[eDebate] Gonzo/Russia

Dylan Keenan dylan.keenan
Thu May 8 11:15:36 CDT 2008

I think two important points have been missed:

1.      This is a comparative question, not a yes/no question. Obviously
Russia has some affirmatives, and some negative ground. My point, and I
think that of others arguing against a Russia topic, is that the richness
(depth) and manageability (breadth) of other topics is of much greater
quality than with a Russia topic. I don't think anyone has refuted the
fundamental issue which is the exponentially greater quantity of VERY
SPECIFIC solvency literature on topics like healthcare and agriculture and
arms control. I won't rehash the reasons specific literature makes a topic
awesome but I think empirical evidence strongly leans that way looking not
only at the past few topics, but affirmatives on each topic Jason says that
my 30 minutes of research is unimpressive in revealing the depth of the
topic. OK, how would you establish the depth? 2 hours? 3 days? 4 weeks? Do
you have even a warrant to suggest that Russia is a better developed lit
base than Ag or Health care? I didn't think so. 30 minutes by anyone can,
however, reveal the breadth of the topic. Again, there are squirrel affs on
any topic. I think small research by numerous people shows that Russia is
more vulnerable to this.

Calum throws out a giant list of articles many of which are questionably
related even to Russia. This sort of proves my point. There is some lit on
the coast guard doing security assistance generally, and some on CTR. Are
there thousands of articles written on a proposal to send the coast guard to
send the coast guard to northern Russian ports to secure LNG or to reemploy
CTR scientists in different fields? VERY DOUBTFUL. In fact I doubt there are
even a few dozen good neg solvency cards on any of those affirmatives. Now,
take an issue like healthcare. How many articles, in fact how many books,
are there discussing even individual aspects of single payer healthcare.
Houndreds (and millions of articles). Does this make for better debate?
Absolutely, and it in fact is the most important consideration making for
better debate. Even if you take the most in depth Russia lit, like START III
or CTR healthcare bludgeons it in quantity and quality.

One last point about aff ground for the people reading. Calum and Jason seem
to be basing the argument that Russia won't be unmanageably large for the
negative on the idea that the topic will be limited to security cooperation.
I question if this plays a limiting function. Like "Public health",
"security" gets thrown around and attached to every question from
environment, to disease to actual security issues. Involving the military
for any of these affirmatives could make at least a feasible affirmative
topicality claim. And, even if this is not the best T interp, people still
have a good incentive to test it. Healthcare and ag greatly reduce this

To me, the whole discussion seems like the discussion about the Bush tax
cuts. First he proposes cuts to expire in 2010 in order to reduce the
upfront cost and make it seem plausible. Once they are locked in, he
suggests permanent tax cuts, again which look somewhat reasonable. But
together the package is very problematic. Now we hear people saying we need
"security cooperation", a sort of term of art to limit the topic. Once we
vote for Russia people will immediately suggest expanding the topic as Gonzo
pointed out and all the affirmatives on environment etc that I just cited
come rushing back in.

   1. Multilat/bilat/unilat!?!?! This is the neg ground Jason is suggesting.
   Hence forth I will call the Russia topic the "bilateral cooperation" topic
   because it sounds like we won't be debating Russia at all. Sounds like it
   WILL be generics with no specific evidence and questionable net benefits. I
   can't wait. "Well there's almost no risk of the NATO net benefit to the CP
   since it doesn't make sense for such a tiny aff, but the aff can't win much
   of a solvency deficit cause they only have one sort of bad card saying the
   aff has to happen bilaterally." This sounds thrilling. No seriously, people
   need to consider the lack of a good generic against small affirmatives based
   on security cooperation.

Jason suggests we have generics to each area. That's a fine suggestion, but
even here I question if it works. Let's take a lesson from last year's
topic. The hardest cases to win generics against were Afghanistan and
Lebanon. The reason is that the mechanisms (usually aid) was being given
now, but more importantly, the difference between the plan and SQ was tiny
because it didn't require a radical break. I think many Russia cooperation
affs are not radical breaks. I'm not making this a global U argument either.
My point is just about the credibility of small internal link to big stock
generics like a triangle China DA or a NATO DA. BTW, what would these
specific generics to each area be? I can say for sure if we choose
healthcare with a mechanism of universal coverage that is a radical
fundamental break with the SQ which means high quality links to Biz-Con,
politics, Industry disadvantages (Auto, pharmaceutical, insurance), Military
recruitment arguments, International modeling based arguments, Federalism,
plus many many case specific PICS which almost everyone thinks are awesome,
and are less likely to materialize on many Russia affirmatives.

The only reason to vote for Russia is because the impacts are sweet. We are
not voting for best impacts, we are voting for a topic. I think the China
topic adequately revealed the danger of conflating the two.

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