Answering Impact Calc in the 1AR- Part 1 Opening thoughts

The 2NC extends politics and does their usual song and dance:

The disad o/w the case- timeframe, probability, magnitude, and here is a card that says were there to be a war, the affirmative’s advantage would in fact become a disadvantage!

This is where most 1AR’s fold and pretend if they ignore it that it will go away. There even seems to be an inverse relationship between quality of 2NC impact analysis (or outlandishness occasionally) and propensity of the 1AR to answer it. If this description fits your 1AR’s you should probably change that.

First some structural isses:

1. If you are going for too many arguments in the 1AR you won’t have time to do proper impact analysis. Too many arguments not only means extending too many 2AC arguments but also how many advantages are you going for.  While this topic is beyond the scope of this post, if you aren’t doing this right the rest of the things in here will probably just make things worse.

2. Sometimes impact analysis is actually irrelevant. For example, the neg reads states and politics, and the 2ac only reads link turns on politics and theory on the cp. With no solvency deficit arguments, whether or not the disad o/w the case is irrelevant- the cp solving the case removes it from the equation.*While this is an extreme, there are other less extreme examples of where impact analysis is much less important than people think it is. In those instances you should not use much if any of the advice below.

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4 Ways to use 2NC impact analysis as a springboard to 1AR terrorism:

1. New impact turns- this is useful when you aren’t going for link offense. I saw a lot of blocks at the glenbrooks read silly unnecessary impact add ons in the 2NC, for example when extending an economy impact reading a new Russian economic decline causes war card (as if they would lose that general economic decline did not cause war but Russian decline specifically would and that distinction somehow mattered…). Well a quick 2 card red spread DA in the 1AR here will make the 2NR’s life substantially more difficult if they planned on going for this da. Since you are going for defense on the rest of the DA there is no risk- they can’t “straight turn” it. Granted if they kick the DA you have now wasted some time, so this is a strategy to be used sparingly and with some forethought.

2. New impact uniqueness- so the 2NC didn’t read a new impact but they did read a stupid extension- for example lets say the 1NC read Mead 9- and now for whatever reason the 2NC read some Silk 93- well the economy (US and global) has had some ups and downs since 1993- so pointing that out and reading some cards is probably justified. Now here is the thing- how can you logically separate out that past economic declines affect an impact card from 1993 but have no effect on the card from 09? Very difficult to do so. In that way you have used the 2NC’s new evidence to get in the door some new answers to the original impact.

3. New impact defense- this is trickier but also easily pulled off by many. The 2NC says “magnitude of economic decline is bigger than case” or whatever- well a logical response to that might be to call into question the magnitude of the economic decline- arguments like US not key to world, resiliency etc. all do that- so how can they not be a legit response? And even though a good 2NR could probably finesse their way out of this/deal with it effectively- many will have a significant amount of trouble. One thing that goes along with a lot of these suggestions is the idea that making the 2NR read some evidence is always a good thing because most 2N’s are already not doing a great job of allocating time, so anything that can add some stress to their speech/interfere with their ability to do so is a good thing.

4. New internal link defense- this is a good way to press the neg on issues the 2AC should have brought up- so for example, sticking with the economy, lets say the 2NC read the Russia add on again, obviously the above example of US not key could apply here as well- but what other kinds of internal link defense could you read? One way to work in new arguments is to start in the cross-x of the 2NC. A lot of 2NC’s will try and magnify the size of the internal link to make it seem stronger in cross-x by saying something like “well its based on perception” etc. At that point you have them- because they have said its not the plan’s actual effects on the economy but instead its perceived effects that are important. That does make it easier for the neg to win the link by winning any small action will trigger it- but it makes it easier for the aff to win uniqueness for the same reason. A good example of this I saw at the glenbrooks was a 2NC said that the chinese dollar dump DA was based on perception, at which point the 1AR read 4 short cards about how we had spent a ton of money on XYZ since their link evidence was read. While the 2AC had sort of boned the disad after that 1AR the neg couldn’t go for it- all because they made an argument in the overview that the timeframe of the disad was faster than the case.  This is not a strategy limited to impact calculus obviously- if the neg reads a new generic politics link about any legislation costing political capital, the 1AR reading a few quick “legislation now” cards is usually a good investment because they can be pretty short and basically devestate the disad.

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Focus on the parts you can actually win

If you have a long term structural advantage and the neg points out that the timeframe to the disad is faster and the magnitude of a nuclear war is bigger it is pretty useless to argue against those things, what you want to do is focus on the parts that you can win. So what does that leave you

-probability- this is the track usually taken by these kind of affirmatives- tryign to argue that the disad is improbable therefore you should ignore the magnitude/timeframe of it. This approach isn’t really wrong or right, it is simply limited. If it was easy to win probability was all that mattered and that disads were always absurd low probabilities then the aff win % would be substantially higher than it already is. There are many reasons this approach isn’t as successful as people think it should be, from the negative being prepared for it to people inherently being more afraid of catastrophic consequences that others that are perceived as less threatening, but the main point is that it by itself is not the best way to go. You can buttress probability arguments with impact defense (no US china war) , terminal impact defense (nuclear war doesn’t cause extinction, root cause uniqueness claims), or risk assessment evidence (resher) about writing off long chains of events as being improbable.

-kritiks of impact analysis- in their simplest form an argument like tyranny of survival, basically you argue that the use of apocalyptic impacts is a scare tactic to justify some sort of rights violation or immoral act.  These kind of arguments are obviously easier to use if you set them up in the 1AC/2AC but can also be an effective 1AR tactic if the 2NC goes off the deep end about magnitude. They also link nicely into your probability arguments above.

-Case turns the disad- I’m separating this out from “root cause” because case turns the disad is usually a more substantive response and requires some evidence other than santos. If the neg reads an economy da its possible that the aff should have to read their “poverty kills econ” card in the 2AC, but if the 2NC reads a new card on why econ decline –> poverty it seems logical that the aff should get to respond “actually, pov –> econ decline” and that wouldn’t be an illegit new argument. So by focusing on this “new” 2NC impact argument you can essentially bring in a new link turn. If you can win a decent chunk of this it will heavily insulate you from the huge magnitude args the neg is extending.

*”but what if the cp goes away due to theory and then…”