The Instigator
Pro (for)
20 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
13 Points

George W. Bush was a bad president.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/19/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,309 times Debate No: 24789
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (57)
Votes (7)




Resolution: George W. Bush was a bad president.

(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.

CiRrk Additional Rules:
(6) No new evidence or arguments last round
(7) Drops are concessions
(8) Foreiture = loss

(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

George W. Bush: The 43rd President of the United States
This guy-->
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.




"You've gotta crack a few eggs inorder to make an omlete." - Anonomous

*This quote will set the scene for my furture argumentation.

Im glad WSA put my rules in.

I look forward to a great round!

Im the whale ofc ;D

Debate Round No. 1



“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.

[4] James Risen, State of War, pgs. 214, 229
[10] The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder
[11] David Whitley, The American Presidents, pg. 540


Peace 1: Iraq [1] [2] [3] [4]

: Invading prevented more deaths in the long run by preventing democide

Burns writes,

“Accounts collected by Western human rights groups from Iraqi émigrés and defectors have suggested that the number of those who have 'disappeared' into the hands of the secret police, never to be heard from again, could be 200,000.”

Within the span of Hussein’s regime 200,000 people have been killed due to democide and political killings, outweighing the death toll of the Iraq War by 50,000 individuals. Thus, removing Saddam from power has prevented the democidal killings of a vast number of individuals.

Thus in total Saddam’s killings are approximately 1M compared to U.S.’ 150,000

TURN: Invading has prevented deaths in the long run by preventing future wars

Burns continues,

“The largest number of deaths attributable to Mr. Hussein's regime resulted from the war between Iraq and Iran between 1980 and 1988, which was launched by Mr. Hussein. Iraq says its own toll was 500,000, and Iran's reckoning ranges upward of 300,000.”

Iraq under Saddam was a belligerent nation which little regard for the amount of human life destroyed in its military undertakings, leading to the deaths of 800,000 lives.

And, the Iraqi democratic government would not go to war with Iran due to Shia ties:

The newly established coalition in Iraq is a Shia dominated coalition with stronger diplomatic and political ties to Iran. Iran was actually a major contributor to the split Shia groups joining in a majority coalition. Iran has much political influence in the Iraqi government which makes it very unlikely that Iraq and Iran will see future military conflict, as opposed to the case under Saddam.

TURN: U.S. created Middle East instability reduced the chance of terrorism

Cetron makes the potent argument that the Iraq War, and really any war created by the U.S., such as the War in Afghanistan, is a good way to prevent terrorism. His first claim is that a U.S. war forces jihadist cells to focus their attention for e.g. militarily and financially in the area of warfare, be it Iraq or Afghanistan. This is true because the jihadists are put on the defensive and not the offensive, which is the case of Middle East stability where jihadists gain sanctuary. Capital attained by jihadists groups are allocated in fighting soldiers and not to committing terror acts against the U.S, homeland. His second claim is that the Iraq War was a good choice of battleground due to the highly sectarian nature of the state and it being a clash-site for both Saudi and Iranian influence. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran diverted its influence on jihadist groups to insurgency groups fighting in Iraq. As such, groups like AQAP, Iranian proxy cells and Sunni-backed terror groups were diverted away from the U.S. and towards Iraq.

The move from the Bush Administration was tactically advantageous because at the time when terror flames were at its highest (during the height of the Iraq War) any chance of blowback or increased terror recruitment was directed at Iraq, not the U.S.

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

Iraq did have weapons of Mass Destruction, chemical and biological. Iraq Watch writes,

“When assessing the potential links among Iraq, anthrax and terrorism, it is important to untangle the knowns from the unknowns. UN inspectors were certain that Iraq did not account for all the biological agents that it made before the first Gulf War, and that it produced anthrax on an industrial-scale. Iraq also filled actual warheads with anthrax. In addition, Iraq admitted it filled R-400 bombs and developed drop tanks to deliver anthrax, as well as developed and tested the so-called "Zubaidy" device for helicopter dissemination.

Prosperity 1: Set the stage for the Great Recession [5] [6] [7]

TURN: Recession good

WSA has not indicated any impact, but we can deduce an impact of lower standards of living. Life outweighs, so if I can demonstrate more lives are saved in the long run then vote Con.

First, due to the bad economy Obama cannot win re-election. Dick Morris writes,

“He gets only 45% of the vote in a matchup with Romney…And a president needs to get to fifty percent of the vote in order to get re-elected…I recently went back in history and measured the disposition of the undecided voters in every presidential election in which an incumbent was seeking re-election going back to 1964. Eighty percent of the undecided vote went to the challengers.”

Second, Romney will strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Romney as quoted in the Atlantic: “I can assure you if I'm president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world.”

Third, Iran and terror ties.

According to the Critical Threats Project,

“…the operability of the [Iranian Al Qaeda] network confirms that the Iranian regime is directly facilitating al Qaeda activity in the region, including coordinating with al Qaeda's representative in Iran to arrange the release of al Qaeda members from detention.� This arrangement, in place since 2005, further demonstrates the Iranian regime's willingness to discount the Sunni-Shia sectarian divide if it can help inflict harm on American security and interests. Second, the network's ties to multiple enemy groups illustrate the syndicate-like nature of al Qaeda's presence in Iran. Al Qaeda's core leadership in Pakistan, al Qaeda in Iraq, and the Taliban are all connected to the Khalil network…”

Prosperity 2: Increased Protectionism [8]

TURN: Bush actually increased free trade.

CNN writes,

"When I took office, America had free trade agreements in force with only three nations. Today, we have agreements in force with 14."Bush said that during his administration, "America's trade with the world has grown from $2.5 [trillion] to $4 trillion, an increase of 60 percent." Among APEC member nations, he cited Chile and Peru as more than doubling their trade with the United States during his time in office...

Freedom 1: War

Irrelevant, consequences outweigh the lie.

Freedom 2: Assaulted Civil Liberties and Raped the Constitution [9]

My opponent has a very narrow understanding of the Constitution.

Mansfield writes,

The American Constitution signifies that it has fortified the executive by vesting the president with "the executive power," complete and undiluted in Article II, as opposed to the Congress in Article I, which receives only certain delegated and enumerated legislative powers. The president takes an oath "to execute the Office of President"…The test of good government was what was necessary to all government. Necessity was put to the fore. In the first papers of The Federalist, necessity took the form of calling attention to the present crisis in America, caused by the incompetence of the republic established by the Articles of Confederation. The crisis was both foreign and domestic, and it was a crisis because it was urgent... The Federalist introduces the need for energy in government considerably before it associates energy with the executive… The case for a strong executive begins from urgent necessity and extends to necessity in the sense of efficacy and even greatness. It is necessary not merely to respond to circumstances but also in a comprehensive way to seek to anticipate and form them. "Necessary to" the survival of a society expands to become "necessary for" the good life there, and indeed we look for signs in the way a government acts in emergencies for what it thinks to be good after the emergency has passed."



[3] Certon. Worse-Case Scenario: Middle East.






[9] Mansfield. The Case for the Strong Executive.

Debate Round No. 2


“America... goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.” -John Quincy Adams

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.” -Thomas Jefferson


There are a few glaring problems with my opponent’s argument you have most likely already noticed:

1) My opponent provided no metric for qualifying George Bush’s presidency, rendering his argument at best parasitic on mine, and at worst irrelevant and misguided.

2) Although my opponent has raised no direct objections to my criteria of evaluating Bush’s presidency, he seems to have a difficult time accepting the criteria that seem axiomatic to most human beings: peace, prosperity, and freedom. Until he objects to these qualities of limited government that are conducive to the well-being of society, we have to implicitly accept that he agrees with my criteria, and must read his arguments through that three-pronged lense.

3) My opponent cleverly uprooted the debate structure by providing his rebuttal during the second round. Turn arguments are a good tool to use in debate, but not when they conflict with the agreed upon round structure. Round three is explicitly for the “Rebuttal to opponent's main argument.” My opponent’s second round was exclusively a rebuttal to points that I had brought up, which is grounds for a conduct deduction. Now, instead of rebutting my opponent’s own argument, I have to uphold my argument because of his carelessness.

4) My opponent presents, in typical CiRrk fashion, almost no ability to synthesize information in an original manner to create a debate case. He simply copies what others have said and pastes them directly into the debate. This is the lowest level on Bloom’s Taxonomy. While quoting 80% of his case verbatim from others’ works is close to plagiarism, in debate it’s just bad form and lack of mental rigor; this should be taken into account when judging arguments.

5) Although this one is rather minor, my opponent forgot a witty quote.

Invading prevented more deaths in the long run by preventing democide

This argument is prima facie incompetent. The logic runs like this (and no this is not a straw man rebuttal): in order to prevent Saddam’s democide, the United States government had to commit democide to prevent it. Killing over 122,000 innocent civilians in a aggressive war of revenge is democide by definition and is very wrong in practically every ethical system. Further, some estimates range as high as 600,000-1,000,000 deaths, making the US government not only the larger total democidal entity, but per-year. Furthermore, democide prevention is not why soldiers were told they were being sent to Iraq by George Bush. Finally, my opponent has yet to tie this argument into the resolution, leaving it without an implication in this debate.

Invading has prevented deaths in the long run by preventing future wars

At this point in my opponent’s argument you have likely realized he is not interested in discussing Bush’s policies in relation to the resolution, but rather making a case for the unjustified war in Iraq, and making a poor one at that. Waging an unnecessary war of aggression based on 900 lies is contrary to the criteria of peace, which my case is built through and my opponent implicitly accepts, rendering this argument and his pro-war stupor irrelevant. It goes without saying that this argument fails both in cogency and implication.

U.S. created Middle East instability reduced the chance of terrorism

This assertion of this argument has been analyzed empirically, and has failed. “A cross-national, time-series analysis of 166 countries during the period from 1970 to 2005 shows that the overall effect of U.S. military intervention on terrorism is detrimental, fueling more terrorist incidents if not more terrorist casualties.” This is in line with the basic human fact that killing one’s family, friends, and countrymen is likely to incite revenge. The CIA calls this blowback, and it is relevant in this debate. George Bush’s invasion of Iraq decreases the opinion of the United States on the world stage and incites Iraqi aggression against the country, further decreasing the safety of the nation. [1]

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

My opponent cites a defunct website that was last updated in August 2006, and was updated by a “Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control from 2000-2006.” My evidence is from two reports published by the International Atomic Energy Agency, and available online that in Iraq they found no unconventional weapons or weapons programs.

Set the stage for the Great Recession

My opponent states that I did not declare any impact of the recession, but any competent reader will understand the impact that the Great Recession had on his life and on the lives of others in his country. The impact of Bush’s policies were a more devastating economic fiasco in the future (2008), because he wanted to be reelected (2004). The artificial Fed stimulus produced the bubbles in the sectors of financial services and real estate, which when burst, left the economy in a state of disrepair.

Recession good

A recession is a natural way for an economy to restructure and reallocate resources efficiently, when they are on unsustainable investment trajectories. However, Bush didn’t want the recession to occur in his first term due to his putting his political incentives above the country’s economic health. As a result of his economic and monetary policies, the unrestructured economy continued its sickness in artificial stimulus only to fail and regress into the worst economic period since the Great Depression; the Great Recession is predominantly due to his policies. After not learning a lesson from the minor recession early in his term, Bush pursued more economic intervention, stimulus, government committees, and bad monetary policy the second time around.

My opponent then goes scatter-brained and starts citing bizarre reasons why this recession was good, while ignoring the short-term and long-term economic damage the recession caused, which we can agree he implicitly accepts, seeing as though he says this particular recession was good.

Obama can’t win election now

This is false based on most standards, and historically it is not true. FDR won reelection many times, even though he was directly responsible for extending and exacerbating the Great Depression. But, even if I admit that Obama can’t win election, this argument goes in my favor because the terrible policies of the Bush presidency were largely continued and expanded during the Obama presidency.

His second and third reasons are irrelevant when talking about the recession.

Prosperity 2: Increased Protectionism

Managed trade is not free trade. My opponent doesn't address the issue of tariffs.

Freedom 1


Freedom 2

My opponent can’t come up with his own argument, so he quotes someone saying it’s decent to violate the constitution.



“The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy.” – Nietzsche

Framework and Analysis

Since I did not respond to the implied framework directly, I thought it would be obvious that I conceded to the framework. However, seeing as he is probing for more analysis I will provide an explication on the framework.

He provides three criteria: peace, prosperity and freedom.

The way to evaluate this round is through a consequentialist framework; evaluating the end results of a government policy. The implication of this framework on voting then becomes weighing who on balance has promoted the best ends. The issue with this however is that ends can conflict, which means priority must be given to the end results.

Thus, the weighing mechanism is life-magnitude. In other words has a government policy best protected the most life possible within given competing alternatives? Life outweighs all other competing claims because life is a prerequisite to other ends, such as quality of life.

And, his analysis is an equal consideration calculus: “…judged based on how his policies affected the nation and the world…”


My opponent argues that I am border-line plagiarizing (which is untrue since I sourced everything), however methodological turn (source vote): prefer the direct quotation method as opposed to the paraphrasing method. The direct quote method is preferable because it prevents manipulation of the evidence and gives the most direct author indicated argument possible. Paraphrasing has the bad effect of users debating off-site where one simply has to paraphrase a premise.

C1: Iraq


My opponent argues that the U.S. had to commit democide, to prevent it which violates almost all ethics systems. Seeing as though your framework is implied consequentialism since the vast majority of your analysis appeals to end results such as death, then it would make sense that the means do justify the ends. If I can demonstrate that more people have been saved from democide than the number killed in the prevention, then I outweigh on strength of link to saving more lives.

My opponent provides a stat ranging from 600,000 to 1M, however he never provided a source so that number is moot and since no new evidence is allowed in the last round its moot for the entire round. But even assuming that’s true, the lives saved in the long run would by necessity outweigh whatever static number you believe has been the death toll in Iraq.

He says I haven’t tied my argument to the resolution….It should be clear that Bush is a good president because he saved an uncalcuable amount of people from democide.

And refer to my previous analysis which goes unresponded to: the war has prevented continuous amounts of genocide going to the future. So when asking the question: is it better to have democracy than Saddam? Yes.


My opponent really never makes a substantive response to my argument and simply asserts that: 1) the argument has no link to Bush and 2) the war was based on lies.

First, extend the conceded analysis that by taking out Saddam another disastrous war with Iran has been avoided. This is true because the Iraqi government has deep political and ideological ties with Tehran. Remember, between the elastic amount of people saved by preventing democide and preventing a war with Iran means that Bush has really saved well over 1 million people in Iraq and Iran.

Second, clearly it has a link to Bush because Iraq was Bush’s policy. My turn indicates that your indictment of Iraq is not only false but actually proves that Iraq is a reason why Bush was a good president, due to the amount of lives saved in the long-run.

Third, as mentioned previously, lies don’t matter when applied to a consequentialist analysis. Remember, his framework uses words such as “well-being” which implies a consequential calculus.

Middle East Instability

As great as my opponent’s analysis is about terrorism, it is a moot and irrelevant point when applied to the Certon analysis. Certon doesn’t tell us that terrorism decreases, which is what my opponent’s study is indicting, but rather instability reallocates the increased amount of terrorism elsewhere. Remember, the evidence indicates two main points, which have gone substantively unrefuted: 1) terrorist organizations are put on the defensive and not the offensive. In periods of stability, terrorist groups are able to go on the offensive and bring the force of their cells to the U.S. homeland. In times of instability terrorist organizations must focus their attention on fighting in their own backyard like Iraq. 2) Promoters of terror cells, like Saudi Arabia and Iran, must focus their attention to the battleground of Iraq which means those terror cells are locked in an ideological battle over the future of Iran. This means those terror cells are fighting there, and not say hijacking our planes over the U.S.. As great as the analysis provided by my opponent is, it does not actually respond to the Certon claims.

Thus, we can conclude from a strategic standpoint Bush was a good president because the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan make terrorism against the actual U.S. homeland very hard to perpetrate since all focus of recruitment and capital were to fighting in Iraq.

C2: Politics Advantage

Recession Good

His intuitionist impact analysis will never outweigh the politics DA.

I think my opponent has misunderstood my argument, since he calls my rantings bizarre. This is a politics advantage which demonstrates that the “bad” of the 2008 recession is outweighed by the positive political effects which have been derived from the recession.

Obama Can’t Win

My opponent argues that FDR won election with a bad economy, however I’m sure my opponent is aware that, if he took any American History class, that most people back then and now don’t understand that the New Deal was a bad economic policy. The people thought that quick intervention would help solve. However, my opponent never directly addresses the argument by Morris which is known as the incumbent rule, so it can go extended. Refer to previous round for analysis.

Romney will strike Iran/Iran Nuke Bad

My opponent says these arguments are irrelevant, however as mentioned above I think he is confused as to the structure of this argument. The argument is that when Romney wins he will strike Iran militarily to prevent nukes, and that’s a good thing. The bad economy will lead independents and undecideds to flock to Romney, as indicated by the incumbent rule. As such, the recession was a good thing cause Romney will win and prevent Iran from getting nukes.

We know Iran getting nukes is a bad thing, which my opponent has not contested, because the organization which is bent on attacking the U.S. and has admitted to wanting to use a nuclear weapon if they had one, now has a sanctuary in Iran. Poorly protected nuclear sites, regime destabilization with the Green movement, instable regime factions, all make the possibility of nuclear theft highly likely. But he never contents these issues.

C3: Free Trade

Managed trade is not completely full trade, but its better than the alternative of not having free trade agreements. Moreover, the 13 FTA’s outweigh the steel issue since steel is one industry and FTA’s encompass lots of industries.

C4: Constitution

He effectively drops the Mansfield analysis because he was unsure how to refute it, which demonstrates that Bush was acting well within his right as President.

*On the conduct vote: 1) I let him restart this debate after he FF'ed so I should have some lee-way. 2) Even if he might not think its my own case I did run turns which effectively makes his case my own case and also I ran a politics advantage which is 90% of my own construction, except the link to the 2008 recession. 3) Structural inconsistency: due to the rule that no new arguments are allowed in the last round, if I only had my own case in the 2nd Rd then he wouldnt have been able to respond to my on-case arguments since it would have been the last round.

Debate Round No. 3



Continuing the debate structure that my opponent skewed in round 2, he is just now introducing his value criterion of a consequentialist approach to this debate.

As I stated last round, he implicitly conceded the values of peace, prosperity, and freedom, because he did not provide a metric for judging Bush’s presidency. But, he fortified this with, “Since I did not respond to the implied framework directly, I thought it would be obvious that I conceded to the framework.” Therefore, my opponent is arguing that Bush upheld peace, prosperity, and freedom. This is critical flaw in my opponent’s case.

My opponent concedes that Bush started a war of aggression, that he was largely responsible for the Great Recession, and that he took away our freedoms. His contentions only attempt to make those things seem reasonable through his new consequentialist framework. Example: in response to my argument “Set the stage for the Great Recession” his turn was “Recession good.” Causing the recession due to monetary and fiscal policy is contrary to prosperity, the value that my opponent and I are upholding; thus, this argument goes to Pro as well as the peace and freedom arguments. Tacitly conceding that Bush’s policies infringed on and run contrary to the three highest values in this debate makes the arguments flow to the Pro side irrespective of my opponent’s newly established consequentialist framework. Please look back at his initial arguments to further confirm this fact.


My opponent makes the laughably absurd point that a debate case comprised solely of others’ work is preferable to thinking out one’s own arguments and sourcing them with facts for support. Further, I never said my opponent was plagiarizing, his copy+paste style just indicates a lack of mental rigor and rhetorical skill.


As I’ve been stating during this debate, read his contentions through the mutually agreed upon value framework of peace, prosperity, and freedom. The unjustified war of aggression in Iraq has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and the evidence I presented demonstrates that it increases terrorism (poorly scored on peace), has cost over $3t dollars (poorly scored on prosperity), and we we’re conned into accepting it through a total of 900 statements that Bush prevaricated (negatively scored on freedom).

My opponent didn’t tie his argument to the resolution, because he copy + pasted from a source arguing for the war in Iraq, so naturally he forgot to tie it into Bush’s presidency. He is now claiming it is obvious that murdering 122,000 innocent civilians is better than an estimated number of deaths that could’ve happened. Pure fatuity. Furthermore, playing policeman around the world at the cost of trillions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives, increasing terrorism, and decreasing personal freedom is contrary to the values we both are upholding.


As I previously stated, my opponent concedes that Bush played a large role in the development of bubbles which led to the Great Recession and the further economic intervention that led to (using his consequentialist framework). As I stated, “After not learning a lesson from the minor recession early in his term, Bush pursued more economic intervention, stimulus, government committees, and bad monetary policy the second time around.” He concedes the recession was bad and Bush largely created it. This infringes on prosperity, and the argument goes to Pro.

Under the recession argument in round 2, my opponent included Romney and Iran, which is irrelevant because the issue of the recession is prosperity and loss of economic freedom, not Iran getting nukes in the future. My opponent is trying to take something that has no direct correlation to Bush’s intentions and mishandlings of the economy. Also, bringing in Obama is irrelevant. We are debating the Bush presidency. I hope my opponent can refocus his arguments in this last round.

Free Trade

As I stated, “Managed trade is not free trade.” An increase in trade is an anarchic, economic function and government policy can only harm it. The managed trade is including tariff rates and other management controls on international trade, so the increase in trade was in spite of Bush’s protectionism, not because of it.


Judges, please reread my opponent’s round 2 Mansfield analysis, attempt to understand how it means the President can usurp personal freedoms, and try to link it to my argument that Bush curtailed freedom. It doesn’t apply, so it’s irrelevant. A strong executive =/= the right of the executive to usurp freedoms for long periods of time.


My opponent drops several of my arguments, directly and implicitly violates the agreed upon values of peace, prosperity, and freedom, and cannot win this debate based upon how his arguments interact with them. Thank you.



My opponent goes for a standards analysis and argues that my consequentialist standard is a separate standard. However, my argument is that consequentialism is a macro-standard whereas peace, prosperity and freedom are all micro-standards. As I mentioned under the analysis, all of his standards presuppose a consequentialist analysis. Thus as long as I can link into this consequential analysis and/or outweigh my opponent on the standards then I win a stronger link to the macro and micro standards.


His only argument is that I am not making my own arguments which is bad. However, there is a difference between an original argument and a paraphrased or direct quoted argument. Nothing my opponent provided was an original argument, he simply took the arguments from external sources and re-worded them. However, he drops my analysis that direct quotes protects better against manipulation of evidence. Thus, I turned his methodology (metho=bad) which means I should get the source vote.

C1: Iraq

My opponent throughout this whole debate never responds to the two internal links to the standard of peace. Extend the stats that comparatively, the war has saved more individuals from democide and political killings and from war then the casualties that have resulted from the War in Iraq.

Refer to these arguments in the previous rounds.

This should be reason to vote Con on arguments because more lives have been saved and more peace has been achieved (prevention of war and prevention of more intervention).

Moreover, the terror argument does dropped in the last round which tells us that due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan terrorism against the U.S. is weakened tremendously since all terror cell efforts are distracted and reallocated. As such, from a national security perspective the Bush Administration was strategically intune.

And this standard of peace outweighs all other standards because it has the strongest link to the implied presupposition of consequentialism. This is true because as I mentioned previously, life outweighs since all other standards presuppose some basic standard of life: one cannot exercise their freedoms without life.

C2: Recession, Politics Advantage

My opponent still seems to misunderstand the application of the politics advantage. My argument is that lives saved from preventing Iranian proliferation links into a peace/life/consequential standard which outweighs the recession argument.

My opponent doesn’t argue substantively against any of the individual arguments in the politics advantage. As such, my opponent concedes that having Obama lose, which is a direct result of the recession and the swing of moderates and undecided, outweighs the unstated harms of the recession.

C3: Free Trade

He is simply asserting free trade good without any warrants at all. But aside from that fact just saying managed trade exists thus Bush can never be a good trade president isn’t sufficiently responsive. Remember I told you in the last round that Bush pushed for and signed various FTA’s which rapidly expanded and decreased the amount of protectionism between those specific countries.

C4: Constitution

Lol, he tries to argue against it without even understanding the analysis. Mansfield tells us that due to the omission of regulations, the use of the word upholding the “office of the executive”, i.e. the powers and responsibilities of the President, and the fact that analyzing the works of Madison indicates that the executive power refers to the ability of the President to respond to emergency crises which means for the protection of the free state itself the President has the ability to suspend rights. But either way he never refutes the analysis. It goes extended.


At this point the sheer amount of turns I have placed on my opponent prove that his own case is reason to vote against him:

1) Iraq was good since it has prevented future democide, war and terrorism.

2) The recession was actually a good thing since it means Obama will be kicked outta office which will prevent Iranian proliferation.

On the standards (framework): I have linked to peace in multiple scenarios, I have outweighed the prosperity argument with a strong link to peace, and I have mooted the point of freedom since the suspension of freedom is sometimes necessary for the survival of the people of the free state.

Debate Round No. 4
57 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 1 year ago
I think DDO changed their code for that font
Posted by Genghis_Khan 1 year ago
why is round 2 written in hieroglyphics?
Posted by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
WTF why do I see a bunch of symbols in R2?
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
RFD - Freedom: 1) Con has already conceded that the terrorism justification for a war was a lie, and in this contention of the debate, he concedes that the WMD justification was a lie. Which, is inconsistent with his claim that they did actually have WMDs, but that point failed anyway, so Pro proves that both main justifications were lies. Con's only response was that the consequences outweigh the lie, but according to my own analysis in my Peace RFD, Pro's case for negative impacts of the war outweighs Con's case for negative impacts, so this isn't true. 2) Con doesn't respond specifically to Pro's claims of Bush's violations of the 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments, but instead applies an umbrella argument suggesting that it is good to have an executive that can essentially ignore individual rights, in case of emergency. However, as Pro states, a strong executive does not equal an executive right to violate individual rights. This would be a logical self-contradiction (and in reality it is), as the President's powers come from the very Constitution he is ignoring in terms of Civil Rights.
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
RFD - Prosperity: 1) Con, again his own rule defeats him, dropped and thus conceded that Bush created the economic crisis, and for his own political gain no less. 2) Instead of arguing this initial point, Con appeals to the impact of future consequences of these actions, but as Pro notes, these are not connected to Bush's intentions or actions by anything other than coincidence (IF they turn out to be true!) Even the Holocaust could be construed to have positive long-term consequences, but that doesn't mean Hitler *wasn't* a bad leader. Clearly he was, and clearly Bush's actions were economically damaging and politically misguided. 3) The Free Trade contention was basically volleyed back and forth and, perhaps due to my limited economic understanding, I don't think either side proved or disproved much of anything around this point, so it's tied, but the more important point here was the economic crises and the questionable motives regarding Bush's handling of the situation, which is the exact point Con conceded through a drop of the initial point.
Posted by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
RFD - Peace: 1) Con, by his own rules, drops and concedes the point about Bush having premeditated, and personal, interest in going to war in Iraq. This alone does a lot of damage to the claims that Iraq was invaded for positive, altruistic reasons. 2) Pro demonstrated that Bush lied about WMDs, and Con's best response was essentially a counterclaim that they did actually have them, but this was supported by a shoddy piece of evidence he didn't even cite the page to directly, and clearly goes against the official consensus. This is why Pro received my sources vote. 3) Con's next response was that the death toll in Iraq was outweighed by potential lives saved later. This wasn't substantially proved or disproved on either side, so I'll call it even, but... 4) Terrorism has been empirically proven to be increased due to U.S. intervention, and Pro did a good enough job in this debate of showing that to beat out Con's speculation around this point. Finally, 5) Con dropped and thus conceded, by his own rules, that citing terrorism as a justification of the Iraq war was another lie with little basis in reality prior to the invasion. In summary, Pro wins the Peace contention because according to these arguments, along with Con's concessions, Bush was essentially lying to take revenge on Saddam, and the consequences of that are increased risks of terrorism and lives lost in warfare. That is enough to make him a bad President already. There's more to come, however...
Posted by bluesteel 4 years ago

Your sarcasm is unwelcome. Quoting someone is better than paraphrasing. Winning the debate depends on the *analysis* you offer in later rounds. You failed to do much in this debate beyond your opening. It is you that failed in this regard, not CirRk. I wouldn't personally care if your whole round 1 was quotes if later rounds did a good job expanding on these quotes and using them to your advantage.

In regards to framework, you don't get THREE different values. I don't even know how to weigh your own case. If CirRk turns peace, does that outweigh freedom. It's incoherent. Ultimately, you're asking me to weigh the effects of Bush's presidency, but through those three smaller lenses. CirRk just tells me that I can weigh the presidency by its effects, but I should prefer lives (which ties into your value of peace) over the other values. This is something YOU should have done as well - told me which value was most important in the round.
Posted by Contra 4 years ago
Pro had a good point that using military intervention and occupation overseas creates more terrorism. Pro also states the casualties which helps his case. Con lists the tyranny of Saddam Hussein's regime which helps Con. However, Pro failed to 1) show that Bush went to war in Iraq not to help the Iraqi people, but more primarily to get oil and went to war on bad evidence. Pro also failed to say that the war caused instability and the fighting will likely continue throughout the next couple years or even decades. If Pro had mentioned these points, it would've been strategically beneficial. Peace point is a tie.

Regarding prosperity, the Obama/Romney 2012 election was a distraction. Furthermore, the way Con said that Bush wanted the economy to basically remain weak for Obama when Obama was President shows that Bush put politics ahead of the country, which is immoral. Pro pointed this out, saying he interrupted the natural cycle of the economy and caused economic reallolocation to be delayed. Prosperity value goes to Pro.

About freedom, Con relied overtly on evidence from a separate source, instead of putting a primary case of how Bush's policies were good for the USA. Pro showed that Bush's policies violated the Constitution, but should of expanded this argument, esp. connecting this value to the violation of the 4th, 5th, and 8th amendments. Con says that Bush's actions helped Bush with his duty as President, but failed to expand on this argument. Pro said it was just an unfounded excuse to shred the Constitution, which was pretty much left unrefuted and thus, Pro generally had a stronger argument case for the value of Freedom. This value goes to Pro.

Pro had a more lucid case, and Con had a more distinct case. The way that Con used turn arguments was clever, but Con did not include structure in his early rounds connecting his arguments as well as was possible, (such as showing how Bush's executive power helped America and thus freedom and peace).
Posted by CiRrK 4 years ago
haha no I didnt. I used: state consequentialism, Pakistan is not sovereign, and hegemonic stability theory.
Posted by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Did you use the Doctrine of Double Effect?
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by mark.marrocco 4 years ago
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Vote Placed by Contra 4 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Sources for the fact that Pro kept whining about the use of direct quotes which Con showed to be a good thing. Arguments: Pro really never answers any argument of importance by Con. Con showed that the IRaq war saved more lives by removing a tyrant and by preventing future war with Iran. More lives saved is better than the recession or liberties argument. Though I found the Obama argument to be a strange way to go about it. Pro really never really argued against it.
Vote Placed by Wnope 4 years ago
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Vote Placed by TheHitchslap 4 years ago
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