Instigator / Pro

Progressives ought to support Joe Biden should he win the Democratic Primary


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Contender / Con

Since it is becoming increasingly likely that Biden will win the democratic nomination, I contend that Progressives ought to unite around him.

R1: Opening
R2: Rebuttals
R3: Defense
R4: Summary/Close

Round 1
Thank you, fauxlaw, for accepting this debate. I look forward to a lively exchange! 


I. Donald Trump is woefully unfit 

Throughout his term, Donald Trump has proven himself to be woefully unfit to serve as President. Let's look at a few facts. 

1. Honesty

In a time of crisis such as what we are going through now, honestly is one of the most important traits a president needs to have. If the public cannot trust the President, then collapse is imminent. Nearly every time Donald Trump opens his mouth, he lies. According to fact-checkers, Trump has made well over 15,000 claims that are false or misleading, sometimes repeatedly [1]. The nation cannot afford 4 more years of Trump's repeated lies. 

2. His tweets  

Imagine if President Obama tweeted things like:

And, of course, the world-famous "Covfefe" tweet. 

All of these are repulsive and should make us sick to our stomachs. If Obama would have made any of those tweets, Republicans would be right to immediately pursue impeachment charges for being unfit. 

3. His handling of COVID-19

We are in one of the worst disasters since WW2. Hundreds of thousands have already died around the world and Trump is still woefully dishonest. He spent weeks lying about the seriousness of the disease and trying to downplay it. Here are a few selections from his statements [2]:

Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” — Trump in a CNBC interview.
Jan. 30: “We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.” — Trump in a speech in Michigan.
Feb. 14: “There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus.  So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.” — Trump in speaking to National Border Patrol Council members.
Feb. 23: “We have it very much under control in this country.” — Trump in speaking to reporters.
Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” — Trump in a tweet.
March 4: “[W]e have a very small number of people in this country [infected]. We have a big country. The biggest impact we had was when we took the 40-plus people [from a cruise ship]. … We brought them back. We immediately quarantined them. But you add that to the numbers. But if you don’t add that to the numbers, we’re talking about very small numbers in the United States.” — Trump at a White House meeting with airline CEOs.
March 4: “Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number.” — Trump in an interview on Fox News, referring to the percentage of diagnosed COVID-19 patients worldwide who had died, as reported by the World Health Organization. (See our item “Trump and the Coronavirus Death Rate.”)
And most disturbingly, he recently stated that he knew it was going to be a pandemic long before it was called one and claimed that it snuck up on us and blind-sided us [3,4].

This is not the character trait that we need in a leader. 

II. The Judiciary 

Even more at stake is the judiciary. The next President will likely fill at least 1 or even 2 SCOTUS seats, as well as many district judiciary judges. Many of these judges were rated "not qualified" by the BAR. [5] A right-wing judiciary will undoubtedly block progress that progressives wish to make. Moreover, there is a real threat that Roe v. Wade will get overturned, or at least severely weakened. 

III. Supporting Biden is not apostasy

Cults require members to adhere to strict rules and principles. For a cultist, purity is everything and any deviation makes someone a "sell-out" or a "fraud." I contend that this line of thinking is dangerous for any political movement. If we cannot look past the flaws of our candidate while looking for everything wrong in the other, then we have become a cult. For me, I do not believe progressivism should demand that type of doctrine. 

Will our major progressive leaders step up to the plate and endorse Biden? AOC already said she would support Biden should he win [6] and Bernie Sanders also promised to back Biden [7]. Perhaps progressives should listen to the major leaders of the progressive movement. 

IV. Conclusion

Progressives have a moral duty to support Biden should he be our nominee. If progressives want to make progress, they must work with the Democratic party and move it to the left. Donald Trump will do far more harm to the progressive movement in his second term than he already has. Biden will at least be fit to serve, won't make disgusting tweets, and appoint judges who won't threaten to overturn Roe v. Wade and block progressive policies. 

Please vote pro. 

I am offering the contending view that Progressives should not support Biden just because he should have a united Party [Democrat] behind him if he is the presidential nominee.
Rebuttal: Trump honesty
According to Pro, Trump has told 15,000 lies, with a reference to prove it. I have looked at that “proof:” WaPo, which claimed 15,413 lies in over 1,055 days; 14.6 per day, and which refers to FactChecker, which claims Trump told 16,241 lies in 1,095 days, 14.6 per day. I would challenge Pro to document all Trump lies, regardless of number. I would, but I would like to know, first, what Trump has to do with the debate subject?
Rebuttal: Trump tweets
Trump is the first President to make such frequent use of tweets as a mode of communication. Past presidents have used other methods of communication, so there is little purpose in accusing Trump of communicating, regardless of mode.
However, according to Morning Consult, a Politico poll found that “Voters Prefer Traditional Communication From [sic] the President,” and then details that 83% of voters [the second highest communication mode] declare that their preference is by issue of “press releases or official statements.”[1]Somehow, if these are issued by tweets, rather than by speeches [a traditional communication form] they are unacceptable? And what has Trump to do with the subject of the debate?
Rebuttal: Trump handling of Covid-19
Other presidents have dealt with other medical crises, and we may compare their handling of their crises with Trump’s handling of his, but to what purpose? Is that a subject of this debate that should be exemplary of an argument either way? No Democrat presidential candidate for 2020 is currently the President.
Rebuttal: The Judiciary
Yes, the next President will likely have judicial choices to make; the number is irrelevant to the subject of this debate, which does not include conditional arguments on the Judiciary, and certainly not in combination with any subject related to Trump.
Rebuttal: Cultism
For a cultist, purity is everything and any deviation makes someone a "sell-out" or a ‘fraud.’” So claims Pro. I reply: So what justifies the four foregoing arguments that argue points against Trump? That’s a debate argument for post-primary campaigning regardless of who is the Democrat nominee, because it seems clear, to date, that Trump will be the Republican nominee. I submit that the subject of this debate, chosen by Pro, is: ”Progressives ought to support Joe Biden should he win the Democrat primary.” I expect proponent statements in support of Biden, not in contradiction to Trump. 
Argument: The Democrat Schism
It has been obvious over the last 30 years that the Democrat Party has been fracturing. Historically the Democrat Party, since Roosevelt, was described as “liberal.” Democrats since Roosevelt through Clinton were traditional liberals of an effectively united party politic. Clinton was elected on this traditional liberal platform, but he was the last of the breed in the Oval. Eight years of Bush #43 were enough to effectively shelve the traditional liberal, and, in fact, Bush 41 and 43 were instrumental in the shift.[2]It is contended that both Bush presidents, though Republican, were Progressives who happened to be Republican. 
Bush 43 broke the mold of Republican spending, in spite of Reagan also being a big Spender. Reagan’s spending had an objective: destroy the Communist stranglehold on the USSR to restore Russia as a more Capitalist economy, and thus end the Cold War. Bush tried, and failed, to have the same effect on Iraq, inheriting the effort from his father. That effort was more a globalizing effect than merely shifting from a totalitarian state to a democratic one.
One must truly wonder that if not for the Bush father/son team, would Barack Obama have had an impact on the Democrat 2008 presidential contest?[3]Recall that Hilary Clinton, a progressive in the mold of Woodrow Wilson, thus far more to the left than her partner, was declared the crowned nominee early in the 2008 contest. However, that inevitability was just one of the flaws in her campaign that ultimately buried her campaign. She forgot how to be a progressive, and an as a shoe-in, regardless of ideology.[4]
The strategy of John McCain, opposing Obama in the fall 2008 election, was that he was America’s proper answer to a clearly Progressive push by the Democrats. The problem McCain had, among several, was that he was not a conservative, but another Republican progressive; a secret not well understood by the Republican electorate.[5]Enough Democrats observed McCain to be a sufficient non sequitur to choose Obama’s progressivism to McCain’s. The Republican voters just turned their nose sufficient to not vote al all, so confused were they by his campaign.
Obama suffered not just by Republican arguments against his policies, which Democrats charged as racist, but from liberal Democrats who were doubtful about him in the 2008 contest, but became vocal in his first term as being too far left.[6]
His re-election success of 2012 solidified his position, and silenced a sufficient number of liberals in the process to virtually eliminate their waning power. This may be a curious argument, but one can be made that Obama’s open-mic declaration to Russian President Medvedev, intended for President-elect Putin, at the March 2012 nuclear disarmament conference in Seoul, South Korea was a ploy to quell still hesitant Democrat liberals: “After my election I have more flexibility.” Some argue that the “flexibility” was a matter of refusing Ukraine aid, or curtailing it,[7]but it would also have the effect of silencing some liberal Democrats opposing Obama.[8]
By the time Obama left office, liberals had virtually no power left, signaled by the fact that Hillary Clinton was, once again, crowned for the Democrat nomination in 2016. The Democrat primary was a fait accomplis,not a contest in that round. However, note, also, that her primary competition was not merely a liberal, but a progressive, nay, a socialist, Bernie Sanders. He was a harbinger of further drift to the left away from liberalism.
The Democrat Party, whether or not it succeeds in attaining the White House in this November’s election, must find its soul. Joe Biden, once the presumed nominee until Bernie Sanders, once again, tries to pull the party toward Socialism, having experienced just two terms of overt Progressivism in Obama, has already begun its near-successful transition to Socialism. That’s quick-change artistry.
It behooves Democrats to decide, through the remainder of this primary season, in a short 4 months, whether they are Progressives, or Socialists, or still-flailing Liberals.
Joe Biden is talking like a Progressive, while apparently successfully battling a Socialist, but Biden’s roots are Liberal. As if that is not confusing enough for Biden, he is showing signs of true senility, with enough gaffes in his delivery this last fall, winter, and spring, to convince even Democrats that danger is on the horizon. In the event of his nomination, the choice of Vice President is likely a choice of a potential engagement of the 25thAmendment. Is that a Democrat unification prospect? I argue, no, it is not. Progressives should stand their ground, even if it means losing the 2020 election. It’s just four years; they will recover. The Liberals? Well, just look at the quick-change reference above. Their sun has set.
All references are listed in comments by Con, round 1

Round 2
Thank you, Fauxlaw. I will now defend my case. 

I. Trump is woefully unfit

1. Honesty

My opponent wishes to document the lies, however, I gave the evidence in the form of fact-checkers. As it would be impossible to list all 15,000+ lies and counting, If you don't believe the fact-checkers, it's incumbent on my opponent to state why. 

2. Tweets

First, regardless of whether or not Trump is the first president to make use of tweets, it simply doesn't matter. So what? This isn't an argument. My argument is that Trump's tweets violate the presidential norms and show a president who is woefully unfit to serve. Second, whether or not voters prefer traditional communications is also irrelevant to my argument.

3. COVID-19

My opponent resorts to whataboutism. This is a fallacious argument. My argument is that, by the virtue of Trump's lies and handling of the COVID-19, he proves that he is unfit to serve. He downplayed the virus, despite claiming that he knew it was a pandemic all along. 

II. Judiciary

My opponent essentially concedes this point and agrees that the next President will appoint judicial choices. However, he drops the fact that Trump continues to pick unqualified judges and drops the harm that Trump's judiciary picks will do to the country and the progressive movement. Please extend my argument across the board. 

III. Conclusion

I am out of time and will respond to the rest of my opponent's arguments in the next round. My opponent drops a big chunk of my arguments as I clearly demonstrated in this round. 
I thank Virtuoso for his round 2 “rebuttal.” It has made my anticipated round 2 much easier than I anticipated.
Let me, first, remind readers of Pro’s stated structure of the debate in Description:
R1: Opening [argument, I presume]
R2: Rebuttals
R3: Defense
R4: Summary/Close
I anticipated Pro’s R1 would address reasons why Joe Biden should be supported by Progressives, but Pro decided to use the entire R1 “argument” to argue against Trump, not forBiden.  I contend that a negative campaign is not productive, because there is no positive message in such for voters to assess and vote on the basis of their assessment, even Progressive voters.
Since the Pro argument digressed from the intent of the debate, I chose to use my round 1 both to rebut, and to argue, which I clearly did, notably separating this two-pronged approach by headings.
In spite of my round 1, my opponent has doubled down on using arguments against President Trump in round 2, who is not the subject of Pro’s proposed debate. Once again, Pro’s debate subject: “Progressives ought to support Joe Biden should he win the Democratic primary.” Much as Hillary Clinton [wrongly] put Donald Trump into the middle of her 2016 presidential campaign [“Love Trumps Hate” – is it necessary to cite that since it was on numerous cars by bumper-sticker-campaign?], Pro is insisting on conducting this debate campaign by the same tactic. I contend this does not meet the requirements of the proposed debate, let alone those of a presidential election campaign. 
Note that not only is there no rebuttal of my round 1 argument, there is still no argument for Joe Biden in Pro’s round 2 “rebuttal.” In fact, note Pro’s beginning of round 2: “I will now defend my case,” which is the structural requirement of round 3. He proceeds to re-argue two matters of round 1: Honesty [of Trump, not Biden], and the judiciary [of Trump choices, not Biden choices].
Then, Pro accuses my “drop” of a “big chunk of [Pro’s] arguments…” whereas, a read of my round 1 shows rebuttal against Trump’s honesty, tweeting, handling of Covid-19, and the judiciary, plus his apostasy issue, and an argument against “cultism.” What, I ask, was the “big chunk” I “dropped?”
Then, I presented argument of my own regarding the Democrat Party schism, which met the requirement of argument for round 1.
Pro made a total of five “arguments” in round 1, with the first argument having 3 subsets. I’ve already rebutted the first four arguments in round 1 completely.
Pro argued, in the fifth argument [marked III in Pro’s round 1] that by supporting Biden in the remaining primary contest does not constitute apostasy from the Democrat Party. I’ll rebut this argument in two phases: 
One, that such an argument of apostasy is already demonstrated, not by Democrats from the Party, but the reverse; the Party from Democrats.
Two, that Biden, himself, vacillates, from one position, Liberalism, to another, Progressivism. As demonstrated in Con argument 1, the two factions of the Party are not synonymous, and he is, therefore, not rigidly loyal to either cause.
Rebuttal #4.1: Apostasy
As demonstrated in Con’s round 1, The Democrat Party, was, by justifying references, a Liberal party up to, and including the Clinton administration, but that, during the Bush #43 administration, and the previous Bush #41 administration, Republican progressivism was already establishing programs that contributed to a Democrat transition in that direction [Progressivism], ultimately realized by the mantra of Barack Obama in his 2008 presidential campaign. 
These progressive principles were, in fact, presented by then IL State Senator Barack Obama in the 2004 Democrat National Convention keynote speech for the nomination of John Kerry.
Obama’s first strike against Liberalism was subtle, He said,“Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America.”[1] This tied a not-liberal America [dismissing the idea if a conservative America] to a United States. As said; subtle. He lamented the loss of union worker jobs in IL, lost primarily due to the preceding Democrat in the White House, Clinton, who signed NAFTA in November 1993, “we have more work to do. More to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that's moving to Mexico…”[2] He argued that, “The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats.”[3] But just who are those pundits? You tell me which party makes the most argument for “social comparison theory,” “social identity theory,”[4]and social justice? 
No, Democrats do not need to apostatize from anything. The Party has already abandoned the few liberals left in it. Joe Biden is, at least by history one of them.
Rebuttal #4.2: Biden’s inconsistent loyalty to Liberalism and Progressivism
What are Joe Biden’s politics? 
Healthcare:He was Vice President when the ACA was signed in 2009. However, he is opposed to Medicare for all.[5]
Immigration:Biden voted for the 2006 Secure Fence Act.[6] In 2019, he said, "We need border security but that's not the border security we need"in reference to the wall Trump demanded.[7]
Climate change:Biden supported the Paris Accord, but has not endorsed the Green New Deal.[8]
Abortion:Biden, a practicing Catholic, maintains abortion should be legal. However, contrary to progressives, he has consistently been against late-term abortion.[9]
These inconsistencies paint a candidate who vacillates in his positions, leaving both Liberals, what few there are, and Progressives, confused whether he deserves their support, or not.
Shall we even breach the subject that has the progressives in the Party concerned that their candidate for Vice President, which may or may not be chosen by their influence, may just be the President by potential necessary use of the 25A, because Joe Biden, by first and last impression, is an old, white man, specifically the description the progressives wanted to avoid, afflicted with obvious gaps of memory, and gaffes of continuing frequency.
Having met the requirements of round 2, Rebuttal, I await Pro’s Biden-support defense, if only the argument for it could be found.

Round 3

Round 3 is designated as a defense of arguments round. In light of my opponent’s forfeiture of round 3, I will yet use this round to defend my arguments and rebuttals made in rounds 1 and 2.
I The Democrat schism: Defense
I.a My argument of the Democrat schism of factions [liberals, progressives, and socialists] was not addressed by my opponent in rebuttal. I therefore claim the argument as won. If the progressives are to have unity of the party in achieving the stated proposal of the debate, to wit, “Progressives ought to support Joe Biden should he win the Democrat Primary,” the Progressives must make the effort to unify the party.
However, Progressives would likely support any candidate, not just Joe Biden, in the charge that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as President. This is, therefore, a moot point, unrelated to the debate proposal that Progressives should support Biden. There is no argument from Pro to define why Progressives should support Biden, in particular, over this point, and the time for new argument has past. As this is unresolved by Pro as of this phase of the debate, defense of arguments, I claim the point won.
Joe Biden appears to have succeeded in gathering the support of the Democrat Party since all major candidates have suspended their campaigns and have each offered their support to Biden, along with many others,[1] but too many questions remain to assure the Party will have a clean, orderly convention in Milwaukee come July, or whenever the DNC gathers for their convention in light of the current crisis of the Covid-19 virus and its extenuating circumstances currently preventing a such a gathering of thousands of delegates.
The spectre of a brokered convention still looms; if not for the presidential candidate, now assumed to be Joe Biden, but for the Vice Presidential choice, who remains unannounced by Biden, and may be a brokered choice at the convention in light of the Biden questions:
I.a.1 Is Biden physically fit to fulfill the role of President of the United States should he be elected?[2] His recent medical history is suspect. His age, alone, is a concern that he may not survive a first term. A suitable V.P. choice may not be in Biden’s hands to choose given the potential of raising the 25A as a necessity. Therefore, the choice of V.P may rest with the Party delegates. Are they sufficiently united to make such a convention choice?
I.a.2 Is Joe Biden mentally fit to fulfill the role? All the issues of 1.a.1 of this round 3 play into this mental capacity as well.[3]
1.a.3 Does Joe Biden have the support of the Progressive wing of the Party, perhaps the majority wing of the Party, particularly given the above issues of I.a.1 and I.b.1, above.[4] The argument of the spectre noted above, I.a.1 remains unresolved by my opponent, and the time for new argument has ended. Therefore, I claim this argument as won.
I.b My argument of round 1 Conclusion that above all, the Democrat Party must find its soul among the three factions stands unchallenged.[5] The issue of progressives needing to support Joe Biden is just one of three choices the Party must make. Joe Biden is not a progressive, though he realized he must cater to them, and has. But has he done so to the satisfaction of progressives to earn their support? This point remains not accomplished by my opponent. Therefore, it remains unproven relative to the debate proposal, and the time for new argument has ended. I must conclude having won this argument.
II Major arguments by my opponent remain dropped chunks according to Pro
II.a This claim in the conclusion of my opponent’s round 2 rebuttal has drops of its own:
II.a.1 My opponent’s rounds 1 & 2 claimed Trump is unfit for the Presidency by claims against his honesty, tweets, and handling of Covid-19. I argued in my rounds 1 and 2 that Trump is not a factor in this debate, based on Pro’s debate title and proposal [Description] do not mention Trump as a factor. Therefore, I claim the charge of “dropped” as successfully rebutted, and the time for new argument has ended. I therefore claim the point won.
II.b My opponent’s rounds 1 & 2 claimed the judiciary as issues in the presidential campaign, and claimed in round 2 that my round 1 agreed with his commentary on the judiciary, but made no rebuttal to my round 2 argument that the judiciary “…is irrelevant to the subject of this debate, which does not include conditional arguments on the Judiciary, and certainly not in combination with any subject related to Trump.”By forfeiture, my opponent had no rebuttal to my claim. With new arguments no longer accepted, I therefore claim the point won for my side.
II.c My opponent’s claim in rounds 1 & 2 that apostasy of Progressives[6] was not necessary to support Biden, and that Progressivism should not succumb to the cultist perspective that all argument for a candidate cannot be made by pointing out the flaws in the other candidate, yet, the cultist perspective is where my opponent’s argument began and concluded through 2 rounds of argument and rebuttal. I have dropped nothing since I never made the “cultist” claim in the first place. My opponent, rather, dropped his own argument. I therefore claim my opponent’s own running upon his sword, and make no defense for him. Mine is, therefore, unnecessary, and I claim the point.
III. Conclusion: Charges of dropping arguments, and rebuttals, notwithstanding, I expose a mirror’s face to my opponent
III.a Defense by a mirror? If all that my opponent argues amounts to missed opportunities to argue the point of the debate rather than taking the cultist’s stand to show the flaws of the opposing candidate, Trump, rather than the strengths of the candidate, Biden, so be it. It’s not how I would have conducted the debate, but it was not my debate. Therefore, a mirror is all that is required to win the day, although I did add argument of my own: the unresolved schism of the Democrat Party. Vote for Con.
Round 4
I regret that Virtuoso has found it necessary to forfeit the debate, having forfeited two of four rounds, including this last, conclusion round. I will proceed.
I The apparent Progressive tactic to support Biden: Trash Trump
I.a The original proposal by my opponent was that Progressives should support Joe Biden in the event he should win the Democrat Party nomination. I submit that Virtuoso has failed to demonstrate that Progressives should support anybody, because the major thrust of his first two rounds consisted of bashing Trump as “woefully unfit” for the Presidency. This is an old argument, launched as soon as President Trump announced his candidacy in June of 2015, and it continues to this day, with much the same result: dismissal as a valid argument. There is now a significant record of Trump’s accomplishments.
1.b However, as I argued in the first and second rounds, this debate is not about President Trump. The burden of proof in favor of the proposal that Progressives should support Joe Biden, as he is now the presumptive nominee, was on Pro, my opponent. However, while my opponent made mention of Trump, by name, 14 times in round 1, and 5 times in round 2, not including in argument section titles and reference notes. Whereas, the mention of Biden, the objective of the debate, was mentioned 6 times in round 1, and never in round 2. I rest the case relative to my opponent’s effort to prove his case. 
1.c Pro may well have argued that Trump should not be elected again, although I oppose that concept as well, but readers/voters should observe that the effort by Pro to argue for the proposal was merely a deflection. I claim the debate on this argument, alone.
II Another Deflection: the Judiciary
II.a Pro argued that the next President would likely nominate up to two Supreme Court vacancies in the next term. I do not contest this proposal. But the subject, itself, does not elevate Biden’s support by Progressives any more than it does for Bernie Sanders, or whoever else manages to be the eventual Democrat nominee. This argument by Pro, once again, sought more to reject Donald Trump relative to potential Supreme Court nominees than to encourage a rally by Progressives for Biden. I argued this point in both round 1 & 2. I claim the debate on this argument, as well.
III Apostasy: defection from the cause
III.a Pro argued that Progressives supporting Biden should not conclude that they are apostatizing the Party. That’s actually funny considering that it is Progressives who are doing exactly that by hijacking the Party, not just to promote Progressivism, but to take it, by force if necessary, rather than by natural evolution, from liberalism to socialism. Progressivism is the transition accomplished in twenty short years, following the Clinton Presidency. Since the argument is, now, a fait-accomplis,it is an ill-timed anachronism. I claim the debate on this argument.
IV Conclusion: Regret, but no mystery for forfeiting the debate
IV.a With Pro’s three main point of argument never demonstrated successfully, with the first two being ineffective as extraneous points, and the third being unnecessary, not to mention a two-round forfeit, I declare victory of this debate.
My thanks, appreciation, and continued friendship to Virtuosos.
No sourcing necessary this round as no new argument raised.