[eDebate] Re-thinking the States Counterplan

Josh jbhdb8
Sat Apr 4 14:37:58 CDT 2009

For years I pushed the "no solvency author" assumes the 50 states acting in
concert in labs as a means to consistently beat the States
CP...Unfortunately, Kamal and Harris found all these cards from this
National Association that drafts uniform state legislation that kind of
called this into question.  I still think its insane to say that any federal
public policy advocate has any reasonable need to write responses to this CP
so it makes it reallllllly hard for an aff to debate the Topic as
intended....I know for a fact it always comes down to the cases that have a
USFG offensive warrant not what needs to be done to solve poverty.

Personally, I agree with most everyone on the "State CP = death of poverty
topic" tip......not hard to agree with this...I do have a few questions for
the extremely far right "don't teach the State CP" version of this:

First, doesn't this kind of sellout many of our deepest held beliefs about
letting the best argument win the day and let debate lead theory?

Second, how does one get practice beating the states CP on a topic where
people will 100% run the state CP when we don't even "introduce it" at camps
etc.  Seems to me most of us got our hard opinions about this CP after
decades of debating it.....Removing it only means less well thought out
answers and discussion among judging pools on how best to defeat it.

Third, isn't the problem more related to a very normal judging philosophy
that accepts things "like the plan" as solvency evidence for the plan?
Generally, 99% of judges think if the solvency evidence is CLOSE that is all
the negative needs.  This year Aaron about went insane because NONE (as in
ZERO) of the cards about the make a quid pro quo with china trading IPR for
getting rid of cotton subsidies were actually about that particular quid pro
quo but because judges saw China, IPR, and lift Subsidies they looked the
other way on solvency every time.  Two years ago the entire court topic
ended up where you could hardly win an affirmative debate because of the low
solvency standards for what constituted a solvency card on the
constitutional conventions counter-plan.  Honestly, I blame judge looseness
on solvency requirements MUCH more than I do debaters running the actor
CPs.  We all know its ABSURD that the 50 states in unison do a public policy
action that they have NEVER really ever done but 99% say "A-OK."


On Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 2:41 PM, <Pacedebate at aol.com> wrote:

>  If you really want to make a difference then you need to think about the
> place you can have the biggest impact. I believe there are three key areas.
> First, summer debate institutes. For many high school students a
> majority of their ideas about debate are formulated during the summer. If
> you work at one of these institutes I implore you to not teach debaters the
> states counterplan or if you feel it is your educational obligation to teach
> it at least subject it to a very rigorous test of the solvency advocate for
> the counterplan. Certainly on next year's high school topic (poverty) there
> will be advocates for state action to deal with poverty. I'm skeptical that
> any of those advocates will express a preference for uniform action by all
> 50 states and relevant territories. Again, I have a strong preference for
> institutes removing the states cp from the entire curriculum and I suggest
> those of you who are instructors to just refuse to teach it.
> Second, as teachers. Teach your students (high school or college) your
> favorite theory argument against the states cp and help them learn how to
> actually win these arguments in debates. Many of the arguments expressed by
> others are sufficient reason to reject the states cp but debaters rarely go
> for these arguments in debates.
> Third, as judges. If the aff goes for "cp doesn't solve" hold the negative
> to the same solvency burden that the affirmative has. If the aff has cards
> that the federal government can solve certain problems then the neg should
> be required to read evidence that advocates their counterplan which means if
> the cp does 50 state and territories fiat then they need an advocate for
> that type of action. Failure to have said advocate should be evaluated not
> as a "solvency deficit" but as a "100% solvency deficit". It is unfair to
> expect the affirmative to detail and evidence solvency deficits to a
> counterplan that, as others in this thread have noted, is completely absent
> from the literature.
> I'll conclude with a final comment about summer debate institutes because I
> believe that to be the most significant area where people can make a
> difference. What happens at summer institutes truly shapes each generation
> of debaters. Summer institute directors need to seriously contemplate the
> role of their "institute". Are they really an educational arena as their
> brochures suggest? At any moment in time could a teacher from a high school
> walk in to a labroom and could the "instruction" being received be justified
> as truly educational? Or are these programs really just big debate strategy
> sessions where students are taught cheap tricks by coaches who are really
> training students to be the debaters they want on their college squads in
> the future. Lately, I'm sad to report, the trend has been toward cheap
> tricks and bad arguments. Each of you that works at a summer institute can
> make a genuine difference in that. I truly hope you will approach your lab
> with the idea that you are there to teach the students in your group about
> the substance of the topic.
>  Ryan Galloway is 100% correct when he says:
> "Instead of encouraging understanding of issues related to poverty, the
> states cp forces everyone involved to narrow and obscure areas of poverty
> literature.
> Everyone who researches, teaches about, leans about, and grapples with
> every domestic topic is intentionally cordoned off to a narrow literature
> base to research the topic to get around that blasted ?federal government?
> warrant.  Maybe it?s time we learned about more.  We are losing something
> here, and we are losing the in-depth understanding about issues that are
> important for our students to learn about, especially in trying economic
> times."
> Please, please, please this summer make a commitment to teaching your
> students about the substance of poverty not the sham of the states
> counterplan.
> Thanks,
>  Tim Mahoney
> Director of Debate, St. Mark's School of Texas
> 10600 Preston Road
> Dallas, TX 75230
> 214-346-8141
> 214-734-3673 cell
> 425-740-9130 fax
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