The Instigator
presreynolds
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Muhafidh
Pro (for)
Winning
41 Points

Will Mitt Romney make a good president?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/1/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,022 times Debate No: 1235
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (12)

 

presreynolds

Con

Mitt Romney is a "flip-flopper" and you don't know where he's coming from! He is mormon, which could get in the way of his desicion-making abilities!
Muhafidh

Pro

Greetings! Why do you give me such a flimsy challenge? Egad! Shall I put out your blazing fire with but a casual spittle? Okay, if that's what you wish. Let's extract as many propositions as possible from your initial volley, and analyze them one by one:

YOUR PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 1. Flip-flopping. Quote: "Mitt Romney is a 'flip-flopper.'" Wrong! Wow, that was as easy for me to refute without worrying about substantiation as it was for you to assert without worrying about evidence. Remember, if you assert something negative about someone, you must provide evidence. Your point is otherwise simply vacuous.

Proposition 2. Principles. Quote: "[Y]ou don't know where he's coming from!" Actually, I do. It is you who do not. The reason is self-evident, given your motivation in this debate. You haven't studied him. Hence, it is natural that you would not know "where he's coming from." In fact, Mitt's principles are the clearest of those of anyone. Mitt has provided exemplary clarity on his principles, referring consistently to his adherence to the three-legged stool of Reagan conservativism, on which the success of our democracy rests: social conservatism, economic conservatism, and defense conservatism. Nothing murky, nothing complicated, only crystal clarity, and only conservatism.

Proposition 3. Religion. Quote: "He is a mormon." Almost. The word is actually "Mormon," with a capital "M." Otherwise, I'm impressed with the painstaking research that you must have had to undertake to draw this complex conclusion! But more than that, this observation contradicts Proposition 2. Even if you hate Mormonism and think that it promotes only the most atrocious principles, you have to admit that it still promotes consistent principles. Thus, even if you fear that Mormons are going to take over and force you to watch reruns of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's singing Christmas carols year-round, in fact you do have some basis for inferring "where he's coming from," n'est-ce pas? After all, either you fear him because you believe you know "where he's coming from" (and you don't like it), or you really do not know "where he's coming from," in which case you will have studied him before you started this debate. Since you have indeed started this debate, the latter possibility is tautological.

Proposition 4. Decision-making. Quote: "[His religion] could get in the way of his desicion-making abilities!" Wrong on two counts. First, the spelling is "decision," not "desicion." (That's the first count.) Second, if you believe that Mitt's religion may get in the way of his decision-making, you must mean that it's because his religion may indeed be a source of principles, which you are afraid will conflict with those principles that are necessary for good governance. And by expressing this fear, you are contradicting Propositions 2 and 3 simultaneously.

MY CHALLENGES TO YOU

Challenge 1. Flip-flopping. Define "flip-flopping" clearly and precisely. Then offer up an example of Mitt's ostensibly doing exactly that. Explain how his behavior matches your definition. And finally, name an alternative candidate in the current bid for the nomination, who has never flip-flopped. I'll then proceed to show why the moniker is wrong regarding Mitt. Then I'll show that your own candidate advocates a position that manifests at minimum the very degree of fault of which you accuse Mitt, thus nullifying your very premise.

Challenge 2. Principles. Offer up your own candidate, and show why his or her principles are more crystal-clear than Mitt's. To do this, all you have to do is demonstrate simplicity, internal consistency, and wisdom. I'll then show how in fact Mitt's position is simpler, more internally consistent, and wiser.

Challenge 3. Religion. We have had Presidents of the following faiths so far: Baptist, Catholic, Congregationalist, Disciple of Christ, Dutch Reformed, Episcopalian, Jehovah's Witness, Methodist, Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian. Please demonstrate, against this context, why it is risky to accept a Mormon as President. To do this, either show how Mormonism is *more* extreme in its views than the *most* extreme of these (which assumes that all of these are okay), or identify which of these is most similar to Mormonism as a matter of risk regarding the presidency, and explain how Mormonism poses a similar risk. Focus on trustworthiness or freedom from confusion regarding the President's higher loyalties, as decision-making per se will be addressed below.

Challenge 4. Decision-making. What basis do you have for expecting Mormonism to be antithetical to effective governance? Explain specifically what it is in the Mormon faith that is incompatible with holding higher office. What will a Mormon leader in any public or private domain do that will keep him from being effective? What kinds of decisions will he make, and why?

Good luck!
Debate Round No. 1
presreynolds

Con

My candidate is Hillary Clinton who would smoke Mitt in any general election!

Howerver, you are very educated on Mitt Romney! Such pity, I thought you would support a candidate who actually has a pair: Mike Huckabee! But that is your decision!

Hillary Clinton has been working for the American people for 30 years! She has been fighting for universal healthcare as the first lady and a senator! (Mitt can't beat that experience!) Hillary has overcome a vast majority of obstacles and issues throughout her career! As far as I am concerned Republicans can kiss my a**! PEACE OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Muhafidh

Pro

Now, don't let me win the debate that easily! Let's at least work through your comments, even if you have chosen to default on my challenges.

YOUR PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 1. Hillary. Quote: "My candidate is Hillary Clinton who would smoke Mitt in any general election!" Great enthusiasm, but no. The next President will be Republican. The economy will dictate that. Hillary should try again in 2012, when she will legitimately have a chance, due to the timing of the next cyclical recession. Get ready.

Proposition 2. Huckabee. Quote: "I thought you would support a candidate who actually has a pair: Mike Huckabee!" Huckabee is cool, but wouldn't his being a real Christian preacher compromise his ability to make good decisions in the White House? Judging from your prior comments, it should to you. Nevertheless, I don't accept that. Huckabee has good conservative values of the social variety, as well as experience running a state. Mitt's conservative values cover all three pillars of the Reagan model though, so he wins there. Mitt's experience as governor of Massachusetts is a much stronger mark of success as well. Arkansas's economy is about the size of that of Burma. The economy of Massachusetts is substantially larger than even that of Switzerland. If it happened that Huckabee ended up being the nominee, I'd vote for him in a heartbeat over any Democrat. In the meantime, it's Mitt all the way.

Proposition 3. Hillarexperience. Quote: "Hillary Clinton has been working for the American people for 30 years!" Not really. She has been working for the people of New York for seven years (as of tomorrow). That's all the work she has actually done in elective office, ever. Truly, it's a fallacy to believe that being First Lady constitutes executive experience. Would you think Laura Bush had enough experience to be President? Of course not, and despite what people want to believe, it's just arrogance to assert that Hillary is somehow different. Is it because she acts like a President? If so, then we might as well elect Bill Pullman. He played the President in the movie "Independence Day," and judging from the movie, he can even fly F-18's! If Hillary's acting abilities have earned her a shot at the top, then I'll vote for Bill Pullman, since he's already shown that he can fight aliens.

Proposition 4. Hillarycare. Quote: "[Hillary] has been fighting for universal healthcare as the first lady and a senator!" Stupendous! Her healthcare plan as First Lady failed miserably because she didn't know how to work with the right people and keep her planning open for scrutiny. Even with Bill Clinton at her side to guarantee that anything truly workable would be pushed through the Congress, she failed! How can anyone possibly beat that miserable record? It will take more than sheer idiocy to come close to Hillary's proven record as a failed healthcare guru. Meanwhile, Hillary has yet to show that she has any sway in this as senator. Really, what has she done so far? You also said, "Mitt can't beat that experience!" Really? Well, here's the real deal: Mitt introduced the first comprehensive healthcare plan of any state in the US, maximizing the private sector's participation, and *without* having to raise taxes to do it. Yes, Mitt has done it! No one can come close to that level of indisputable achievement. Hillary is not completely brainless though: She has since been doing her best to study and usurp Mitt's model.

Proposition 5. Hillaryodds. Quote: "Hillary has overcome a vast majority of obstacles and issues throughout her career!" Great! I'm not sure whether we should go around electing people because of the obstacles they've overcome; I think the best candidates, using that criterion, might be former convicts. Moreover, if Hillary is so good at overcoming obstacles, then she doesn't need anyone's votes at all. She can just overcome that obstacle as well.

Proposition 6. Expletives. Quote: "As far as I am concerned Republicans can kiss my a**!" Not likely. It's already too hard to stoop low enough to see eye-to-eye with Democrats. Doing what you have suggested would require a level of acrobatic dexterity that would impress Houdini. Instead, Republicans will just continue to stand tall. Democrats can stoop as low as they like.

CHALLENGES

The challenges posted previously still stand.

Good luck!
Debate Round No. 2
presreynolds

Con

presreynolds forfeited this round.
Muhafidh

Pro

Given the lack of response and the content of my opponent's last posting, this debate is probably over. Nevertheless, it's my turn to post something, so I will address the recent Iowa caucus and try to assess what the future may hold for my candidate, Mitt Romney.

To understand accurately what impact, if any, the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary may have on determining the party nominee due to their extra-early dates in the election year, we must first tally the historical statistics, covering only those campaigns for which the extra-early contest did not include a party incumbent (i.e., sitting President up for re-election, or sitting Vice President up for election). Too often, I've seen statistics attempting to assess candidate odds on the basis of the comprehensive historical record. Such results are obviously misleading. For example, Bill Clinton won his party's Iowa caucus in 1996. What did that do to his chances? The answer: Nothing. As the party incumbent, he was already guaranteed re-nomination. No party incumbent has lost the nomination in the entire available history of the two (IA & NH) extra-early contests, even though several were challenged. The outcome for a party incumbent appears inevitable from the perspective of history, so those data should not be included in any meaningful analysis.

The New Hampshire primary has been extra-early for both parties since 1920 and has produced prediction-relevant outcomes for Republicans since 1948 and for Democrats since 1956 (disregarding 1952, when the sitting President, Truman, dropped out of the race after the NH primary). The Iowa caucus has been extra-early for Democrats since 1972 and for Republicans since 1976.

After removing the party incumbents from the data, what's left is much more interesting: Whoever wins an extra-early contest in an open party field stands a 50-50 chance of being the party nominee. This leaves *two* of the runners-up as each having the *same* odds of being the party nominee as the actual winner. The real question is who those two other candidates are in each of the extra-early contests.

What about someone who wins *both* the Iowa caucus *and* the New Hampshire primary? Will that person therefore be the party nominee? It is still not certain, but the odds do go up. Anyone who wins both extra-early contests has a 2/3 chance of being the party nominee. That still leaves one other candidate in the field who therefore has a 1/3 chance. Yes, that means that in one out of three open years, Iowa's #3 actually wins. (By comparison, all non-incumbent nominees have placed at least second in the New Hampshire primary.)

Here are the data. For any election year, only one party has an open field within the limited history of these extra-early contests. (Election year 2008 is the first time in the history of the extra-early contests that the party incumbent [the Vice President in this case] is not running in either contest.) Therefore, for each election year given below, only one party is noted. The "D" or "R" in parentheses indicates which party has an open seat. The number after "IA" or "NH" is how the nominee placed in the contest (0 = no extra-early contest was held in that state). For the two years (1972 and 1976) in which "uncommitted" won in Iowa, I've ignored that "candidate" in this summary.

2004 (D) Nominee = IA 1 + NH 1 Kerry
2000 (R) Nominee = IA 1 + NH 2 Bush - elected President
1996 (R) Nominee = IA 1 + NH 2 Dole
1992 (D) Nominee = IA 3 + NH 2 Clinton - elected President
1988 (D) Nominee = IA 3 + NH 1 Dukakis
1984 (D) Nominee = IA 1 + NH 2 Mondale
1980 (R) Nominee = IA 2 + NH 1 Reagan - elected President
1976 (D) Nominee = IA 1 + NH 1 Carter - elected President
1972 (D) Nominee = IA 2 + NH 2 McGovern
1968 (R) Nominee = IA 0 + NH 1 Nixon - elected President
1964 (R) Nominee = IA 0 + NH 2 Goldwater
1960 (D) Nominee = IA 0 + NH 1 Kennedy - elected President
1956 (D) Nominee = IA 0 + NH 2 Stevenson
1952 (R) Nominee = IA 0 + NH 1 Eisenhower - elected President
1948 (R) Nominee = IA 0 + NH 2 Dewey

Notice that the nominee every year is at least #3 in Iowa and at least #2 in New Hampshire. Mind you, these do not constitute a lot of data, so a *new* pattern could still emerge in 2008 that has never occurred in the past (e.g., #4 from Iowa could win). The odds are about one in sixteen of precisely that. Nevertheless, within the constraints of this available history, the following is 94% certain:

1. Among Democrats, Obama, Edwards, or Clinton will be the nominee. Their odds are equal.
2. Among Republicans, Huckabee, Romney, or Thompson will be the nominee. Their odds are equal.

Mitt Romney got the silver in Iowa. If he gets the gold in New Hampshire, he'll be following in the same pattern as Ronald Reagan. That's most fitting.

In the end, what this review demonstrates is something that all political pundits should have been observing all along. To stay in the running after Iowa, you have to get a medal, whether gold, silver, or bronze (I thank Mitt Romney's post-Iowa comments for this metaphor). In fact, it doesn't even matter which one you get. The odds are exactly even for any candidate with a medal from Iowa.

Unfortunately, within 94% certainty, whoever gets the bronze in New Hampshire gets the boot. In that contest, you have to get gold or silver to stay in the running.

Hence am I compelled to enunciate the mystic mantra: Go Mitt! Go Mitt! Go Mitt!
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by thisoneguy 8 years ago
thisoneguy
lol,, M.R. would make a good president of the LDS church,, because he's like the rest of the Members, on the road to nowhere.
Posted by Korezaan 9 years ago
Korezaan
lol @ mjvoss.

This comment is now over 25 characters.
Posted by mjvoss 9 years ago
mjvoss
Of course we should let him win! We don't want him to grow up all suicidal.
Posted by kels1123 9 years ago
kels1123
Then maybe a 10 year old shouldn't be allowed on the site. if they come and post a debate should we all just post a fake argument to let them win. That is why there should be some sort of age limit especially since there is adult content on this site.
Posted by mjvoss 9 years ago
mjvoss
Muhafidh firmly represents Romney well, but he's a jerk for arguing against a ten-year old. This is outrageous! =)
Posted by Kady 9 years ago
Kady
Nice use of the word vacuous...I also enjoyed "three-legged stool of Reagan conservativism" I don't know about anybody else but I would be scared if my president lacked faith! Romney 2008!
Posted by mdb2290 9 years ago
mdb2290
Wow...harsh with the ol' ad hominen. Well done Muhafidh, you know who I'll vote for. Check out my current debate (first one!) and give me suggestions for th future. GO ROMNEY 2008!!!!!
Posted by DaltonDem 9 years ago
DaltonDem
Mitt would make a bad president for other reasons than his faith and flip-flopping. But the debate is about other things so when this gets to voting time, I'll support Muhafidh when it comes to voting time.
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