Pick your own devil's advocate.
In a celebration of our masquerade event, I am going to devil's advocate any one of the below resolutions. The twist is, the resolution my opponent picks must also be against his or her beliefs.
To be clear, I will be Pro on all of the resolutions, meaning that the one he or she picks must be one that he/she agrees with (since my opponent will be Con). Don't accept if you can't handle spitting in the face of all your deeply-held principles :D!
1. Barack Obama, overall, has been an effective president.
2. The United States should terminate all foreign aid (including military intervention).
3. All forms of torture should be illegal in the United States.
4. Welfare is generally effective.
5. The border fence between the U.S. and Mexico should not be built.
6. The deregulated free market is bad for society.
(1) My opponent must be devil's advocating. Of course, we do not know what is in someone's heart of hearts, but if evidence can be found that my opponent believes otherwise he/she will be disqualified.
(2) No trolling, lawyering, semantics, etc.
(3) My opponent may provide (reasonable) definitions in the first round, and has the option of simply accepting or presenting his/her arguments first.
Join the Masquerade
Help celebrate the masquerade by simply adopting any position, ideology, or beliefs you disagree with, making debates about them, or editing your profile to match them. "Imagine a hardcore Christian pretending to be an obnoxious atheist, arguing with a hardcore atheist who is pretending to be a Bible-thumper!"
The thread: [http://www.debate.org...]
I will be taking Resolution #1. Barack Obama, overall, has been an effective president.
So, for definitions:
1a : producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect
Seems to be the only relevant definition.
For further clarity, let's also get these:
2. free from doubt or wavering
1. having the power or quality of deciding
2. resolute, determined
3. unmistakable, unquestionable
1. to long or hope for : exhibit or feel desire for
2. to express a wish for : request
And finally, overall:  The most relevant definitions seem to be
3. a : in view of all the circumstances or conditions
b : as a whole : generally
c : with everyone or everything taken into account
With these definitions in mind, it seems an expanded version of the resolution might be this:
Taking all things relating to his presidency into consideration, Barack Obama has decisively and unquestionably produced effects in the USA that are in line with his stated desires, his hopes and wishes.
And I will be arguing the case that the above statement is false :)
Any preference on structure? If so, I'll go with whatever you decide. If not, I propose R2 for primary arguments, R3 for rebuttals, and R4 for conclusions, and no new arguments in R4.
Good luck to my opponent!
I thank my opponent for accepting, although defining every word in the definition was a bit unecessary ;). The format you gave is how it works in every debate. Making brand new arguments in the final round is frowned upon on this website.
1. Obama saved the economy from total collapse.
A common critism of Obama's policies comes from the massive unemployment, which Obama claimed would be kept below 8%. However, this objection ignores the fact that the government and the public underestimated the effects of the economic crisis. A study from Princetone and Moody's estimates that unemployment could have spiked to over 16.5% and created a nightmare depression scenario. Another important factor in recovery is the pace of the spending. By the start of 2009 stimulus spending had not even begun, yet over the next few months it was over $100 billion. Such abrupt surges were part of the reason the recession ended quickly. [1. http://www.economy.com...]
Another common attack is that the government intervention is a new and unprecented policy. He has been labeled a socialist and has been repeatedly blamed for the economy. However, looking at the past, the government has often directly interfered, such as giving New York City a large loan during the economic stagnation of the 70's to avoid bankruptcy [2. http://en.wikipedia.org...], the bailout in the response to the savings and loan crisis a few years later
[3. http://en.wikipedia.org...], and in 1979 giving Chrysler $1.5 billion to keep the company afloat. [4.http://en.wikipedia.org...] Government intervention has been the rule rather than the exception.
2. Obama brought about health care reform.
In less than a decade, 95 percent of Americans will have health care. Insurance companies will no longer be allowed to revoke coverage for preexisting conditions and new protections are available to protect the people's right to health care. Reform would also likely increase labor supply by allowing more people to get jobs. [5.http://www.whitehouse.gov...].
A study using CBO data by the Department of Health and Human Services found that it would save a middle class family $2,300 when purchasing insurance. [6. http://www.healthcare.gov...].
Insurance reform would also boost the economy, since half of all bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. [7.http://www.msnbc.msn.com...]
3. His foreign policies.
When the Obama Administration took office, almost 180,000 U.S. soldiers were still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama ended the massively expensive wars and responsibly brought our troops home. He supported a coalition in Libya to end Gaddafi's regime and saved thousands from dying, and promoted Israel's security while supporting a Palestinian country. [8. http://www.whitehouse.gov...].
Khana forfeited this round.
Apparently my opponent is having some difficulties writing up her case. Extend all arguments.
I think it is entirely reasonable to draw the conclusion that Barack Obama has failed to achieve his stated desires for his presidency in any decisive sort of way.
Take healthcare, for example. The original idea for healthcare involved quite a few stipulations, including the idea of a public exchange and what amounted to a government run insurance plan, which could not refuse care, and which would pay for itself with its own premiums and not tax dollars, thus setting the stage to prevent price gouging and ensure fair prices in a competitive environment.
Neither of these panned out. The "obamacare" that finally got put into position is a ripped apart, tangled mess of remains of the original system. It is change, and is an improvement over the previous system, but it is hardly decisive.
Obama also sought to eliminate the climate of corruption in the White House. He fought to get republicans and democrats working together, he fought to serve and reflect the views of the American people as a whole, but anyone can see how That turned out. The bickering has only grown worse, to the point that several republicans have made it their primary political objective to make Obama a failure, and most are fiercely opposed to him, granting no compromise. This inability to compromise even led to significant consequences, as the credit rating of the US dropping, with their refusal to raise the credit limit, as they'd done regularly for years.
The primary job of the president is to lead - the checks and balances system is designed to prevent any one person from gaining too much power. Inherently, the president's job is not to make laws, to make policy, or to Do much at all, really. His job is a primarily verbal one - his job is to lead the people. To negotiate compromises, to represent the country in foreign affairs, to speak to the people about the government's actions, and to speak to the various government members to get everyone working together.
That is the ultimate job of the president, and in that regard, regardless of the reasons why or whose fault it is, he is a complete failure. To my knowledge, never has a party outright attempted to sabotage the career of the chosen representative of the people. And he wasn't even able to get his own party, the democrats, to work in unison.
Even if it's not his fault, it's still a failure. Take the most skilled archer in all the world, hog tie him, and put a bow in his hands. He is suddenly not an effective archer, no matter his skill or training. Likewise, Obama has practically been hog-tied by his political opponents, and no matter how good his intentions or skill, he has been rendered ineffective.
With his constant battle to even keep things moving at all, most of what's come out of the government has been at the decisions of the other elected officials. The rest of the government doing their thing... they did that before him, they'll do it after, and they can do it whether or not the president is even involved.
His job is to lead, and he has failed to do so. He promised to purge corruption from the government, and it's just as bad as ever... possibly even worse. He promised change - more importantly, change above and beyond the natural, normal ebb and flow - and that change never came. He promised hope, and instead, hope is in many ways shattered.
I thank my opponent.
"The original idea for healthcare involved quite a few stipulations, including the idea of a public exchange and what amounted to a government run insurance plan, which could not refuse care, and which would pay for itself with its own premiums and not tax dollars, thus setting the stage to prevent price gouging and ensure fair prices in a competitive environment."
While a public exchange was considered, it was not at all critically important to the success of Obama's healthcare. The idea was dropped in 2009 and was dismissed as unimportant by Obama himself. [http://en.wikipedia.org...]
"The "obamacare" that finally got put into position is a ripped apart, tangled mess of remains of the original system."
This is a bare assertion; where is Con's evidence?
"The bickering has only grown worse, to the point that several republicans have made it their primary political objective to make Obama a failure, and most are fiercely opposed to him, granting no compromise."
Yet Obama managed to provide national healthcare in the face of all this opposition. This proves more than ever that he is indeed effective as a President. She fails to provide details here, too.
"Even if it's not his fault, it's still a failure. Take the most skilled archer in all the world, hog tie him, and put a bow in his hands. He is suddenly not an effective archer, no matter his skill or training. Likewise, Obama has practically been hog-tied by his political opponents, and no matter how good his intentions or skill, he has been rendered ineffective."
Bare assertion fallacy. How has has he been hog-tied and how as this affected his performance?
Con has also not made any argument against his performance saving the economy or his foreign policy, and I would recommend that you try and source all of your claims.
Alright, guess this was shorter than I had assumed it would be. Good luck to my opponent.
Khana forfeited this round.
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