The 1AR, like the lamer Matrix movies, is all about choice. A good 1AR picks from the options presented in the 2AC and hammers home a few key points, it doesn’t crappily extend every argument. I feel like past posts have gone into why this is so ad nausea, so this post will take for granted that you agree the 1AR must collapse and will instead focus on an example. In the attached xl document you will find the flow of a politics debate through the 2NC. The 2NC has done a decent job of extending the disad- no arguments are dropped, there are diverse answers to each 2AC argument, and there is some impact jive at the top. If you give the 1AR you will find yourself giving politics 1AR’s like this frequently because people have blocks to most of the 2AC arguments given in the demo speech.
Below the fold I am going to discuss ways to chose what arguments to go for and why, but before you read that look at the flow and think about what arguments you would select to go for and why. Think about different circumstances
-do they have a cp?
-is the cp plan inclusive?
-are you going to win a big risk of the case or a solvency deficit?
Then think about why these factors might affect what arguments you chose to extend.
I will leave a large part of the discussion of the questions above to the comments, but will briefly discuss a few of them. If the neg has a plan inclusive counterplan that politics is the net benefit to then you should probably be focusing on the link turns. It is hard to win a solvency deficit to the PIC so having offense on the net benefit is a lot more important. If you go for link turns spending a large amount of time on the impact overview becomes linearly less relevant the more likely it is you will win a turn. The presence of a conditional or plan inclusive counterplan could help your theoretical arguments for intrinsicness. If you are going to win a huge risk of the case going for a few true defensive arguments may be easier than time and evidence intensive link turns. If you don’t have time to read cards impact D may also be difficult given the presence of an add on impact. And no matter what you extend you need to answer the cheap shot.
Let’s assume the neg is not going for a counterplan and you suspect you will win a large risk of the case. Let’s also assume you have about 1:30 to spend on politics. With that amount of time I would recommend you handle around 3 arguments , for roughly 30 seconds a piece. This should give you enough time to make each argument a credible 2AR option and leave your partner with some choice. Extending diverse arguments also makes it possible that the 2NR could miscalculate their time and commit an error.
Since this will be a disad/case comparison in the final rebuttals answering the 2NC overview on impact calc has got to be 1 of your 3 args. There are many judges who will vote on a very small risk of a disad vs a large risk of the case when impact calc (especially turns the case arguments) are dropped. Making defensive arguments to answer impact calc does not necessarily mean you must extend your impact D below, but it does probably mean you want to answer (at least analytically) the add on impact.
That leaves us with 2 arguments to burn. For the sake of diversity I would pick 1 theory argument and 1 substantive argument. For this example I would pick the link uniqueness arg and Obama doesn’t push the plan. The rational for these choices will be explained below.
For the sake of simplicity lets assume that you can speak at 250 words per minute,so instead of measuring time we can measure word count to see how much we can say on each argument. That leaves us with 125 words to extend each argument. This is why word efficiency is crucially important in the 1AR- if instead of using inbedded clash you said “they say” and then a 5 word description of their argument, and you did it 4 times that would be 28 words- roughly 1/5th of the 125 words you have dedicated to each argument which means you are essentially giving a 4 minute 1AR. Perhaps you are good enough that you can give up 1 minute of one of the tougher speeches in debate, but odds are you aren’t.
To start with, lets write a block to the impact calc portion (assume the case advantage is just hegemony with the Thayer impact card). The best way to write blocks IMO is to write all the arguments you can think of and then prioritize them according to quality and highlight them for efficiency. So here are some answers I would make to this overview
-hegemony solves the impact- economic collapse doesn’t cause war when US leadership exists to de-escalate the impact- that’s why recessions since WW2 haven’t caused a war
-even if the economy acts on perception generally they don’t have a perception internal link- we havent had the trade agreement for decades, and hegemony is also perception based- failure in Afghanistan signals weakness to our enemies
-economic decline isn’t larger than loss of hegemony- their 10 word impact card doesn’t make that distinction whereas thayer outlines many impacts outside of general conflict like terrorism and proliferation
-can’t turn the case- we control uniqueness- hegemony is declining now, and overstretch is a better internal link- even if we have money the size of our army isn’t large enough to prevent collapse
-the warrant in Khalilzad is economic collapse causes withdrawal of public support- but the public is already against the war and we haven’t pulled out- empirically denies their turn
-prefer probability- we will win a larger internal link to the case- timeframe and magnitude claims are hyperbolic, prefer definite impacts
Then I would rework that as described above by organizing that stream of consciousness rant into a structure. Some of the arguments may need more explanation, some may be able to get away with less, which are things to consider when revising.
The important thing is that you include at least 1 argument to answer each 2NC claim and to focus time on the more important arguments as appropriate. I am pretty rusty at this, but the above took me maybe 5 minutes. If in the 20-30 minutes before an aff debate you try and write some similar blocks to args you anticipate the other team will go for you will see your 1AR points skyrocket.
Moving on, the next argument I wanted to extend was link uniqueness. A few notes on this example
-i didn’t have the 2AC read a card here. This is somewhat because I don’t always think you need a card and somewhat because I don’t think I have seen a 2AC make an analytic argument that wasn’t theory to politics in 5 or so years. In this case the 1NC did not present a piece of evidence that PC was high, so as far as I am concerned the 2AC doesn’t have to read a card either.
-while this arg specified the budget, I view “budget” as a warrant for “pc low”- so just like you can read additional warrants for other arguments, I think a 1AR here would be justified in expanding the warrants.
Anywhoo, top level of this- I think the 1AR should read 2 cards here that are relatively short
-a card that PC is low
-a card that nonuniques one of the links
For the first part, I would read a card about an upcoming fight because the neg read a piece of evidence that he has PC now- not that he will keep it in the future. A subtle distinction, but nonetheless an important one.
For the second part, the 2NC read a tea party link, so I would read a new card that the Tea party is angry about something and argue that triggers the link.
These 2 cards would be relatively short and would probably constitute around 75-90 of my words. The rest of the args would look something like this
-Even if present capital is sufficient, predictive evidence proves he will lose it -no evidence indicates tuscon capital translates to the trade agenda
-Seidenfeld is generic- any legislation triggers the link
-links are all or nothing- triggering any one triggers the disad, its not linear and specific uniqueness can’t fix the link- thats illogical
Not a lot of in depth explanation, but all the pieces are there for the 2AR to really sit on that argument and blow it up
-all the 2NC arguments were answered on point
-a meta discussion of how to resolve the arguments was introduced
-diversity- you are non uniquing the tea party and the legislation link which gives the 2AR options and the 2N a chance to mess up
Onto the next argument. I chose Obama doesn’t push the plan because while it is similar in execution to intrinsicness it is much more theoretically conservative- many more judges think the aff gets the right to determine the plans implementation than think the plan can be amended.
It is debatable whether or not Obama pushing the plan or not affects the tea party link, but since the 2NC didn’t mention that in this speech I will ignore it. Thinking through those kind of potential cross applications should be a part of your process deciding what arguments to extend.
For any theory argument in the 1AR I would have a quick overview, meta level (or vi) and then potential responses to read to what the neg can say. Here is an example for this argument
Extend Obama doesn’t push the plan- text says congress, aff gets to define implementation or the neg can arbitrarily construct unpredictable links, normal means is an irrelevant concern because we specified our agent- they could have read a different link or an agent counterplan but didnt- this is 100% defense if we win it- don’t assign a risk of a link
And our argument is most real world- afghanistan is Obama’s war, he wouldn’t spearhead its reversal
AT: Obama Always pushes
-Obama doesn’t always push- health care repeal on the agenda proves
-This takes out the link- if Obama pushes everything capital loss is inevitable
AT: Politics key to ground
-We don’t kill politics- they just don’t get president based links
-XAP politics kills topic research- this outweighs negative ground- they can recover with other generics, conditionality, and the block
AT: Plan doesn’t preclude Obama push
-Our interpretation of Fiat is minimal means- this means no extra actors get involved
-if PC is finite its illogical to assume Obama would get involved in the plan unnecessarily- he’s a genius
AT: 2AC Clarification
-not a 2AC clarification- its the 1AC plan text, they could of asked in CX
Arguments like no spillover and the president doesn’t push the plan were huge when I started debating but have fallen out of practice to a large degree (though “compartmentalization” which is basically no spillover has been coming back recently). These arguments have the benefit of largely being true, so if you spend a few minutes thinking through the base line neg spin they use you can generally punk teams as they won’t be ready for it.
If you post a sample 1AR for any of the other arguments in the comments I will post some feedback. Other questions/opinions on the strategy or examples discussed above will prob not be answered for a while until I finish a post on how to deal with this in the 2NR and then a 2AR post.