[eDebate] Winning the war doesn't require succession, just strategy

NEIL BERCH berchnorto
Tue Jul 17 16:28:57 CDT 2007

I will respond to some of these posts later (hi, Marna!!!).  Right now, I'm off to one of the few coaching ventures that requires debate skills (of which I have none, and wouldn't we be better off if Matt had given me one of his years of debating?!).  Ede will recognize that I mean coaching 8-10 year-olds on the baseball field.  Yes, here in Pittsburgh, after a week off, the July Ball season is underway!--Neil
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ede Warner<mailto:ewarner at louisville.edu> 
  To: edebate at ndtceda.com<mailto:edebate at ndtceda.com> 
  Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:23 PM
  Subject: [eDebate] Winning the war doesn't require succession, just strategy

  Hello all! The dangerous one is back!,

  Marlow's post inspired me to come out of the woodwork.  I haven't read all of the posts fully, but I do read all the subject lines thoroughly :-)  I can't talk long because I'm trying to get my part of this book finished in the next week that I'm collaborating on my good, dear, patient ex-friend, Bruschke.

  1) Getting smaller through succession is not the answer.  To me this always assumes one doesn't have the power to take control of the organization and in this case, CEDA folks have simply been outhustled, outpolitiked, and outstrategized by the NDT folks.  Right now, they have the political savvy and desire to get their agenda pushed, while the CEDA folks cry foul.  Look at the current composition of the CEDA topic committee and the executive commitees. NDT teen spirit all over the damn place!  How'd that happen?

  2)  It only takes five votes on the topic committee to get it done.  I was there three years ago, but my good and dear NDT friends had the political juice and I did not so they win, and I eventually left.  If those interested in broader topics would fight for those appointments, then the topics would look very different.

  3)  Coaches get an agenda and get active.  My man Brett O'Donnell would show up at CEDA business meetings when he didn't have teams at the tournament.  He was protecting his political interests.

  4)  For all of this discussion about debate privilege, it seems crazy that the one place were that benefit is minimized is in the policy making structure of CEDA.  

  5) Instead of this recurring annual debate, mobilize so that this doesn't happen again.  Topic papers, executive committee members, topic committee members, would seem to be the key ingredients to change.  Why not contact every former novice program in the country, get them to at least pay their CEDA dues and give up their proxies, walk in and wield some power to make it happen.  I mean this isn't apartheid, or ending segregation, or giving women the right to vote.  In fairness to Jackie, I think he has tried, but he might have my problem of perceptually being too polarizing.  I dunno.  But if there is a groundswell of novice folks that care like Tuna and Neil, that would seem a great place to start!!!!

  6) Pre-empt- Yea, I left.  But one of the two reasons I left was a feeling of alienation regarding innovations I was doing in debate, I was being overwhelmed and didn't feel I had enough political power or credibility to get things done.   But what I didn't realize what I'm seeing is that perhaps the key mobilization issue that could create the changes I was looking for was the topic.  Remember, crisis creates social change.  Just be smart about the social changes you are looking for. 

  If it was me, and it's not so don't get any ideas, I could see a well-orchestrated movement here that could challenge the power brokers who fight for a pre-bid driven topic.  But right now, one side is strategizing and putting themselves into positions of power and the other side is standing on the outside like me and Tuna, folks who are no longer part of the power structure.  Andy Ellis for CEDA President '09 running with Jackie!  Will Baker running the public relations point?  

  7) Also remember that bed fellows are strange and changing?  I was NDT born and bred through and through, but I don't think my man Gordon Stables wants me picking his topics, just running his fantasy baseball team (yea, I see the pitiful numbers G-money!).  And isn't Joe Patrice, the pride of CEDA-land's rich history?  Where would his topic committee vote swing in the big and broad versus narrow battle royale?  

  Line up your forces those of you wanting sexier, elegant topics.  This movement could bring together the shannahan's and the Southworth's.  Perhaps even, cats and dogs, living together...oh my!

  Stop debating, complaining, and fretting, and start poltiically organizing in the war of Bid-driven versus Publicly Accessible topics!  


  Fighting for peace and justice and maybe even some compromise,

  With admiration and love,

  Ede "my son's team went 0-6 in post-season play" Warner

  Ross- if you mess with me, I'm coming after you with some old school DMX and a bottle of Alize.  Then I want your lunch money in poker...I'm out!  
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