[eDebate] Re-thinking the States Counterplan

Martin Harris mharris02
Sun Apr 5 07:04:14 CDT 2009

   I haven't read all the thread so some might be redundant but I am
pretty sure half isn't so I decided to chime in anyway. I have long
hated the states counterplan. Two of the things that have annoyed me
most are probably the seeming incongruence between arguing that states
are flexible and solutions should be local and then fiating uniform 50
state action. How is 50 states doing the same thing local and flexible?
I understand this is not the NECESSARY way to run the cplan, but a way I
see it the most. And the second is the way the counterplan seems to BE
federal action but tries and pretend like it isn't. From a political
science standpoint, I think fiat bypasses the main debate and kind of
makes federalism acontextual and ahistoric. Historically, the reason a
federal government was required at times was to fill in on protecting
rights in the absence of state action. I think confederalism was tried
twice in this country and lost both times (revolutionary war period and
civil war period). Confederalism also wasn't all that hot for the german
confederacy pre the treaty of Westphalia and the establishment of the
Nation-State. Debate frequently short circuits in depth philosophic
investigation though for the quick easy sound bite. Which leads to the
part I have never seen outside practice rounds at a debate institute
about 6 years ago (not saying people don't say it, but not as common
knowledge as say Spark I suspect).

   If people are looking for new and funky ways to answer states, I
think they should explore a state's rights K. A lab Heather and I led at
the Jayhawk Debate Institute that Ozzy and Will Jensen were in on the
mental health topic wrote an argument that said states rights is a code
word for racism (yeah, in case you have missed it through the years, Oz
is familiar with running Ks, he just decided to stop doing it). It is an
argument I first encountered when studying the Carter Reagan election
when Carter said, I am from the south, I KNOW what Reagan MEANS when he
says it is a "state right." Don't get it twisted, this isn't an OMG,
they said state's rights, they lose juhdggge. It had a couple of
implications. First, the literature you base your theoretical argument
on is divorced in practice for the Machiavellian politicians that put it
into praxis. You think it is coincidental that people like John Ashcroft
support state's rights and ALSO find their "southern" heros to be people
like Robert E Lee and Jefferson Davis but not Martin Luther King? This
means either the precedent set by the counterplan further enables people
to fully engage in their ability to actualize racist policy REGARDLESS
of whether the PLAN is racist, or, the literature you base your
federalism argument on is theoretical but unfounded in the real world.
That is, Calibresi might fully believe he is right in the abstract, but
in practice that just ain't the way it works. The latter being
especially true if one does a histography of say policies supported
under the rubric of state's rights, or the inconsistency in theory
practiced by agents like the Supreme Court. For example, the manner in
which agents will ignore state's rights on issues like GLBT marriage and
adoption where they are happy to drop the Federal hammer.  


With links between poverty and racism, I think this could be an
EXTREMELY strong argument against the States cplan. While I agree with a
lot of what I read of Tim's views, I also think one of the ways to shift
argument style is to ramp up the cost of running the predictable. New,
interesting, creative, unique offense against arguments goes a long way
to make people get back to looking at the specific literature instead of
grabbing for the generic. One of the things I think used to be powerful
about the nuclearism position Texas was common for running at least in
the mid 90s was the way it deterred some for just tacking on the nuclear
war impact. It made people think about other ways to terminalize their
disads other than omnicide. A worthwhile endeavor I suspect, although I
have some friends that certainly disagree. 



Martin Harris

Systems Engineer - Desktop Architecture

Drury University - Technology Services

900 N Benton Ave

Springfield, Missouri 65802

office: 417-873-7848

fax:      417-873-7835


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://www.ndtceda.com/pipermail/edebate/attachments/20090405/7ac3312f/attachment.htm 

More information about the Mailman mailing list