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brorlob

Politics and Fiat

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You took what I said out of context - what I am saying is that under YOUR view of fiat, any inherency arguments that assume questions of process (not enough support, x bill is coming which prevents y bill, etc.), affirmatives would automatically lose.

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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."

 

Cool. Except that this allows a logical contradiction.

We use evidence to determine how plan passed, and evidence says both a) If plan passed then Obama invested political capital to do it (neg link claim), and B) Obama lacks sufficient political capital.

IE , a) P ---> O, and B) -O. ("P" represents "plan passing", "O" represent "Obama investing political capital"; "-X" means "the negation of X")

The only possibility is, via modus tollens, to negate the antecedent, ie -P.

This means that the plan didn't pass.

That teams don't make this terminal impact argument is trivial. That you ignore the terminal impact of this equally trivial. Logically, we cannot have both statements without having the terminal impact that the plan didn't pass. You try to avoid this by converting (taking the converse of) the conditional (naturally, what we actually meant was "if Obama invested capital, the plan would pass", O ---> P), but this is not the original argument. The original link argument is that 'Obama must use political capital if the plan is to pass', not that 'the plan must pass if Obama uses political capital'.

 

Your disagreement with our interps of fiat is impacted in terms of 'education', 'ground', and 'real world-ness'. That's like saying "each of our 3 conditional counterplans has a specific solvency advocate, so it's legit and important to talk about them."

It is entirely non-responsive to our meta-level arguments about the non-arbitrariness of fiat. In the analogy, you are subsumed by our argument that "reading 3 counterplans is abusive, whether they're awesome CPs or stupid CPs".

This is a logical-structure analogy, not a direct comparison analogy. I am committing a logical fallacy, ?some sort of ad hominem attack, maybe?, because it brings unproved associations into the argument. (I am committing the fallacy because y'all don't seem to be understanding the argument on its own terms, and I think that the analogy might help.) Indicting the imprecision of the analogy, if you feel like doing that, doesn't make your non-responsiveness on the fiat questions responsive.

 

Possibly, the original link arg is actually a biconditional (P <---> O; "Plan passes if and only if Obama invest political capital"), and your "disproves the link that political capital was used" is removing one direction of conditionality, rather than converting a simple conditional. All the same arguments apply.

Edited by meanmedianmode
to add words in blue text :)
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There is evidence for a lot of arguments. There is evidence for invading Iran, but that doesn't make it a topical aff or a relevant plan attack. We have structures of debate to help us limit down what the round covers. So even if you have specific evidence about political capital and the specific aff in the round, that doesn't make it a legitimate argument! And it sure doesn't make that a good standard for the round.

 

Think of it this way: everyone agrees that politics disads are legitimate as long as the neg has specific evidence. Then every debate on politics turns into the judge having to decide if the link is specific enough, or from a credible enough source. That's completely arbitrary, not to mention painful to judge. Only a stable interpretation of fiat makes good debate possible. (Sometimes that excludes fun, useful, and educational information, which I believe the political process to be. That's a shame. But we can't cover everything.)

 

I would like to see a response to the fiat argument that myself, Ankur, brorlob, and meanmedianmode (and others) are making. How can the political capital disad be legitimate if the logic of the link presumes it is possible that the plan cannot pass? Until there is a response to that question, the rest of this is just nonsense.

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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

 

I simplified it in my description because the math can get sticky to explain in words. Its not that you start with nothingness and result in plan in the fictional debate world. Its that you take the status quo exactly as is and then replace the opposition (i.e. inherency) with the plan. If China didnt like the plan before, they still dont like the plan now. But last I checked, its never passing a bill that causes the disad to occur, its actually carrying out the plan.

 

I challenge anyone to plot fiat on a timescale and see what they come up with.

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Sorry, I'm not sure about the whole quoting thing, so I didn't get the names in.

 

I also didn't respond individually to every word that was said because I felt like some of them were either not relevant to the discussion at hand or were responded to elsewhere. I also feel like most of you have a tendency to respond to minor examples I've given to support some larger arguments, when disproving the example does nothing to disprove the argument as a whole. See: the executive order question. If I missed something, feel free to flag it and say OMG YOU DROPPED THIS ARGUMENT I WIN!!!!! and I'll go back to it.

 

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.
I don't see a reason why this "real world" lens is bad. It seems like an effect of the plan is that political consequences (in this case loss of capital) occur and those are important to test the desirability of a policy. You keep asserting debates about passage make "plan won't pass" a legitimate argument, but there is no reason you cannot assume the plan passes (fiat) and then debate about whether that passage is desirable.

 

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.
Good arg. Unfortunately, a non-unique is not a reason a disad is illegit...

 

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!
Actually, this proves my argument. Some of the most common responses to these affs are politics disads with links based off passage because that is what the best response in the literature is. Were we to exclude the politics disad from debate, these affs would win a whole lot more rounds, and we would learn a whole lot less.

 

This evidence below says the reason Obama isn't fixing Social Security is because he would rather spend capital on health care. That is a legitimate argument against a Social Security aff (ignore for a second that it isn't topical, I didn't want to bother to find a sweet link card for a topic I'm not debating on). Opportunity cost is a major reason lots of policies are undesirable, and excluding the politics disad prevents you from making those arguments.

 

"Wouldn't it be a progressive achievement to lock Social Security in for everybody alive today and their children?" one person close to the issue asked me. "Why wouldn't we do it? [As for] how you do it, there will be a long discussion with stakeholders to get it done." The reason we wouldn't do it is that the President has a limited supply of political capital, and health care spending is a bajillion times the problem to the long-term deficit than Social Security is. It's just not an issue of deep concern, a rounding error practically compared to health care reform."

 

You took what I said out of context - what I am saying is that under YOUR view of fiat, any inherency arguments that assume questions of process (not enough support, x bill is coming which prevents y bill, etc.), affirmatives would automatically lose.
False. Fiat was created to deal with these inherency issues, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't debate the consequences of dealing with these inherency issues. If there isn't enough support, fiat assumes that support has been generated, but the negative can make arguments that the generation of that support required political capital. If X bill is preventing the plan because the two are mutually exclusive, then the plan would prevent X bill, so negatives should be allowed to make arguments about why X bill is good.

 

Affs don't automatically lose now which seems to disprove your argument.

 

Meanmedianmode makes this whole modus tollens logical contradiction argument:

 

Bad analogy. There is no absolute negation of political capital (which is a good argument as to why the logic of political capital disads are flawed, but not a reason to reject the link argument...)

 

Also, O is not the negation of -O. A better example

P = Plan passes

O = Capital exists (and -O = capital doesn't exist)

P --> -O

If -O is true in the status quo, that doesn't negate P.

 

Spending disad. Inherency: plan not passing now due to lack of funds. P-->M (Money spent). Since -M, then -P. Should we reject arguments about the cost of the plan now too? This makes debate stupid. You're taking away all the best arguments in the literature. The question is whether the USFG should do the plan, not whether the plan should exist. Obviously if there are consequences to the USFG doing the plan, that outweigh the advantages, it should not be done.

 

Your argument also gives too much power to your interpretation of "fiat." Inherency: No time travel now because the technology doesn't exists. Plan: travel through time. P --> T and P is plan passing and T is use of time travel, then -T means -P and plan didn't pass. By your logic, negatives should then not be able to make the argument that time travel technology does not exist now because it allows the possibility of a plan not passing.

 

Two mutually exclusive claims made by opposing teams also is not a theoretical reason to exclude the argument. The team that says P --> O is not the team that says -O. If the two arguments are logically inconsistent, the result is that only one can be determined by the judge to be true, not that both arguments should be excluded. If there is a debate over whether global warming is real (G) or not real (-G) and whether global warming causes extinction (E).

G--->E

-E does not mean -G, it could also mean that the statement G-->E is false and G is true. Or, G-->E could be true, and the statement -E could be false. The judge needs to resolve the arguments in a manner that is logically consistent, however that does not mean making the arguments is theoretically illegitimate.

 

In your example, a judge would determine either that the claim Obama has no capital is false, or that the claim capital is necessary for passage is false.

 

This is stupid though, because -O could never be definitively won because that is not how capital works.

 

There is evidence for a lot of arguments. There is evidence for invading Iran, but that doesn't make it a topical aff or a relevant plan attack. We have structures of debate to help us limit down what the round covers. So even if you have specific evidence about political capital and the specific aff in the round, that doesn't make it a legitimate argument! And it sure doesn't make that a good standard for the round.

 

Think of it this way: everyone agrees that politics disads are legitimate as long as the neg has specific evidence. Then every debate on politics turns into the judge having to decide if the link is specific enough, or from a credible enough source. That's completely arbitrary, not to mention painful to judge. Only a stable interpretation of fiat makes good debate possible. (Sometimes that excludes fun, useful, and educational information, which I believe the political process to be. That's a shame. But we can't cover everything.)

 

I would like to see a response to the fiat argument that myself, Ankur, brorlob, and meanmedianmode (and others) are making. How can the political capital disad be legitimate if the logic of the link presumes it is possible that the plan cannot pass? Until there is a response to that question, the rest of this is just nonsense.

Evidence for a lot of arguments is not responsive. There isn't a theoretical reason people shouldn't read evidence about invading Iran, it's just stupid because teams would ignore it since it is not relevant to the discussion at hand. It is a legitimate argument, its just a legitimate argument without a link. If a team read a piece of evidence that the aff causes an Iran invasion, that evidence becomes relevant, otherwise they say "no link," but in neither situation is it excluded on a theoretical level. No one is arguing that politics disads should be read on the aff or without a piece of link evidence, but if there is a link to the plan, it is arbitrary to exclude them. When the core of the evidence opposing a topical plan is about the political consequences, that is very different from reading evidence on some random topic like invading Iran.

 

Your scenario makes very little sense. There is no scenario in which people would say "disads with links of a specificity level of 7 or higher are legitimate, but below that, they are not." That doesn't happen for any other disad either. People agree that disads to the act of passage are legitimate. Period. Then, if the link is not specific enough, they lose because

a) the aff has more specific link turn evidence

B) the aff makes uniqueness arguments. if the evidence is generic to "legislation costs political capital" then "legislation passed now" takes out the disad.

That is not difficult to judge. Specificity is a reason why these disads are good, because they are a large part of the literature against specific, topical plans. That does not mean a level of specificity is a standard for determining legitimacy.

 

The logic of the link doesn't presume it's possible that the plan doesn't pass. The logic of the link presumes that if the plan passed, X would happen. You assume the plan passes. You then examine the consequences of that passage. This is not difficult to understand.

 

Finally, there isn't really a terminal impact to this argument. Even if you win that it uses slightly fuzzy logic*, the only scenario in which they are logically incompatable never actually occurs. Debaters are able to reconcile these supposedly mutually exclusive claims, and if we need to fudge things a bit in order to have good and relevant debates, then it's probably worth it, because the alternative is the stupid debates I referenced in my earlier post. Plus, we control uniqueness. Politics disads are run now, and the logical inconsistency has not yet made the world explode, but it has made people a whole lot more educated and causes some pretty high quality debates.

 

 

*This is a preempt. I'm sure someone will point to this as a concession that the disad is logically incompatable with fiat. It's not. Note the "even if" statement.

Edited by The Spork
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Good arg. Unfortunately, a non-unique is not a reason a disad is illegit...

 

 

This is where everything else in your post inherently failed. You missed the fact that "the logic of the disad justifies saying 'plan won't pass' becuase Obama doesn't have political capital" the affirmative's "non-unique" is also a negative "plan can't pass" argument. It doesn't matter if ANYONE ever makes this argument, this is what a political capital based disad JUSTIFIES. Which is inherently bad for debate and precisely what fiat was created to escape.

 

Also, wasn't the first time that argument was made, and quite frankly, if the disad is inevitable, why are you running it?

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this may have been covered elsewhere, but why aren't debates about the enforcement of the plan just as arbitrary? and, why don't they justify arguments like "the plan won't be enforced"? or is there a consensus among you all that enforcement is not protected by fiat?

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this may have been covered elsewhere, but why aren't debates about the enforcement of the plan just as arbitrary? and, why don't they justify arguments like "the plan won't be enforced"? or is there a consensus among you all that enforcement is not protected by fiat?
Enforcement is not protected by fiat. Say I run a case saying the DOE will enforce X plan, and neg reads "DOE will not enforce X, even if it's law" then fiat doesn't get me anywhere. I can have the legal structure, but I need an enforcement agency. This is another reason I think one sentence plan texts are idiotic - they allow aff to slime out of this kind of solvency attack. "Oh, the DOE can't do it...but we said USFG, so our enforcement is by some other agency." I think I'd go for 2nc Aspec in such a case (and I hate aspec). Of course, I don't think aff needs evidence saying that their agent will enforce the plan - it's assumed that government agencies obey the law. So neg has the burden in such an argument. You also can't fiat solar power satellite technology into existence, either. You can only ever get a chance of solvency for cases which rely on tech that is not yet viable.

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I don't see a reason why this "real world" lens is bad.

Because no argument is more "real world" than "Your hemp case won't pass."

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not surprisingly, i don't agree with this, and i guess that fiat just means something different to me.

 

the power of fiat, to me, guarantees passage of the affirmative plan in a way that requires the minimum amount of change to status quo barriers and guarantees that the plan is carried out or enforced through normal means. rejecting an interpretation of fiat based on the argument that it allows "plan won't pass" arguments seems silly if you endorse an interpretation that is perfectly okay with "plan won't be enforced."

 

Enforcement is not protected by fiat. Say I run a case saying the DOE will enforce X plan, and neg reads "DOE will not enforce X, even if it's law" then fiat doesn't get me anywhere. I can have the legal structure, but I need an enforcement agency. This is another reason I think one sentence plan texts are idiotic - they allow aff to slime out of this kind of solvency attack. "Oh, the DOE can't do it...but we said USFG, so our enforcement is by some other agency." I think I'd go for 2nc Aspec in such a case (and I hate aspec). Of course, I don't think aff needs evidence saying that their agent will enforce the plan - it's assumed that government agencies obey the law. So neg has the burden in such an argument. You also can't fiat solar power satellite technology into existence, either. You can only ever get a chance of solvency for cases which rely on tech that is not yet viable.

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Evidence for a lot of arguments is not responsive...

I was responding to someone who suggested that we base the legitimacy of the disad on whether or not there is specific link evidence. If that is the theoretical standard of legitimacy, then you can be damn sure that aff's will start arguing for X level of specificity to be required. But that's not really relevant to the core of the argument.

 

 

The logic of the link doesn't presume it's possible that the plan doesn't pass. The logic of the link presumes that if the plan passed, X would happen. You assume the plan passes. You then examine the consequences of that passage. This is not difficult to understand.

You may be describing a disad that no one has a problem with. If your link is that plan passage weakens Obama, for example because the plan is unpopular and people will be angry with the president for allowing it to pass, then that's a post-fiat link and everyone thinks it is grand. That's about the consequences of passage and we totally agree.

 

If the story is that Obama must spend political capital to pass the plan, then the logic of the link assumes that if Obama has no political capital, the plan cannot pass. This means that the non-unique is also an attack on the theoretical legitimacy of the disad, because the plan must always be implemented or fiat fails to function and debate makes no sense. This should not be conditional on the aff's ability to provide uniqueness evidence; it calls into question the entire structure of the link.

 

Finally, there isn't really a terminal impact to this argument.

Process links are bad. First, you get the idea that the neg can argue that the plan won't pass, which makes for bad debates because the aff MUST agree in order to be Inherent!

 

Beyond that, any debate of process opens up the world of ridiculous and arbitrary speculation on the means of plan passage. If the neg can say that Obama has to use political capital, and the aff can say that Obama doesn't have any in the SQ, then one of two things is true: a) plan doesn't pass, which is an illegitimate argument, or B) plan must have passed some other way.

 

If that's true, why can't the aff always say that the plan passed some other way? Or why can't the neg start guessing that the plan passed in a specific way and run disads off of it? Neither side has any more legitimate claim to being able to specify, and all the specification would be totally arbitrary. I would maintain that this is a serious terminal impact, and fiat serves to protect us from these stupid process debates.

 

The fact that this does not occur in the status quo is irrelevant to the theoretical discussion. And I would argue that it does happen with stupid timeframe counterplans or things like consult CPs that insert themselves into the process.

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not surprisingly, i don't agree with this, and i guess that fiat just means something different to me.

 

the power of fiat, to me, guarantees passage of the affirmative plan in a way that requires the minimum amount of change to status quo barriers and guarantees that the plan is carried out or enforced through normal means. rejecting an interpretation of fiat based on the argument that it allows "plan won't pass" arguments seems silly if you endorse an interpretation that is perfectly okay with "plan won't be enforced."

I should point out that I think negative has a significant burden in proving that plan wouldn't be enforced, and it would only make sense with evidence which is very specific to the plan. I also see a significant amount of variation on how to interpret plan texts in this regard. "Funding and enforcement guaranteed" is something I hear now and again, but I rarely hear who is enforcing the plan. If aff specifies an enforcement agent, neg must show that agency to have insurmountable institutional barriers to the plan. If aff has chosen such an agency(one which won't enforce their plan), they're going to lose in 12 other places anyway. If aff hasn't specified an agent, the claim that they can guarantee enforcement doesn't pass the laugh test.

 

And you're still misrepresenting the central point: the justification used for your interp also justifies "plan won't pass." No one is saying that 'tix links alone justify such an argument; just that they utilize a logical model that could be used to make such an argument.

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This got really messy. I've made three different categories of arguments, and I don't think any of them have been sufficiently responded to beyond blanket assertions that they are wrong.

 

1) "No Link" arguments. I made several arguments why the claim that the logic of political capital disads allows for "plan won't pass arguments to be made" is flawed. Most of that was labelled as an answer to meanmedianmode in my prior post. All of you respond by reasserting that the two are logically incompatible and say that trumps my arguments without responding to this. It seems difficult for someone to accept your argument when you can't defend the truth value of the only remaining warrant why these disads are illegitimate.

 

2) "No Impact" arguments. The status quo in debate accepts these disads and the world has not exploded. Your theoretical reasons the disad is incomptable with the logic of fiat never manifests itself in an actual debate round because it relies upon winning claims which are very difficult, if not impossible to win in their entirety, so no one is ever forced to reconcile this logical impossibility. Furthermore, I explained how the judge can always find a way to reconcile this situation without creating a logical impossibility (also above, I won't bother to repeat it). An interpretation of fiat as the minimum necessary to ensure passage and overcome inherency arguments so that we can debate about the desirability of the plan still allows process links and seems fairly reasonable and the accepted by the majority of the debate community.

 

3) The "Impact Turn" arguments. It seems like most of you tend to agree with the real world education and negative ground arguments, but argue that the logical incompatability argument trumps that. I disagree. To use debate terms, you need to win full weight of your impact in order for it to outweigh. We can fudge logic a bit to get what we want; in fact, even in your worldview, fudging logic is somewhat necessary in order to justify the inconsistency between the claims about enforcement or passage; fiat itself is fairly illogical and requires us to suspend certain assumptions about the world. The status quo proves that your impacts are only possible in the abstract, they never actually occur in debate rounds. On the other hand, I have presented multiple warrants as to why debates in which we ignore links based off plan passage would be educationally bankrupt and destroy negative ground because they eliminate all of the best research and most realistic arguments against issues, and result in the proliferation of stupid fiat based link arguments. A world of fuzzy logic which allows the politics disad is better than a world of perfect logic where the rest of debate is stupid.

 

Hunkbaconstrong - didn't miss it, apparently you missed the very long response

 

Brorlob - plan won't pass questions feasibility of passage, whereas political consequences like disads to passage question desirability. Both are "real world" but they are real world answers to different questions. Furthermore, excluding one real world argument because it makes debating about desirability and the other important real world and educational arguments difficult is not a reason to exclude those arguments as well. We exclude the argument "plan won't pass" through fiat precisesly so that we can get into questions of desirability, and your interpretation prevents us from answering those questions thoroughly. If 10 is most real world and 1 is least real world, just because we can't have 10 doesn't make 1 most desirable; it seems like we would be a lot better off with 9...

 

giantchkn - I responded to the logic argument in an earlier post that apparently went ignored. I responded to your impact claim above, this is only true in the abstract, doesn't actually happen. Consult and timeframe counterplans are bad for other reasons, but also would not be excluded by the exclusion of process, because consultation is a different mandate, and timeframe is a time issue and not a process issue. These counterplans are also not common because they lose, and are better than the alternative, which excludes the most realistic reasons plans would be undesirable and causes onlt stupid disads which link based on fiat like sacred cow and sua sponte and don't question the desirable of plans in the real world.

 

*All this being said, I do think this is a strategic argument to make in a debate round. If someone went all out on fiat means you dont get your passage based link, it wouldnt be worth the time trade off just to get back to square one, because this argument has no risk for the aff. On the other hand, I would just go for one the other links read in the block that wasn't based off the process of passage, so I think relying on this argument alone is very unstrategic.

 

Political capital disads are sweet.

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*All this being said, I do think this is a strategic argument to make in a debate round. If someone went all out on fiat means you dont get your passage based link, it wouldnt be worth the time trade off just to get back to square one, because this argument has no risk for the aff. On the other hand, I would just go for one the other links read in the block that wasn't based off the process of passage, so I think relying on this argument alone is very unstrategic.

 

This is something that is inherently problematic. For a judge who wasn't familiar with the arguments, there's no way it would be worth the time in the 2AC/1AR to explain these types of arguments just to win the DA debate. If I were making this argument in a round, it would have to be as a theory argument or K-style argument, as an independent reason to reject the negative for running the argument. I think sufficient analysis has been made in this thread to justify this.

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Brorlob - plan won't pass questions feasibility of passage, whereas political consequences like disads to passage question desirability. Both are "real world" but they are real world answers to different questions. Furthermore, excluding one real world argument because it makes debating about desirability and the other important real world and educational arguments difficult is not a reason to exclude those arguments as well. We exclude the argument "plan won't pass" through fiat precisesly so that we can get into questions of desirability, and your interpretation prevents us from answering those questions thoroughly. If 10 is most real world and 1 is least real world, just because we can't have 10 doesn't make 1 most desirable; it seems like we would be a lot better off with 9...

Not true: 1 is far better than 9 in your model. Logical constructs require consistency. If your measurement is "real world" then there must be some way to consistently measure real world implications of the proposed action. To say we want real world analysis nine times out of ten when addressing passage is not consistent. Hence, this fails as a standard.

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Max - no way. its a blip for the 2ac, the time tradeoff works in the other direction because the neg is forced to spend a ton of time dealing with this stupidity, and if they win, they're only back where they started and still have to win the substance of the disad. plus, a no link is never a voter. there hasn't been sufficient analysis to justify winning a no link argument, there's been absolutely no analysis to justify rejecting a team.

 

brorlob - Sorry, I don't think I was very clear. My intent was to use the 1-10 scale as a rating scale - 10 being the best, 1 being the worst, like in gymnastics or something. 9 is by definition more desirable than 1. I was taking a 1-10 scale of desirability and a 1-10 scale of real world and assuming a direct correlation. In that case where we disagree is on the correlation between desirability and how "real world" arguments are, so your 9 would not be a world in which everything was as realistic as possible except for "plan won't pass" arguments, it would be a world of logical consistency with lots of bad arguments.

 

But lets roll with your reframing of my (admittedly poor) attempt to simplify this. With 1-10 being solely a measure of how real world something is, if your argument is the extremities are the most desirable because they are the most consistent, your interpretation would not fall under a 1, it would be maybe a 5 or 6. You don't exclude everything relating to the status quo, which is why uniqueness on other disads are still relevant, enforcement disads are still relevant, and other real world arguments are still relevant. A 1 would be an examination of the plan in a complete vacuum, which would be pretty useless and boring, but logically consistent. I don't think that's desirable or educationally valuable.

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giantchkn - I responded to the logic argument in an earlier post that apparently went ignored.

Fully admitting for the possibility that I missed it, could you please re-post or re-explain? Unless you are talking about the whole discussion of O and -P and whatever that was about - that's not language I understand.

 

It is my belief that if the link is "Obama must use poiltical capital to pass plan" the disad is illegitimate. This is because if we accept the link as true, and fiat as true, then the plan passed because Obama used political capital. But if the aff wins the non-unique that "Obama has no political capital," either the link is false or fiat is false. Either way the disad is theoretically bankrupt.

 

I think that makes logical sense and others have described the same point in various additional ways. Why are we wrong?

 

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I also think that the difficulty of explaining this argument in the 2AC does not make it wrong, but we can take that up as a separate issue. This is the Theory forum after all.

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Spork - A more fully fleshed out response, both to your arguments against my modus tollens analysis, and to your other arguments, will probably follow at some point.

For the moment, this is probably sufficient.

 

Your "P ---> -O" framing is just flat out wrong. Admittedly, I didn't do a rigorous symbolization of the whole uniqueness and link story of the D/A, which makes any of this an approximation. I'm probably not going to do a rigorous symbolization, I doubt it's worth the effort.

But the link argument is that the plan won't pass unless Obama spends political capital on the plan, and that Obama does in fact spend political capital. (Even if the tags don't make every aspect of these claims, they are implicit, because the argument could not be true otherwise.) Your symbolization escapes my critique only by failing to adhere to this causal relationship, which makes it flim-flam. If he is to spend political capital on the plan, he must have political capital pre-plan.

 

Also, you say that logical contradiction is to be resolved by the judge. This one is actually a good argument, but it's being misapplied. The judge resolves contradictions when the aff and neg make arguments that contradict each other. In this scenario, the aff and neg arguments don't contradict each other, it's just that when combined, they contradict fiat (admittedly, my original analysis was sketchy on that point). That's a significant difference because it shows that the negative link argument violates fiat all on its own, the aff argument simply demonstrating an assumption that violates fiat in this particular link arg.

Edited by meanmedianmode
To add words in blue text :)

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brorlob - Sorry, I don't think I was very clear. My intent was to use the 1-10 scale as a rating scale - 10 being the best, 1 being the worst, like in gymnastics or something. 9 is by definition more desirable than 1. I was taking a 1-10 scale of desirability and a 1-10 scale of real world and assuming a direct correlation. In that case where we disagree is on the correlation between desirability and how "real world" arguments are, so your 9 would not be a world in which everything was as realistic as possible except for "plan won't pass" arguments, it would be a world of logical consistency with lots of bad arguments.

 

But lets roll with your reframing of my (admittedly poor) attempt to simplify this. With 1-10 being solely a measure of how real world something is, if your argument is the extremities are the most desirable because they are the most consistent, your interpretation would not fall under a 1, it would be maybe a 5 or 6. You don't exclude everything relating to the status quo, which is why uniqueness on other disads are still relevant, enforcement disads are still relevant, and other real world arguments are still relevant. A 1 would be an examination of the plan in a complete vacuum, which would be pretty useless and boring, but logically consistent. I don't think that's desirable or educationally valuable.

Here's the problem: Once you use real world as the chief standard, you can never be consistent and maintain time limits. "Real world" political considerations on any federal policy are so many and diverse, understanding the actual process (of passage) in any depth that would be educational would require a ten hour debate round. An in depth policy round would take just as long, and a kritikal round probably twice the time. So, real-world isn't a viable standard if you want an educational debate in a restricted time.

 

So, to resolve this dilemma, aff got to write specific plans instead of defending the whole resolution, and the fiat power to discuss the plan's implications outside their passage. Neg got presumption and negation theory - the ability to run contrary positions to prove the policy undesirable or infeasible in any way. If you think neg no longer has presumption, ask any qualified judge if, in a policy only round, an aff whose inherency or harms has been completely defeated can win the round.

 

Just because Significance and Harms are now rolled into advantage scenarios doesn't mean you're not still pushing the stock issues when you debate a policy aff. So the old school theories that a lot of you kids think are passe are really the foundation of all your policy-type arguments. Politics is argued as a straight policy position. Hence, it should adhere to the principles of the standard practice.

 

And as a pre-empt if anyone is thinking "what about Ks?" : Kritiks avoid this by setting up frameworks for alternate methods of evaluation. (Good ones do anyway)

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Fully admitting for the possibility that I missed it, could you please re-post or re-explain? Unless you are talking about the whole discussion of O and -P and whatever that was about - that's not language I understand.

 

It is my belief that if the link is "Obama must use poiltical capital to pass plan" the disad is illegitimate. This is because if we accept the link as true, and fiat as true, then the plan passed because Obama used political capital. But if the aff wins the non-unique that "Obama has no political capital," either the link is false or fiat is false. Either way the disad is theoretically bankrupt.

 

I think that makes logical sense and others have described the same point in various additional ways. Why are we wrong?

 

------

 

I also think that the difficulty of explaining this argument in the 2AC does not make it wrong, but we can take that up as a separate issue. This is the Theory forum after all.

 

Sure thing. A lot of it was the discussion of O and -P but that was probably unnecessary complication.

 

The first argument was that the nature of political capital is such that it cannot be definitively reduced to zero, so there is not a scenario in which lack of political capital could make the plan incapable of passing.

 

The second argument is I think one that you are more likely to accept because it assumes the second half of your either/or statement, which is that the link is false. So, my argument is that the nature of debate is that opposing teams make arguments which are inconsistent with each other, although the same team may not. The negative would not make the claims that

a) bill X will pass now because of political capital

B) the plan requires political capital for passage

c) obama has no political capital

Similarly, the aff would not make a claim that

a) global warming --> extinction

B) the aff solves global warming

c) global warming is not real

In both cases, if argument c is true, then arguments a and b must be false. Argument c is an argument which would be made by the opposing team, and the judge, at the end of the debate, is forced to conclude that, at most, two of the three claims above are true.

 

For a team to win their politics disad, they obviously have to win that Obama has political capital, otherwise there is no uniqueness to their disad. If they don't, and the aff wins he has no capital, the judge can then conclude that the link is false; the plan does not require political to pass. Similarly, if a judge concludes global warming is not real, then neither does it cause extinction, nor does the plan solve it. If argument c is won by either team, arguments a and b are false. But, argument c is simply an argument that the team making arguments a and b has to answer and win definitively for the judge to accept their other arguments, it is not a theoretical reason to prevent a team from making the arguments in the first place.

 

So yes, if a team wins that Obama has no political capital, then the link is false, and there's probably no uniqueness to the disad. Then its tough for the negative to win the disad. That's not a reason to exclude it on a theoretical level. There is a huge difference between arguing a disad is stupid and a judge should not vote on it because it makes no sense, and arguing it should be theoretically excluded from evaluation.

 

My third argument has to do with the purpose of fiat, which is to make it possible to debate about the desirability of the plan while ignoring the questions "will it happen." That's because the likelihood of it occurring is not a response to the question of if the "usfg should act." Fiat allows us to circumvent the question of will and go straight to the question of should. That is all it does. If there is a political cost to the passage of the plan, that is responsive to the question of whether the usfg "should" act and not the question of whether it "will" act, and so is consistent with the logic of fiat. To ignore it, while consistent with one small aspect of your interpretation of fiat, is inconsistent with the broader purpose of fiat, and the reason it exists in the first place.

 

The thing which defies logic is fiat itself, but we are forced to fudge it a bit to debate about the desirability of the plan. That is hardly a justification to abandon reality in its entirety to establish perfect consistency (which I doubt is acheivable, and if it were, would not really be fun or educational). If there's a small hole in the road that you fill with some concrete and it causes a tiny bump, it's inconsistent. Most peoples solution is to ignore that small bump because it doesn't have any impact, even though in theory someone could hit it and send their car careening off a cliff to their death. Your solution seems to be to blow up the road so that there's no more bump. You establish total consistency, but abandon any possibility of reaching the goal that the bump was placed there for to acheive.

 

The fourth argument, which wouldn't fall under the "no link" category but is probably just as important a response to this argument is that this logic can be used to exclude all of the best negative arguments. Your argument is that links cannot be generated off of anything that is a precondition for the plan. If money is necessary for the plan, then since "no money" arguments can theoretically prevent passage, spending and tradeoff disads are out. Constitutionality arguments are out. Teams can't argue that the plan violates the constitution and would be rolled back. Teams also can't argue the plan violates the constitution and that destroys seperation of powers etc. and is bad. Teams also can't argue that a precondition of the plan is that it would have to modify the constitution ino order to avoid this rollback, and that modification would be bad.

 

Those are directly on the level of passage, but I don't think there's a logical reason why it shouldn't be expanded to mandating things which could potentially not exist. Mandating plan passage in absence of political capital is "fiating" the use of something which could theoretically not exist. If an aff took people from the reserves and reclassified them as part of the armed forces, a sweet disad to that would be "reserves good." By your logic, that disad could not be read, because there's a possibility of having no people in the reserves, and people in the reserves is a precondition for the aff, so we can't read disad links to that trade off. On this topic, its especially damaging. The topic mandates the provision of an incentive. There is, in most cases, a theoretical possibility the incentive does not exist, in which case it is impossible for the plan to pass. Therefore, teams would never be able to read disads to incentives.

 

There are two "impact magnifiers" to this argument. The first is that the types of disads people do run would get significantly worse, because they would be disads that would not apply to the policy in the real world but are based entirely off of the notion of fiat, such as sacred cow, rider disads, this wto disad, etc. Links off of the durability and instaneous nature of the plan rather than the plan itself would proliferate, because they are guaranteed uniqueness (there is no other policy that would fiat itself into existence, so the generic links have super-uniqueness for debate) but apply to every aff that uses fiat. Counterplans which compete off of the idea of fiat become more strategic and competitive, because they are some of the only options left, and some of the stronger options in negative arsenals. Sunsets CP, which mandates that a sunset provision be attached to the plan so that it can be reexamined in 5 years becomes a sweet counterplan. The consult counterplan is also sweet, because its super-competitive because theres a possibility that the plan won't pass, even if no one reads that evidence (so yeah, the consult counterplan is more competitive through your logic...). Neg arguments, rather than shifting from desirability of passage to solely desirability of existence (which, by the way, I think is stupid, because its educationally bankrupt to consider the desirability of existence without factoring in consequences of passage) shift to the desirability of any plan being automatically "fiated into existence" regardless of the actual mandate of the plan.

 

Second is that affs pick some of the less desirable plans because a large reason why some policies are undesirable is cost, political backlash, opportunity cost, and other preconditions to passage. If those aren't considerations, some of the stupid policies suggested by a third grader which sound sweet but aren't realistic become the best debate affs because there are no disads to them if they are just "fiated" into existence. Aff wins, we learn nothing useful.

 

I think this is a pretty terrible fate for debate. Lets be honest, if you got rid of the politics disad, this isn't the likely outcome (at least not the two things I labelled "impact magnifiers", I honestly believe that the educational value of debate is significantly lowered if you exclude some of the best literature in opposition to the plan because it is based off of preconditions for passage which is a direct result of your argument) but it is possible and it is what your logic "justifies" since that is the language we are all using. Since your argument is based entirely off justification, since the status quo literally disproves your impact, since these links are being read and yet fiat also exists and people aren't killing themselves over a logical impossibility, what your logic "justifies" is a whole lot worse than what mine does.

 

I think there were some smaller details that were direct reponses to other claims but I don't think they were that important. This was also a more elaborate explanation than before.

 

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I don't think we disagree about the 2ac issue. I think it's a fairly easy argument to make and pretty stragic both in terms of the time tradeoff it gets you and because if they drop it and don't read another link, it's a round winner, so that wouldn't be a reason it's wrong. The reasons its wrong are above.

 

Another thing that I should probably mention is that my real thoughts on this specific argument are probably similar to my thoughts on conditionality and a ton of other theory arguments, which is that it is not something which cannot be definitively resolved and should be debated about in a round. I just felt like someone should defend the politics disad since its pretty sweet.

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Here's the problem: Once you use real world as the chief standard, you can never be consistent and maintain time limits. "Real world" political considerations on any federal policy are so many and diverse, understanding the actual process (of passage) in any depth that would be educational would require a ten hour debate round. An in depth policy round would take just as long, and a kritikal round probably twice the time. So, real-world isn't a viable standard if you want an educational debate in a restricted time.

 

So, to resolve this dilemma, aff got to write specific plans instead of defending the whole resolution, and the fiat power to discuss the plan's implications outside their passage. Neg got presumption and negation theory - the ability to run contrary positions to prove the policy undesirable or infeasible in any way. If you think neg no longer has presumption, ask any qualified judge if, in a policy only round, an aff whose inherency or harms has been completely defeated can win the round.

 

Just because Significance and Harms are now rolled into advantage scenarios doesn't mean you're not still pushing the stock issues when you debate a policy aff. So the old school theories that a lot of you kids think are passe are really the foundation of all your policy-type arguments. Politics is argued as a straight policy position. Hence, it should adhere to the principles of the standard practice.

 

And as a pre-empt if anyone is thinking "what about Ks?" : Kritiks avoid this by setting up frameworks for alternate methods of evaluation. (Good ones do anyway)

 

Disagree. That's some nice revisionist history though. Fiat was created to shift the focus from "will" to "should," not to deal with time constraints and eliminate the best arguments. Pol cap disads still address the question of "should" and so are still relevant.

 

Out of round research solves your time constraints arguments. Out of round research also leads you to find that the best arguments against *certain* policies are that there would be massive political or monetary consequences as a precondition for passage. We do the out of round research to weed out the stupid arguments that would take 10 hours to go through and pick the strongest and debate about those.

 

I think the negative has presumption, don't see why it's relevant. I also don't know why you assume that I think "old school theories are passe" without knowing me. I like to think I'm pretty open minded when it comes to argumentation.

 

Ks suck though, so that preempt was unnecessary.

Edited by The Spork

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Disagree. That's some nice revisionist history though. Fiat was created to shift the focus from "will" to "should," not to deal with time constraints and eliminate the best arguments. Pol cap disads still address the question of "should" and so are still relevant.
Because resolutions have always been phrased as "should" this claim is highly suspect. Pocap disads ask the question "should we pass policy X" not "Should we do policy X."

 

Out of round research solves your time constraints arguments. Out of round research also leads you to find that the best arguments against *certain* policies are that there would be massive political or monetary consequences as a precondition for passage. We do the out of round research to weed out the stupid arguments that would take 10 hours to go through and pick the strongest and debate about those.
You don't think it's a stupid argument that Obama backing a brownfields plan will lead to human extinction...really? Out of round research (for a critical thinker) is a demonstration of how politics impedes policy. Thanks to politics, all policies are compromised (from a purely populist view). Examining the evidence and keeping up with current events leads debaters to a couple of obvious conclusions: 1 - there are some very solid proposals to solve these problems. 2 - none of them is being taken seriously by politicians. This all occurs without cutting a 'tix scenario or even facing one. If the education you think is important is how to connect alt energy to human extinction by way of political incompetence, you really need a reality check.

 

I think the negative has presumption, don't see why it's relevant. I also don't know why you assume that I think "old school theories are passe" without knowing me. I like to think I'm pretty open minded when it comes to argumentation.
It's important because presumption is the opposite side of the coin to fiat. Fiat is why neg gets presumption. The ability to narrow the topic to one case and argue only its implementation is what neg gives up to have negation theory. Aff gets one advocacy, and neg has a burden of rejoinder. If aff's (prima facie) case addresses implementation of the plan, when neg talks about passage, the neg has not refuted the case and failed to meet their own burden.

 

Ks suck though, so that preempt was unnecessary.

I disagree. Kritiks as they are generally run tend to suck, but when done well a kritik is quite extraordinary.

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Because resolutions have always been phrased as "should" this claim is highly suspect. Pocap disads ask the question "should we pass policy X" not "Should we do policy X."

 

And they have been phrased as "should" to incorporate the assumption of fiat. If I ask you "should the USFG increase alternative energy incentives?" a response of "no, it won't" does not address the question, but a response of "no, because it would cost capital which trades off with other policies" is responsive to that question.

 

http://ddw.wikispaces.com/fiat+lecture

Ken Strange's lecture in which he explains that fiat was created to avoid the question of will it happen and simply answer the question of should it happen. He also discusses disads to fiat, and rejects an interpretation of fiat which allowed these disads because it "failed at the purpose of fiat" by "focusing on the fiat assumption itself rather than the merits of policy." This all seems consistent with my arguments on the purpose of fiat, and the rejection of your interpretation for "failing at the purpose of fiat" because it excludes argument that question desirability and also focuses on the fiat assumption itself. I'll admit I didn't watch the whole lecture, so I might be shooting myself in the foot because its possible he mentions politics disads later and agrees with you.

 

 

Some more support for my claim.

http://www.willamette.edu/cla/rhetoric/workshop/Lectures&Exercises/fiat.doc

http://www.planetdebate.com/novicecenter/novicecenter_faq_details.asp?I=69

 

 

You don't think it's a stupid argument that Obama backing a brownfields plan will lead to human extinction...really? Out of round research (for a critical thinker) is a demonstration of how politics impedes policy. Thanks to politics, all policies are compromised (from a purely populist view). Examining the evidence and keeping up with current events leads debaters to a couple of obvious conclusions: 1 - there are some very solid proposals to solve these problems. 2 - none of them is being taken seriously by politicians. This all occurs without cutting a 'tix scenario or even facing one. If the education you think is important is how to connect alt energy to human extinction by way of political incompetence, you really need a reality check.
No, its a pretty stupid argument, but the link isn't stupid, we just inflate impacts to compete. Political opposition and the cost of overcoming it can be the strongest reason to oppose a policy even if the debate impact is unrealistic, because the impacts to all the other disads are equally unrealistic even if the links are not.

 

But this is also a bad example, I specifically said "certain" policies, brownfields probably wouldn't have great politics links.

 

It's important because presumption is the opposite side of the coin to fiat. Fiat is why neg gets presumption. The ability to narrow the topic to one case and argue only its implementation is what neg gives up to have negation theory. Aff gets one advocacy, and neg has a burden of rejoinder. If aff's (prima facie) case addresses implementation of the plan, when neg talks about passage, the neg has not refuted the case and failed to meet their own burden.
Presumption is different from negation theory. It exists because the question is should we change the status quo. The aff obviously needs to prove that yes, we should make some sort of major change before we do it.

Some support for the reasons behind presumption:

Debate: http://debate.miami.edu/materials/stockissues.doc

Law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumption_of_innocence

This presumption is seen to stem from the Latin legal principle that ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof rests on who asserts, not on who denies).

 

It's not like the negative made some backroom deal with the debate lords saying "we ignore questions of process, you give us presumption." It's just the way things work. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

 

The negative meets its burden of rejoinder if a plan text says "The USFG should <act>" because the politics disad is responsive to the question of "should". If a plan text solely addressed implementation, I agree that a link based off passage would not meet the burden of rejoinder. That doesn't happen tough and its arguably not topical.

 

I disagree. Kritiks as they are generally run tend to suck, but when done well a kritik is quite extraordinary.
This was a joke. Edited by The Spork

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