The Instigator
tellsitlikeitis
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
21 Points

Has President Obama done a decent job despite the curveballs that have been thrown his way?

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Post Voting Period
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after 5 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/9/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,575 times Debate No: 26115
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (5)

 

tellsitlikeitis

Pro

I will be arguing the affirmative for the case, "Has President Obama done a decent job despite the curve balls he's been thrown?". Please forgive me if I'm a little rusty, its been awhile.. Here goes.

On November 12th, 2008.. President Obama shattered over 150 years of history by becoming the first black president to hold office in the United States, despite the odds against him. He has since done what everyone believed that he could never do including, but not limited too, decreasing the unemployment rate from 9.1% to 8.5%, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, and also just improving the status of the United States overall. So, to approach the topic, "Has President Obama done a decent job despite the curveballs he has been thrown?" My answer is emphatic YES. Read on and I will tell you exactly why.

Contention 1: Decreasing the unemployment from 9.1% to 8.5%.
For people who really don't understand how hard it is to find jobs, imagine trying to CREATE them. I don't understand why people keep undermining the President as if he has just sitting in the Oval Office doing nothing. That's actually a pretty decent accomplishment. Former President Bill Clinton stated at the Democratic National Convention, "President Obama started out with a weaker economy than I did... no one could have fully repaired all of the damage he found in four years."So, stop thinking anyone but him would have a done a better job at it because if anything we would have been in a even worse position than before. For all you people thinking that voting for Mitt Romney is gonna put this country in a better position, I feel bad for you. Mitt Romney doesn't care about you, me, or ANYONE FOR THAT MATTER. He could care less about Americans because he knows no matter what, his money is safe and guaranteed. He's a condescending, narcissistic PIG! President Obama sincerely cares about the welfare of this country because if he didn't, he would gave up a long time ago! He would gotten tired of all the criticism and the slandering of his name. LET THE MAN DO HIS JOB!

Contention 2: Assassination of Osama Bin Laden.
On September 11th, 2001, one of the most devastating tragedies in U.S. history took place. At 8:46 a.m on this very date, American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. At 9:03, that same morning United Airlines Flight 75 crashed into the South Tower.. Think about what was going through the mind of your average citizen at this time.. anger, hate , despisement.. wanting revenge. President Obama attained just that on May 1st, 2011 by ordering the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. He attained retribution for many Americans. In fact, according to BBC news, before the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, President Obama's approval rating was a disappointing 46%. Afterwards, his approval rating shot to a staggering 67.3%! Even though it was the Navy Seals that took him out, people still lambaste and degrade President Obama and say he did nothing! NEWSFLASH: He's the COMMANDER IN CHIEF! They don't make a single move without his say so! BACK OFF!

Contention 3: Improvement of United States status.
Everyone should have a pretty good idea of the fact that the United States is slowly losing its status in the world as a world superpower. With President Obama's tactics , we are slowly bit surely gaining ground back in the world. From strengthening our well-known military to decreasing our spending habits, President Obama is making the tough decisions to ensure that America has a future to look forward to. President has gained the respect of not only me, but many Americans. Let him finish what he started.

In conclusion, today I have brought forth reasons why President has done a decent job despite the curveballs thrown at him. You can take it and believe it or believe the lies Mitt Romney has led you to believe. Basically, at RNC, his argument against the President's re-election was actually pretty simple, pretty snappy. It went something like this: "We left him a mess, he hasn't finished cleaning it up yet, so fire him and put us back in." Whether or not you do.. Is entirely up to YOU. Thank you.
RoyLatham

Con

The Resolution

Thanks to my opponent for posting a timely challenge. I hope it inspires more election-related debates on DDO.

It's a good thing that America elected a Black president. After the election the President's approval rating was near 70%. That means many of those who didn't vote for him wanted him to do well. I wish he had done a decent job, but unfortunately he did not.

The resolution argues President Obama has done a “decent job.” That focuses the debate on things that Obama might have done, but chose not to do. He rejected bipartisanship and transparency and went with strict one-party rule, was pro-union and anti-business, and worked through secret deals. He put health care and increasing government regulation above job creation. He shut down oil shale development and dramatically reduced oil leasing on Federal lands, while generously subsidizing green-energy. He could have passed a budget through the Senate negotiated with the House, but he never even passed a budget. He should have struck compromises and focused on job creation.

The resolution says “despite the curve balls thrown his way.” Quite to the contrary, President Obama had full control of the House and Senate for two full years, and even a super-majority in the Senate. That's as good as gets for Presidents. The financial crisis was in the September before the election and the TARP bill that saved the banking industry was signed by President Bush on October 3rd. There were no significant “curve balls”

P1: Decreasing the unemployment from 9.1% to 8.5%.

The Obama-led recovery is the worst of the post-WWII era, with only 4.3% job growth. The rule is that the steeper the decline, the faster the recovery. [1. http://www.aei-ideas.org...]The Reagan-led recovery after the Carter recession, with worse unemployment than the recent one, had 11.3% job growth in the 30 months after the bottom of the cycle.

The growth trend of the economy is downward. During a recovery growth should be three or four percent. “After a weak 2011 when GDP growth was just 1.8%, this year’s growth rate looks even weaker. Today the Commerce Department revised second-quarter GDP growth to just 1.3% (1.25%, actually). As a result, many banks are now looking for growth of around 1.5% for the rest of the year — with plenty of downside risk. Full year GDP might be less than 1.5%, putting the economy at heightened risk of falling back into recession.” Growth is worse than Cuba and Pakistan. [2.\http://www.thegatewaypundit.com...]

President Obama used the super-majority to ram through the Stimulus, with the promise that it would reduce unemployment to 5.6% by now. [3. http://www.thegatewaypundit.com...]

The government does not create jobs, but it can stand in the way of creating jobs and that is what the Obama Administration has accomplished. There are at least four million jobs available in the oil and gas energy sector that have been prevented by Obama policies. [4. http://money.msn.com...] The Dodd-Frank legislation cost about 1.8 million jobs since Obama took office and is projected to cost millions more. [5. http://reversemortgagedaily.com...]

Congress approved a new program to make loans available to small business, but that was more than counteracted but the Dodd-Frank mandates to reduce risk. The net effect has been to decrease loans to small business. [6. http://www.washingtonpost.com...] Obamacare and the threats of increased taxes have further inhibited small business hiring. In an ordinary recovery, small business does 75% of the job creation, but policies have prevented that.

P2: Assassination of Osama Bin Laden.

President Obama vetoed the kill shot on bin Laden three times on advice of Valerie Jarrett before finally giving the okay according to Leading From Behind by Richard Miniter. [7. http://www.dailymail.co.uk... ] He finally consented under pressure from Secretary Clinton, CIA director Panetta, and others. Yes, he did finally allow the SEALS to take out bin Laden, but virtually any president would have done so, and with a lot less hesitation.

Obama went on to use the assasination as an excuse to declare al Qaeda defeated, and that has proved a tragic mistake.

P3: Improvement of United States status.

US status in the world rose briefly after Obama's election, based upon his rhetoric, but that has completely reversed and US standing has reached new lows.

President Obama's apology tour raised expectations in the Arab world, but recently a Zogby poll showed, “Arab approval of the United States in the Middle East has plummeted so drastically that it now is lower than it was during the presidency of George W. Bush, according to a startling new survey.” [8. http://www.newsmax.com...]

A worldwide poll also shows the drop in US standing, “The overall rankings, based on the percentage of people who said the country or countries had a positive effect, in descending order were: Japan, Germany, Canada, Britain, China, France, the European Union, the United States, Brazil, India, South Africa, South Korea, Russia, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.” [9. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com...]

The diminished status of the US is a choice made by President Obama. Charles Krauthammer quotes the analysis of Ryan Lizza:

But underlying that style, assures this Obama adviser, there really are ideas. Indeed, “two unspoken beliefs,” explains Lizza. “That the relative power of the U.S. is declining, as rivals like China rise, and that the U.S. is reviled in many parts of the world.”

Amazing. This is why Obama is deliberately diminishing American presence, standing, and leadership in the world? [10. http://www.nationalreview.com...]

We all know the drop in the US economic standing, but the education system is failing as well. “The United States has fallen to "average" in international education rankings released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ...” [11. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...]

C1: Rejection of bipartisanship and transparency

Obama promised a new era of bipartisanship and openness in government, but within months he was refusing to talk to Republican Congressional leaders about health care compromise, he locked out small business representatives while meeting union bosses weekly, and he started cutting secret deals like the famous “Cornhusker kickback” and “Louisiana Purchase.”

In the budget battle last summer, Republican Speaker John Boehner and Democrat Senate Majority Leader Reid reached an agreement whereby Republicans would allow tax increases in return for Democrats agreeing to spending cuts. President Obama killed the bipartisan deal by adding a demand for an addition $400 billion in taxes, and then attempted to conceal his role in killing the agreement. The story came out in a Washington Post article, and in more detail in a book by reporter Bob Woodard of Watergate-exposure fame. [12. http://www.washingtonpost.com...]

With the worst recovery in post-War history and a dramatic drop in US international standing, the President's performance is short of "decent."

Debate Round No. 1
tellsitlikeitis

Pro

Wow, thanks to my opponent for giving me a challenging debate. I will first defend my case and then refute my opponent's "case".
Unemployment Rate: www.kdvr.com reported that on October 5th, 2012, the unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent on Friday, after a report that 114,000 jobs were added to the economy in September. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also revised the jobs figures from July and August upward, dropping the overall unemployment rate from 8.1 percent to 7.8, the lowest rate since January 2009, the month President Obama took office. Furthermore, after losing 800,000 jobs a month when he took office, buisnesses have produced 5.2 million jobs over the past four years. President Obama promised to acheive a $787 billion dollar stimulus package in February 2009. Based on the report, he achieved that. CNN reported that unemployment rates are actually back to PRE-RECESSION levels. Bill Clinton clearly stated at the Democratic National Convention, "President Obama started out with a weaker economy than I did... NO ONE could have FULLY REPAIRED all the DAMGE HE FOUND in FOUR YEARS." Considering what he's been dealt , he's done rather acceptable.
-Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
My opponent apparently did not scan his source very well. It is ardently stated that President Obama "feared taking responsibility for a risky raid that might go tragically wrong." You see as opposed to "virtually any other president would do it, with less hesitation", has it ever occurred to you that maybe(just a thought), that the President was looking out for the welfare and security of a country that depends on him, rather than being blind with revenge?!!?!? Assuming the report is right(and how do we know it is? No one so far has corroborated his story) but lets just assume he's telling the truth. Isn't the proof right in front of you? He cancelled operations he didn't feel to certain about and gave the greenlight to the one that gave him the most confidence and reassurance of a successful outcome, and he was VINDICATED by the results. We got the guy we were looking for, we gathered mountains of intelligence... and somehow you want everyone to be angry that he didn't do it sooner? We got everything we wanted! This all sounds like sour grapes from someone who can not handle the fact that a political adversary proved equal to the task. I WOULD EXPECT President Obama to depend upon his staff for information prior to making a decision. The fact that he said no 3 times and then yes when the time was right when the time was right shows that he WAS and IS in charge . Although the Navy Seals "actively" killed Osama, they would not have done so until the COMMANDER IN CHIEF made the decision that conditions and planning were right for a successful mission.
-Improving the United States status.
My opponent really should start proofreading his "sources". According to this report, "U.S favoribility has increased in Lebanon by 2 points and in Saudi Arabia 17 points since the Bush era." Yes, favoribiliy has dropped considerably in other Arab nations, I will give you that but you what? There is a perfect explanation to that... "The majority of respondents in all six Arab nations say the KILLING OF OSAMA BIN LADEN gives them a WORSE opinion of the United States. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but did you or did you not ardently state in the preceding refutation of my point that he didn't move fast enough in making the decision to assassinate Osama Bin Laden? The cause of low favoribility in Arab nations is due to the fact that we killed an Al-Queda "genius"! Something Bush tried to acheive in the 2 terms he was in office compared to Obama completing it in roughly 3 years! First, he didn't move fast enough for you, now its he screwed favoribility in Arab nations?!?!? Which one is it?!?!?!

And now to refute my opponent's case.
-Rejection of Bipartisanship and Transparency
In what has been called the "most transparent administration in history", President Obama is rejecting a bipartisan call for a special counsel to investigate the leaks. Newsflash: The leaks are coming from the White House, described as the WORST leaks lawmakers have ever seen. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianele Feinstein stated, "Leaks jeopardize American lives." The President is expected to PROTECT American lives, not JEOPARDIZE them. So, yes, the President should be apprehensive and tread water carefully, with all the leaks in the White House. In more modern terms:People can't keep their mouths shut, so President Obama can't take any chances. Do you blame him? After all, Republicans are notorious for lying to get what they want.
RoyLatham

Con

My opponent has left most of my arguments unanswered. I will address the arguments Pro made in the last round.

P1: Decreasing the unemployment from 9.1% to 8.5%.

My opponent relies upon former-President Clinton's speech at the Democrat National convention that no one could have “fully repaired” the economy in only four years. Convention speeches are not the place to find candid opinions in the first place, and Bill Clinton is a master of fine wording. Note Clinton's famous defense “It all depends upon what the meaning of “is” is.” He once said he had never been alone with Monica Lewinsky;and later explained that he meant that there were other people somewhere in the White House. Saying the economy could not be fully repaired does not assert that Obama did even a mediocre job; it only asserts perfection is not possible.

Distinguished journalist Edward Klein [13. http://edwardklein.com...] revealed Clinton's true opinion:

The Clinton-Obama feud is the worst-kept secret in the Democratic Party. It traces back to the bruising 2008 primary campaign, when Obama’s surrogates lambasted Bill and Hillary for being “racists” and a Clinton aide said of Obama that he “embraces the politics of trash.” The animosity still stirs such deep emotions that a year ago Clinton held a secret meeting of friends and political advisers at his home in Chappaqua and urged his wife to challenge Obama for the party’s presidential nomination in 2012.

According to two people who attended the meeting, Hillary rejected her husband’s advice that she run against a sitting president of her own party. But that didn’t stop Bill Clinton from going on a rant about Obama.

I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama,” my sources quoted Clinton as saying. “I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever. Obama doesn’t know how to be president. He doesn’t know how the world works. He’s incompetent. He’s an amateur!”

[14. http://www.nypost.com...]

The unemployment rate dropped in September, even though there was an actual net loss in jobs. What happened is that a seasonal correction was applied that changed the loss into a plus. Seasonal corrections are perfectly conventional, but what happened this year is that students with part-time summer jobs were let go earlier this year than in most years, messing up the correction. It's a statistical anomaly that will correct in future months.

Pro says source that unemployment has returned to the pre-recession rate. The “recession” is the narrow time period when the economy is actually shrinking. Unemployment was wretchedly high before the recession, 7.8%. The unemployment rate must get to between four and five percent to mark a robust economy.

It takes about new 150,000 jobs per month to stay even with population growth.

The unemployment rate must get to about five percent or below to mark a robust economy. 5% was achieved by Reagan, 3.8% by Clinton, and 4.4% by G.W. Bush. [15. http://tinyurl.com...] Those very low rates were not sustained, but they mark a full recovery.

So many people have given up looking for jobs and have settled for low-paying part-time jobs that the conventional unemployment measure is inadequate. There is a measure that includes discourage and under employed workers – “the government releases a separate number called the "U-6," which provides a more complete tally of how many people really are out of work. … Those numbers compare especially unfavorably to the national rate, high in itself at 14.9 percent though off its record peak of 17.2 percent in October 2009.” [16. http://www.cnbc.com...] By contrast, in the Reagan recovery, workers rushed into the workforce, making the conventional measure unrealistically high. [17. http://www.forbes.com...]

The unemployment rate is one measure of economic recovery, but growth in the GDP is a better measure. If the economy is growing, we expect unemployment to eventually drop. GDP growth has dropped every year Obama has been in office.

P2: Assassination of Osama Bin Laden.

My point is that the assassination of bin Laden was not an extraordinary feat by the President. The remarkable parts were the work of the intelligence agents in tracking down bin Laden, and the execution of the mission by Navy SEALs. Obama was finally talked into letting the take down happen, that's all. Had Obama taken a large risk, he could be lauded for an exceptionally brave action. As it was, he did what any president would have done given all the assurances.

P3: Improvement of United States status.

Pro argued that Obama did a good job as president because he raised US status in the world. In fact, U.S. status has been diminished in most of the Arab world, and in the world as a whole U.S. status has dropped below China. U.S financial rating has dropped below the top level, and educational standing has dropped to average.

Pro points out that US standing has risen by 2% in Lebanon and 17% in Saudi Arabia. Pro did not argue why those two measures are more important than having dropped my all the other measures. Lebanon among the least important players with respect to U.S. policy, and the Saudis have been reliable allies.

Pro argues that killing Obama caused the drop in U.S. standing. Pro did not argue that a loss of standing was a good thing he claimed that Obama raised the standing. Obama's error was signaling in his apology tour that the US was going to go easy on military action against terrorism. He wouldn't even use the word terrorist. Standing in the world is a measure of credibility and esteem. President Obama sacrificed too much in credibility to gain momentary esteem.

The economic loss of standing is unprecedented:
"The United States fell from fifth to seventh in the annual competitiveness rankings, issued by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum. As recently as 2008, the United States ranked first. ... it's clear from the WEF's report that business leaders, who provide much of the input for the analysis, no longer consider the United States a paragon of stability, as they once did. ... The United States ranks 111th out of 144 countries in terms of its macroeconomic environment," [18. http://www.usnews.com...]

C1: Rejection of bipartisanship and transparency

Obama promised a new era of bipartisanship and transparency, then immediately cut secret deals on health care and refused to talk to Republican Congressional leadership about compromise. He talked to unions weekly, but cut out small business. He sabotaged budget negotiations after Reid and Boehner had reached agreement.

Pro did not address any of these issues, but instead introduced the subject of White House leaks of classified information regarding the mission that took out bin Laden. Navy SEALs say:

"As a citizen, it is my civic duty to tell the president to stop leaking information to the enemy," says Benjamin Smith, identified in the video as a former Navy SEAL. "It will get Americans killed."

Another former Navy SEAL in the video, Scott Taylor, says of the bin Laden raid: "If you disclose how we got there, how we took down the building, what we did, how many people were there, that it's going to hinder future operations, and certainly hurt the success of those future operations." [19.http://tinyurl.com...]

Of course, military secrets should be kept secret, but that does not justify secret deals on entitlement legislation or budget issues. The bin Laden mission leaks appear to have been done to aggrandize President Obama's role in the operation. Only a few cabinet-level officials were privy to the info, so uncovering who made the leaks would be a trivial matter. Instead, we have gotten a cover-up.

Debate Round No. 2
tellsitlikeitis

Pro

tellsitlikeitis forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Con

My opponent has forfeited and his account is now "no longer active."

The forfeit should lose the conduct category. He also made personal attacks, accusing me of failing to read my own references, which I most certainly did.

Pro left many of my arguments from R1 unanswered. For example, I argued that President Obama had difficult problems to solve, but no remarkable "curve balls" to cope with. I challenged Pro to explain why unemployment should be the only measure of economic progress, when growth rate was more important -- because growth would always eventually provide jobs. I argued that improvement of US standing in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia should be thought more important than loss of standing the rest of the Middle East and in the world as a whole. Pro did not answer. There were many other failures of Pro to counter my specific arguments.

Pro provided no linked references in support of his case. I provided 19 references in support of the key points of my case.

The basic problem with the Pro position is that President Obama's record is indefensible. We need a president with the skills and understading of Mitt Romey.

The resolution is negated. The Con positon prevails.



Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Poor Pro...
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by Microsuck 4 years ago
Microsuck
tellsitlikeitisRoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: pro forfeited
Vote Placed by Smithereens 4 years ago
Smithereens
tellsitlikeitisRoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by lannan13 4 years ago
lannan13
tellsitlikeitisRoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 4 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
tellsitlikeitisRoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con because Pro forfeited. S/G to Con because Pro used some "unconventional" grammar (such as excessive punctuation). Arguments to Con because Pro dropped several, and overall Con was more convincing. Sources to Con because Pro made some contestable claims without backing them up, unlike Con who thoroughly sourced his arguments.
Vote Placed by airmax1227 4 years ago
airmax1227
tellsitlikeitisRoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for FF.