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Re: Process Disads -Reply to Croasmun
On Sat, 12 Jul 1997 email@example.com wrote:
> On Fri, 11 Jul 1997, croasmun@JUNO.COM (Earl Croasmun) wrote:
> >Good, substantive response. I may get back to it over the weekend if I
> >have the time. Newnam's argument is that they do not address the
> >desirability of the policy (the "should").
> Wrong. They address the plan's desirability either through deduction or they
> address aspects of the plan other than the actual solvency mechanism type
> action(like an actor or funding). "Should one act now?" "Should the government
> act now?" "Should the government act on the environment?". These are questions
> the negative can answer and win the debate. Why does the negative only get to
> answer whether the Carbon Tax or whatever they're running "should" be done.
> Maybe they answer whether the USFG "should" act which address the desirability
> of the plan....the "should". Of course, generic links are really just a form of
> deduction, so while they're not neccessarily "on-point", they still address the
> desirability of the plan or the resolution....also, the "should".
The point is that they do not address the question of SHOULD in relation
to the policy question, and instead subvert it to a political question.
If I were giving Bill Clinton political advice, it would be very different
than if I were giving Bill Clinton policy advice.
If I were having a conversation with someone in my living room or over a
cup of coffee about what the Clean Air Act standards SHOULD be, I would
not be discussing how it WOULD impact on Clinton's efforts to get the CWC
passed. In most conversations, that would appear a non-sequitor.
Yes, the political aspects of it might be discussed, as Cornellier
recently pointed out about the EPA as a political issue this past year.
However, the dicussion in a policy circles and political circles are
unlikely to devolve into whether or not it will hurt the chances at
passing the CWC and then whether or not THAT is good or bad. And that is
a discussion, if it took place, which Carole Browner would not attend.
When I discussed Ronald Reagan's potential policy choices, I never found
myself saying, "I don't think Ronald Reagan should protect the environment
because it might help him get re-elected in the fall." I almost always
thought he SHOULD fire James Watt, even if it made Reagan more popular.
In short, I see political advice as distinct from policy advice and I
would prefer to see debates about policy than politics.
Yes, you can follow these chains of reasoning, supported by the political
rant of the most recent lexis/nexis search, and make arguments. And I
will continue to vote for them as I have in the past.
But I really think they are among the least relevant arguments to what
policies SHOULD be enacted that debaters can make.
Still seeking purity,
> (I clipped out stuff here)
> >But I still think it is better to
> >debate about conceptual positions than to do a weekly nexis search and
> >debate the exigence of the given moment.
> I take it you refer to "conceptual" positions as the kritiks I was talking about
> that become equal crutches for the negative. Okay, fine. Process keeps me on
> lexis week to week to keep abreast of what's actually happening in politics
> which increases actual understanding of issues......and it's versitile and
> changes as an argument week to week which means it's not as stale as you would
> have us beleive. We ran over 7 different versions of Process this year....and
> several other c-plan's along with them. Never the same disad at the next
> tournament. That's gotta be at least marginally educational. I agree,
> "conceptual" posistions (again, I assume you mean Kritiks) are certainly
> valuable. I can think of lots of reasons Kritiks are good and I can think of
> reasons process disads are educational and valuable. We won't clash here is the
> thing. The issue is, you just don't like them....think they're morally bankrupt
> or something.
> >A few brief comments. Several of your arguments are that political DAs
> >pressure the affirmative, increase the affirmative burden, and give more
> >negative options. All true. But that doesn't make them good arguments.
> >One of your reasons explicitly says they help negatives in the absence of
> >a limited and predictable topic. Also true. It is kind of sad when
> >preparing for nationals means (a) trying to research more than a hundred
> >VERY different cases, or (b) brushing up generic arguments that can be
> >run every round. But that doesn't make generics into exemplars of
> >quality argumentation.
> Okay....not all kritiks are good....not everybody's good on Topicallity. We
> agree generics are important. This year there will be lots. Some people are
> good on Process disads or economy disads. I am not saying that just because
> they are generic they are good. I am saying it's a weapon that for some people
> is important to have as a generic. Simply discounting it harms teams that may
> rely on it as one of their few generics. When you cut case strategies you also
> look for links to your big-sticks. If I am cutting a strategy against Carbon
> Tax I may look for Clinton links over the course of my research. I don't see
> anything wrong with that. I think that's a very important aspect of the debate
> process. Educational, involves critical and creative thinking, etc.
> >You also compare them to other DAs ["I think they're no
> >different than most economy disads.(FRB, Bonds, you know, the
> >perception based ones.) "] and to some topicality or kritik arguments.
> >Same response applies. You are right--there are other weak arguments
> Again, yes...a lot of people's case hits are weak....so they utilize their
> generics and hope to find links to those as they do their case hit work. You
> can't just catagorically discount entire "type's" or arguments as weak.
> >>If you ran
> >>Carbon Tax I might wanna debate something besides Carbon Tax bad and
> >>Warming good.
> >On the "fossil fuels" topic (NDT topic about seven years ago) there were
> >many good on-point arguments, including good case arguments that undercut
> >the warming advantages.
> Trust me, I know......however, they are the same each time. I may choose to
> employ a different strategy after I had debated the case for the 8th or 9th
> time. I may decide to put out a Clinton disad with a specific C-Tax link in the
> 1NC this time. You're right...against warming there are plenty of case
> cards...but sometimes there aren't and I gotta hope I can get a link to one of
> my generics. I also think there is value to giving the affirmative a few
> different looks from time to time when it comes to the strategy.
> >>The CWC got tabled the first time because of the election.
> >But if I ever thought my congress-person voted for or against it based on
> >how it would affect Clinton's popularity, rather than how it would affect
> >the possibility of military conflict in the future, I would try really
> >hard to get that person voted out in the next election regardless of
> >their party affiliation.
> Who did you vote for last election? You know, it was mostly Bob Dole's idea and
> he wasn't neccessarily opposed to the convention. He did it SOLELY as a
> political move so Clinton couldn't use a foreign policy acheivement against him.
> They wanted to diffuse the debate altogether. Didn't even want us to get a
> sniff of a potential battle like we got early in the Spring over it.
> >>It certainly increases our understanding of the
> >>political process and the games that get played up in Washington.
> >Cool. A topic on Presidential selection process, or Presidential powers,
> >or campaign finance, etc., would do it better. But these arguments can
> >appear on any topic, and trade off against research and understanding of
> >that topic area. Example: how many teams do you think (on last year's
> >topic) spent more time and carried more evidence on sulphur dioxide than
> >they did on Clinton's popularity?
> Aside from learning about the topic area, debate has value regardless of the
> topic. Synthetic thinking which comes from certain types of critical
> discussions has immense value in making us better debaters each day...and better
> thinkers. Topicallity teaches one nothing about the topic area.....except maybe
> what it ISN'T. There is value in that type of reasoning or discussion though.
> I also think debating disads like Process and Economy have value aside from what
> you learn. Old stand-bys like that are teaching tools....skill
> tools....whatever....and they have some kind of educational benifits. I learned
> how to debate running Anarchy and Clinton....one or the other....every neg.
> round. I don't know enough about Anarchism to even really discuss it with
> you...but I learned how to debate counterplans that way. Same thing with disads
> with Clinton and how to debate link turns, etc. This isn't a concession of any
> value I've attributed to Clinton before...mearly another reason I think they're
> >>What if my disad impact is a lot more people dying than 12,000?
> >The impact would be the harm multiplied by the probability. Given the
> >various links within the typical bipart or Clinton DA, with fuzzy
> >probabilities at EACH step, how would you get such a solid impact?
> Depends. You seem predisposed to intervene on behalf of the affirmative,
> though. That is why we debate.
> Good talking to you. Catch you soon.
> ---siu debate-
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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