[eDebate] Korcok round 2

Josh Branson harobran
Sat May 13 15:04:55 CDT 2006

Ok, took me a while to sort out.

1. I do think that your argument necessitates intrinsicness.

The argument that the judge is somehow ?constrained? to only evaluating 
actions taken by the ?appropriate actor? depends upon a view of the judge 
that I think makes intrinsicness inevitable. The classic McKinney/Cheshier 
defense of intrinsicness rests on the idea that impact arguments which 
derive from other actions (or inactions) by the ?appropriate actor? should 
be considered irrelevant to our evaluations. For instance, imagine someone 
getting up on the floor of Congress and saying that ?we shouldn?t sanction 
China because that might then cause us to pass the India deal, which would 
be really stupid of us?.? No, any rational person charged with deciding what 
the ?appropriate authority? should do (in this Congress) would obviously say 
that instead we should sanction AND we should refuse to pass the India deal.

The link between this and your argument, I admit, is pretty complicated, but 
I think it becomes clearer if/when you ever draw out a terminal offensive 
impact argument for why people should prefer your conception of the judge. 
I?ll put aside your wax museum ground DA for a second, and examine your 
other offensive arg. I think you have two.

1) You say that it?s ?natural.? The critic is simply ?naturally? evaluating 
whether the appropriate agent should take an action. It is this argument 
that I think builds in the link to intrinsicness---an appeal to 
?naturalness? or  just our common sense (as you do with lots of your 
examples) is precisely what would eliminate about 50% of the stupid 
contrived DAs that debaters run. What about the DA that says environmental 
regulations trigger protectionism and cause a trade war? If you were truly 
to posit yourself as the critic who is solely tasked with evaluating whether 
or not Congress should pass environmental regulation, then the fact that it 
may cause the agent in question (Congress) to start a trade war in the 
future is NOT a reason to REJECT environmental protection.

I?m surprised you don?t see the link to intrinsicness---your post is full of 
the same rhetoric used to justify intrinsicness? ?"France invades Iran" 
might well COMPETE with ?The US attacks Iran? in a simple sense of COMPETE, 
but that doesn't, by itself, make it a legitimate reason to reject "The US 
attacks Iran?

?Not by itself, make it a legitimate reason to REJECT? is exactly the 
argument in favor of intrinsicness.

Lastly, I?ll run with your Burger example to explain this. You say that if 
I?m deciding whether or not I want to eat a burger, the idea that Zarefsky 
might throw me a banquet (a great idea by the way) is pretty silly for me to 
consider. Well, imagine this DA---if I eat this burger, I?ll want a coke to 
go along with it, and once I drink the Coke, I?ll be up all night because of 
the Caffeine and that will cause me to be tired in the morning for the 

Well obviously, just as it would be stupid to consider the Oxfam CP, it 
would be stupid for me to consider the Coke DA, as it is not a reason to 
REJECT eating the burger, it is just a reason to eat the burger and forego 
the coke.

Now if you want to get really high-tech, maybe this is only a defense of 
logical intrinsicness and NOT empirical intrinsicness (you?re not the only 
one who?s studied up on his Solt in ?89), but we can leave that discussion 
for later. I?m just saying that you should think through the overall effects 
on neg ground that your theory of the decision-maker would have.

2) The Wax Museum DA.
I don?t think the role of the resolution is to constrain the scope of 
affirmative fiat. For one, in debates, if you won T, did you make a 
presumption impact argument, saying that if we win you?re not T, then the 
judge lacks fiat power over your plan, so nothing happens, vote neg? That?s 
pretty stupid---no instead you said ?their interpretation of the topic is 
bad for debate, kills ground, is uneducational, etc etc.? The resolution is 
to make debate predictable, not to grant fiat power. Fiat is just an 
invention that we use to overcome inherency. It is not ?granted? to us by 
the resolution or by any higher power?..it exists only if you can prove in 
the debate that it should exist.
Yes, the neg has many more options than the aff does, because the aff has to 
be topical. I don?t really think that the Solt ?89 ev gets you very far 
here, for a few reasons
A) Yes there might be the potential for some abusive CP?s---but you need to 
prove that Congress CP is one such example. I think it is possible to 
establish a coherent theory of fiat that disallows the Japanese Geisha CP 
while still allowing for the Congress CP. I also think that some of the 
worst examples of neg CP?s---consultation, line item veto, any CP that 
Sparky ever came up with, etc?.can be beat by targeted Ground/Fairness 
arguments---they don?t require a wholesale elimination of any 
non-topical-agent CP.

B) My evidence post-dates---debate has evolved a little since 1989---I?m 
sure you can find some Patterson in ?67 evidence that says stock issues are 
sweet too, but we?ve had some experience since then. I think that on the 
whole, the last 15 years of debate have proven that the potential wax museum 
of abusive neg CP?s have not been that bad. In fact, my experience is that 
agent CP?s were the least of my worries on the aff the last few years.

You also make the argument that my interp allows for the fiat criminals to 
stop being mean CP. This is precisely why included that big discussion of 
terminal education/policy impact in my first post. I think the reason that 
these CP?s are bad are
A) No literature---as I?m sure you know, theres a TON of literature on 
Courts v. Congress or Executive vs. Congress or states vs. FG (although I 
might be with you on 50 state fiat illegit). When I said that ?agent debates 
matter,? I meant all the evidence (I?m sure I can email DHeidt or anybody 
from Wake and get about 500 cards on the subject if pressed) that says 
Courts vs. Congress is both crucial to the literature base and essential to 
policy outcomes. As I?m sure you know, nobody for any reputable source would 
advocate Commies be nice CP.

B) We have no capacity as judges or debaters to ever contribute to the 
?Commies be nice? CP. If we are to take seriously the idea that debate 
MATTERS in the larger sense (other than simply educating some kids and 
having fun), then the main I/L to ?real-world? change I think is that 
debaters become trained in the ways of policy advocacy and in the future 
join some field that might contribute the evolution of policy/law. And in 
this context, the CHOICE between the courts and the congress is different 
than the ?choice? between the criminals be nice and the government. If you 
vote neg for the Congress CP a bunch, and everyone walks away convinced that 
the Courts are a dead-end for progressive social reform, then it might 
matter in the future when people like me want to go into policy. See 
Rosenberg etc.

OR maybe you think that debate matters little except as a fun game which is 
educational. If that?s true, then I think all the evidence about agent 
debates being educational and important becomes offense (see Calvert ?89 or 
other better versions of Elmore), and it seems that there?s little impact to 
any of your args (other than the Wax Museum DA). If you?ve got some external 
impact that you can articulate, then let me know.

C) Actually, a team in 2k2 won the NDT and the Copeland on the Criminals be 
nice CP. They called it the ?globe kritik.? And it was pretty much the only 
argument they went for.

3) To return to the Prius example?.it was getting a little too complicated, 
but I will reply to your burger analogy here.

You say:
plan: "Josh should eat that burger"cplan1: "Two starving children from Sudan 
are flown by Oxfam to Chicago to eat the burger."
cplan2: "Jesus should offer Josh salvation if he fasts today"
cplan3: "President Bush should invite Josh to the White House for dinner."
cplan4: "Zarefsky should throw an impromptu College of Communication banquet 
for Josh."

Again, if I am Josh, and I am making that decision, then of course those 
CP?s are stupid. BUT, lets say that you are the Duck, and you are debating 
among those potential options. Then CP #4 I think is a legitimate test of 
the plan. Because after you debate it out, and decide that the Zarefsky CP 
solves the case and avoids the cholesterol DA, then you can go to Zarefsky 
and lobby him to throw me a party, while also telling me not to eat the 

Again, it all comes down to what do you think the role of the judge is. All 
of your arguments do presume that somehow they model themselves as the 
?appropriate decision-maker? and nobody else. Even if they don?t play 
dress-up in supreme court robes, that?s what they are mentally and 
implicitly doing under your theory of debate.

My ?cogent theory of negative fiat:? it is the negative imagining a 
STATE-BASED alternative that forces a choice with the plan. Obviously, this 
is subject to some restrictions (object fiat and maybe others, depending on 
the context). The offense: better protects neg ground, is more educational 
in terms of institutional politics, and articulates a role of the judge that 
is less vulnerable to intrinsicness (although I will admit a possible impact 
turn on the 3rd).


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