[eDebate] Some thoughts about topic wording and ballot options

William Newnam wnewnam
Fri Apr 13 10:25:26 CDT 2007

I share many of Will's concerns, but I do disagree that Bush's position is 
stable and predictable on the weapons topic.  His history is actually quite 
mixed. While the Ameican public perception may be that he has been a 
hardliner on weapons development by other countries, I believe the 
international perceptions would be quite different.  Couldn't get much more 
hard line than he did on Iraq, true.
    *Acted like a hardliner for six years on North Korea, than in the wake 
of a declining presidency, reverted very closely to the Clinton approach 
quite suddenly.
    * acted tough toward Pakistan, but offered no sanctions after Khan was 
discovered to be a principle point person in the sale of nuclear technology
    * talks tough on Iran, but his real method here is quite obscured by the 
clouds of international constraints
    * probably weakened the NPT with the nuclear deal with India

I don't know how this factors in to the relative stability and 
predictability Will is seeking compared to the other topics, but I don't 
think the notion that Bush has a predictable policy when it comes to weapons 
positioning is necessarily as clear as we might think at first.  At a 
minimum, his recent shift in positions on North Korea, prove he can reverse 
course on a dime if he needs a political shift.

I want to emphasize that this post is not designed to compare which topic is 
"more predictable" but I just fell it is worth giving some thought to 
Bush's, dare I say, "flip-flopping" on proliferation policy.

bill n

> c) The central controversy is stable -- at least for the next 19 months.
> This is an issue in modern topics. "Pressure" and (to a lesser-degree)
> "Overrule"/Raich/Hamdan were a a little in flux during the course of the
> season. At times this hamstrung the neg, but at times it simply hamstrung
> both sides.
> One thing that I feel makes for a strong topic is WHEN THE CENTRAL
> decent vision for a topic is one that can't easily include the "pressure
> now" underview.
> Straight-up, I do not think our overall weapons posture will change in a 
> way
> that will complicate the uniqueness for advantages or disadvantages.
> For this reason, I like debating this topic while this President is still 
> in
> office. I'd rather not "sit" on THIS topic -- I think it could grow less
> stable after the next Presidential election. And, I think the other areas
> could grow more stable/inherent in time.

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