Agent of Change
Fri Nov 14 03:05:06 CST 1997
You raise an interesting question. Given that the resolution does not
specify a specific agent of the U.S. government, the aff. has any agent
within the USG from which to choose. Beyond that, they need to specify HOW
THEY WILL IMPLEMENT THEIR PLAN. That, in my view, is a responsibility that
they must assume in order to be granted fiat. Once the aff. has done so, you
are free to hold them responsible for their choices. Beyond that, you'll
run into some legitimate disagreements. My view is that they must identify
their branch or branches of action in order to achieve that outcome and not
the specifics (beyond that) of how their plan will be implemented; ie, if
their plan is (or is subsequently proved to be) unconstitutional, they must
include the Supreme Court in the plan and/or explain how the Court will rule
in order to fit the plan into existing constitutional law. This also raises
the issue of the "operational definition" of the topic and is, in my
opinion, the best rationalization for topical counterplans. All of these
issues, of course, present their own links and are subject to theoretical
My word on this is not authoritative (though it is definitely Truth).
The community is misguided in many ways concerning fiat and (though they're
all wrong), I certainly would encourage you to elicit the opinions of others
(re: your judges) on this issue.
Bottom line, FORCE them to choose, as best you can, and then use their
ambiguity against them as disad links!!
Sorry it has been so long...
You say: "If the resolution sez "federal government," than why is the aff
required to depart from that?"
ME: They are not. They need to specify, however, how they will use their
agent PRIOR to the 1NC. The, all to common, practice of answering args. that
deal with the consequences of aff. action with responses that consist of new
and conditional interpretations of the plan are unacceptable. They are
conditional intrinsicness responses, plain and simple. For example, "Well,
the Congress could override the President's veto." This garbage is not
acceptable. If the Congress is to override the veto, then the aff. needs to
specify that in the plan.
You say: "IMHO, fiat is a "black box" used to put aside implementation
issues so that the merits of a course of action can be discussed (what that
means is up to you), and exists *exactly* to avoid debates about whether
congress should implement legislation through an appropriations bill
(originating as a rider in the senate and negotiated in reconcilation),
legislation proposed by one democrat and one republican and supported
primarially by the house's socialist but without disagreement from the
republican caucaus and signed by the president in an after-tea friday
ceremony to minimize news coverage. The legislation, of course, survived
challenge in the federal courts and the supreme court denied certiorori on
ME:I'm not sure what a "black box" is, except as it relates to a "bright
line," though if it has anything to do with the one in Dune, I'm sure I
disagree, cuz that HURTS. Nevertheless, fiat was not conceived, nor is it
used to avoid, debates concerning implementation issues. Fiat was concieved
before the death of inherency to insure that the aff had the power to
overcome their inherent barrier. In spite of the death of the
aforementioned "barrier," fiat has survived to insure that the aff. has the
power to implement their PLAN. If their PLAN does not mention something;
ie, the Supreme Court, the plan is subject to debate about whether it will
be deemed constitutional.
You say: "I love argument through reductio absurdium...... :)"
ME: Yes?? Well, I love reductio I can't spellium... or did you mean reductio
You say: "Besides, its absurd to argue that the aff need only specify which
branch. Even an executive order is subject to legislative overrule, and
congress certainly can't implement legislation last timed I checked.
ME: Well, if the aff wants FIAT to overcome a legislative overrule, they
ought to specify congressional action and if the aff wants legislation to be
implemented, they ought to include more than Congress in the plan.
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