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justanothernovice

Why are Politics DAs controversial?

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They aren't true and are largely incoherent. Politics IRL is a whole lot more complicated than debaters make it out to be, and I think there is a true but trolly argument to be made in favor of fiat solving the link. On the other hand, some judges love politics debates.

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Aside from being untrue and oversimplified even by debate standards, my gripe with politics DA's is that they're not intrinsic. How the plan might affect politics doesn't actually prove anything about whether it's a good idea. Pretty much any other disad, even a generic topic DA, at least addresses a core controversy of the topic whereas politics is the definition of people manipulating evidence just to get an impact.

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Edit: this was long and wordy so I'm re-typing it.

 

I personally disagree with the politics DA because I believe the Negative must prove that the plan is bad as a result of offense (an opportunity cost). I believe that for an opportunity cost to occur, the two options must be impossible or undesirable to do together. I think that it is possible and desirable to do both the plan and the item within the politics DA.

Edited by TheSnowball

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Politics DAs are the reason perming DAs should be a thing again.

 

I love a good politics round, because it's the most contrived, shitty, debate-in-a-vacuum type arg there is (ala the process CP), and I think that's beautiful. Seeing a good politics round is a masterclass in just the most amazing technical execution of an arg, because to see someone like LASA MS or Greenhill GE go for politics in the 2NR is def a virtuoso type thing and it requires a lot of skill.

 

With that being said, there are literally infinite thumpers to any DA and they should most definitely lose to that every single time alone, and the community prob needs to realize these args are objectively just fake as fuck, but until those things start happening more I'll take my dubs happily.

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I agree politics DAs are garbled internal link chains 99% of the time, BUT...

 

my gripe with politics DA's is that they're not intrinsic. How the plan might affect politics doesn't actually prove anything about whether it's a good idea.

Politics DAs are intrinsic. They're about how the plan alters the current political motive for 'x' thing. These "should" questions that say the aff should be viewed in a vacuum from current events are silly. Every DA relies on uniqueness that characterizes the status quo. It's not possible to delink the aff case from what's currently happening in the world and still prove it's a good or bad idea. The aff being bad for the economy begs the question of if the economy is doing well now, he aff being bad for US power projection begs the question of current geopolitical tensions, etc.

 

So mooting the politics DA because it reflects politics now and not whether the aff *should* be done in a vacuum moots all DAs.

 

Edit: this was long and wordy so I'm re-typing it.

 

I personally disagree with the politics DA because I believe the Negative must prove that the plan is bad as a result of offense (an opportunity cost). I believe that for an opportunity cost to occur, the two options must be impossible or undesirable to do together. I think that it is possible and desirable to do both the plan and the item within the politics DA.

This presumes winning PC theory false (if it's a PC politics DA, that kind of arg makes little sense for an agenda or bipart DA since agenda DAs are direct trade offs and bipartisanship absolutely works on tit for tat spats), otherwise the neg wins that the controversy of the aff is mutually exclusive with being able to push another piece of legislation. Of course if you win PC theory false you don't need to rise to making an intrinsicperm and risk a theory debate since you've already disproved the thesis of their internal link. Edited by OGRawrcat

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This presumes winning PC theory false (if it's a PC politics DA, that kind of arg makes little sense for an agenda or bipart DA since agenda DAs are direct trade offs and bipartisanship absolutely works on tit for tat spats), otherwise the neg wins that the controversy of the aff is mutually exclusive with being able to push another piece of legislation. Of course if you win PC theory false you don't need to rise to making an intrinsicperm and risk a theory debate since you've already disproved the thesis of their internal link.

Disagree that political capital establishes mutual exclusivity. It presumes a trade-off, but because the actor in question for the plan is the same as the actor in question for the DA (the USFG), there's not any external reason doing both is impossible besides the desires/interests of the president/congress which are irrelevant in the normative question of what the government should do.

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Disagree that political capital establishes mutual exclusivity. It presumes a trade-off, but because the actor in question for the plan is the same as the actor in question for the DA (the USFG), there's not any external reason doing both is impossible besides the desires/interests of the president/congress which are irrelevant in the normative question of what the government should do.

Normative question of what the government should do is solely a resolutionally based question as there hasn't been an alternative (CP) proposed.

I think you're making a mistake of conflating all actors under the umbrella of USFG when the story of the politics DA centers around the intraconflicts between multiple actors that compose the USFG. The presumption that they will all act in unison to do something that *should* be done is a fiat question of assuming the aff happens for the sake of debate. The link is making a normal means type of arg that getting the aff pushed relies on backroom deals, pressuring, etc to get people to comply because it's controversial which has a political cost of not being able to push other legislation. So I guess it's more if you think fiat makes the plan non controversial and makes every single one of the hundreds of decision makers in the usfg love the plan rather than the slightly more realistic idea that they got pushed into doing it and a lot of them are grumpy about it.

 

I will say that I think you make a point in context of a uniqueness CP debate. I've always thought that the link debate is nonsensical establishing mutual exclusivity when both the aff plan and the cp make normative should claims.

Edited by OGRawrcat

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I know there's a framing difference between a DA and a CP, but they're both ultimately just reasons the plan should be rejected because it is relatively bad compared to an alternative. I do think the Affirmative should get the full scope of the USFG but I don't think that requires full support from every individual. If it's reasonable to assert that sufficient support for the plan would be good, it also seems reasonable to assert the same for the politics scenario in question.

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That's an intrinsic perm. The neg has not advocated that x bill should be passed but that it's a political opportunity. It ties into the mooting DAs point above. It would also be desirable to not have spending trade offs, or loss of federal-state balance, etc.

 

It doesn't matter if the bill the DA is centered around is good as a value statement and judges should hang their hats on that in regards to the link debate, it's a question of if it can pass in the first place in the wake of controversial legislation or if that upsets the current political balance.

 

If there's a sufficiency standard for how fiat should be evaluated, it stands to reason that things like political backlash would occur. Importantly, the best politics link args hone in on a handful of people that would react and stonewall the bill the DA is built around. Idk why being like "if the politics da is so good people will pass it" when uniqueness frames its passage as tenuous and requiring pressuring/pandering. Link specificity on the most basic level proves that false.

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In my view, the Negative isn't really ever advocating as anything. The resolution/Affirmative are framed as a possible hypothesis which the Negative attempts to falsify. A counterplan would also be a "political opportunity." Trade-offs in spending are legitimate because the Negative does have a real component (finite money which is undesirable to spend). Trade-offs with external actors like federalism and fine too because that opportunity cost isn't contained within the actor of the plan.

 

Your framing of backlash also justifies the Affirmative reading a "we result in bi-partisanship over education" advantage because some Republicans + Trump necessarily had to sufficiently support the plan. I think if the Affirmative can prove there's any scenario for the plan to pass without controversy, they've won the normative question because nobody's going to agree on which members of Congress the Affirmative gets to fiat.

 

It's not "if your DA is so good, why hasn't the government done it yet." The use of fiat and determination of the best policy is why that reasoning is irrelevant.

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Trade-offs in spending are legitimate because the Negative does have a real component (finite money which is undesirable to spend). Trade-offs with external actors like federalism and fine too because that opportunity cost isn't contained within the actor of the plan.

PC is finite.

 

Spending is contained within the actor of the plan.

 

Your framing of backlash also justifies the Affirmative reading a "we result in bi-partisanship over education" advantage because some Republicans + Trump necessarily had to sufficiently support the plan. I think if the Affirmative can prove there's any scenario for the plan to pass without controversy, they've won the normative question because nobody's going to agree on which members of Congress the Affirmative gets to fiat.

No it doesn't. Forcing one bipartisan action arguably trades off with bipartisanship overall because of backlash. The standard that we should evaluate the normal means of how controversial actions are enacted do the reverse of that. Making the arg that policymakers always do what is most desirable overwrite differing political opinions and thus make those silly theoretical arguments legitimate.

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PC is finite.

The question of how much PC is necessary is irrelevant because both congress and the president are fiated.

 

Making the arg that policymakers always do what is most desirable overwrite differing political opinions and thus make those silly theoretical arguments legitimate.

Not that they always *do* the best thing but that they *always should* do the best thing.

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The question of how much PC is necessary is irrelevant because both congress and the president are fiated.

You said above that it's political support sufficient to enact the plan, meaning not all individuals in the government support the plan, so some actors who could currently be influence to vote for a bill would be reactionary to plan passage and thus the capital of whomever is pushing the plan and bill is decreased for those key votes (the link of who doesn't like the plan should align with the internal link of who is key to get to pass the bill) and meeting the threshold of being sufficient necessarily requires things like coercing votes or political dealmaking which also involves expenditure of political capital.

 

Not that they always *do* the best thing but that they *always should* do the best thing.

Right. A politics DA isn't making a should statement on what policymakers should do. It's saying that 'x' thing is occurring in the status quo and the affirmative forecloses it. The neg is not advocating for the politics DA to happen/not happen but saying it is currently coming/not coming and theres an isolated reason why it's good/bad.

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Not that they always *do* the best thing but that they *always should* do the best thing.

This also still moots spending questions since if x spending is important, policymakers *should* get money from somewhere else.

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meeting the threshold of being sufficient necessarily requires things like coercing votes or political dealmaking which also involves expenditure of political capital.

Why does fiat necessarily involve coercion? The burden of the Affirmative is winning that if a sufficient number of congresspeople were to support the plan, a good outcome would result. The burden is not in proving how those congresspeople could be motivated.

 

A politics DA isn't making a should statement on what policymakers should do.

Of course it is. It's saying we should do "not the plan." All opportunity costs share that basic logic regardless of whether it's framed as a CP or a DA. It's just a different way of establishing uniqueness.

 

This also still moots spending questions since if x spending is important, policymakers *should* get money from somewhere else.

I mean, the Negative should probably be prepared to defend a substantive reason excessive spending is bad.

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Anyone got a copy of the K of the Politics DA from like a decade or two ago? I remember seeing in like 2009 a fairly hefty PDF put out by UTNIF or somebody, and the file was already fairly old at that point. There have been some articles recently about how people should just ignore short term political news or not pay attention to Trump's antics and I feel like it might be possible to combine the old arguments with the new into something viable. Given that a high percentage of cards read on the politics DA are from random bloggers, the argument is probably stronger in today's media environment than it was formerly.

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Why does fiat necessarily involve coercion? The burden of the Affirmative is winning that if a sufficient number of congresspeople were to support the plan, a good outcome would result. The burden is not in proving how those congresspeople could be motivated.

 

Fair, but doesn't speak the latter and more important portion about backlash and reactions to the plan being controversial to be pushed by Trump (or Ryan or whomever) which is really how politics links work. If sufficient people support, presumably those who oppose (who the internal link defines as being just in the right spot to vote for a bill absent major changes) would react to it if they feel it's politically unfair.

 

Of course it is. It's saying we should do "not the plan." All opportunity costs share that basic logic regardless of whether it's framed as a CP or a DA. It's just a different way of establishing uniqueness.

 

This doesn't ultimately matter. If you can acknowledge that political dissent on the plan exists AND acknowledge that there is political tension on uniqueness/internal link of the DA, it makes zero sense as to why they aren't mutually exclusive because you've functionally conceded the thesis of what the argument is. This whole concept of "look at the ideal of what the agent as a whole should do" forecloses discussions of internal conflicts in the federal government, constitutional crisis args are gone, SOP args are gone, rule of law args are gone, and yes, spending args are gone.

 

 

I mean, the Negative should probably be prepared to defend a substantive reason excessive spending is bad.

 

Of what kind? Taxes? Trade offs? Deficit spending? Making arguments that policymakers will just do what is ideal leads to goalpost shifting away from whatever the 1nc is ("oh if deficit spending is bad policymakers just won't do it") that changes how the affirmative functions, which is an argument for why defaulting to normal means based on evidence (or specification backed by solvency evidence) is the best standard for defining governmental policy action.

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those who oppose (who the internal link defines as being just in the right spot to vote for a bill absent major changes) would react to it if they feel it's politically unfair.

So what? Their opposition is non-unique and if the Affirmative can fiat sufficient congressional support, political capital doesn't have to be sapped.

 

There's a difference between forcing DAs to be intrinsic consequences of the plan and refusing to discuss internal government affairs.

 

Consider the war powers DA on the college topic about 4 years ago. That DA makes sense because the Negative establishes a zero-sum between congressional and executive power. It's a discussion of internal government affairs, but it's not something fiat solves because mutual exclusivity is built-in. Requiring the Negative to come up with an intrinsic DA to the plan leads to more logical, in-depth debates and can still discuss the constitution, separation of powers, the rule of law, and so on.

 

A normal spending DA is fine because the Negative establishes cost as a consequence of the plan.

 

Either a funding trade-off has terrible link evidence ("sometimes spending money on some things means we spend less money on other things, that's our New York Times evidence") and isn't resulting in a productive debate or the Negative has a nuanced link to the funding source or mechanism of the plan and can build in a mutual exclusivity claim.

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So what? Their opposition is non-unique and if the Affirmative can fiat sufficient congressional support, political capital doesn't have to be sapped.

 

Opposition isn't non-unique if the aff hasn't happened yet.

 

I'll copy what I said above: "You said above that it's political support sufficient to enact the plan, meaning not all individuals in the government support the plan, so some actors who could currently be influence to vote for a bill would be reactionary to plan passage and thus the capital of whomever is pushing the plan and bill is decreased for those key votes"

 

 

There's a difference between forcing DAs to be intrinsic consequences of the plan and refusing to discuss internal government affairs.

Consider the war powers DA on the college topic about 4 years ago. That DA makes sense because the Negative establishes a zero-sum between congressional and executive power. It's a discussion of internal government affairs, but it's not something fiat solves because mutual exclusivity is built-in. Requiring the Negative to come up with an intrinsic DA to the plan leads to more logical, in-depth debates and can still discuss the constitution, separation of powers, the rule of law, and so on.

I'll copy something I said above: "Every DA relies on uniqueness that characterizes the status quo. It's not possible to delink the aff case from what's currently happening in the world and still prove it's a good or bad idea. The aff being bad for the economy begs the question of if the economy is doing well now, he aff being bad for US power projection begs the question of current geopolitical tensions, etc."

 

Political ramnifications are a consequence of the plan. All DAs are only true based on the current state of the world.

 

You're also presuming congress is a singular acting entity which is naive. Also fiat doesn't solve, see first quote.

 

You're presuming that current political affairs don't influence the enactment of policy, which means the current political occasion is always intrinsic to plan passage.

 

Your point on war powers isn't really one. There is internal competition in congress. You've said that sufficient people to pass would do so for the plan. That doesn't mean all lawmakers and that doesn't mean it isn't hated and doesn't have political ramnifications. Fiat solves the link doesn't assume a tit for tat party system where politicians are acutely aware of how wins and losses may be publically attributed and that they operate by making deals with one another in order to keep political balance between what they have to give up versus what they want to accomplish. A bill being passed on a narrow margin certainly doesn't make the minority okay with it.

 

A normal spending DA is fine because the Negative establishes cost as a consequence of the plan.

Either a funding trade-off has terrible link evidence ("sometimes spending money on some things means we spend less money on other things, that's our New York Times evidence") and isn't resulting in a productive debate or the Negative has a nuanced link to the funding source or mechanism of the plan and can build in a mutual exclusivity claim.

You're not following. My point is that if you say the government as a single actor will always do what they *should*, then if the negative establishes a spending da link based on tax hikes to fund the plan, your argument that it happens within a singular actor who acts in the best manner means they would fund it in another manner to resolve the link because they *should*.

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some actors who could currently be influence to vote for a bill would be reactionary to plan passage and thus the capital of whomever is pushing the plan and bill is decreased

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.

 

the current political occasion is always intrinsic to plan passage.

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.

 

they would fund it in another manner to resolve the link because they *should*.

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.

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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.

 

1 - rollback and "water down" are resolved by durable fiat (which allows process links to how the plan text would probabilistically be pushed/negotiated to create the conditions for that durable fiat)

 

2 - "congress conditions your plan on something else" is just a rider da which seems perfectly legit? it does seem realistic that in times of extreme legislative gridlock, passing a controversial reform would causally require a qpq as a necessary step. a version of intrinsicness that ignores any consequences of process -- i.e. that firerod legislation could magically generate new support without the expectation of a reciprocal concession -- seems far more illogical and unrealistic

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1 - rollback and "water down" are resolved by durable fiat (which allows process links to how the plan text would probabilistically be pushed/negotiated to create the conditions for that durable fiat)

The conditions for durable fiat are created not by an intricate web of negotiations but by the normative structure of the resolution. Fiat isn't something the Affirmative should have to make up for by conceding all the hypothetical political problems that stem from the obvious fact of the government's disinterest in the plan.

 

2 - "congress conditions your plan on something else" is just a rider da which seems perfectly legit? it does seem realistic that in times of extreme legislative gridlock, passing a controversial reform would causally require a qpq as a necessary step. a version of intrinsicness that ignores any consequences of process -- i.e. that firerod legislation could magically generate new support without the expectation of a reciprocal concession -- seems far more illogical and unrealistic

If you take the guarantee of fiat as the justification for concessions, the plan is an infinitely powerful bargaining chip. The majority party could demand literally anything in exchange for the plan because it necessarily has to pass. The magical generation of support isn't supposed to be realistic. It's not the Affirmative's burden to prove that the plan is a realistic political reform. It's just the Affirmative's job to prove the plan is a good idea. It is, however, logical because 1) the entire USFG is the subject of the plan/resolution and 2) that the plan passes durably and unconditionally stem from the topic's normative nature.

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