There are many reasons politics is a popular disad on every topic, one of them is that it is generally a quick way to get to nuke war. No matter what the issue is, if its on the presidents agenda its a safe bet there will be people making hyperbolic statements about it. While most disads/advantages are always exaggerations, the impact evidence selected to read for politics is generally some of the worst.
That the evidence is bad, and more specifically that it is often biased, is an issue frequently brought up, less frequently focused on, and even less frequently a round winning issue. It should be.
I’m somewhat baffled by many of the debates I see lately (as well as with the decisions of other judges when I listen to them) with the strange focus on terminal impacts, both in what percentage of time is spent debating them, and then even after a lot of time is spent arguing defense to them with how large of a “risk” judges assign them. Especially with people who I have had conversations with about how to debate or adjudicate impacts who when they are then in a debate seem to disregard/not employ the views they had previously expressed.
So below the break are some thoughts on what is going wrong in these debates and in the deciding of said debates.
The University of Texas National Institute in Forensics (UTNIF) summer institute blog posted a card this morning from The New York Timesthat is “sure to be oft-cited at next weekend’s Tournament of Champions.” The evidence is from an op-ed by Thomas Friedman entitled “Everybody Loves A Winner”:
One topic that I have been involved in a lot of debates about is what makes the best politics uniqueness card. Is it better to dominantly control uniqueness with a “lost will pass with 97 votes in the senate” card, to have a more brinkish card “Lost will pass with 1 vote to spare now” or to have a speculative card ” there is a 75% chance that lost will pass” that eschews vote counts all together? This is by no means an exhaustive list of the kind of cards you could have, and each one has certain merits in regard to link uniqueness, degree of link etc.
Below I have taken some uniqueness cards from the NDT on the financial reform disad read by various squads. Some of them fall into the above categories. Think about what the reasons are one card would help you in the 2NC more than others, one reason few people consider being “what if I need to kick this disad”. Dates should be given marginal if any importance due to the length of the tournament.
Recall that Kennedy’s successor, with far more political capital than Kennedy had, promised to defeat poverty. Historian Steven Hayward notes that in 1966, Lyndon Johnson’s commander in the War on Poverty, Sargent Shriver, told Congress that the White House believed poverty in America would be eliminated within 10 years. “Why,” Hayward wryly asks, “should social science be more difficult than rocket science?”
I don’t know that one is more difficult than the other, but I do know that they are not interchangeable. Physics is good at figuring out how to split atoms. Sociology, not so much.