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Agent Specification

Should the aff specify their agent?  

824 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the aff specify their agent?

    • definitely
      325
    • no way
      209
    • if they can get away with it, no
      290


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Why would saying that the USFG is one of the three branches exclude the other two? If you stick a scooper in a carton of Neopolitan ice cream you get either vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry.

 

Quick question: what would be an example of a case that uses plenary powers as an agent (or as a means by which an agent asserts authority). Doesn't plenary powers mean absolute control over a particular area of the law, for example, the USFG has plenary powers over interstate commerse as provided for by the commerce clause?

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I think that affs should be able to explain, if not by the 1AC plan, then with 1AC cross-ex, how the plan is to be implemented. Pick a branch of government, or a governmental agency - you don't have to get it down to the molecular level.

 

You can say 'by normal means' I suppose, but then I think the negative has the right to theorize how 'normal means' is likely to occur.

 

I think that in generaly, debaters would be wise to make sure that they have specific cards suggesting that their agent of choice is the most appropriate agent for the enactment of their plan. This might be the most important research duty of an affirmative.

 

agreed

cx checks

This should apply only to those who spec; even so, agreed.

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Why would saying that the USFG is one of the three branches exclude the other two? If you stick a scooper in a carton of Neopolitan ice cream you get either vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry.

 

if you define ice cream as chocolate ice cream, that means vanilla and strawberry are NOT ice cream. you would not believe how many times i see debaters interpret the USFG as "one of the three branches." ridiculous.

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I've often mused about what might happen if we tried changing the language of rezzes just slightly to account for this silly argument. What about saying "Resolved: that a branch of the United States federal government should..."? Does anyone think that might help?

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that would just spawn new dumb procedurals.
I'm okay with that. I'm tired of the dumb old ones... ;)

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it would also make most resolutions incapable of allowing a realistic view of policy formulation. unless you just want all the kids to learn a lot about executive function, we should just continue to teach the children to spec their agent.

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it would also make most resolutions incapable of allowing a realistic view of policy formulation.
How? What is unrealistic about having the resolution state explicitly that "a branch" of the USFG should do X? What is unrealistic about leaving Aff the choice of which branch to use (and the responsibility for defending that choice)? Frankly, I'm so tired of the whole "USFG = all three branches" nonsense (from BOTH sides of the issue), that there's almost nothing I'm not willing to try to get rid of the argument altogether... ;)

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How? What is unrealistic about having the resolution state explicitly that "a branch" of the USFG should do X? What is unrealistic about leaving Aff the choice of which branch to use (and the responsibility for defending that choice)? Frankly, I'm so tired of the whole "USFG = all three branches" nonsense (from BOTH sides of the issue), that there's almost nothing I'm not willing to try to get rid of the argument altogether... ;)

 

Because no branch of the government can act to create policy solely on its own, save the executive, and even then the executive can't fund its own policies.

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that's essentially my argument too.

 

but, i will point out that plenty of resolutions have not used the USFG as the resolutional actor. however, i can think of only one which used a single branch of the USFG instead.

 

(NDT 1952-53) resolved that the congress of the united states should enact a compulsory fair employment practices law.

 

this is not to say that acceptable resolutions can't be written in a comparative framework to this one. however, writing a resolution wherein an affirmative gets to select a single branch of government to do something all by its lonesome seems to do an end-run around education about how the policy process actually works. i admire your objective, i just think your solution is more ungainly than the problem itself.

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I say they have to say USFG or a specific part no matter what. It's a time suck strategy in the CX period and then its abusive to neg ground.

 

 

time suck in cross-x? double bind--either a) it's crucial enough to neg ground to ask in cross-x or B) it's not and you don't have to ask.

 

plus sucking cross-x time is a goal of the game--teams are taught to ramble strategically to waste cross-x. i mean i know i was. :)

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time suck in cross-x? double bind--either a) it's crucial enough to neg ground to ask in cross-x or B) it's not and you don't have to ask.

 

plus sucking cross-x time is a goal of the game--teams are taught to ramble strategically to waste cross-x. i mean i know i was. :)

 

1) Cross-x isn't binding

2) There is no reason not to have your Agent in the plan text, O-Spec is a significantly easier argument to beat than A-Spec.

3) Counterplans still won't be textually competitive

4) Trades off with our ability to ask you more important questions rather than try and squeeze an agent concession out of you.

5) If people are willing to actually go for A-Spec they will run it as a T argument, and not a 15 second theory shell. You have to look at the plan text in a vacuum for determining topicality. Even if Cross-X can solve our abuse arguments it can't make you topical.

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1) Cross-x isn't binding
Of course it is. There is no license to lie your ass off in CX. If CX isn't binding, why would anyone ever give a truthful response to a question?
2) There is no reason not to have your Agent in the plan text
Sure there is. We don't want to. Write your own damn plan, and let us write ours, please... ;)
3) Counterplans still won't be textually competitive
Neg is not automatically entitled to agent counterplan ground...
4) Trades off with our ability to ask you more important questions rather than try and squeeze an agent concession out of you.
Cry me a river. Seriously, do you actually whine this much in rounds?
5) If people are willing to actually go for A-Spec they will run it as a T argument, and not a 15 second theory shell. You have to look at the plan text in a vacuum for determining topicality. Even if Cross-X can solve our abuse arguments it can't make you topical.
I will argue that plan is topical on-face, whether I satisfy your lust for precise agency or not... ;)

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I think aspec is legit all the time. But for people who argue there is no resolutional basis, I think that good negs should be arguing that a policy requires an agency to implement it, and on topics that ask for a policy, you should deifnitely be specing.

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Of course it is. There is no license to lie your ass off in CX. If CX isn't binding, why would anyone ever give a truthful response to a question?

There's no mechanism for enforcing cross-x, judges don't flow it.. Even if it is binding, teams will do nothing but waist our time in it. That interpretation of how you evaluate T justifies people having their plan text be "Plan, Just Ask us about it"

Sure there is. We don't want to. Write your own damn plan, and let us write ours, please...

There is no reason to keep the plan vague, the 1NC is <however long the shell takes> minutes/seconds of offense as to why it should be in the plan text. Thats the equivalent of saying "we don't have to be topical because we don't want to. It still offsets neg prep time during the 1AC.

 

;)Neg is not automatically entitled to agent counterplan ground...

 

1) If you don't like agent counterplans then beat the argument, there is no reason to deny our ground.

2) Agent Counterplans Good..

 

Cry me a river. Seriously, do you actually whine this much in rounds?

No less than anyone that goes for T..

 

I will argue that plan is topical on-face, whether I satisfy your lust for precise agency or not... ;)

 

Not under the words federal government, policy, or Resolved.

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There's no mechanism for enforcing cross-x, judges don't flow it.
Some do. And if you draw attention to a discrepancy, any judge that was paying attention during CX will give your argument some weight. If your judges are ignoring what gets said in CX, that's a bigger problem than anything we're discussing here... ;)
Even if it is binding, teams will do nothing but waist our time in it.
Learn how to ask questions that don't give them that opportunity. It ain't rocket science...
That interpretation of how you evaluate T justifies people having their plan text be "Plan, Just Ask us about it"
Um, no. Your position is that something critically important is missing from plan as presented in the 1AC. If you want me to vote on it, you need to make an attempt to set the argument up with your CX of the 1AC...
There is no reason to keep the plan vague
You say "vague," I say "concise"... ;)
the 1NC is <however long the shell takes> minutes/seconds of offense as to why it should be in the plan text.
Rock on. None of that will impress me if you didn't try to clarify in CX.
Thats the equivalent of saying "we don't have to be topical because we don't want to.
Actually, it is the equivalent of saying "plan is topical on-face until proven otherwise." There is no burden on 1AC to prove they're topical...
It still offsets neg prep time during the 1AC.
Yawn. So?
1) If you don't like agent counterplans then beat the argument, there is no reason to deny our ground.
There's a very good reason, to wit: You haven't established a theoretical basis for your claim that you are entitled to that ground. We'll be happy to explain why you aren't if you make an issue out of it in the round, but in the meantime you can't just assert that agent counterplan ground should be guaranteed to you. You need warrants...
Not under the words federal government, policy, or Resolved.
All of those claims can be debated, of course. That isn't relevant to the issue of whether there is an Affirmative duty to specify agency beyond the minimum language required by the resolution itself...
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Some do. And if you draw attention to a discrepancy, any judge that was paying attention during CX will give your argument some weight. If your judges are ignoring what gets said in CX, that's a bigger problem than anything we're discussing here

 

This is probably true, however, If the neg wins competing interpretations or a jurisdictional (i know..) voting issue the bindingness of cross-examination has no effect in the round.

 

Um, no. Your position is that something critically important is missing from plan as presented in the 1AC. If you want me to vote on it, you need to make an attempt to set the argument up with your CX of the 1AC...

 

Anyone that actually plans on making a developed Agent Specification argument in the 1NC/the rest of the debate will ask what the agent is in the 1AC. Determining whether or not the plan is topical is determined through an evaluation of the plan text in a vacuum, not by your answer to a question in cross-examination. You are grouping all A-Spec arguments into a single undeveloped theory argument.

 

You say "vague," I say "concise"

 

Adding "Specifically Congress/Supreme Court/Executive" (one of the three) won't make your plan text not concise. If you have literature supporting an agent, putting it in your plan text doesn't do anything negative to you. At worst it save you from having to answer A-Spec.

 

Rock on. None of that will impress me if you didn't try to clarify in CX.

 

I'm not advocating not asking questions in cross-x, I am just saying that specifying in cross-x doesn't make you topical.

 

Actually, it is the equivalent of saying "plan is topical on-face until proven otherwise." There is no burden on 1AC to prove they're topical...

 

Right...and the neg will prove that you aren't, just because its topical in the 1AC doesn't make the aff topical.

 

There's a very good reason, to wit: You haven't established a theoretical basis for your claim that you are entitled to that ground. We'll be happy to explain why you aren't if you make an issue out of it in the round, but in the meantime you can't just assert that agent counterplan ground should be guaranteed to you. You need warrants...

 

Your probably right, I do need warrants as to why the negative gets agent counterplans. But thats a different debate to be had. Just to throw things out there, the negative doesn't just lose agent counterplan ground. There's branch specific disadvantages, solvency arguments etc...Elmore in 80 answers this argument.

 

All of those claims can be debated, of course. That isn't relevant to the issue of whether there is an Affirmative duty to specify agency beyond the minimum language required by the resolution itself

 

Our definitions indicate that its a forced choice, it is your duty me.

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This is probably true, however, If the neg wins competing interpretations or a jurisdictional (i know..) voting issue the bindingness of cross-examination has no effect in the round.
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here. All I'm saying about CX periods is that you can hold an opponent accountable for what they say during those periods. The stuff about competing interpretations/jurisdictions isn't relevant to the question of whether CX answers are part of the debate...
Determining whether or not the plan is topical is determined through an evaluation of the plan text in a vacuum, not by your answer to a question in cross-examination.
I disagree. If there is doubt about the legitimacy of Affplan, answers to direct questions about it in CX are VERY relevant to adjudicating the issue...
You are grouping all A-Spec arguments into a single undeveloped theory argument.
"Undeveloped"? What is "undeveloped" about it? Affirmative is under no obligation to be MORE specific about agency than the wording of the resolution requires. I've given plenty of warrants for that claim. It is the ASPEC defenders whose position is "undeveloped," since it amounts to little more than repetitions of unwarranted claims about what Negative is "entitled to."
Adding "Specifically Congress/Supreme Court/Executive" (one of the three) won't make your plan text not concise. If you have literature supporting an agent, putting it in your plan text doesn't do anything negative to you. At worst it save you from having to answer A-Spec.
Let's be clear: I have no emotional investment in whether Affs do or do not spec in excess of what the resolutional language imposes on them. If they choose to spec further, more power to them. What is being discussed here, however, is the theoretical basis for Neg's position. That some Affs do X is not a reason for Neg to claim that all Affs must do it or face defeat...
I'm not advocating not asking questions in cross-x, I am just saying that specifying in cross-x doesn't make you topical.
This is the whole "it has to be typed on the paper" argument, which is just silly...
Right...and the neg will prove that you aren't, just because its topical in the 1AC doesn't make the aff topical.
I don't think you quite grasp what I'm saying. I'm saying that Topicality is the only issue where presumption cuts in favor of Affirmative. And, I'm sorry, but "they didn't give us any agent CP ground" isn't enough to overcome that presumption...
Elmore in 80 answers this argument.
Not even close. I've line-by-lined that particular quote before on this website, so I'm not going to do it again, but that wretched piece of "evidence" ought to be put out to pasture... ;)
Our definitions indicate that its a forced choice, it is your duty me.
Your self-serving definitions impose no duty upon me. Neg's strategy is to define Aff out of the debate, so its definitions must pass strict scrutiny...and they don't.

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I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here. All I'm saying about CX periods is that you can hold an opponent accountable for what they say during those periods. The stuff about competing interpretations/jurisdictions isn't relevant to the question of whether CX answers are part of the debate...

 

I'm sort of confused now..I was agreeing with you.. All I'm saying is that CX doesn't make you topical.

 

I disagree. If there is doubt about the legitimacy of Affplan, answers to direct questions about it in CX are VERY relevant to adjudicating the issue...

 

The answers, however, still don't make the aff topical if we win our interpretation. I am not advocating not asking questions about the legitimacy of the aff plan, but specifying your agent in cross-examination doesn't change the fact that it isn't in your plan text which in a T debate, should be evaluated in a vacuum.

 

"Undeveloped"? What is "undeveloped" about it? Affirmative is under no obligation to be MORE specific about agency than the wording of the resolution requires. I've given plenty of warrants for that claim. It is the ASPEC defenders whose position is "undeveloped," since it amounts to little more than repetitions of unwarranted claims about what Negative is "entitled to."

 

When I said undeveloped I mean the 15 second theory arguments that don't actually define words in the resolution. I wasn't calling the affirmative's position undeveloped.

 

I don't think you quite grasp what I'm saying. I'm saying that Topicality is the only issue where presumption cuts in favor of Affirmative. And, I'm sorry, but "they didn't give us any agent CP ground" isn't enough to overcome that presumption...

 

You should try "They are not topical, you evaluate T through competing interpretations."

 

Not even close. I've line-by-lined that particular quote before on this website, so I'm not going to do it again, but that wretched piece of "evidence" ought to be put out to pasture... wink.gif

 

Elmore is only one Card on the issue, you still didn't address the warrants to the ground loss arguments.

 

Your self-serving definitions impose no duty upon me. Neg's strategy is to define Aff out of the debate, so its definitions must pass strict scrutiny...and they don't.

 

Because you've seen my A-Spec Shell? Our definitions are from the Dictionary of Politics and Law Professors.

 

They only don't pass strict scrutiny because you have extreme unwillingness to vote for topicality arguments. Even if you don't like our definitions, we'll most likely win that the aff's definitions are worse.

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There's a lot of confusion here, so let me see if I can clean some of it up...

I'm sort of confused now..I was agreeing with you.. All I'm saying is that CX doesn't make you topical.
No, it doesn't. But basing your T violation on something that could be cleared up in CX is pretty weak, in my opinion. That's all I'm saying. My point was intended to answer back the claims that "CX isn't binding," which is a pretty silly point to try to win...
The answers, however, still don't make the aff topical if we win our interpretation.
Your interpretation of what? How does your "interpretation" have anything to do with what Aff's obligations are with regard to agency?
I am not advocating not asking questions about the legitimacy of the aff plan, but specifying your agent in cross-examination doesn't change the fact that it isn't in your plan text which in a T debate, should be evaluated in a vacuum.
Fine. When you evaluate the original plan text "in a vacuum" (whatever you mean by that), you're going to have to convince that the REST of the plan's text doesn't make clear how the resolutional action will be taken, and by whom...
You should try "They are not topical, you evaluate T through competing interpretations."
Well, I would except for the fact that I'm currently disemboweling the "competing interpretations" argument (again) in another thread... ;)
Elmore is only one Card on the issue, you still didn't address the warrants to the ground loss arguments.
That's because there aren't any, other than the usual claims of Neg entitlement. Give me some warrants, I'll give you some answers (or, you could use Search to find the ones I have already posted over the years)...
Because you've seen my A-Spec Shell? Our definitions are from the Dictionary of Politics and Law Professors.
Not the point. Well, okay, hang on a sec...I'm almost certain they're beside the point, but go ahead and put one up so I can be sure... ;)
They only don't pass strict scrutiny because you have extreme unwillingness to vote for topicality arguments.
Dude, I'm the most T-friendly judge you're ever going to find (I don't allow my teams to run anything BUT topicality if they think they have a good violation to attack). Trouble is, everyones' heads are so full of the weak-ass T arguments you hear all the time that no one really knows how (or when) to run a good one...
Even if you don't like our definitions, we'll most likely win that the aff's definitions are worse.
It isn't a question of whose definitions are "better." It is a question of whether Neg has any theoretical grounding for their claim that they have a RIGHT to run the position absent any showing of their being competitively hindered...

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there is no reason to specify on this topic. If the literature has agent specific jusitications for plans, such as the civil liberties topic, then the aff absolutely has to specify.

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