Legitimate or Illegitimate? A Politics DA Hypothetical

Suppose that the 1NC presented the following politics disadvantage shell:

  1. Obama will get START ratified in the status quo.

  2. The plan kills Obama’s political capital so he can’t get START ratified.

  3. START ratification increases U.S.-Russia relations, decreases the risk of terrorism, and decreases proliferation.

  4. Proliferation causes war.

Further suppose that the 2AC made the following arguments in response:

  1. Non-unique: START will not be ratified in the status quo.

  2. Link Turn: the plan boosts Obama’s political capital so he can get START ratified.

  3. No impact: proliferation doesn’t cause war.

Is it legitimate for the negative to respond as follows in the 2NC?

  1. Concede that START will not be ratified in the status quo and that the plan boosts Obama’s political capital so he can get START ratified.

  2. Concede that proliferation does not cause war.

  3. U.S.-Russia relations are bad because they alienate China and cause U.S.-Sino war.

  4. Terrorism is good because it results in increased military spending which is crucial to hegemony and the economy.

Are these arguments justified? Why or why not?

34 thoughts on “Legitimate or Illegitimate? A Politics DA Hypothetical

  1. Rishee

    yes – if a conceded argument is a true argument, the only true arguments in the debate after the 2nc concedes everything the 2ac says are:
    1. start will not pass now
    2. plan causes start to pass
    3. no prolif impact
    4. start will solve russia relations
    5. start will solve terrorism

    based on those arguments alone, it's perfectly justified for the 2nc to impact turn the two start impacts

  2. Scottyp4313nr Post author

    This is such a kirshon hypo….

    I assume Miles will chime in and explain why this can't happen.

  3. Hunter Brooks

    These arguments are fine, but justify new 1AR arguments that START doesn't increase relations or decrease terrorism. (The relations and terrorism arguments having been read unimpacted in the 1NC.)

    1. Donnie

      i dont think it justifies new arguments about STARTs effects on relations and terrorism–those arguments were in the 1NC and conceded by the aff, it does def justify new 1ar args that relations are good and terrorism is bad, each winnable positions

  4. Whit

    No. It is not legitimate for the block to do this. In the 1NC the thesis of the NEG argument is that START ratification would be a good thing. Even if the NEG impacted relations and terrorism poorly in the 1NC, they are still presented as disadvantages to the AFF. The only way for the NEG to legitimately deviate from that is to make a concession of an AFF argument that START would be bad (i.e. in a situation where the AFF has double turned themselves). The concession of impact defense to another aspect of START is not a sufficient justification for impact turning other aspects.

  5. Christian Chessman

    Illegit – the 1NC implicitly argued that terrorism / low relations were bad in the card.

    First- observation – For the purpose of tailoring the focus to this thought experiment, I'll operate under the assumption that reading an explicit impact turn to yourself is bad; ie, if the 2NC reads prolif good against the aff after reading prolif bad. Its abusive because the aff assumes that the negative takes a certain normative stance on an issue (prolif or terrorism for example), and makes strategic choices based on that choice. The fact that the DA has the potential for three impact modules means that the aff is more strategic to beat the disad at the link level.

    The question then becomes one of whether or not this is a contradiction in truth values previously advocated in a speech, like the kind that is problematic in the above speech. This doesn't have to be direct; if the neg argues terrorism causes nuclear backlash, then says wait jk, its key to hege, they don't intersect outside of the fact that they are both related to terrorism. However, the first assertion (nuclear backlash) would conclude that terrorism is bad, while the second assertion (key to hege) that terrorism is good. Even though both could technically be simultaneously true, this still constitutes a contradiction in truth value (terrorism good v bad).

    That said, both the author and speech implicitly (if not explicitly in the cards) advocated terrorism bad; that's the reason they put it in the card. Taglines are not FYIs, they're arguments.The inclusion of 'causes terrorism' in the internal link card implies that terrorism is bad, because the neg is outlining a Disadvantage to the aff. The same holds for low relations.

    As such, there is a contradiction in truth values here – first terrorism bad, then good. Its important to note that a terminal impact DOES NOT have to be articulated for a position to be taken on it. Even if the neg didn't pull out Corsi, Alexander or Speice, they still took a position on terrorism. They just didn't make it 'offensive' in a strategic debate way. However, they still made a contradiction of the same principal which we found explicit contradictions to be abusive under, in the first paragraph of this essay.

    In sum, even though the contradiction is not as clear (its implicit because no terminal impact is articulated), it still falls prey to the same abuse issues that reading clear or explicit contradictory advocacy is.

  6. Scottyp4313nr Post author

    Also – i'm like 90% certain we discussed this exact style of hypo on a podcast like a year ago- any 3nr intern candidates know?

    1. Grayson

      I remember listening to the podcast around December-January as well. I am also pretty sure this topic also lead to the conversation of whether or not selective extensions is legit or not.

      Like 2AC said
      Won't Pass
      Plan popular
      Prolif doesn't cause war
      and bottom of the docket.

      Block doesn't go the the politics disad page thus conceding all.

      Then the 1AR says extend Won't pass and Plan popular.

      The comparison was that if selective extension was legit then it justified switching positions on arguments read before.

      1. Grayson

        Hmm, after searching through season one. I came across "Season 1, Episode 10 — 2010-01-20. " That was the one that talked about the conversation that I discussed above. I am now unsure about whether I have heard it before on a podcast.

    2. HoldenChoi

      Was it the one where the 2AC extends the impact to a link turned politics disad when the neg didn't explicitly concede the impact defense?

  7. B. Manuel

    Its false –

    Normally a 2ac would read alternate warrants for why START won’t pass, regardless of Obama’s capital. At no point did the 2ac make a claim that Obama doesn’t have capital to get START which is why it won’t pass. So Obama has capital now is a U claim from the 1nc that is still un answered by the aff. So the link turn —- is still non unique —- meaning you can’t win the plan will uniquely cause start to pass.

    Normally a 2ac says

    1. Won’t Pass
    2. Winners Win
    3. No Impact

    A smart 2nc would argue this just means you get no link turn because Obama still has capital so another win can’t give him an overriding amt of capital. You’d need to straight turn the DA and then read impact defense to be a hypothetical at all.

  8. Romanov

    This would be a great discussion, but everyone here is conceding one crucial point: Politics disads are illegitimate. If links are based off of Obama pushing things through congress, the plan would obviously take a long time to happen. Since (almost) all policy advantages are based off of immediate implementation, (something their authors didn't take into account, so one could argue that these advantages are illegitimate,) Obama isn't really pushing a bill through congress. In the world of an aff the aff is a world in which the plan is passed by some means, and if the plan is a good idea, not whether or not it's process of coming into effect is bad. There's also a gut check argument: if the aff has the power of fiat, a permutation to pass start in addition to the plan is not intrinsic as the negative brought up the argument.

    Back to the issue at hand though: the 2nc shouldn't be allowed to do that. It's like reading a no-impact in the 2nr to kick out of a disad the aff straight turns in the 1ar.

    1. Grayson

      I was under the impression that fiat meant that it passes through congress because back in the day people would say that congressmen/women wouldn't even pass the plan which made for bad debating. Thus, fiat was made to "let it be done." Fiat guarantees plan passing but fiat doesn't grant you anything more than that. Like look, the politics disad is legit because you still debate whether or not the plan implementation is a good idea. You get passage but you don't get granted free no link arguments. You debate the plan as if it were to pass not as if it just magically passed with 100-0 votes. In reality not many bills pass without use of political capital or horsetrading. We, as debaters, are supposed to be modeling reality thus model what truly happens. My 2 bits.

      1. Romanov

        So we should imagine it is passed and then guess which congressmen approved the plan? How is this not just as bad as before fiat. Also, where did anyone get the idea that resolved = insta fiat? Fiat means "let it be," not "let it be done." There isn't a non-arbitrary way to extract "let it be done" from "resolved" because one should be debating the merits of the plan itself, not the process in which it could or could not be passed. It's like saying we should debate whether or not we should buy cookies from girl scouts solely on the effect it would have on the world economy.

  9. DLC 4 Life!

    Romanov, lay off the sauce and come back to reality! Whit, I didn't know you envied Zavell so bad!

  10. brian rubaie

    It's illegitimate. The 1NC internal link evidence, implicitly or explicitly, argues that terrorism is bad. The 2AC conceded START was good and that terrorism and prolif were bad.

    The 1NC was "START decreases terror/prolif," assuming both to be bad things. The word "decreases" is a direction arrow for those impacts. The 2AC only read impact D to that impact because it was the only impact read, but that's a poor shell/possible 2AC *oversight*, not a 2AC *concession* of the impact direction. Although it isn't as obvious a double turn, it's just as bad for 2AC strategy. The 2AC foreclosed their own ability to impact turn after link turning, and subsequently foreclosed the negative's. The negative doesn't get to say START good and START bad in the same debate.

    On a side note though, it would be far too difficult and time-consuming for the Aff to win the debate on a concession of the double turn and the negative would be unlikely to lose most debates for doing this. Seems like a low-risk, high-reward scenario for the Neg, even if the Aff is right.

  11. Jordan

    The problem is with #1 and #2 in the shell. President Obama has done all in his ability to enact New START, including signing it. Now it's up to the Senate. They need to stop delaying it. President Obama's political capital won't help with that.

  12. Jon Voss

    This is a hypothetical from last May.

    The 1NC Says: Obama's broad trade agenda will pass now – it includes Panama/Korea/Columbia FTAs and China Bashing. The plan kills it. Panama FTA is good because it prevents regional conflicts in Central America.

    The 2AC says all the same stuff Batterman's initial hypothetical assumes: No UQ, link turn, no impact to Central American conflict.

    The 2NC: concedes the 2AC and says KORUS, CFTA and/or China Bashing are bad.

    I agree with Rubaie's arguments about Bill's initial scenario – the 2NC can't say START good and START bad in the same debate. I'm curious, though, if the agenda item changes the legitimacy of the proposal. In my example, the 1NC hasn't (arguably) taken a stance on the desirability of Obama's trade agenda; only on the desirability of the *Panama FTA* portion of it.

    Obviously, there's an argument to be made that this scenario is no different from Bill's – "Trade key to Panama, that's good" is a "direction arrow" in the same way as "START solves terrorism." The difference, though, is that "START solves terrorism" is a causal claim that identifies a benefit to mutual arms reduction. There were lots of articles written during Obama's big trade push that identified certain parts of the agenda as beneficial while flagging other parts as dangerous.

    Is it any more (or less) legitimate for the 2NC to impact turn the object of the impact-turn is a separate part of a larger agenda?


    1. Kevin Hirn

      "hypothetical"… classic jvoss

      I still think that the distinction drawn in the scenario is artificial. "We don't take a stance on the desirability of Obama's trade agenda – we just said PFTA, an impact of Obama's broader trade agenda, is good " is logically indistinguishable from "We don't take a stance on the desirability of START – just the desirability of proliferation, a terminal impact of START".

    2. HoldenChoi

      If the link card was "Plan kills the Panama FTA part of the agenda" and then the aff read a link turn to the broader agenda then I think it's more legitimate to impact turn KORUS, CFTA and China Bashing. Otherwise the neg is still defending Obama's agenda is good.

  13. Brody

    Question for those who say "illegit". If the neg reads "START will pass. Plan stops it from passing. START Good" and the aff impact turns with like a dozen scenarios the neg has 0 answer to, would it be illegit to 2NC CP "The USFG should not ratify START", or does that also contradict the thesis of the 1NC (That START is good)

    1. anon

      I think the negative is allowed to say whatever they want in the 1NC. I think reading START good and such a counterplan in the 1NC is fine, but i think reading that counterplan in the 2nc is just glaring proof of why 2nc counterplans are generally considered illegitimate.

  14. Guest

    just a random question, say this did happen in a round how would the 2AC respond to such an argument. Please don't reply solely that it is illegitimate.

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