Jump to content
justanothernovice

Why are Politics DAs controversial?

Recommended Posts

my two cents on this:

 

a) Election based disads are largely contrived---First, voters don't change their votes that often or because of minor bills that are fiated as the result of most affs. More often, voters change their votes if some big scandal about a candidate breaks out (corruption, marital infidelity, etc.) or if a political party is engulfed in corruption or shadiness or if they vote on personalities (see Republicans in 1974, Democrats in 1994, Republicans in 2006, Obama 2008/2012). Second, voters may change their votes if some big new bill is passed that directly affects them- think taxes or the ACA or the New Deal. If the bill harms their wallets or purses, then voters will rebel and throw a party or candidate out of office (see George H.W. Bush in 1992, Democrats in 1994, Democrats in 2010). If the bill gives more money into voters, then voters will flock to that party (see Ronald Reagan 1984, Bill Clinton 1996, George W. Bush 2000). Third, if voters are single issue voters, then anything unrelated to that single issue is unlikely to change their vote (see abortion, guns, immigration, weed).

The point here is that voters will not change their votes based on the aff passing more STEM funding or the aff ending zero tolerance policies. Unless the aff is some huge momentous change like passing nationwide single-payer healthcare or opening the national borders completely, then the aff will not change the election result.

 

B) Agenda disads, shutdown disads, and rider disads make more sense to me because they are more indicative of showmanship, horsetrading, and brinksmanship that occurs in the Congress and State legislatures. There are zero sum tradeoffs in time and resources and attention for legislators to grapple with. Example now: the House is trying to pass the Farm Bill, but House Freedom Caucus members want to force votes on a series of immigration measures- if some bill gets attached to either or another item is introduced, then the balance of power could be upset causing the government to shutdown or neither bill to get enacted, grinding the government to a halt. (See 1995/96 shutdowns and 2013 shutdown)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ugh I had a response typed out with quotes and all and then browser crashed. Idc to reproduce it neatly.

 

I guess I just disagree with the notion that a fiated plan has to be pushed. Why start with a supportive executive trying to convince a neutral legislative? Why not vis versa or support in both? It's convenient for the DA, but there doesn't seem to be a natural reason for that to be how fiat works.

Should the Negative also get "GOP congress rolls back your liberal policy"? What about "you'll only get sufficient majorities if reluctant voters water down the Affirmative"? How about "congress conditions your plan on passing tax cuts"? To me, the same reasons fiat should be durable and unconditional are the reasons DAs based on internal political opposition don't seem legitimate.

I don't think the Affirmative gets to change what it does. In the language of counterplans, switching to a different funding source would be a severance permutation, which is unfair and dodges Negative ground. But plan + politics scenario is like permutation do both which is reasonable because it's a test of opportunity cost.

-All policies are pushed and there are effects to that. Why remove ourselves from those kinds of discussions?

 

-Durable fiat =/= process of plan passage. Separate issue. We should assume plans stay enacted. (But... enforcement? Compliance? Dun dun dun)

 

-Watering down/making concessions is called horsetrading. Can make for good solvency args or DAs. A good example on the college topic is the reproductive rights DA (liberal healthcare reform means GOP pushes for carving out repro rights).

 

-Riders DAs have a high threshold for link evidence that wouldn't be thumped. Presumably a well chosen topic isn't facing large shifts in the direction of the topic IRL to thump politics links.

 

-Your framing of evaluating what policymakers *should* do over substantiated claims of what they would do disproves your claim that spending DAs still work. If the aff doesn't specify funding and the neg reads link ev describing that "new bills are funded through taxes," saying we should evaluate what policymakers should do means they would presumably flip to another funding source to avoid the impacts.

 

It's not a counterplan. It is a DA about another piece of legislation and the neg has link evidence describing it as mutually exclusive. whatisthisidonteven.jpg

Edited by OGRawrcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

-All policies are pushed and there are effects to that.

Not all policies are pushed by the president, the likely subject of a political capital DA. Why does fiat only apply to the president, who then has to persuade the rest of the government? Furthermore, there are policies that originate in congress and are blocked by the executive. Why should we stick to a vision of government in which there's only one possible path of support/opposition for a policy to be created?

 

-Durable fiat =/= process of plan passage. Separate issue. We should assume plans stay enacted. (But... enforcement? Compliance? Dun dun dun)

 

The Affirmative doesn't get protected enforcement? Okay, so the USFG writes down the plan in a law and never does anything to follow through. My point, though, is that fiat has to be unconditional for the Affirmative to have a fair, logical, and defensible model for plan passage.

 

-Watering down/making concessions is called horsetrading. Can make for good solvency args or DAs. A good example on the college topic is the reproductive rights DA (liberal healthcare reform means GOP pushes for carving out repro rights).

-Riders DAs have a high threshold for link evidence that wouldn't be thumped. Presumably a well chosen topic isn't facing large shifts in the direction of the topic IRL to thump politics links.

 

I think these DAs both rely on fiat making the plan an "infinite bargaining chip" like I was saying which I think gives the Negative unfair and unrealistic leeway in spinning large, vague links.

 

-Your framing of evaluating what policymakers *should* do over substantiated claims of what they would do disproves your claim that spending DAs still work. If the aff doesn't specify funding and the neg reads link ev describing that "new bills are funded through taxes," saying we should evaluate what policymakers should do means they would presumably flip to another funding source to avoid the impacts.

I think Affirmatives should get to specify their own funding regardless. If Negative asks in CX and the Affirmative says taxes or deficit spending or re-allocation or whatever they should be bound to that. But the Negative shouldn't get to make a link argument off something that isn't a specified plan mandate.

 

A counterplan basically is an opportunity cost DA. "Permutation" isn't the word I'm looking for, but I think it's extremely important to determine whether a genuine opportunity cost exists.

 

 

 

 

By the way, I think this has been a fun and interesting debate. I'm happy to continue to rebuttal but we might be going in circles at this point if you want to agree to disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not all policies are pushed by the president, the likely subject of a political capital DA. Why does fiat only apply to the president, who then has to persuade the rest of the government? Furthermore, there are policies that originate in congress and are blocked by the executive. Why should we stick to a vision of government in which there's only one possible path of support/opposition for a policy to be created?

The Affirmative doesn't get protected enforcement? Okay, so the USFG writes down the plan in a law and never does anything to follow through. My point, though, is that fiat has to be unconditional for the Affirmative to have a fair, logical, and defensible model for plan passage.

 

Affs do read ev that say "x person doesn't push." This can be debated substantively and not theoretically. I don't see why that's bad. Affirmafives should be able to theoretically maintain that their policy remains in plan. But the pieces around that (who is involved in forming and pushing that kind of policy, how would legislators react to it, what agencies would enact it, how would lobbiests work with the plan) are legitimate political calculus to discuss surrounding a world that assumes that policy passes.

 

I think these DAs both rely on fiat making the plan an "infinite bargaining chip" like I was saying which I think gives the Negative unfair and unrealistic leeway in spinning large, vague links.

I think Affirmatives should get to specify their own funding regardless. If Negative asks in CX and the Affirmative says taxes or deficit spending or re-allocation or whatever they should be bound to that. But the Negative shouldn't get to make a link argument off something that isn't a specified plan mandate.

A counterplan basically is an opportunity cost DA. "Permutation" isn't the word I'm looking for, but I think it's extremely important to determine whether a genuine opportunity cost exists.

 

I think that it's possible to be able to research and defend points about how it's reacted to or how policy formation operates with their plan. I get at that above and it applies especially to politics links and spending links and it's fairly normalized into that research. I think more research on details is better for depth of debate. I don't think there needs to be a theoretical reason via fiat to remove discussions of politics because it's unfair. Edited by OGRawrcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, I think this has been a fun and interesting debate. I'm happy to continue to rebuttal but we might be going in circles at this point if you want to agree to disagree.

Accidentally submitted that previous post early.

 

This has been fun. I'm fine with agreeing to disagree. I think this was productive and interesting both ways.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One reason they're controversial - and I'm surprised this hasn't been said - is that it confuses the nature of fiat (or at least, exposes confusion about its nature).

 

Consider the consensus model of fiat. If fiat really means is "all senators and house reps collectively support the plan," almost all of the evidence on the DA doesn't make sense, because it assumes existing partisan divides. For example, what's to stop the aff from fiating that all senators support the plan without concessions (taking out tit-for-tat DAs)? The role of individual objects of fiat (specific senators, justices, and executive agents) is radically undertheorized in policy debate, and often gets brought out every few years by someone creative and trolly (there was an aff that claimed the plan made George Bush a marxist, because the only way to justify the aff's action was marxism, and then claimed advantages to a Marxist Bush; another team appointed themselves to the EPA to implement the aff). 

But maybe that's not what fiat is - there's also the "magic wand" model. In that approach, fiat is that the plan just suddenly exists. It's a law on the books, and we're looking at whether it's desirable to have that law on the books relative to a world where it's not. If that's the case, then fiat means the politics of the political process don't apply, because the law is instantly on the books. 

 

There's perhaps other models and approaches to fiat (e.g. "the plan passes by the minimum majority of senators") that still leaves questions unanswered. Does fiat permit the aff to claim the president vetos and Congress overrode, if that ultimately results in the aff being implemented as law? Etc. 

 

This is why politics is nonsense to me. The precondition to evaluating a politics DA is a robust, well-theorized notion of fiat that the competitors and judge agree upon - low chance of that, so low chance of the DA being coherent as articulated.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bunch of smart stuff

Applause! 

 

Snarf brings up a good point - and one I had a lot of success exploiting - Politics asks the judge to clarify their position in regards to the plan and this clarification brings with it a huge host of problems. It's often quite difficult for the neg to prove that the DA is a meaningful opportunity cost to the plan given the "world" of fiat offered by EITHER team.

 

I've often used this as a clever heuristic: If the neg said "CP: pass the bill" would that be competitive with the plan after they read their PC Key cards to answer the perm? Most judges would think the perm likely solves the net benefit. This example has gotten me pretty far in "intrinsicness" debates, which I take quite seriously. Not sure if intrinsicness is still a winner...but it should be. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

its always flattering to see others using my arguments...

 

the reason that the magic wand approach is superior is because the other interpretations permit the affirmative to spike out of links as the right to define the process of plan passage must necessarily be exclusive to the affirmative. by establishing a clear brightline that neither team can draw conclusions from the plan passage process, it creates predictable argument ground.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the reason that the magic wand approach is superior is because the other interpretations permit the affirmative to spike out of links as the right to define the process of plan passage must necessarily be exclusive to the affirmative. by establishing a clear brightline that neither team can draw conclusions from the plan passage process, it creates predictable argument ground.

Why doesn't theory check? If an affirmative claims an approach that's extra-topical (e.g. "do the 'Fund Stem aff' and replace Betsy DeVoss to implement it," then reads "bye bye Betsy" advantages), theory checks the latter portion of that. Ditto for spiking out of links (e.g. a neg has a solid abuse story on extra-T if the aff's response to their DA is "your ev assumes DeVoss"). 

 

I probably prefer the magic wand approach as well (because it cabins off most of the weird effects of over-theorizing fiat) but I'm curious for your thoughts on theory checking.

  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People's views on the Politics DA are similar to how we act on social media. We put a lot of effort into creating this pretend world that is perfect, but in reality we're sitting on our couch watching Netflix and monitoring our likes.  No matter how much people trash the Politics DA for being bad for debate, they'll be scavenging Google News and Lexus Nexus for updates every week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×