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Trump should or should not have been impeached


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I have to argue against Trump being impeached for debate club and I am not sure how to defend this viewpoint.

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That is a hard one.  Do you need to do it with a straight face?  The only sliver of an argument is that he was going to be out of office before the trail started and that is a very thin sliver.  Just get up...say, "Russian adoptions" and sit down.  You will win this thing hands down.

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@Nick2 

lol, yeah, I've been talking to other people about how I'm supposed to defend that and they said pretty much the same thing. Not sure if anyone elso on my side is going to say anything, they dont seem particularly confident in what they are supposed to be defending.

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2 minutes ago, Marrow_ said:

@Nick2 

lol, yeah, I've been talking to other people about how I'm supposed to defend that and they said pretty much the same thing. Not sure if anyone elso on my side is going to say anything, they dont seem particularly confident in what they are supposed to be defending.

If you want to wake people up in the room you could argue (only because you have to in this case) that Trump should not have been impeached because he is a super rich white man and in this country those kind of men get a pass.  They are above the law.  (that should make for an interesting debate.)

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Impeached for sure!

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Because according to Brandenburg v Ohio there may be no grounds. Trump did not tell people to storn the capital and told them to go home.

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thylacine

Look at his messages to people prior to the event, he would say things like, "go to the Capitol," and "Fight like hell," and, "if you don't fight we won't have a country anymore."  People believed in him.  Sad, but they did.

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Ace Of Dragons

I do not understand why they would bother impeaching him, he was on his way out anyway. It seems like a waste of time, money and resources to me.

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You could argue that the criminal justice system will be given the opportunity to prosecute him, and that if convicted, he will be in prison and not able to influence politics anymore.  You could also argue that there was virtually no chance of a conviction in the senate, so why bother?

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SocialMorays
33 minutes ago, Ace Of Dragons said:

I do not understand why they would bother impeaching him, he was on his way out anyway. It seems like a waste of time, money and resources to me.

It wasn't just about getting him out. Impeachment would have also stopped him from getting his taxpayer-funded benefits and pension ($210,700 per year), denied him lifetime access to Secret Service protection (also taxpayer-funded) and prevented him from ever holding public office again.

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fragglerock

I really like debate but this is such a catch-22 for me about it. It's great to get the practice and improve debate skills and telling which arguments are strong or not. But you're given a side to defend even when it's weak, possibly very weak. In real life the solution is just "yeah the other side is right, I'm joining them."

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Sarah-Sylvia
40 minutes ago, thylacine said:

Look at his messages to people prior to the event, he would say things like, "go to the Capitol," and "Fight like hell," and, "if you don't fight we won't have a country anymore."  People believed in him.  Sad, but they did.

If you watched the defense, you can see that after those words he said things like march peacefully, and cheer on some politicians, and stuff like that. It was never about fighting violently. And many many people talk in those terms (of fighting), including on the left.

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Rockblossom

While I am firmly on the side of impeachment, for .. oh, so many reasons - your task is to present the arguments against, so:

 

  • When the House voted to impeach, they knew he would likely already be out of office before any Senate trial could be conducted, so the primary purpose (removal from office) was going to be moot.  Of course there are other possible consequences of a conviction, but they are secondary.
  • The House already knew that there was very little possibility of a conviction in the Senate as Republican Senators had already telegraphed their unwillingness to convict regardless of the evidence.  A Senate trial would be for show with the outcome already known.
  • With a new administration coming in there was already a full agenda for the Senate, like approving Cabinet and other key members of the Biden Administration, that needed their full attention.  This was in addition to legislation like Covid relief.  The time taken out for the trial delayed all of that.
  • The trial kept the focus on Trump at a time when it would have been better to have him sidelined in the news and the attention on things that needed to be done to keep the country safe.
  • Since an acquittal was a foregone conclusion, and many in the country think an acquittal by the Senate meant:  "See!  He's not guilty of anything!"  It would have been better to forward a Bill of Censure  which could have passes in the Senate with a simple majority vote. 
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nineGardens

If you need to argue against impeachment then I would say....

 

https://www.gocomics.com/pricklycity/2021/02/16

 

If you want to charge him with insurrection, inciting violence, attacking the government etc, there are LEGAL avenues for doing this.

Impeachment, by contrast is a POLITICAL process, a question of "How many votes are there?" and "Can we get consensus that he is unfit for office?".

 

If you don't believe you have the numbers to GET that consensus, then the process is kind of.... pointless? Especially if he is already out of office?

 

If you are worried about a "His crimes can not go unpunished" then go ahead and charge him *as a criminal*.

 

The Senate and congress have better and more important things to do than waste their time on an impeachment trial that won't go through, where the penalty is removal from office.

 

You could also argue that Senators and congressspersons are ELECTED OFFICIALS. They are pushed to make their decisions based on what their voters would want them to do, often a small fraction of their most vocal and combative voters. This makes them supremely UNQUALIFIED to act as moral judges for any kind of "Celebrity"- especially a president.  Worse than that, they got a whole bunch of Senators that might have been wanting to quietly break ties with Trump, and then put them in a position where they had to PUBLICLY either support or oppose him (this might be a good or a bad thing depending on your view).

 

By dragging the Feb 6th insurrection through the incredibly public and politcal process of Impeachment, the democrats basically ensured that such a process wouldn't WORK.

 

In contrast, Judges are beholden to the LAW. They are not elected. Also, a conviction in a court of law can carry a prison term or financial penalty, as opposed to impeachment, which.... gets him kicked out of office?

 

 

The problem with impeachment wasn't that Trump didn't deserve punishment, its that it didn't WORK. And everyone knew it didn't (and couldn't) work. And... as a symbol it might be meaningful, but bluntly put, there were *other avenues* to pursue, which would have acted as symbols just as well.

Basically what it comes down to is "Why? Given all the costs involved (both social and financial), what was the god damn point in impeaching him? "

 

___________________________

 

Now, to be fair, in our world, during the impeachment the "defending case" basically said "If he's so evil, why isn't being dragged before the courts". It would be very easy to image the reverse situation of not bothering with impeachment, and then the moment you take him to court the lawyers say "If it was such a betrayel of office, why didn't he get impeached for it?"

 

If you're in a debate, I can see people happily arguing that "BOTH impeachment AND criminal case is good". As SocialMorays mentions, there were other benefits to be yanked off of him if her were impeached.... but once again, all of these only happen if you are SUCCESSFUL in impeaching him, and get it by the senate.

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Gifted With Singleness

As someone who very strongly agrees with Trump's impeachment and believes he should have been convicted in the Senate, here are the best arguments against impeachment I can think of (not all of which may be relevant to the debate club situation, so take your pick):

  • Against Senate conviction: Trump is already out of office, rendering the impeachment charges moot.
    • Now that Trump's a private citizen, any charges against him should be addressed elsewhere (such as the criminal justice system).
  • Against Senate conviction: Trump committed impeachable offenses, but not the specific offense of incitement of insurrection alleged in the article of impeachment.
    • In order for Trump to have incited insurrection, he would have had to say something like, "Go storm the Capitol right now and execute anyone who won't challenge the election results." Anything less specific than that doesn't meet the very strict criteria for incitement.
  • Against the specific article of impeachment in the House: This article should be split up into multiple charges that can be debated separately in the Senate (thus maximizing the chances of at least one succeeding), or some other dispute with how the article of impeachment is written.
  • Against House impeachment more broadly: Trump's term is so close to ending that we won't be able to convict him in time.
  • Against House impeachment: Acquittal in the Senate is a foregone conclusion, rendering impeachment a pointless waste of time.
  • Against both impeachment and conviction: We should instead invoke Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment to bar Trump from office.
    • This procedure only requires a simple majority in the Senate, rather than a 2/3 supermajority, making the effort more likely to succeed.
    • The Fourteenth Amendment references giving aid or comfort to insurrectionists, which is easier to prove than incitement and also more relevant to the situation.
      • Trump saying, "We love you, you're very special" is unambiguously giving comfort to insurrectionists, making this an open and shut case.
      • The procedural argument of "Trump's no longer president" against Senate conviction couldn't possibly apply here, as former officials are very much included in the amendment.
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Squirrel Combat

He should be banished! And deported to a country where he's widely hated and would in all likelihood be stoned to death.

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nutterwithasolderingiron

the only arguments you COULD reasonably make is. 

1. he never explicitly told them to storm the capitol building (even if he used his cult of personality to work people up to the point where they felt like that was the correct course of action) 

2. the result of him being impeached could further drive a wedge in splitting the nation. 

 

personally, i think both answers wouldn't hold a lot of weight. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, Ace Of Dragons said:

I do not understand why they would bother impeaching him, he was on his way out anyway. It seems like a waste of time, money and resources to me.

You impeach because he was part of trying to end our democracy.  It was planned long before Jan 6th.  Also, to keep him from ever running for president again.

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38 minutes ago, nutterwithasolderingiron said:

the only arguments you COULD reasonably make is. 

1. he never explicitly told them to storm the capitol building (even if he used his cult of personality to work people up to the point where they felt like that was the correct course of action) 

2. the result of him being impeached could further drive a wedge in splitting the nation. 

 

personally, i think both answers wouldn't hold a lot of weight. 

 

 

A mob boss never says go kill XXX.  He saws take care of this problem for me.  The end result and mob code is all the same.

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Perspektiv
18 minutes ago, Nick2 said:

  He saws take care of this problem for me.

Which heavily implies murder should be committed and a "permanent removal" of the problem.

 

"Take care of the problem, but please--do not kill or harm him", completely changes the statement and desired scope of work to be performed.

 

Trump did say "fight like hell", but he also did state that a "peaceful protest" should occur. He made that point clear. People can paint the narrative all they wish, but he made his point clear. Stating he did not, is essentially blaming the bible for wars, even though the bible clearly doesn't state any of this. People misinterpret it, all the time.

 

Many of the "points" brought up by democrats in their video, were doctored. In a court of law, this tampering with evidence, is illegal. I.E showing tweets of his which had dates removed, but if you did your research saw a 2019 date stamp or earlier on them.

 

This is like Trump showing a video of Pelosi talking about her ice cream stash in her refrigerator, to drive home the point that she doesn't care about families that have nothing to eat (in an attack video he actually gave a green light to).

 

Its underhanded, as is out of context, and odds are, Trump's refrigerator is gold plated, adding to the fact that he likely cares even less. Plus it makes him look like he's 5 years old, and not in his 70's and running a country. The fact that Democrats took a page of this book to try to drum up sympathy points, is sad.

 

This had nothing to do with justice, and everything to do with a bone to pick with Trump by people like Pelosi.

 

If this was lawful, they would have stuck to facts and nothing but. Evidence, and nothing but. Facts speak for themselves. The fact they had to doctor part of their presentation, showcased they didn't have much to speak about.

 

Did Trump deserve to be charged for his implication in the Capitol fiasco? Absolutely.

 

However, the means used to do so, were clearly political and had nothing to do with any justice being desired.

 

With that in mind, this to me, was a waste of tax payer dollars for nothing. To get the last word, but with zero substance to it. Way to go, Pelosi. Trump is 5, and you're 12.

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nanogretchen4

Do you have to find a legal or ethical reason, or can you use a strategic argument like wasting time at the beginning of Biden's term?

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Unleash the Echidnas

Is the requirement to argue Trump should never have been impeached or that he should not have been impeached for insurrection?

 

If it's the latter you could argue the second impeachment should not have occurred because Trump should have been convicted in the first impeachment. 

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AspieAlly613

Here's how I see it:

 

It wasn't specifically President Trump's rhetoric on January 5th or January 6th that were the issue.  (His statements on those two days can be compared to Democrats' statements in June encouraging/supporting protests against the killing of George Floyd.)  The bigger deal was that he was primarily responsible for the conspiracy theory that the election results were faked.

 

The question is now "to what extent can conspiracy theorists be punished for the actions of their followers?"

 

I haven't looked into legal precedent on the matter.

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GingerRose
On 2/20/2021 at 3:01 PM, Marrow_ said:

viewpoint.

Probably the best place would be to look at his follower's websites and media. And the people who voted against his conviction and what their reasons were. For me, it's very easy to see why he should have been impeached and convicted. Not because I am liberal though, but because of literal betrayal to our government.

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Epic Tetus
On 2/20/2021 at 4:01 PM, Marrow_ said:

I have to argue against Trump being impeached for debate club and I am not sure how to defend this viewpoint.

What kind of debate? I have a little experience with Lincoln-Douglas - sometimes the most reasonable way to argue for or against a given resolution is to, how shall I say, "creatively interrogate" the precise language used in the resolution itself. If your club is a little less formal than that, working in a similar matter may help - unless your coach/advisor has a dim view of that kind of thing and wants to see a strict argument on the merits (Always ask your judge for their paradigm!).

 

On 2/20/2021 at 9:16 PM, nanogretchen4 said:

Do you have to find a legal or ethical reason, or can you use a strategic argument like wasting time at the beginning of Biden's term?

This is definitely along the lines I'd recommend, or go for a procedural argument like McConnell actually used: that impeaching a president who is no longer in office is nonsensical. If you wanted to get a little spicy, you could argue that the MOST important thing in the round is that Trump be held criminally liable for incitement, and that the problem with impeaching is that it would give the illusion that justice had been served. By not impeaching, we focus the public's ire into the more important goal of holding him accountable in criminal court. If you can find some sources that agree with that line of thought, you'll have the advantage of turning pretty much all your opponent's evidence of harm done by Trump against them, as any evidence showing his guilt just makes it more important that he's convicted in criminal court.

 

Assuming you can get any kind of advocate for that position, the only real thing you'd have to watch out for would be the issue of him being barred from re-election, so you might want to look and see if anyone has written anything on criminal convictions and their impact on electability.

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On 2/20/2021 at 3:01 PM, Marrow_ said:

I have to argue against Trump being impeached for debate club and I am not sure how to defend this viewpoint.

Let us know how it goes.

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