes, increased government spending; Alan Greenspan cooperated and slashed interest rates down to one percent. Harvard Professor Jeffry A. Frieden writes, "The Fed's loose monetary policy almost certainly was designed to help get Alan Greenspan reappointed in May 2004, and to help get George W. Bush reelected in November 2004." Bush set the stage for the 2nd worst economic fiasco in US history with his monetary, fiscal, and economic policies. These fueled the irrational exuberance in the heavily regulated and controlled real estate and financial services sectors, which culminated in the Great Recession due to the unsustainability of investment trajectories, exposed malinvestments, and the bursting of those aforementioned bubbles. [7, 8]

Prosperity 2: Increased Protectionism

Generally bad on tariffs and trade, Bush was more of a protectionist as a supposed “free market guy” than Clinton. Bush imposed high tariffs on steel, which cost around $600,000 per job saved and were removed only when the WTO renounced them as illegal. He maintained the high sugar tariffs, which results in a government-induced monopoly of ADM controlling around 80% of HFCS and US food and beverage companies being forced to use HFCS. “The great economic error of mercantilist protectionism is the belief that foreign buyers are great but foreign sellers are not, and thus barriers to imports are necessary. For a nation at large, this error can be extremely costly because it dooms producers in the home country to inefficient lines of production and foists unnecessarily high prices on consumers. Mercantilism is also harmful toward foreign nations and thereby gives rise to political conflicts that can lead to war.” [9]

Freedom 1: Falsely sold the war to the public

Cross-apply Peace 1 here. Lying about terrorism, WMDs, and over 900 other documented lies as noted in the book by Vincent Bugliosi, and further acting on those lies to get over 4,000 Americans killed is dishonest, morally despicable, and atrocious. The genocide in which Bush was involved didn’t get him the death penalty, he gets a pension. [10]

Freedom 2: Assaulted Civil Liberties and Raped the Constitution

Bush claimed, as an inherent power of the Presidency,the right to indefinitely detain Americans. He thought that he could simply label anyone in the US, or elsewhere, an enemy combatant and seize and detain them indefinitely without regard for their constitutional rights, a power usually exercised by dictators. Add in the use of torture, and we see a violation of the 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments to the US Constitution. [11]


I wish I could type more: out of characters.


[1] http://www.iraqbodycount.org...
[2] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
[3] http://articles.cnn.com...
[4] James Risen, State of War, pgs. 214, 229
[5] http://www.gwu.edu...
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[7] http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu...
[8] http://mises.org...
[9] http://mises.org...
[10] The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder
[11] David Whitley, The American Presidents, pg. 540
idiotsontheleft

Con

idiotsontheleft forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Wallstreetatheist

Pro

Extend my arguments like a laser beam into deep space.

Fun Fact: George W. Bush is also guilty of murder under federal law. Okay, I know you're thinking, "LOL.. Federal laws only apply to poor people." But, hear me out. US Code Title 18 Section 2 (b): "Whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal." George Bush lied over 900 times to initiate his war of aggression in Iraq, while deceiving Congress and the American People, which resulted in 4,459 American deaths and many amputations, traumatic brain injuries, and other gruesome injuries. Since he willfully caused the War in Iraq and committed hundreds of thousands of soldiers to serve there, which would result in those aforementioned American deaths, he is guilty of multiple murders under the law. For justice to be upheld, George W. Bush should be prosecuted for these crimes.

Vincent Bugliosi, one of the most prestigious American lawyers in history, documented the irrefutable and overwhelming evidence against Bush in his book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder that a) Bush took this country to war on a lie, b) his willful war of aggression is responsible for multiple deaths, and c) according to US Federal law, he should be prosecuted and imprisoned.


Thank you, and 'Buck Fush'.
idiotsontheleft

Con

idiotsontheleft forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Wallstreetatheist

Pro

VOTE PRO FOR FREE KFC
idiotsontheleft

Con

idiotsontheleft forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
I might accept
Posted by Chelicerae 5 years ago
Chelicerae
Next topic: Is the Pope Catholic?
Posted by NixonianVolkswagen 5 years ago
NixonianVolkswagen
He was good for Africa, wasn't he? I guess The Contender could argue that he was solid on foreign policy, defending America, reaching out to other nations, continuing to negotiate with China (I have no real sense of what his relationship with Asia was like?), combating the spread of diseases in impoverished nations, began a war with "Terror" that was necessary, managed to forge a reasonable relationship with post-Soviet Russia, reached out to Europe (he was the first US President to go to Sweden or something) and managed to work with Europe even when Europeans were pretty dismissive of him, etc.

If his domestic record was different, you could pull the "He saw the Presidency in a more traditional, constitutionalist light.", which could now only be argued to limited effect. You could say that his domestic policies were mixed, some bad, some good, but that this was inevitable given foreign policy challenges, and that he did as well as any President would given those parameters. His bad domestic policies, anyway, have merit insofar as they were illustrative, and were pretty consensual, in that they sometimes dealt with issues that Democrats care about too (eg: Education), in a way that wasn't too partisan.

Oh yeah, and he gave Obama a seemingly seamless transition, which helped facilitate continuity and did/could have enabled the new President to challenge more robustly the economic downturn, etc.

Just some thoughts, hope they're useful. :)
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
It's not so cut and dry as Hitler. There are a few presidents worse than Bush.
Posted by Dagolas 5 years ago
Dagolas
You'll be fighting someone with brain damage, to think Bush was good.
Why not "Hitler was nice" as a debate as well?
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
Lawyering is when you take the annoying route of trying to win on a technicality and arguing the rules instead of debating the topic well with the use of great arguments.
Posted by jaketaz 5 years ago
jaketaz
What is "lawyering"?
Posted by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
I agree that Bush's presidency is unjustifiable, but if you're looking for a good opponent to try to justify it, you should ask RoyLatham--I think I've seen him do a debate on Bush.
Posted by Numidious 5 years ago
Numidious
To be honest, I'm not playing the devil's advocate here because it's virtually impossible. I think that this president will go down as one of the worst in US history.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 5 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
I'm trying to think of someone trying to justify his presidency. So far I've come up with excusing his mistakes for incompetence and trying to assuage his policies by drawing attention to other parts of government and to past presidents.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ceruleanpolymer 5 years ago
ceruleanpolymer
WallstreetatheistidiotsontheleftTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by daytonanerd 5 years ago
daytonanerd
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Reasons for voting decision: KFCCCCCCCCCCC!
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
WallstreetatheistidiotsontheleftTied
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Reasons for voting decision: What can I say? I just don't like the cut of Con's jib.
Vote Placed by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
WallstreetatheistidiotsontheleftTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF