[eDebate] ans Saindon

Michael Korcok mmk_savant
Mon Jul 16 20:05:06 CDT 2007

the mistaken assumption of the "there's something to anti-topicality if the resolution's truth matters" is that counterplans (and, inter alia, permutations) do more than evaluate the desirability of the affirmative plan.
just because a counterplan competes and is better than the plan doesn't imply that the counterplan should be done.  the counterplan is JUST a reason not to do the plan:  if the counterplan doesn't compete or the plan is preferable, then the counterplan doesn't offer a (sufficient) reason to reject plan and if the counterplan competes and is better than the plan, then the plan should NOT be done.  the logic of counterplans doesn't justify "adopt the counterplan" and so never gets to "accept or reject the resolution".
think of it this way:  the counterplan, if IT was to be evaluated, might well succumb to one or more counterplans which compete with and are preferred to it.  in policy debate, however, a counterplan is not evaluated by considering the opportunity cost of ITS adoption - counterplans only logically function as the opportunity costs of affirmative plans.  
therefore...  a topical counterplan doesn't get to function as a warrant for the resolution ... the logic only entails that the counterplan is a reason NOT to do the plan.  there is nothing wrong with a negative answering the cross-ex question: "So we should adopt the counterplan?"  with "Oh hell no!!!  But if you did adopt the plan, you would forego the superior option of the counterplan which means you ought not do the plan.  But don't be an illogical spastic monkey...  We're sure if this counterplan were to be evaluated, it would also be crushed under the weight of its own opportunity cost.  But that's a debate for another time and another judge..."
the same logic shuffles on over to the consideration of permutations.  a permutation functions to test the competitiveness of the counterplan.  and that's it.  just because a permutation is the most desireable policy of those in a given debate does not mean that it should be adopted.  IT isn't being evaluated, that is, it isn't been compared to its opportunity cost to determine whether it should be done.  if that evaluation were to be undertaken, there might well be any number of counterplans that compete with and are preferable to that action which make it clear that the perm shouldn't be adopted.  
a great perm ONLY shows two things: 1) the parts of the counterplan in the permutation don't compete with the plan and 2) the plan is better than the competitive parts of the counterplan (those not in the perm).  whether the permutation is mostly topical or conceivably anti-topical or even inimical-to-any-conception-or-interpretation-of-the-resolution is irrelevant simply because the reasons to prefer the perm to the counterplan don't ever imply that a perm should be done, adopted, or endorsed.  they only imply that the perm is better than the counterplan.  well whoopdeedoo...  the perm, if it were the focus of the debate, that is if we evaluated whether to adopt the perm or not, would face a VERY different set of arguments than it faces.  for example... the perm would be evaluated against ITS opportunity cost and chances are very very very good that ain't the counterplan it is the perm to.
Michael Korcok
Bakersfield College
Don't get caught with egg on your face. Play Chicktionary!??
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