Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Chaos

Picking the Best Affirmative

Recommended Posts

Maury posted something about a year ago about what characteristics a good affirmative has. He mentioned the need to have an aff that can't be solved by a capitalism K on the poverty topic. I've tried searching the site, and I can't find this post. I think it has some relevance for next year. Can someone direct me to it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The original post is below:

http://www.cross-x.com/vb/showpost.php?p=1729103&postcount=252

 

Some affs are straight up better than others. Some affs have less negative ground, worse negative ground, or force the negative to defend positions they will not be able to generate enough offense off to win the round consistently.

 

The way the Al-Shifa affirmative (rebuild the Al-Shifa medical facility in Sudan) from the Africa topic was run in Austin, the negative had to fight through very developed 1AC contentions (ethics, security, menand/ probability mitigation, and mandelbaum/ impact mitigation) to get to a DA, which barely linked anyway. This forced the negative to mostly read bad spanos Ks and a lot of generic K-defense on the case to get to square one, both of which the aff was set up to destroy with specificity on the link level. That made the aff much more strategic than, say, the water for the poor act which linked incredibly hard to all of the DAs on the topic, had a ton of PICs which wrecked it, and was unable to generate specific offense against critiques.

 

This year the Brazil and Natives cases either didn't link to any of the good DAs, link turned them, or massively non-uniqued them on scales none of the other affs could, which was why my school decided to only read those 2 affs for the entire year. There was no way any other peak oil case was going to come close to being as strategic as the Brazil aff was in terms of offense against policy strategies. The aff was functionally pic-proof, with there being exactly ONE counterplan which solved a majority of the advantages (which was functionally a conditions counterplan anyway) and the aff had at least 22 add-ons that were 2 cards long.

 

When looking for the "best" aff, while there may be no absolute first place, there are certainly tiers of affs. There is a reason that absurd ITER aff cleaned up all year, and it wasn't just because of the strength of the team behind it (not to dismiss their amazing skills as both researchers and debaters).

 

When looking for the "best" aff for the poverty topic, there are some critierion that need to be checked off.

1. It has to destroy the states counterplan. The Brazil aff did that, and the Al-Shifa aff was immune to the China/Japan/WHO counterplans that were so popular on a foreign policy topic.

2. It has to have a good means of beating the Capitalism Bad critique that has something to do with the case. Every advantage in the brazil aff was an impact turn because the aff literally increased the free market. Under the poverty topic, the alt to the cap K might solve 90% of your aff which puts the negative in a very very strategic position. How will your aff deal with that? If you don't have a good answer to that, you aren't going to get very far.

3. Politics link turns. You just gotta have em. If the topic is considerable "unpopular", then find the aff that is uniquely popular in congress. The reverse is obviously true as well...

4. Can you outweigh a DA? If not, can your aff construct an impact framework to make the DA irrelevant? If your 2AC can drop a DA and you still win the round, then you might have the "best" aff.

5. PICs. What do you do to them? Does the literature base have a set of predictable PICs you can block out and put OFFENSE on? Remember, if the negative reads a PIC that actually does solve the aff and you have no offense, even infinite dropped defense wins the debate for the negative with most of the judges in high school.

6. How strategic can the 1AC be in comparison to the 1NC. Al-Shifa did this amazing thing where a majority of the 1NC had to be on case in order for the other 2 minutes or so of negative offense to be relevant in the debate. This allowed the 2AC to just kick huge chunks of the case and overload the block with new offense or case-specific analysis. Some of the better big-stick affs this year did the same thing in different ways. You can't beat the natives case without answering the uniqueness and link defense arguments. Can't beat RPS without a ton of warming defense, etc. If you can force the negative to put out a lot of 1NC case arguments that you can dismiss in the 2AC, your aff might just be the "best" aff of the year.

7. Can your aff operate under a unique or interesting framework? In the octos of the TOC, Bishop Guertin broke a new framework argument on the negative that the aff had to meet certain criterion for what establishes an argument. UT, a few years ago, broke at the NDT with a 1AC that had a framework stating and claim without statistical data did not count as an argument. Wake, this last year, had a coercion advantage that beat the copeland winners in the semis of the NDT because it established a framework that any arguments without a grand unifying theory should be dismissed. All of these types of frameworks create headaches for the negative and can provide entirely independent routes of victory for the affirmative in the 2AR.

8. Do you access impacts other than nuclear war? Nothing pisses off the negative more than winning an entire economy DA only to lose to the Seitz 06 evidence because the negative couldn't win nuclear caused extinction and they forgot impact D on that biodiversity advantage. The negative has to work hard to get ONE DISADVANTAGE where the 1NC usually drops all the terminal impacts to the case and far too often drops entire advantages. If your affirmative can make huge headway off this, you are in a prime strategic decision. This year on the negative we consistently beat hegemony affs by saying heg caused warming and reading some nuclear war defense cards on the impact calculus portion of the 2NC. If the aff gets to warming and the negative only gets to nuclear war and the aff has D on nuclear war but the negative has no D on warming, it is structurally impossible for the negative to win the round. It's that simple.

 

I'm sure there are other criterion for establishing a best aff, some at least revolving around topicality (I never felt threatened by T). But I think this proves that no matter how comfortable you are with an aff, that doesn't mean there are not better affs in existence to start getting comfortable with.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...