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Politics and Fiat

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your interpretation doesn't just exclude politics disads. it excludes relations disads, tradeoff disads, and pretty much every other disad that isn't linked entirely from the plan solving. if a plan just exists, it can't be the trigger that angers another country, upsets or appeases a movement, or throws off the balance of federalism.

 

and, another part of my argument dealt with having evidence that describes how the process would go down. if i had cards that said every time alternative energy is funded that NASA funding was cut, i think that is different than me just asserting it. if i had cards that said obama needed capital to pass the stimulus and that alternative energy policies would take his capital away, i don't think i am unfairly and arbitrarily deciding how the plan was passed. the affirmative could read evidence to the contrary, and the through their analysis of the evidence the debaters would flesh out the most probable direction of the link.

 

saying the aff (or the neg) has the right to arbitrarily define things is the problem. just like a topicality debate, the debaters have to provide an interpretation of fiat and defend it.

 

also, your scenario about time frame in my mind is defensible if aff (or neg) has cards that speak to when the plan may pass in relation to the stimulus or other legislation. many a round, i am sure, has revolved around some sort of "bottom of the docket" argument.

 

see my post for clarification on why neither team can describe how plan is 'passed'. in a fiat world, plan simply exists. there cant be any other interpretation - all other interpretations justify the affirmative's right to define plan text to exclude negative arguments.

 

debaters and coaches alike often misinterpret my point to be an unbalancing act for the affirmative. they are wrong. its to preserve the negative's ability to run time-sensitive, specific scenarios to the affirmative plan. to prevent the affirmative from abusing the negative, you need to limit what can and cannot be determined. if you can make claims like 51/49 then you can also make the claim that plan passes the second after/before stimulus bill thus negating the disad. there is ZERO reason why the first is legitimate (51/49) and timeframe is not. they are two different facets of the same class of arguments - the aff's right to define who, what, where and when plan does whatever it does.

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your interpretation doesn't just exclude politics disads. it excludes relations disads, tradeoff disads, and pretty much every other disad that isn't linked entirely from the plan solving. if a plan just exists, it can't be the trigger that angers another country, upsets or appeases a movement, or throws off the balance of federalism.
Not true. You can link any of those - including politics - to plan enforcement. It just takes more specific evidence than "Obama's pocap needed to pass AE policies." Something like, "American commitment to nuclear power gives pocap to senator X" would be a completely legitimate politics link under Ankur's and my, and a large number of older judges', interpretations of fiat.

 

and, another part of my argument dealt with having evidence that describes how the process would go down. if i had cards that said every time alternative energy is funded that NASA funding was cut, i think that is different than me just asserting it. if i had cards that said obama needed capital to pass the stimulus and that alternative energy policies would take his capital away, i don't think i am unfairly and arbitrarily deciding how the plan was passed. the affirmative could read evidence to the contrary, and the through their analysis of the evidence the debaters would flesh out the most probable direction of the link.
Your tradeoff is safe, but your interp is still wrong. Because the plan happens outside the political process we see today, the last spending bill congress passed is still in force. We don't magically go back in time and change it. All fiat does is create a new policy and guarantee it funding. If you have evidence saying the tradeoff will occur, then it occurs at the point where the plan becomes policy, not before. In a world where the plan does not yet exist (during passage of a policy) the link can't occur. So spending trade-offs, with good specific evidence, are some of the safest links you'll ever find.

 

saying the aff (or the neg) has the right to arbitrarily define things is the problem. just like a topicality debate, the debaters have to provide an interpretation of fiat and defend it.
Go back and re-read the thread. Fiat as it is misunderstood today is far more arbitrary than the interp of which Ankur and I speak.

 

also, your scenario about time frame in my mind is defensible if aff (or neg) has cards that speak to when the plan may pass in relation to the stimulus or other legislation. many a round, i am sure, has revolved around some sort of "bottom of the docket" argument.
And these kinds of debates, along with "plan won't pass," are why fiat is important. What the hell do you learn debating about a hypothetical timeframe of legislation?? Really.

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your interpretation doesn't just exclude politics disads. it excludes relations disads, tradeoff disads, and pretty much every other disad that isn't linked entirely from the plan solving. if a plan just exists, it can't be the trigger that angers another country, upsets or appeases a movement, or throws off the balance of federalism.

 

and, another part of my argument dealt with having evidence that describes how the process would go down. if i had cards that said every time alternative energy is funded that NASA funding was cut, i think that is different than me just asserting it. if i had cards that said obama needed capital to pass the stimulus and that alternative energy policies would take his capital away, i don't think i am unfairly and arbitrarily deciding how the plan was passed. the affirmative could read evidence to the contrary, and the through their analysis of the evidence the debaters would flesh out the most probable direction of the link.

 

saying the aff (or the neg) has the right to arbitrarily define things is the problem. just like a topicality debate, the debaters have to provide an interpretation of fiat and defend it.

 

also, your scenario about time frame in my mind is defensible if aff (or neg) has cards that speak to when the plan may pass in relation to the stimulus or other legislation. many a round, i am sure, has revolved around some sort of "bottom of the docket" argument.

 

as brett mentions, my interpretation doesnt exclude the arguments you are talking about - only arguments which are derived from the act of plan passage, i.e. making of policy, not the policy itself.

 

the problem with allowing such disads is that it is entirely arbitrary to allow some and exclude others. there is no reason that it can be expected of the aff to defend such arguments because once you open the door to one, you open the door to all, and that includes questions of whether you want to open an extra federal government office in boise idaho to monitor the placement of new hydroelectric dams in the snake river region. might sound a little absurd, but the justification of such argument is identical to that of pol-cap.

 

and as usual, you fail to see what the purpose of a narrow view of fiat does. it emphasizes the implications of plan (not the criticism of policymaking) while preserving the negative's ability to do so. in a world without my interp, there is no reason why the aff cant say "plan passes after china and the US become buddies. so china doesnt get pissed off by plan. disad loses."

 

my interp HELPS the neg, not hurts it.

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*rolls eyes* Well, then, what do you call the "process" - pre or post fiat?

Also, Tommy, you have a decently different interpretation of fiat than the rest of the people in this thread. And if you're going to say that plan enforcement can be done without the plan actually being in place through bill -> law means, then I see some neg rep coming...

 

don't you roll your eyes at me. you are the minority in this discussion...

 

i have no idea how my view of fiat is different than bretts or ankurs - as i've said countless times that you haven't read: fiat means we debate a world in which plan is enforced, not simply passed.

 

You also are missing the point - we don't debate a world in which we focus on which law's plan would be enforced through - enforcement is a non-competitive position.

 

 

EDIT: What "signed into law" means doesn't exactly matter. It is the idea that the USfg had this plan put into effect. I have no idea how the resolution does not indicate that.

 

apik phale?

 

your wording is exactly what we are saying is stupid -

 

'how is plan put into effect' is a non-issue. it's the same as 'what color pen does Obama use'. THOSE are process arguments. THOSE arguments are non-sequitar to the resolution and should not be discussed.

 

what's your resolutional basis for these arguments anyhow?

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don't you roll your eyes at me. you are the minority in this discussion...

 

'how is plan put into effect' is a non-issue. it's the same as 'what color pen does Obama use'. THOSE are process arguments. THOSE arguments are non-sequitar to the resolution and should not be discussed.

 

what's your resolutional basis for these arguments anyhow?

 

1) The majority is not always right. You promote Nazism.

2) It's exactly your misinterpretation that is screwing it all up: it's not "HOW the plan is put into effect" it's "THAT it's put into effect." Verizon Wireless company much.

3) "The United States federal government should..."

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1) The majority is not always right. You promote Nazism.

 

A. This is not a question of aesthetics or politics, simply of basic debate understanding.

B. Hitler built roads

 

2) It's exactly your misinterpretation that is screwing it all up: it's not "HOW the plan is put into effect" it's "THAT it's put into effect." Verizon Wireless company much.

It's not even that. The question that should arise is 'BECAUSE its put into effect'.

 

3) "The United States federal government should..."

 

Should =/= fiat.

 

Even at that -

 

should means 'must or ought'. politics dis-ads don't debate about the question of process, not the question of 'must'.

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1: argumentum ad hitlerum. You lose.

2:Not debatable: how plan is put into effect.

Debatable: effects of the plan in effect.

3: Your interp means the res should be "The USfg should pass a plan to..."

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This discussion seems irrelevant to me. Their generic applicability means that politics disads won't go away any time soon. And it's probably a good thing, cause we get to talk about cooler bills than the current topic, and keep up with current events, especially smaller bills that are equally relevant as the resolution. It's not just a coincidence that Congressional Digest often has articles related to politics disads...

 

While I agree that politics disads might not make sense, and fiat might limit them depending on interpretation, the argument that such interpretations lead to solvency attacks is laughable. I'm glad to see it's dropped out of this thread.

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This discussion seems irrelevant to me. Their generic applicability means that politics disads won't go away any time soon. And it's probably a good thing, cause we get to talk about cooler bills than the current topic, and keep up with current events, especially smaller bills that are equally relevant as the resolution. It's not just a coincidence that Congressional Digest often has articles related to politics disads...

 

While I agree that politics disads might not make sense, and fiat might limit them depending on interpretation, the argument that such interpretations lead to solvency attacks is laughable. I'm glad to see it's dropped out of this thread.

I don't think anyone made that argument. The actual argument is: The same logical construct leads to both arguments. Only if you accept that passage of plan is an acceptable target can passage based politics be run. The whole idea of fiat was to take passage off the table. Putting it back on so negative can have one generic, mutable and unpredictable argument is not consistent with reason, not to mention fair play.

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This is an easy one: it's obviously a defensive answer (solvency mitigation) so, assuming there's nothing else in the round, you'd vote aff for any risk of solving Harms. Yes, I would still consider it because the aff should have said something along the lines of "Are you f'ing kidding me? This has zero impact on our case." at which point I could legitimately disregard it based on what happened IN THE ROUND rather than my personal opinions of what is and is not "legit".
But, IN THE ROUND the aff didn’t point out it was only defensive. Some (not me) would argue a dropped solvency argument means that the argument is 100% conceded and thus there is 0% chance of solvency. If the plan doesn’t solve you would still vote on it? And my point is, the negative will still say that you intervened by making ANY argument to disregard the argument. In the round, there was no ink on the aff flow for the neg to respond to and blow up into a voter.

 

You may as well tell the kids "Look, we might be able to save an hour and a half if you just tell me what you were about to run and I'll tell you whether I'd ever be willing to vote for it!"
I’ve totally had that thought! There is no worse feeling than listening to a 1AC and realizing you are wasting 1.5 hours that I could be with my dog, cleaning my house, or getting a colonoscopy (all of which would be preferential). I’ve absolutely had the thought while listening to a 1AC and thinking, “this case is so untopical that if the neg even says the word topicality I’m voting on it” and then thinking, “I’m wasting an hour and a half because these dufusses wanted to be cute and squirrelly.” I’ve had the thought, “This neg argument is so ridiculous and lacks logic so much that all the aff has to say is it is stupid and that will be enough for me, maybe to even do a r.v.i.” Shouldn’t teams be accountable for saying stupid crap?

 

At a minimum, you'd have to show up to the round with a comprehensive list of what you believe is topical to hand out to the debaters…..Are you going to let the Debaters go for an hour and a half before you tell them they've wasted everyone's time? To me, at least, the only right answer is to treat what's said in round as truth. If something's a lie, a case is non-t or a team is abusing fiat, then it's up to the other team to point it out.
I kinda do. Since I would consider myself on the extreme of judgmental as a judge I have a very spelled out paradigm sheet that I encourage the kids to adapt to.

 

Aren’t you always wasting everyone’s time when you vote on T or theory? Aren’t you always saying, your arguments might have been true, but you violated a “rule of debate” and thus everything you said (other than your defense of the technicality) was for nothing? And I would argue it isn’t the judge who wasted everyone’s time. It is the kid who chose to run a politics D.A.’s who’s link was illegit. It was the kid who decided they couldn’t win straight up, so they wrote a squirelly aff to try to win by ambush. And yes, if I get to punish kids like that, I’ll do so every time and with great enjoyment, because they waste all of our time.

 

What ever happened to aff’s burden to be prima facia? What ever happened to Neg’s burden of rejoinder?

 

Debate is about imaginary worlds anyway (fiat) so what's the harm in letting the deabaters establish their own imaginary world to have the debate in if they happen to think the sky is red, McCain is president, and Fiat causes a vote in congress? So long as all the debaters are in agreement on the ground rules of their fake world, then who am I to intervene? If, on the other hand, they disagree about the rules of their fake world then they should say something to that effect or they deserve any negative consequences they garner from not speaking up. It is, after all, a communication-based competition!
The tough part is that I’m not only the jury deciding which side is right, I’m the judge too who has to decide if something is legal or not. And we don’t let the judge rule on “legalness” during the round so teams can adapt, no, we surprised them at the end with the judges and jury’s decision at the same time. Could you imagine the prosecution basing their entire case on a piece of evidence, then as the jury goes to deliberate the judge rules that that type of evidence is illegal? Makes for a quick jury decision, but not fair. BTW, I don’t have a solution for this conundrum…yet.

 

By the way: I am a BIG fan of using disclosure after the round as well as the extra space on the ballot to communicate what I liked, didn't like and would change about the round. This is where we, as judges, get a chance to educate debaters about what answers really weren't legit and what should be said instead which would be legit as well as what should be said to adequately explain to a judge why it's not legit and should not be voted on. I go a step farther and add my email address to every ballot as I like to let debaters get back to me and ask further questions, or get more explanation of a point or even ask for a suggestion of an answer to help out next time...
Absolutely agree!! Nothing pisses me off more than a blank ballot. Disclosure is cool to make them better during the tournament, but nothing replaces a well articulated ballot.

 

This discussion seems irrelevant to me. Their generic applicability means that politics disads won't go away any time soon. And it's probably a good thing, cause we get to talk about cooler bills than the current topic, and keep up with current events, especially smaller bills that are equally relevant as the resolution.
Ah, two of my favorite argument in one! 1st regardless of the legitimacy, competitive equity, or any other impact to your theory on why I shouldn’t run an argument, I still will because it is cooler and we get to talk about interesting stuff. 2nd, topic areas suck. I don’t care what you like or don’t like, think is cool or not cool, find interesting or not interesting, this activity is driven off of picking a specific topic area. There are lots of reasons for this. If you (not you specifically Destroyer, but the general you) can’t debate me straight up on a preset topic, then I should always be on the side of “the better debating was done by…”

 

This is also a justification for going back to the days of counter-warrents. Running specific, topical plans was supposed to get rid of that ridiculousness.

 

While I agree that politics disads might not make sense, and fiat might limit them depending on interpretation, the argument that such interpretations lead to solvency attacks is laughable. I'm glad to see it's dropped out of this thread.
I don’t think you got the analogy. It was to say if one argument that we all agree is bad could be justified with a defense of politics then that defense must be wrong because we all agree that the solvency argument is bogus.

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to say that anyone knows the "true" nature or purpose of fiat is interesting to say the least. my basic interpretation of fiat has always been that it focuses the debate on whether or not the affirmative plan should be passed as opposed to whether or not it could or would be passed. despite what many of you say political capital links justify, a disad with such a link does say that the plan should not be done. i have never seen a negative team concede a 2ac answer that the president has no capital to go for the "plan doesn't solve because it can be done, cross apply our pol cap needed for alt energy card." like i said in my earlier post, a politics disad attempts to reconstruct what might have happened during the passage of the plan. this is best and most persuasively done through evidence (the more specific, the better). so if the aff wins that obama has no political capital now, the neg link can't be true because clearly the plan was passed some other way. also, i don't want to get too far into the political science or punditry of it all, but it is possible that obama could lose political capital from enforcing the plan and not just from the arm twisting and compromising during passage. this means that what we are really talking about is whether part of the link is legit or not. so if the neg concedes that part of their link is fake but wins another part of it, you may be screwed if you bank your whole strat on "fiat takes out the link."

 

i personally think that it is unfair for the negative to not be able to leverage the status quo against the world of the affirmative. the inherency for a lot of affs is based on the political environment. i think the negative should be able to run with that by making predictions about how passing the plan might affect that environment. i am not saying that they get to decide arbitrarily how things went down (which is why i don't think politics links justify any of the absurd overspecification that Ankur talks about).

 

now to the time-frame situation. why can it not be assumed that everything that would normally happen for a bill to pass would happen if the aff plan were passed even if we assume it to be instantaneous? isn't that the most fair way of looking at things?

 

politics is a lot more nuanced and intricate than the weekly shell to a thursday file. i think you all are holding it to a much higher standard than most of the other ridiculously stupid arguments in debate.

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... also, i don't want to get too far into the political science or punditry of it all, but it is possible that obama could lose political capital from enforcing the plan and not just from the arm twisting and compromising during passage. ...
This argument would not apply at all to such a link. Politics can still be run in a world of classic fiat theory. Then links just need to be focused on enforcement rather than passage.

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my basic interpretation of fiat has always been that it focuses the debate on whether or not the affirmative plan should be passed as opposed to whether or not it could or would be passed.

 

fiat has nothing to do with that at all. fiat means let it be made. it is an assumption - an assumption that plan exists. it has never meant anything different. it never calls into question a value statement.

 

despite what many of you say political capital links justify, a disad with such a link does say that the plan should not be done. i have never seen a negative team concede a 2ac answer that the president has no capital to go for the "plan doesn't solve because it can be done, cross apply our pol cap needed for alt energy card." like i said in my earlier post, a politics disad attempts to reconstruct what might have happened during the passage of the plan. this is best and most persuasively done through evidence (the more specific, the better). so if the aff wins that obama has no political capital now, the neg link can't be true because clearly the plan was passed some other way. also, i don't want to get too far into the political science or punditry of it all, but it is possible that obama could lose political capital from enforcing the plan and not just from the arm twisting and compromising during passage. this means that what we are really talking about is whether part of the link is legit or not. so if the neg concedes that part of their link is fake but wins another part of it, you may be screwed if you bank your whole strat on "fiat takes out the link."

 

actually no. a disad minus a link is not a disad.

 

i personally think that it is unfair for the negative to not be able to leverage the status quo against the world of the affirmative. the inherency for a lot of affs is based on the political environment. i think the negative should be able to run with that by making predictions about how passing the plan might affect that environment. i am not saying that they get to decide arbitrarily how things went down (which is why i don't think politics links justify any of the absurd overspecification that Ankur talks about).

 

i might be inclined to agree on the point of inherency were it not for the fact that modern debate has long since decided that existential inherency, i.e. the absence of plan, is sufficient inherency for the affirmative.

 

but what i talk about is entirely justified. why is it permissible that we debate the merits of political process with respect to political capital, for example, without debating the other parts of political process? how does one determine what is and what isnt acceptable depth to the political process? its entirely arbitrary! the only safe way fair to all is to eliminate all. or permit all. and remember, permitting all means that the neg can run a political capital disad, but that the aff can just as easily say plan passes after X (bill, time, etc) thus rendering disad useless.

 

now to the time-frame situation. why can it not be assumed that everything that would normally happen for a bill to pass would happen if the aff plan were passed even if we assume it to be instantaneous? isn't that the most fair way of looking at things?

 

instantaneous is the only way to prevent MUTUAL VIOLATIONS.

 

secure the aff's the right to define. the neg CANNOT define when (or how) aff plan passes - its no different than the neg defining how the plan is funded or who enforces it. allowing the negative to define such is completely unacceptable in every sense of the word.

 

simultaneously, allowing the the affirmative the right to define timeframe is equally bad because it lets the aff define plan post-disad link which crushes negative's ability to debate.

 

the ONLY fair solution is to make it such that NO ONE can define specific parameters of plan - hence instantaneous.

 

if you plot instantaneous divergence on a graph, you end up with a world which has never known a world in which plan didnt exist. you physically cannot derive 'plan passage' arguments.

 

such an interp preserves the competitiveness of both teams in the round while ridding us of arguments which try and unbalance the round and allowing us to focus on the merits of policy - not the broken system of policymaking.

 

politics is a lot more nuanced and intricate than the weekly shell to a thursday file. i think you all are holding it to a much higher standard than most of the other ridiculously stupid arguments in debate.

 

i hold all arguments to the same high standards... you should see the crap i give people for non-mutually exclusive counterplans.. .and t shells where the voter is "T is a voter for ed, j and f"... as if that actually means anything different than T is a voter for purple.

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i have never seen a negative team concede a 2ac answer that the president has no capital to go for the "plan doesn't solve because it can be done, cross apply our pol cap needed for alt energy card."

 

Fail.

No one is saying it is a slippery slope. The argument is that rules must be non-arbitrary in order to make sense. Thus, fiat cannot mean simply "they don't get to say plan won't pass", because that would be arbitrary. Rather, fiat means that any argument which is like "the plan won't pass" is irrelevant.

 

That negative teams don't do what you are talking about is totally beside the point. The point is that it would make sense for them to do that.

 

Analogy that you will hopefully understand:

A neg reads three conditional counterplans.

The aff is unhappy, says multiple conditional counterplans bad, but the neg can have one conditional counterplan.

The neg response "counter-interpretation, we get 3 but not 4 conditional counterplans" is totally non-sensical. Or at least, to say that it solves any of the affirmative offense is nonsensical. Why is it nonsensical? Because once you expand beyond 1 conditional counterplan, limiting the neg to 3 is totally arbitrary. The only warrant is that they wanted to read 3. Next round they'll read 5 and say 'c/i, 5 condo CPs'.

To be at all reasonable or logical or sensical, the interpretation needs to be non-arbitrary:

 

  • There are logically consistent warrants for the neg being able to read 1 counterplan but not 2 ('counterplans good, but multiple counterplans a strat skew', that sort of thing).
  • There are logically consistent warrants for the neg reading as many counterplans as they want ("neg flex" "aff side bias" "negation theory" "best policy option", etc)
  • There are no logically consistent warrants for the neg being able to read 3 CPs but not 4 (eg, "best policy option" doesn't quantify 'best out of 4')

The neg c/i of '3 conditional CPs' is nonsensical because it is arbitrary. IE, the logic used to justify 3 conditional CPs can be used identically to justify unlimited numbers of conditional CPs.

 

Similarly, absent any concept of fiat, the logic used to justify political capital links is the the logic that would be used to justify "plan won't pass" arguments. (You accept this when you say "negative teams don't do it" rather than "there is a logical reason that negative teams can't do it".) Therefore, for fiat to be logical, it must either allow both sets of arguments or disallow both sets of arguments.

Edited by meanmedianmode
to add words in blue text

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Not to be piling on this post, but...

like i said in my earlier post, a politics disad attempts to reconstruct what might have happened during the passage of the plan. this is best and most persuasively done through evidence (the more specific, the better). so if the aff wins that obama has no political capital now, the neg link can't be true because clearly the plan was passed some other way.

 

i think the negative should be able to run with that by making predictions about how passing the plan might affect that environment. i am not saying that they get to decide arbitrarily how things went down (which is why i don't think politics links justify any of the absurd overspecification that Ankur talks about).

If the neg gets to speculate about how the aff was passed, but that can change based on non-unique evidence presented in the 2AC, how is that not arbitrarily deciding how things went down?

 

To repeat what others have said, what is the difference between specifying that Obama used political capital or that any individual member of Congress pushed the bill? Or in specifying who voted for or against? Why can't the 2AC (or even 1AC) specify that the plan passed over a veto, so no politics link? All is ridiculous, and none should be allowed.

 

now to the time-frame situation. why can it not be assumed that everything that would normally happen for a bill to pass would happen if the aff plan were passed even if we assume it to be instantaneous? isn't that the most fair way of looking at things?

There is no "normal" process for passing a bill in the real world. It could come from either chamber, with or without presidential support, with lots of publicity or none, winding through subcommittees or rammed through quickly. It could pass over committee objection, with a veto-proof majority, overriding a veto, by one vote, by VP tiebreaker, by roll call or by voice vote, with lots of abstentions, etc.

 

There is no normal time frame, especially of an Inherent plan that someone important doesn't support. And there is no normal process. Any assumption about the process is unwarranted.

 

You still have plenty of disad links. If you have evidence that Obama opposes the plan, then you can say that he is weakened as a result of passage. Or you can say that he takes credit for good ideas. Or that one party gets pissed at the other because they don't like a policy. Anything that happens as a result of the policy is great. Anything that happens based on how the policy is passed is out of line, and always arbitrary.

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If you have evidence that Obama would push the plan and that the plan would be a fight in Congress that hurts political capital, it's absurd to simply ignore that. Two years ago the draft aff was topical - one of the big arguments in the literature against the draft was that even if it was a good idea, it would be political suicide for all involved because the draft is so controversial.

 

The fact that so much literature exists for the politics disad proves that one of the considerations of Congresspeople when discussing bills is the political process; in fact there is tons of evidence that discusses how Presidents calculated and decided not to push for X bill specifically because they don't have the political capital to pass X and Y, and concluded Y was more important. To ignore these calculations when determining the desirability of the plan ignores one of the more realistic objections policymakers have to policies at any given time and a large part of the negative literature.

 

It's funny, because you all seem to allow concessions disads, which make no sense because politicians never say "I can't push this because Snowe and Collins would like it and pass another bill" but they say all the time "I can't push this because it would prevent me from pushing something else more important." Links off the process are much more realistic and have a much better basis in the literature, and simply saying you can "fiat" through it hamstrings the negative by rendering what is sometimes one of the primary objections to a policy completely ineffective.

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If you have evidence that Obama would push the plan and that the plan would be a fight in Congress that hurts political capital, it's absurd to simply ignore that. Two years ago the draft aff was topical - one of the big arguments in the literature against the draft was that even if it was a good idea, it would be political suicide for all involved because the draft is so controversial.

 

The fact that so much literature exists for the politics disad proves that one of the considerations of Congresspeople when discussing bills is the political process; in fact there is tons of evidence that discusses how Presidents calculated and decided not to push for X bill specifically because they don't have the political capital to pass X and Y, and concluded Y was more important. To ignore these calculations when determining the desirability of the plan ignores one of the more realistic objections policymakers have to policies at any given time and a large part of the negative literature.

 

It's funny, because you all seem to allow concessions disads, which make no sense because politicians never say "I can't push this because Snowe and Collins would like it and pass another bill" but they say all the time "I can't push this because it would prevent me from pushing something else more important." Links off the process are much more realistic and have a much better basis in the literature, and simply saying you can "fiat" through it hamstrings the negative by rendering what is sometimes one of the primary objections to a policy completely ineffective.

Links off the process also justify "plan won't pass." This is why debating the political process of passing the aff plan isn't legitimate. That's the objection within our view of fiat.

 

But look at what happens when you apply "real world" principles to your argument in depth. If passing a plan absolutely requires political capital of the president, then the president either will decide to push the plan or not. At the end of the day, in the real world, the only way for the world to avoid the DA is for the president to not push the plan. So, if the "real world" debate is in public, the only way to avoid the DA is to impose a condition where the plan won't pass. And if it's not a real world debate, then we are debating whether a policy proposal should even be publicly discussed, making you an authoritarian. Either way, your view ends up imploding on itself.

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I went to edit my post because I was wasting some time in class so answered some of the more recent arguments but I saw I had been responded to, so I figured I would post them after.

 

brorlob's most recent argument

Wow dude, you just described debate. The only way to avoid any disad to plan action is to not pass the plan. If the only way to avoid tanking hegemony through the aff is to not pass the plan, then the judge votes negative to not pass the plan. If the aff causes the economy to collapse, obviously the way to avoid this is to not do the aff. By definition if there is a disadvantage to an aff, the aff triggers the link, and the only way to avoid it is to not do the aff. That is why it proves the plan undesirable. That's why the aff needs to actually respond to the politics disad, and prove that either

a) the plan doesn't cause the disad (doesn't cost capital (either because its popular, obama doesn't push it, its shielded, whatever), winners win, plan is a concession and that outweighs capital, capital isn't key to the disad, uniqueness overwhelms the link, disad is non-unique, the uniqueness warrants aren't affected by the link, there are a ton of ways to do this)

B) the bill the plan stops from passing is bad (impact turns are pretty fun)

c) the benefits of the aff outweigh the political consequences (which is something that Obama decided with the stimulus - this is the most real world response.)

 

Most politics disads make very little sense and are pretty stupid, but that's because every other aspect of the disad is stupid or not supported in the literature, so teams should be able to beat it on logical arguments without making theoretical arguments as to why we should completely ignore the fact that there would be political consequences to the passage of the plan.

 

Maybe I misunderstood your argument, so if you could clarify it if I did, that would be sweet.

 

at: lets you specify individual votes or veto/there is no normal process

This is an evidentiary question, the negative should have evidence that Obama would push the plan if they are going to run a political capital disad. At best, this is an argument for a stronger standard of evidence specificity or a negative burden of proof, not a reason to completely exclude political consequences of the plan

 

at: plenty of none-passage based links

These are worse links that aren't supported by the literature, plus "you can read this argument" is not a warrant for arbitrarily excluding another argument. You can read a spending link to an econ disad is not a warrant for excluding an oil prices link.

 

On the other hand, this is a reason to allow political capital links because if the debate is inevitable, you might as well have it with higher quality evidence and more realistic arguments.

 

at: logically inconsistent with fiat

Fiat is a minimum standard to overcome the inherent barrier of the aff - it assumes the plan is passed so that teams can't get up and say "this wouldn't happen" and ignore the desirability of the affirmative. Since the purpose of fiat is to shift the debate towards whether the plan is desirable, it seems logically consistent with this goal to include some of the main arguments in the literature about desirability.

 

It's also not the same logic, because the logic of political capital disads is not that the plan won't pass, its that certain actions are necessary for plan passage (such as the use of political capital). Plenty of other non-politics disads rely upon this logic. Would you exclude a spending disad because it's not possible unless we deficit spend, because the US doesn't have the money? Would you exclude a tradeoff disad, which argues the plan is not possible without a trade-off from another program? How about a constitutionality argument, because even though the plan violates the constitution, fiat overcomes that? In order for the politics disad to be inconsistent with the logic of fiat, you need a vastly expanded interpretation of "fiat," and this then excludes a plethora of other arguments which are the core of the literature in opposition to the plan.

 

There are plenty of sweet affs teams could run if political consequences and money and the law and all these other concerns weren't relevant, but they don't read those affs because there is good literature which says not to do the plan for those reasons. Taking away these core areas of negative ground means that teams will read stupid affs which no one supports in reality but make perfect sense in a world of this massive abuse of fiat that lets teams get out of every disad.

 

Furthermore, this interpretation of fiat results in stupid disads based off fiat which don't really make sense and are not legitimate objections in the literature. Sacred Cow disads, which link based off the perception that the plan is immune from budget cuts or guaranteed to pass so people throw on lots of pet projects which spend a ton of money, investors freak out at the guaranteed passage, whatever. Rider disads, which argue the guaranteed nature of the plan means lots of riders get attached. Sua Sponte disads against Court affs, which link based off "fiat" because there was no case brought to the court so it makes a decision "of its own accord." These WTO disads teams are reading, that the plan would be ruled against in the WTO and fiat guarantees it can't be rolled back or changed, so the US would then not comply which would collapse the WTO. Arguments that instantaneous appearance of a plan would freak out investors and businesses because they were unable to predict it since there was no political debate in Congress. None of these disads are legitimate objections to these proposed policies in the literature, they are constructed links based entirely off fiat, but they are the result of your interpretation which excludes politics and political consequences.

 

at: affs can make process arguments too

Sure, aff teams say the plan would be an executive order or agency action and wouldn't link to politics, or it would go to the bottom of the docket. These are evidentiary questions.

 

at: aff defines funding/enforcement, should define political process.

This is a poor analogy, funding and enforcement is mandated in a bill when it is brought to Congress, the method for passage is not. You don't see a bill that says "this legislation will be passed 61-38, Obama will veto it, and then the senate will override the veto." Evidence should define the political process because it is an effect of the introduction of the bill rather than a mandate of the bill. Affs don't get to decide "China will like the plan" if the negative reads evidence that an effect of the plan is that it would piss off China.

 

What affs can do is say the plan would be introduced as an executive order, or a Court decision, or whatever, and argue that doesn't link to politics.

 

at: fiat is instantaneous - never a world where the aff didn't exist

This argument is absurd, fiat is not a graph. Imagine the consequences on debate if other people actually accepted this nutty vision of fiat. No disad would ever make sense, because there would be no uniqueness because the plan would no longer change the status quo. There's no effect on oil prices if the plan didn't not exist before, because there is no change in market demand. If the plan would result in a shift towards multipolarity or apolarity or a shift away from capitalism, teams could never read transition wars arguments because there was never a world in which multipolarity or apolarity didn't exist.

 

If the plan simply exists, there is no policy for China to point to and say "you passing this angers us" which means teams can't read relations disads. There's nothing for other countries to model, so those disads are out. Hell, the only disads that make sense are the crazy ones with links based off fiat that I talked about above, and those are not the sort of debates we should be having

 

 

 

Good research in debate should be rewarded. Realistic discussions of the consequences of the plan are desirable. Fiat is necessary to debate about the desirability of the plan, but using it to "fiat through the link" of every good argument in the literature that explains why the plan is undesirable makes debate stupid, which is the ultimate effect of your interpretation.

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I went to edit my post because I was wasting some time in class so answered some of the more recent arguments but I saw I had been responded to, so I figured I would post them after.

 

brorlob's most recent argument

Wow dude, you just described debate. The only way to avoid any disad to plan action is to not pass the plan. If the only way to avoid tanking hegemony through the aff is to not pass the plan, then the judge votes negative to not pass the plan. If the aff causes the economy to collapse, obviously the way to avoid this is to not do the aff. By definition if there is a disadvantage to an aff, the aff triggers the link, and the only way to avoid it is to not do the aff. That is why it proves the plan undesirable. That's why the aff needs to actually respond to the politics disad, and prove that either

a) the plan doesn't cause the disad (doesn't cost capital (either because its popular, obama doesn't push it, its shielded, whatever), winners win, plan is a concession and that outweighs capital, capital isn't key to the disad, uniqueness overwhelms the link, disad is non-unique, the uniqueness warrants aren't affected by the link, there are a ton of ways to do this)

B) the bill the plan stops from passing is bad (impact turns are pretty fun)

c) the benefits of the aff outweigh the political consequences (which is something that Obama decided with the stimulus - this is the most real world response.)

The question isn't of passage - that's the whole point. If I run a case, and you wipe the floor with me by running a deficit spending DA for instance, the judge's rejection isn't about plan passage. So it's not saying "it didn't pass" but rather; "the plan's enforcement is undesirable." my view of fiat means that the debate isn't about whether the judge chooses to adopt the plan, but who does the better job demonstrating the effects (positive or negative) of that plan. Only in a world where you ask the judge to view things as in a "real world" lens does passage become key. The problem is, once you let it in, there is no theoretical justification for excluding other passage based links. It's a question of whether debate is primarily an academic or a political activity which controls the question.

 

Most politics disads make very little sense and are pretty stupid, but that's because every other aspect of the disad is stupid or not supported in the literature, so teams should be able to beat it on logical arguments without making theoretical arguments as to why we should completely ignore the fact that there would be political consequences to the passage of the plan.
True, but irrelevant. Some politics DAs are not badly run, in spite of theoretical flaws. Just because it's easier to link turn most 'tix scenarios doesn't make them theoretically legitimate.

 

Maybe I misunderstood your argument, so if you could clarify it if I did, that would be sweet.
I think I did above - it's a matter of passage vs enforcement. Once passage, as a political process, is a legitimate target, there is no logical principle to exclude "plan won't pass."

 

at: lets you specify individual votes or veto/there is no normal process

This is an evidentiary question, the negative should have evidence that Obama would push the plan if they are going to run a political capital disad. At best, this is an argument for a stronger standard of evidence specificity or a negative burden of proof, not a reason to completely exclude political consequences of the plan

Avoiding this kind of debate is exactly why we have fiat in the first place. If I have to justify the votes, even if only in the senate, that would be an eight minute speech right there. Time limits preclude this kind of debate having any policy analysis.

 

at: plenty of none-passage based links

These are worse links that aren't supported by the literature, plus "you can read this argument" is not a warrant for arbitrarily excluding another argument. You can read a spending link to an econ disad is not a warrant for excluding an oil prices link.

Bullshit. 100%, grade-A, prime Bullshit. There are plenty of links regarding how proposed policies would affect political relations if passed. A policy for tidal power would increase the pocap of most politicians whose districts can generate such power. Drilling ANWR raises Sarah Palin's pocap. The only reason links occur prior to passage is because politics teams are either too lazy to find real links, too brainwashed to know any better, or a little of both.

 

On the other hand, this is a reason to allow political capital links because if the debate is inevitable, you might as well have it with higher quality evidence and more realistic arguments.
Political capital is fine. The idea that aff's plan has to pass, and that pocap is exchanged in the process is the question. I have no problem with enforcement based politics scenarios.

 

at: logically inconsistent with fiat

Fiat is a minimum standard to overcome the inherent barrier of the aff - it assumes the plan is passed so that teams can't get up and say "this wouldn't happen" and ignore the desirability of the affirmative. Since the purpose of fiat is to shift the debate towards whether the plan is desirable, it seems logically consistent with this goal to include some of the main arguments in the literature about desirability.

Fiat is a general principle of debate, not a minimum standard of anything. To substantively discuss a policy's effects, it is necessary to examine the policy absent problems in passage. Necessity (SigHarmsInh) and utility (solvency, Adv/DA) constitute a policy's desirability. To include questions which involve the political utility of a plan is to assume the plan needs political justification. Because political justification can't be fully examined in the alotted time, fiat is enforced to exclude these arguments. To say it excludes one such argument and not others is an arbitrary standard. Arbitrary standards aren't standards - they're dogma.

 

It's also not the same logic, because the logic of political capital disads is not that the plan won't pass, its that certain actions are necessary for plan passage (such as the use of political capital). Plenty of other non-politics disads rely upon this logic. Would you exclude a spending disad because it's not possible unless we deficit spend, because the US doesn't have the money? Would you exclude a tradeoff disad, which argues the plan is not possible without a trade-off from another program? How about a constitutionality argument, because even though the plan violates the constitution, fiat overcomes that? In order for the politics disad to be inconsistent with the logic of fiat, you need a vastly expanded interpretation of "fiat," and this then excludes a plethora of other arguments which are the core of the literature in opposition to the plan.
It's not that they are the same logic, but that the logical justification for passage based links can also be used to justify "plan won't pass." And other DAs generally don't employ this logic. A spending DA requires money be spent to enforce the plan before the impacts are triggered. A politics DA could happen even if the plan weren't enforced. What if Obama spends his pocap and the bill dies 51-49? The loss of pocap already happened, and the impacts occur anyway. Even in a world without the plan. This non-uniques the DA - the plan isn't essential to the impact, only the loss of pocap is.

 

There are plenty of sweet affs teams could run if political consequences and money and the law and all these other concerns weren't relevant, but they don't read those affs because there is good literature which says not to do the plan for those reasons. Taking away these core areas of negative ground means that teams will read stupid affs which no one supports in reality but make perfect sense in a world of this massive abuse of fiat that lets teams get out of every disad.
Um, political consequences are why we don't see some of the plans proposed as real world legislation. Hemp biofuels, from all the lit, are incredibly beneficial when compared to corn ethanol. Why isn't anyone proposing the US do away with corn subsidies for biofuel and go to hemp? Likewise, anyone who has done the research knows that nuclear power is almost unassailable on grounds of prolif, terrorism, meltdown danger or radioactive polution. Fears of these things keep politicians from advocating nuclear power. The fact is, either of these cases (two of the more popular this year) would die an ignominious death at the hands of the political process. So, your argument is already non-unique: unreal affs already permeate debate: every year!

 

Furthermore, this interpretation of fiat results in stupid disads based off fiat which don't really make sense and are not legitimate objections in the literature. Sacred Cow disads, which link based off the perception that the plan is immune from budget cuts or guaranteed to pass so people throw on lots of pet projects which spend a ton of money, investors freak out at the guaranteed passage, whatever. Rider disads, which argue the guaranteed nature of the plan means lots of riders get attached. Sua Sponte disads against Court affs, which link based off "fiat" because there was no case brought to the court so it makes a decision "of its own accord." These WTO disads teams are reading, that the plan would be ruled against in the WTO and fiat guarantees it can't be rolled back or changed, so the US would then not comply which would collapse the WTO. Arguments that instantaneous appearance of a plan would freak out investors and businesses because they were unable to predict it since there was no political debate in Congress. None of these disads are legitimate objections to these proposed policies in the literature, they are constructed links based entirely off fiat, but they are the result of your interpretation which excludes politics and political consequences.
A good plan text including the words "legislative intent" (or "judicial intent" for courts) defeats all but the WTO scenario. And the idea that the US defying the WTO would cause the collapse of the WTO is ludicrous on its face.

 

at: affs can make process arguments too

Sure, aff teams say the plan would be an executive order or agency action and wouldn't link to politics, or it would go to the bottom of the docket. These are evidentiary questions.

Affs shouldn't have to, but this is why I highly recommend full, old-school plan texts. If you explain exactly what your plan does and how it does it, it is easy for an aff to claim legislative intent as internal to their speeches. If the plan leaves large areas undisclosed, like funding, enforcement etc, then it doesn't function as a policy. Discussing the political fallout of turning a mission-statement (which is what most plan texts amount to) into a policy in the legislature is potentially legitimate. So, if the aff plan is one sentence, neg will have a reasonable chance of winning the fiat debate on these grounds, even in front of a fogie like me.

 

at: aff defines funding/enforcement, should define political process.

This is a poor analogy, funding and enforcement is mandated in a bill when it is brought to Congress, the method for passage is not. You don't see a bill that says "this legislation will be passed 61-38, Obama will veto it, and then the senate will override the veto." Evidence should define the political process because it is an effect of the introduction of the bill rather than a mandate of the bill. Affs don't get to decide "China will like the plan" if the negative reads evidence that an effect of the plan is that it would piss off China.

Again, you are removing the academics from academic debate. The bill is never introduced in the world of classic fiat. The plan either exists or is rejected. It can be rejected for a lack of need - no inherency for instance - in which case fiat is moot. But when we discuss the utility of the plan, by necessity the process of passage should be excluded. It has nothing to do with whether or not the plan itself is a good idea, only whether it is a politically viable one. Political viability is the justification for arguing "plan won't pass." Yep, we got back there again.

 

What affs can do is say the plan would be introduced as an executive order, or a Court decision, or whatever, and argue that doesn't link to politics.
Yes, because executive orders, like Nixon firing Archibald Cox and Johnson's enforcement orders during the civil rights movement, and Supreme court decisions, like Roe v Wade, don't have political consequences.[/sarcasm]

 

at: fiat is instantaneous - never a world where the aff didn't exist

This argument is absurd, fiat is not a graph. Imagine the consequences on debate if other people actually accepted this nutty vision of fiat. No disad would ever make sense, because there would be no uniqueness because the plan would no longer change the status quo. There's no effect on oil prices if the plan didn't not exist before, because there is no change in market demand. If the plan would result in a shift towards multipolarity or apolarity or a shift away from capitalism, teams could never read transition wars arguments because there was never a world in which multipolarity or apolarity didn't exist.

You misunderstand the argument. If fiat is instantaneous, there are effects on oil prices. They begin when the new source of energy begins to lower demand for oil. This is an effect of plan enforcement. What we don't examine are oil price fluctuation when markets are only anticipating the possibility of the plan.

 

If the plan simply exists, there is no policy for China to point to and say "you passing this angers us" which means teams can't read relations disads. There's nothing for other countries to model, so those disads are out. Hell, the only disads that make sense are the crazy ones with links based off fiat that I talked about above, and those are not the sort of debates we should be having
China doesn't care what laws we pass, only what laws we enforce. And the policies still exist, so there is still a link to relations and to modeling.

 

Good research in debate should be rewarded. Realistic discussions of the consequences of the plan are desirable. Fiat is necessary to debate about the desirability of the plan, but using it to "fiat through the link" of every good argument in the literature that explains why the plan is undesirable makes debate stupid, which is the ultimate effect of your interpretation.
Good research in debate is rewarded. Bad logical constructs are still punished. I say the latter is far more important to the former, unless debate's purpose is to create mindless bureaucrats.

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josh said everything that i was trying to say, but better. i'll just clarify a few points that i have been called out on.

 

first, a couple of sentences after i talked about people never actually arguing "no capital means no plan," i explained what i believe to be the implication of a "no capital now" argument, which was that it disproves the link that political capital was used to pass the plan. i wasn't simply saying "no one does it, so it's okay."

 

i don't see how it is logically inconsistent to say that fiat guarantees plan passage but the negative (and affirmative) are free to predict how that might have went down based on evidence. i fundamentally disagree with the meaning of fiat advocated by ankur et al. i agree with josh that all of the decisions about the process should be based on evidence and that it is ridiculous to strip the negative of using the primary reasons against a plan from passing to defeat that plan in a debate round. i think the same applies with PICS and some seemingly odd counterplans. if you have a solvency advocate saying the equivalent of "do the plan except for ________," that, to me, is more legit than a cp that is not supported with evidence.

 

there is a difference between letting evidence decide the details and dictating in a plan or counterplan (or in cross-ex) exactly how the plan passes. another person said that there is no such thing as normal means and then went on to describe all (or most) of the methods of plan passage. i would argue that those combined are the normal means, and once again it is up to the evidence to decide what the normal means might have been for any given plan. true, a politics disad can never have 100% risk, but what disad can?

Edited by meanmrmustard

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josh said everything that i was trying to say, but better. i'll just clarify a few points that i have been called out on.

 

first, a couple of sentences after i talked about people never actually arguing "no capital means no plan," i explained what i believe to be the implication of a "no capital now" argument, which was that it disproves the link that political capital was used to pass the plan. i wasn't simply saying "no one does it, so it's okay."

 

i don't see how it is logically inconsistent to say that fiat guarantees plan passage but the negative (and affirmative) are free to predict how that might have went down based on evidence. i fundamentally disagree with the meaning of fiat advocated by ankur et al. i agree with josh that all of the decisions about the process should be based on evidence and that it is ridiculous to strip the negative of using the primary reasons against a plan from passing to defeat that plan in a debate round. i think the same applies with PICS and some seemingly odd counterplans. if you have a solvency advocate saying the equivalent of "do the plan except for ________," that, to me, is more legit than a cp that is not supported with evidence.

 

there is a difference between letting evidence decide the details and dictating in a plan or counterplan (or in cross-ex) exactly how the plan passes. another person said that there is no such thing as normal means and then went on to describe all (or most) of the methods of plan passage. i would argue that those combined are the normal means, and once again it is up to the evidence to decide what the normal means might have been for any given plan. true, a politics disad can never have 100% risk, but what disad can?

If you really think the primary reason we don't have a massive bio-fuels industry or major plans to develop nuclear power is that Obama will need to spend pocap to do so and he needs pocap to pass X bill, then you need to do more research on the topic. The primary reasons these plans haven't been enacted is 100% political, but has nothing to do with political capital in the sense it is argued in debate rounds.

 

Or, put another way: debate is about what the USfg should do rather than what we currently have support to do.

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If you really think the primary reason we don't have a massive bio-fuels industry or major plans to develop nuclear power is that Obama will need to spend pocap to do so and he needs pocap to pass X bill, then you need to do more research on the topic. The primary reasons these plans haven't been enacted is 100% political, but has nothing to do with political capital in the sense it is argued in debate rounds.

 

Or, put another way: debate is about what the USfg should do rather than what we currently have support to do.

Or put another, another way - if we were to debate about the process of plan action - the affirmative would shoot themselves in the foot 7/10 times by just reading inherency.

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i wasn't speaking about specific plans. but what you said kind of affirms what i was saying. we should look to the evidence. you are right that there may not be a good political capital scenario for either of those cases. but, if i could find cards that said obama wants to expand nuclear power and that he could get it done if he doesn't lose his political capital, then i think that should be fair game to argue.

 

and i agree that the debate is about what the USFG should do. but, i also believe that process-based politics disads make the argument that we should not do the plan (at least not now).

 

on a side note, i have put a "political capital disads are illegit" subpoint on every frontline i have written for that argument for the past 10 years, and i have coached my teams to go for it (even as a cheap shot independent voter some times), but i just don't honestly see how it is more academically sound to exclude relevant and current literature.

 

If you really think the primary reason we don't have a massive bio-fuels industry or major plans to develop nuclear power is that Obama will need to spend pocap to do so and he needs pocap to pass X bill, then you need to do more research on the topic. The primary reasons these plans haven't been enacted is 100% political, but has nothing to do with political capital in the sense it is argued in debate rounds.

 

Or, put another way: debate is about what the USfg should do rather than what we currently have support to do.

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Or put another, another way - if we were to debate about the process of plan action - the affirmative would shoot themselves in the foot 7/10 times by just reading inherency.

 

yes, the affirmative does grant lots of links by reading inherency. i always thought the status quo was okay for the neg to defend. altering the status quo in such a way that the main barriers to the plan just disappear without any consequences seems unfair to the negative.

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