The Instigator
Con (against)
7 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
10 Points

Was George W. Bush good for America, and for the wider world?

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,873 times Debate No: 15496
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (3)




Structure is as follows:
1.Present arguments

I believe George W. Bush is NOT good for America, and the wider world for three reasons.

1. He did not win office in a democratic way
2.His policies leave much to be desired
3. Intelligence is not one of his virtues

1. He did not win office in a democratic way.

It would seem that in a democratic society where citizens are allowed to vote, that they would get the final say in electing their leader, right? Not in the case of George W. Bush. He lost the 2000 election popular vote to Al Gore, yet he won because he was appointed by supreme court judges that were placed there by Ronald Reagan during his presidency. George W. Bush was not elected by the majority of people, where in a democracy, that is key. Therefore. George W. Bush was not good for America because the majority of voters did not want him as their leader.

2. Bush's policies destroyed our economy, and left blame to the current administration

Everyone knows that George Bush initiated two middle eastern wars after the attacks on 9/11. However, the Iraq war was not necessary and sent thousands of soldiers to die for so called "weapons of mass destruction", that were never found. Also, Bush enacted tax cuts during a huge financial crisis, leading to increased inflation, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in 2010,"If not for the tax cuts enacted during the presidency of George W. Bush that Congress did not pay for, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were initiated during that period, and the effects of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression (including the cost of steps necessary to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term."

Mr Bush led our country to disaster economically.

3.Intelligence is in question
Intelligence can hardly be one of his virtues. He was exposed on national television not knowing important things like the name of the heads of Pakistan and India, despite pronouncing strong opinions about them. His military career seems to have numerous ‘missing' portions, including having gotten his commission without going through the difficult ‘Officer Cadet School' and getting his pilot's licence despite low scores on the aptitude tests. He has also had dubious associations with shady business deals and there is strong suspicion that he dabbled with drugs. His personal qualities are not quite as shining as they are made out to be.

in conclusion, George W. Bush was not good for our country, nor the rest of the world.


1. President Clinton was elected to his first term with a mere 43% of the popular vote, far less than Bush in 2000. Does that prove that Clinton was bad for America? It is irrelevant to the job done in office. The American system is democratic and Bush won according to the Constitution. Electors are used instead of the popular vote in order to encourage candidates to respect all the states, not just the major population centers. Independent of the Supreme Court decision, a recount showed that Bush won the popular vote in Florida, democratically winning the State's electors. ttp://

2. The only policies that Con points to are lowering taxes and incurring debt from the wars. Con says that this caused inflation, which is false. "Inflation under Bush has remained near historic lows at about 2-3% per year."

Bush inherited an economic downturn from Clinton, and lowering taxes spurred growth and recovery. The economic disaster was a product of Fannie and Freddie, run by Democrats, buying bad loans. The Bush Administration went to Congress three times demanding that Fannie and Freddie be reigned in, and each time Democrats in Congress blocked action using the filibuster and reprimanding the Administration for even suggesting there was a problem.

"Before the crash of late 2008 President Bush’s budget deficits were 0.6 percentage points smaller than the historic average. Deficits did not “spiral” during the Bush presidency or the decade. The bumped around the historic average, then spiked up in the last year." Obama's 2009 deficit exceeds all eight years of Bush combined. Obama is projecting unprecedented huge deficits out though 2020.

3. Test scores showed that George Bush's IQ, 125, is higher than John Kerry's. Bush graduated from Yale and received an MBA from Harvard. and he's smarter than Kerry. That makes him smart enough to be President.

Liberals judge intelligence solely by how much someone agrees with them, contrary to the facts. Bush made gaffes, but recall Obama's saying there are 57. ttp:// Joe Biden is a gaffe machine, including his claim that President Roosevelt went on television -- before television was invented.

Whether Bush is a genius or not is irrelevant to the resolution. JFK had an IQ of 119, less than Bush, but is revered. Jimmy Carter's IQ is 156, but Carter's micromanaging and general incompetence at governing made him one of our worst presidents. Many factors other than IQ make a president.

Con initiated the debate and, despite saying he is Con, affirmed the claim that Bush was not good for America and the wider world. He therefore has the burden of proving his case. Two of his arguments are irrelevant and the third false.
Debate Round No. 1


Looking to my opponents election evidence, it also points out that Clinton won the 1992 election by 6% in the popular vote, and by 37% in the electorate vote. Clinton won the election in BOTH facets of the democratic way. While he did win in Florida, my opponents evidence still states that Gore won popular vote.

Regarding my opponents inflation evidence, if you look later to it it goes on to say, "While the GDP recovered from a recession that some claim Bush inherited from the previous administration, poverty has since worsened according to the Census Bureau. The percentage of the population below the poverty level increased in each of Bush's first four years, while it decreased for each of the prior seven years to an 11-year low. Although the poverty level increased the increase was still lower from 2000 to 2002 than it was from 1992 to 1997, which reached a peak of 39.3% in 1993. In 2002 the poverty rate was 34.6% which was almost equal to the rate in 1998, which was 34.5%. Poverty was at 12.7% in 2004." All from my opponents evidence.

Also, my opponent wished to blame President Clinton for the economic downturn, but that is also false.
According to David Greenberg, a professor of history and media studies at Rutgers University:
The Clinton years were unquestionably a time of progress, especially on the economy [...] Clinton's 1992 slogan, 'Putting people first,' and his stress on 'the economy, stupid,' pitched an optimistic if still gritty populism at a middle class that had suffered under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. [...] By the end of the Clinton presidency, the numbers were uniformly impressive. Besides the record-high surpluses and the record-low poverty rates, the economy could boast the longest economic expansion in history; the lowest unemployment since the early 1970s; and the lowest poverty rates for single mothers, black Americans, and the aged.

While my opponent does bring up the situation with Fannie and Freddie, common knowledge points to Wall Street as the main benefactor in the collapse, due to deregulation of Wall Street.

My opponents evidence about Obama's 2009 deficit comes from a blogger. Also, let's look at the reasons Obama has had to spend. First, two unfunded wars, second, lifting the economy after a large economic crisis. Think about why Obama has spent, and why Bush did. They are dramatically different.

My opponent's evidence about Bush's IQ compared to Kerry's comes from Steve Sailer, a conservative columnist at the Web magazine It states that in the evidence he posts. The bias in the evidence is clear. It does matter how much intelligence a person has if they are to lead the country. Obama is known to be a much more eloquent speaker and much more "presidential" if you will.

Finally, being Con, it is my job to prove that George Bush was NOT good for the country.


1. My opponent's initial complaint was that in 2000, Bush did not have a majority of the popular vote. That's happened 17 times in the past, with Abraham Lincoln being among the worst offenders, having only 39%. Then my opponent said the problem is that Bush got fewer votes, 0.1%, than his opponent. This has happened four times in the past, the worst case being John Quincy Adams. [ibid] Con has given no reason why Lincoln or Adams or Bush should be considered bad presidents as a consequence.

2. Con is apparently confusing millions of people with percentages. Here is a graph: Poverty rates have been stable for decades, edging up a few percent in recessions. The rate has risen more under Obama than in all the Bush years.

The Clinton years were certainly prosperous overall due to Clinton-Gingrich cooperation that had Republicans writing the budget, but the graph cited shows a recession beginning in 2000.

Con says "common knowledge" is Wall Street was a "benefactor" of the financial crisis. I guess being saved from bankruptcy is a benefit, but a desire for bankruptcy certainly did not cause the crisis. Fanny and Freddie buying unlimited quantities of bad loans was the main cause. The Federal Reserve contributed substantially by keeping interest rates too low. The Fed is independent of the Administration, but Republicans and Democrats alike cheered the Fed on it's erroneous path. Con gives no contrary source.

Bloggers obtained the deficit data from government sources and made convenient graphs. Con has no other data.

War spending was less than $1 trillion for all the Bush years combined, and it was well within the debt capacity of the country. There is no evidence it had anything to do with the financial crisis. It amounts to less than $ 0.2 T per year, while Obama deficits are over $1.5 T per year. The "tax cuts for the rich" amount to less than $0.1 T. Tax cuts and war spending are thus a small part of the current problem.

We now know that Saddam wanted the world to think he had WMDs in the belief that it would scare Iran and the Kurds, and that the US would never take action. Saddam intended to resume WMD production as soon as possible. pp 4, 6. Bush, as well as nearly all the prominent Democrats agreed to act based upon honest belief. Journalist Bob Woodard verified the vigorous attempts by Bush at verification.

3. The IQ estimates were based upon official test scores and the analysis verified by a specialist in academia. The blogger just reported them. Con has no contrary data and failed to show relevance to the resolution.


Critics utterly ridiculed the Bush as being stupid for supposing that democracy could catch on in the Muslim world. Bush was prescient. Critics were dead wrong. Dubya looks better with each passing day.

Debate Round No. 2


Here are some issues in the debate that I'd like all voters to consider:
1. credibility of opponents evidence
My opponents evidence has mainly been coming from bloggers, not professionals. His evidence on the first point in his rebuttal comes from I;m sure they are a viable news source.

Next my opponent would like to blame the Obama administration for the poverty rate rising, but the truth is that is the effect of the recession which my opponent agrees began in 2000. Also, my opponent thinks that Newt Gingrich and the Republicans writing the budget were the cause of prosperity, however it was the stinginess and uncooperation of Gingrich and his fellow Republicans that led to a government shutdown, and Clinton winning re-election.

"The NBER said that the deterioration in the labor market throughout 2008 was one key reason why it decided to state that the recession began last year."

My opponent says I bring up no data, evidence from the National Bureau of Economic Research proves his point on Fanny and Freddie false. No bloggers, pure fact.

Also, I would like to bring up the URL on his evidence about IQ in the first round. Kids While I have not brought up a source on that, I have brought up that George Bush had many inadequacies during his military "service"." An examination of the Bush military files within the context of US Statutory Law, Department of Defense regulations, and Air Force policies and procedures of that era lead to a single conclusion: George W. Bush was considered a deserter by the United States Air Force."

Mr. Bush deserted the military, deemed so by the Air Force itself. How good was he to our country, not very.

My evidence in my first speech from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in 2010,"If not for the tax cuts enacted during the presidency of George W. Bush that Congress did not pay for, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were initiated during that period, and the effects of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression (including the cost of steps necessary to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term." shows that the Bush administrations policies were the cause of huge deficits before he left office, leaving Obama to take all the blame.

Also, I have not seen a case by Pro on how he is "good" for the country either. While he has focused on attacking my case, he has brought up nothing to prove he is good.

His evidence about inflation in his first speech goes on to say, ""While the GDP recovered from a recession that some claim Bush inherited from the previous administration, poverty has since worsened according to the Census Bureau. The percentage of the population below the poverty level increased in each of Bush's first four years.

economic argument fails.

Thank You.


1. Con claimed that Bush, in 2000, "did not win in a democratic way." Bush won conforming to the US Constitution, and won the popular vote in Florida to get their electors. Many prior presidents were so-called "minority presidents." Con should no relevance to the topic, and ultimately abandoned the argument.

2. Con claimed that Bush " policies leave much to be desired." Con's only policy claims were that Bush policies caused the financial crisis and that Bush lied about WMDs in Iraq.

Pro's source says that careful analysis of unemployment data showed that minor recession started earlier that the actual financial crisis in the Fall of 2008. That a nearly-undetectable recession started earlier says nothing about causes. Moreover, Con cited the Clinton Administration as a good one, despite a recession starting in the last year of that Administration, so by Con's standards it's irrelevant.

The financial crisis is certainly relevant. It was caused by the housing collapse, aided by Federal Reserve policies of keeping interest rates too low. Con did not refute evidence the Bush Administration attempted to regulate Fannie and Freddie, which were run by Democrats, and that Democrats in Congress filibustered to block regulation. The Fed is independent, and both Parties liked low interest rates.

Con attacks data that is cited by bloggers, assuming that somehow the citation ruins the original source. That's illogical. In the case of poverty data, I cited Wikipedia as presenting the same government data. Con never presented contrary data; he claimed that insignificant changes in poverty rates under Bush were a big deal. Anyone can look at the graphs to see poverty rates were essentially stable.

Con dropped the WMD claim in the face of contrary evidence.

3. Con claimed that for Bush, "Intelligence is not one of his virtues." He claims that because "iq-kids" is in the web site name, the source is invalid. The data was properly sourced and checked by academia.

Con's standard is that original sources do not count, only who cites them. If so, then all of Con's sources are invalid, because he didn't originate them.

Con then goes on to cite a old campaign hit piece on Bush's military service record. That site says on their home page that the Air Force itself contradicts all of their claims. However, Con in any case failed to establish relevance to the resolution. What Bush did in his youth has nothing to do with whether or not he was a good president.

Con admitted that he has the burden to provide Bush was a bad President and he did not do so. Perhaps there are other arguments, but Con deliberately restricted the scope of the debate and failed to make his case. Bush may be judged by history as a great president for having sparked democracy among Muslims in the Middle East, in the face of ridicule that it was impossible. Right now, it looks like Bush was right.
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
The way to judge sources is by whether what they say is soundly derived, not whether you like the name of web site. The site references a study by academic researchers to establish the validity of the data they are quoting and which I used in the debate.

It happens fairly often that a blogger will make a nice graph or find some interesting data and presents it in a convenient way. I think it's better to reference an easy-to-understand presentation rather than the original source, because the original is not accessible. What's suspect is a blogger's opinion that isn't supported by references.

In a debate there is better and worse evidence. If you consider a source suspect, you better have a competing source that's more reliable, unless you can find a logical error in the source. Just saying you don't like it is no enough.

The best evidence is that Bush, Kerry, and Obama all have IQ scores in the mid-120's.
Posted by Man-is-good 5 years ago
"Most of those sources PRO brought up were outright ridiculous and I think its quite funny how hes trying to defend them, KIDS!"

I'm confused...youngdub somehow gives Con all seven points by lashing out against roy even when it's Con who used
Posted by dinokiller 5 years ago
youngdub, biased voter.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
I liked doing a short debate for a change. Amazing how George Bush now seems like ancient history.
Posted by kweef 5 years ago
Excellent debate Roy, your experience clearly shows. It was interesting debating you.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
No problem with a short debate, it's equal for both sides. Sometimes readers are puzzled by the terse responses. DDO might want to post the word limit on the debate page.
Posted by kweef 5 years ago
the intent was to make the debate short:) personally I dislike debates that take forever to complete. Thank you for your prompt responses by the way.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
@annhassle, "George Bush's IQ was 125? *cough, cough LIES cough, cough* :P"

I'd be happy to debate this, but there really isn't any question. Bush's SAT scores translate directly to IQ, and Kerry's Navy test scores translate directly to IQ. SATs were changed in the early 90s so that they now do not translate to IQ. The original intent of SAT was (Math + Verbal)/10 = IQ. that was close, but there is a correction table.

Obama's case is really interesting. A journalist recently said, "They'll find Jimmy Hoffa's body before they find Obama's SAT scores." Not that it much matters, Jimmy Carter was a pathetic dolt, notwithstanding an IQ of 176.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
Con should have posed the challenge as Pro "Bush was bad for the country." That's what I understood, and Con clarified that intent correctly. It's significant because much of history, especially the Middle East, is too soon to tell for sure.

Readers should understand this is a "Twitter debate," 3000 characters.
Posted by kweef 5 years ago
I stated that because Roy seemed somewhat off on what my position was, so I clarified it. and character space was low.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by y0ungDuB 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: The entire argument about reliable sources i had to give entirely to CON. Most of those sources PRO brought up were outright ridiculous and I think its quite funny how hes trying to defend them, KIDS! really? Aside from that, the actual arguments regarding GWB were good on both sides but i believe most of CONS arguments were not refuted. Overall nice debate but Con was more convincing. :)
Vote Placed by Nails 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: It seems like the burden of proof would logically be on PRO here, but CON clarifies that it isn't, so I voted PRO in light of each of CON's 3 points being refuted.
Vote Placed by Haasenfeffor 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: wow... pwned?