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counterplans: our new best friend
Adam Chud writes:
Glenn, hellllloooooo.... no difference between a generic counterplan and a
generic counterwarrant (as opposed to a specific counterwarrant!?!?). Maybe
the dullness of crushing our E-Mail leader JAmey has blunted your critical
Please do not mis-quote me. This is not what I wrote. I asked the
question why a generic CP was *better* than a generic CW. I
understand that they are very different arguments; in fact, I went to
some length to prove this, and to examine what this meant for when
they were logical to apply in a debate round.
First, maybe there is confusion in the jargon. A generic counterplan is not
generic, in the sense that it provides a specific alternative to the AFF
proposal/plan/alternative. For example, an AFF plan on SPring '93 UN topic
which said the UN should intervene in Bosnia would be open to a counterplan
of "US intervention would be better." Now although the negative may run the
same argument against every intervention case they heard the entire semester,
in this debate it is a specific alternative to the AFF.
Right. It does provide an alternative the the Aff. Just to keep
the jargon clear, this is what I refer to as a generic CP, since it
does apply to a large number of different aff cases.
IT [the CP] may be subject to
attack on the grounds of "no specific solvency evidence," but at least puts
a negative in a good position to win the debate without any cards against the
Right. I agree. This is fine. Of course, as I argued earlier (with
the rug examples), CPs are not alwys relevant.
The aff is still in a position to defend its parametric example (key
to sustaining the counterplan), but the negative can still argue counter solven
Right. This CP like a very legitimate argument to me. Of course,
solvency ev will be key.
While this subsumes the question of the legitimacy of CPlans
per se, or the desirability of Cplaans at all, it still gives every negative
the opportunity to debate againmst any case adequately, and every aff the
ability to hide in its unheardof portion of the world.
Right. Personally, I'd rather the Affs not be ble to hide in tiny
examples. That's why I think HG is a good theory position. But I
also agree that the CPs are legitimate alts when the Aff has an
explicit or implicit plan. Cps are OK, and to me, so are CWs. Very
different args. Both reasonable in different (and sometimes
Also, I commented earlier that the quality of the solvency debate is
often terrible when case-specific solvency ev is reead in 1AC and the
Negative runs generic solvency for their type of CP on the negative.
Doesn't *have* to be bad, but often is. I you wish to argue that CWs
lead to no clash, I would argue that the same is often true of CPs.
But good debators would produce clash with either approach, if that
approach were relevant to the resolution and criteria in the round.
The obvious contrast is the counterwarrant. This dinosaurnot only puts the
affirmative in the position of defending the legitimacy of the parametric appra
och, but merely encourages affirmative to choose the case with the biggest
impacts to outweigh unknown counterwarrants, versus choosing what they feel
may be a true but insignificant case.
Right. I agree completely. I think we've found the point of
disagreement. You see, I think this is good :-).
There is no pooer debate, in my mind,
than a clever aff approach on say media coverage of the Bobbitt trial (ouch)
being bad for understanding of new surgical techniques, who is forced to answer
"Warming" as a counterwarrant. The significance debate has been lost, and the
creative process of reasearch and thought into their new case is gone.
Nah. Affs can still be creative. But they'd better be ready to
debate some theory :-). Seriously. You yourself argue that the
Negative need some form of generic arguments to run against a plan
that they have no case-specific solvency ev for. So, WHAT'S THE
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RUNNING A CP WITH NET ADVANTAGE OF AVOIDING GLOBAL
WARMING VS. A CW WHOSE IMPACT IS GLOBAL WARMING? Surely, you do not
suggest that the Aff's choice of an unexpected subject area should
automatically give them ballots?? WHY ARE CWs WORSE THAN CPs?
maybe this case would be open to a hasty G attack (another monster which I am
embarassed to say won me a few debates on the UN topic), but the choice of case
s by the aff, which are topical yet insignificant, should not be artificially
limited by a huge non-sequetor argument called a counterwarrant.
Remember, please, that I believe that CWs can function as a test for
HG. I do not *assume* that CWs prove the res false. And, what on
EARTH is "artificial" about calling the Bobbit case insignificant?
You have *completely* lost me here, Adam. Listen to yourself. "The
choice of cases by the aff, which are topical but insignificant,
should not be artifically limited." Huh? I argue instead, why should
the debate of the resolution be artificially constrained to topical
but insignificant portions thereof? Seriously, the Bobbitt case?
Drivel like that deserves as few words as possible. As a negative, I
would not want to debate that subject area; why should I be forced to?
Remember, a "case" should be a "case for the resolution", as in
"making a case for", as in advocacy of some ideal or at least some
logical claim. That claim is the resolution, is it not?
generic counterplan, the counterwarrant produces debates with two ships passing
in the night. The generic counterplan serves to correct that harm, by
producing substantive clash over competing policy options.
Not! I still see no reason why the CP leads to more clash than the CW.
And CW that is large enough to be worth running will have some
evidence held by both sides -- ie, clash. And the debate theory will
certainly provide clash. And hopefully, the Aff's 1AC will not be so
airtight that it cannot be clashed with.
Library, think library.
Yep. Heck, I had some real nano evidence 4 years ago :-). And I knew
the difference between AI and A-life, too :-). I'm not suggesting
taht research is not good. And I did run unusual cases as an
affirmative. But I was ready to answer HG -- in other words, I was
ready to explain how my examples could prove the resolution true (I
also tried to parametricize, of course, since I'm certainly not above
saying things I disagree with to win rounds). If I could run Peyote
or Yakuza cases and defend against HG and CWs, then what's the
To me, the *truly* creative thought is the case that looks at a
significant area in a new way, or that even looks at the whole
resolution and draws unexpected significant conclusions. For example,
the Censorship cases VT ran -- the Miller case (with a purely
legal/prior notification criteria), and even more so the "Forbidden
Fruit" case, which argued that Censorship would always be
counterprductive, hence it would *increase* art -- flipping
traditional negative DAs on the topic. Of course, the criteria for
that case was conventional-impact-irrelevant -- it argued that any law
that "failed to achieve its goal" was an "unjustified" law, or
whatever the value-word was on that resolution. Creative thought, good
ev searching, an unusual criteria... and lots of Ws. And, it was a
case against which CPs made little sense.
I don't see rewarding Affs for choosing insignificant 1ACs, at least
not rewarding them any more than they already have gained by putting
the Negative on unfamiliar turf. In CEDA debate, I prefer to hear
creative VALUE arguments. I havn't heard a good criterial debate in
two semesters, and I think that's a pity.
Archive created by Jonathan Stanton (email@example.com)
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