24 thoughts on “New Consultation blog

  1. Kevin Hirn

    At first, I couldn't actually believe that someone advocated binding consultation so fervently and persuasively in a non-debate literature base.

    Then, I saw that the author was Michael Klinger.

  2. Anonymous

    Take away the only good AT: consult CP card that exists… that's seems fair.

    Does Klinger want debate to die?

  3. Chris

    It may be a little early for this but I think a lot of us would really appreciate it if Batterman could talk about this article in his bad card series.

  4. vinay pai

    agree with miles — the carroll card is a -footnote- not part of the article, and is not written in the context of binding consultation — the part of the main article it is written in reference to is talking about restrictions on foreign direct investment in the us military…if you're reading the article and you jump to the footnote, the reference to "veto power" should come way out of left field because it is hardly suggested by a recommendation for "openness to foreign investment and cooperation with other governments.221"

    klinger's article cites extensive external sources specific to the consultative process whereas carroll's footnote is an unwarranted assertion that cites khalilzad specifically (seriously?) and The Allies and Arms Control generally, a 20 yr old military strategy text that's no longer regularly referenced. klinger also has nearly identical qualifications to carroll…and he's probably done more research on consulting NATO anyway.

  5. antonucci

    Both of these cards are worthless.

    They demonstrate that debate's fetishization of cards over analytics has, in a couple of circumstances, produced very distorted results. (Certain versions of politics DA, such as egregiously over-unique ones, are similar testaments to the victory of entrenched reading patterns over truth.)

    Do you really need Batterman to break this one down for you? Can't you just make the arg yourself?

  6. Chris

    AT: Vinay

    I can't help but disagree with you and Miles. Klinger's card was written in the same manner as the John Marburry, SPS article that everyone got so upset about last year. Not in that Klinger was trying to get competitive gain out of writing it but that it was clearly written to be an unanswerable debate argument. Phrases like "The United States should consider genuine consultation prior to definitive adoption of any major foreign policy." and "es, such decisions provide a significant opportunity for the United States to create a precedent for future substantive consultations on other important concerns." were clearly intended to to answer aff arguments he knew were going to come. Carrol just stops after making one unwarranted argument. Klinger proceeds to set up a Counterplan with multiple net benefits and then answer aff arguments all in one article.

    In addition, Klinger is probably biased about this, a casual look through his judge philosophy shows that he isn't the most objective source for a card about consultation.

    I think Antonucci is probably right though, that each of these cards probably should not be read. I just think that the Klinger card goes much further.

  7. Scott Phillips


    Yes, this is EXACTLY like Marburry…. Except for the whole making up a fake name and publishing it under that fake name to hide the real author and his connection to debate. Other than that though, SAME MANNER

  8. vinay pai


    I'm not necessarily defending the klinger card, just saying that it's not nearly as atrocious as carroll's…it's seems fairly obvious that "consultationisgood.blogspot.com" is a joke, whereas carroll's footnote was an unnecessary potshot tucked away in an /academic publication./

  9. Ellis

    Vinay's probably right that in terms of ev quality, this Klinger card is "better" than a footnote tangentially related to something Khalilzad said. What bothers me though is people writing with the intent of influencing high school debates – Klinger and Marburry are in exactly the same camp as it relates to this issue. Sure, there's a massive difference between lying about a pseudonym days before the TOC and blogging about consultation, but I don't think either author can honestly say they never wanted the card to affect debates. On just the gut-reaction level, something seems wrong about say Roy writing a persuasive (unlikely), well-documented (very unlikely) biodiversity takeout if he intends to sway high school case debates. Even though there's no "foul play" because he's fully honest about the process and not doing it for any particular debaters, it seems like a bad standard.

    Granted, I used the phrase "gut-reaction" intentionally–a really well-reasoned defense of former debaters writing about debate arguments for debates could exist, but I can't think of one.

  10. vinay pai

    ellis might be right about the pedagogical impact of debaters writing debate cards, but i think it begs the question of authorial intent. my impression is that klinger was merely calling out the absurdity of reading the carroll card [in his introduction he cites "Back to the Future" specifically], which is so obviously an artificially constructed indict of the consult CP, by composing an equally absurd and equally artificial advocacy of binding consultation. even if it takes longer to read than to make a well-reasoned indict of the carroll card, it's a no-risk proposition: if the critic believes carroll to be legitimate, klinger must also be legitimate; if not, then klinger puts the ridiculous nature of carroll's footnote in perspective.

  11. antonucci

    @Phillips – No, I'd just vote for GBN regardless. Remind me Shalmon and Lewis went there, and I'm clocking in.

    @influencing debates: It's an author's job to be honest (as Klinger and Carroll clearly are.) It's your job to suss out what that means.

    Almost all the sources you use are intended to influence competitive debates. That's why compelling think tank position papers and editorials exist. If a card seems so strongly worded that it seems intended to influence public forums, it probably is?

    This is perhaps more generally a reason to value warrant above claim, as strength of claim bears very little relationship to the actual quality of evidence. If your judges automatically value strength of claim, tell them why they should evaluate differently. If they still refuse, pref smarter. If the pool's too thin after that, try to make people smarter.

  12. miles

    @ Chris
    "Carrol just stops after making one unwarranted argument. Klinger proceeds to set up a Counterplan with multiple net benefits and then answer aff arguments all in one article."

    this makes no sense – either Klinger is nothing like Marburry (which it isn't)
    or, carrol is too b/c making 'one unwarranted arg' is no better than doing what your accusing Klinger of – cheating once is no better than doing it 10 times

  13. Chris

    @ Miles

    I"m not arguing with you. The Carrol card is like the Marburry card in the same way that the Klinger card is. My point was just that I personally thought Klinger went MUCH farther and when I was reading the article it really reminded me of the Marburry article in the way that it was set up. I obviously don't know what Carrol or Klinger intended when they wrote their articles, I just feel like Carrol was just throwing one thing out there about a counterplan that he thinks is absurd. While Klinger was just went crazy with it. I bet every debater who's serious about consult has a 20 page AT: Consultation Kills Heg Block. But Klinger's article like the Marburry article is a little more difficult to answer Not to suggests that evidence shouldn't be read because its hard to answer, it just seems like in this case there's a not-so-straight-up reason its much harder to answer. . Like I said before:

    "each of these cards probably should not be read. I just think that the Klinger card goes much further."

    @ Vinay

    I didn't look at it that way before. That's fair.

  14. Robert


    "a really well-reasoned defense of former debaters writing about debate arguments for debates could exist, but I can’t think of one."

    I can think of one – apparently Patrick Speice, author of "Negligence and Nuclear Non-Proliferation," the famous 'nuclear terrorism leads to nuclear retaliation' card that has become so popular is a former college debater, according to Hays Watson.

    This is probably different from the examples given, considering he's not affiliated with any schools at the time, but you can't say that he wasn't knowledgeable of how that article may affect debate.

  15. miles

    he probably was, he was fresh out of college debate and getting his JD when he wrote it

  16. Ellis

    This is weird because I pretty much agree with everyone – Carroll's snippet is worse than Klinger's article and it's up to the debaters to suss out this stuff. My claim is just that debaters shouldn't read Klinger (or Carroll, or Marburry) because they write inflated claims designed to prod high school debates instead of subject matter that happens to implicate debates. There's a difference between that Shalmon prolif card and these, which first take a side in the high school debate and then write an article for that purpose. I don't think Carroll or Klinger did anything unethical, and I don't even think it's unethical to read these, but I do think it's a shady practice that we should avoid. Just as I would encourage anyone to ditch Bearden 2k, I'm saying it would be lame if we had a year of Carroll-Klinger throwdowns instead of engaging a pretty sweet topic, or at least the consult CP on a more meaningful basis.

    I guess I should address Nooch/Vinay's concern about author's intent/all the cool authors are doing this – I'm lumping those together for convenience sake. Obvi we can't verify intent (ironically that was one of Skarb's defenses) but we can identify its symptoms and indict cards that come across that way. Yes, other authors do this (to a lesser extent since they're just extolling opinions and not being like hey GBN cut this). I'll stop here cause I'm getting redundant, but I guess I'm agreeing with Antonucci in that we should debate smarter about this stuff.

  17. Ellis

    Since I didn't see that stuff from Robert/Miles – that card kind of sucks too, try the Rhoades (sp.?) card that Zavell posted when Batterman did the "bad cards" article on Corsi. These seem like scarecrow arguments – Klinger not bad because others worse.

  18. miles

    i'm not saying klinger not bad – i'm saying that if carol is ok, then klinger is too
    this whole things seems like the klinger article was a joke in the 'haha' sense, but the carrol one is a joke in the sense of 'wow this is a joke'
    this is a waste of time

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