[eDebate] ans elliott

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Sat May 13 15:37:08 CDT 2006

Scott...  Strait answered you cleanly.  You're just missing multiple components of this discussion.  
I *think* the most important part is this:
disads and counterplans aren't the same thing.
You misunderstood Lichtman and Rohrer's argument because of this.  As long as a decision-maker confines themselves to evaluating competitive alternatives within their scope of authority, they can FIAT those alternatives, that is, they can treat those alternatives as COUNTERPLANS.  an example:
the PLAN is:  Scott drinks this cup of coffee.
YOU are deciding whether to enact the plan.  
after a bit of reflection, it comes out that the best competitive alternative within your authority is:
the COUNTERPLAN: Scott drinks this cup of tea.
even though you can do both, the perm fails because if you do both you will get caffeine poisoning. they COMPETE.
the COUNTERPLAN functions as a reason NOT to do the PLAN.
In fact, in this situation, a DISAD wouldn't make any sense.  Since the decision-maker DECIDES whether to do the plan or the counterplan, considerations of how likely they would be to choose the alternative are literally nonsensical: the alternative action is FIATTED.  
for the above example,  it is simply nonsensical for YOU to ask YOURSELF "how likely am I to choose to drink the cup of tea if I DON'T drink the cup of coffee."  It is nonsensical because you can simply CHOOSE to drink the tea instead.
The POINT of footnote 13 for Lichtman and Rohrer was to point out that alternatives outside of the scope of authority of the decision-maker CANNOT be legitimately fiatted, that is, they aren't LEGITIMATE COUNTERPLANS.  They point out that the actions of alternative agents and actors are subject to considerations of likelihood.   That is, they can only be DISADVANTAGES.   
this example of an agent counterplan first:
the PLAN is:  Scott drinks this cup of coffee.
YOU are deciding whether to enact the plan.  
the COUNTERPLAN is: Your next-door neighbor Debbie comes over and drinks the cup of coffee instead.
since there is only the 1 cup of coffee in all of Dallas, the plan and counterplan are mutually exclusive or perhaps if you and Debbie shared the cup, your wife would hack you to pieces so the perm fails, or... whatever...  let's just assume the plan and counterplan COMPETE.
the COUNTERPLAN still does NOT function as a reason NOT to do the PLAN.  That's because YOU, the decision-maker, don't have the authority to choose to do the counterplan.  you can't decide to make Debbie come over and drink the coffee.  no Scott, you can't -- Debbie is NO ONE'S TOOL!
furthermore, Lichtman and Rohrer understood that no one in the real world, much less you, would seriously consider NOT drinking the coffee BECAUSE it would be better if Debbie came over and drank it instead.
this example of a DISADVANTAGE second:
the PLAN is:  Scott drinks this cup of coffee.
YOU are deciding whether to enact the plan.  
A. UNIQUENESS: Your next-door neighbor Debbie would come over and drink the cup of coffee if you didn't drink it.
B. LINK: You drink the cup of coffee which means Debbie won't come over.
C. IMPACT: Good stuff if Debbie drinks the coffee.
the disadvantage DOES function as a reason NOT to do the plan because, even though another actor/agent (Debbie) is involved, there is EVIDENCE that the other agent was LIKELY to do the action absent the plan.
THAT was Lichtman and Rohrer's argument.  When alternate actors/agents/decision-makers are involved, you get DISADS (have to establish likelihood/propensity/uniqueness) but you do NOT get COUNTERPLANS (where the action is fiatted).  Take a re-read of footnote 13:
"It is assumed, of course, that decisionmakers being addressed have the power to put a counterplan into effect. An individual or governmental unit can reasonably be asked to reject a particular policy if an alternative promises greater net benefits. If, however, a counterplan must be adopted by another individual or unit of government, the initial decisionmaker must consider the probability that the counterplan will be accepted. Debate propositions often affirm that a particular policy should be adopted by the federal government. Even if adoption of this policy by the individual state governments would be more beneficial, a reasonable critic would still affirm the resolution if state adoption were highly unlikely. The federal government should refrain from acting only when the net benefits of state and local action, discounted by the probability that such action will occur, are greater than the net benefits of federal action."
With this piece in hand, I think much of Strait's answer should make more sense.
As to Marbury v. Madison and such...  OF COURSE we make calculations about what other decision-makers are likely to do if we do and do not take certain actions.  That's what DISADS are for.  But we can't FIAT what they will do in response.  And THAT is what Strait was writing NEVER occurs in the real world... 
Michael Korcok
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