GBN Aff v. Wayzata Neg
The Neg went for midterms – GOP good – outweighs the case.
This was a great debate to judge. It was nice to see a team fully engage a case head-on and simply going for DA o/w case, with the 2NC using an impressive combination of smart analytic arguments (mostly) and some key evidence to substantially undermine the case. 1AR also did a great job on the DA.
I did vote Aff and sit-out, largely because I assigned less uniqueness to the DA than the other 2 judges. Had I assigned the Neg more uniqueness, I would have voted Neg.
The midterms DA
The Link. 99%+ There was a wall of well-developed link arguments in the 1NR that was not responded to by the 1AR except for one blipy, “people don’t like spending” argument. Neg wins 99% of the risk of the link. I think the public will love the plan, substantially increasing voter turnout and securing control of the Senate by the Democrats. All three judges agreed on this.
The two other judges thought there was nearly 100% uniqueness because the Neg read good cards (that weren’t contested) that the GOP will win now because of voter turnout – GOP voters will turn out and Democratic voters will not turn out. I agree that this is well-reasoned conclusion, but I only assigned the uniqueness slightly above 50% because that is all the 2NR was claiming – In response to the Aff’s Wang argument that there was a 70% chance that the Democrats will win, she said that most polls concluded that there was at least a 55% chance that the GOP would win and that even if the Aff won that there was a 55% chance that the Dems would win, there was still a 45% risk of the DA because they won 100% of the link. I agree with this completely and think that it was quite smart/accurate, but I also think the Neg is right that there is about a 55% chance the GOP will win now, which means that there is a 55% chance that the DA is unique — that there is a 55% chance that the GOP will control the Senate now and enact policies that will solve the case impacts (this will become more significant in a minute) and potentially avoid some (very few) other impacts.
Internal link. The Aff spent a lot of time going for basic internal link answers – gridlock, Obama will veto any new legislation impacts. While this makes sense vs. a lot of impact scenarios, it doesn’t make sense vs. TPA (which most of the impacts stem from) and Asia Pivot because these are what both the GOP and Obama want. All three judges agreed on this.
Impact. Sifting through the impacts was a bit dicey because the DA impacts were nearly identical to (or at substantially similar to) the case impacts. The Negative claimed the DA solve the case impacts (well, they said turned but it’s really about the GOP getting elected and adopting policies that avoid these impacts). The Aff said they solved the impacts.
Anyhow, now I’ll list out the impacts and then discuss the case impacts. Finally, I’ll talk about what I concluded how they interacted.
Alliances. The argument is that the Asia Pivot will strengthen alliances with Europe because it will be good if Europe will join with us against China. This card isn’t very good because it suggests that Europe may not want to do this, but the Aff doesn’t make that argument. The Aff also has an alliances claim.
Economy. A trade agreement with Europe improves manufacturing , which is important to the economy. Again, uncontested. The Aff also has an economy impact.
Turns Russia (another 1AC claim). Europe alliance. The problem with this card, as pointed out by the Aff, is that it is based on the claim that TIPP will improve relations with Europe and the Neg never read a card that says TPAàTIPP, so the Neg can’t win this.
Asia war. This is the original 1NC impact. It says that we need a strong security posture in Asia (Asia Pivot) to generally prevent war and a nuclear attack from North Korea.
So, yes, this is a lot of impacts. Even a 50% risk of these seems to be a reason to vote Negative, but the Aff also claims nearly all of these impacts.
Alliances. The Aff claims that unless we invest in space that countries will align with Russia and China instead o f the US and read a general alliances stop war impact. The Aff says this turns the Asia pivot argument and the Russia argument.
Economy. The Aff claims that a relative decline will undermine our leadership abroad, encouraging other countries to develop nuclear weapons, risking nuclear war.
Cyber-terror. The Aff claims that a loss of the aerospace industry means that we won’t develop communication technologies needed to prevent cyberterrorism.
Anyhow, as you can see, the impacts are largely similar. Plus, the Neg reads defensive arguments (cards and a lot of good arguments), which are pretty good, against the cyberterrorism and economy impacts, though they seem to apply to both sides impacts/turns.
I think the Neg may be marginally ahead on the alliances impact since the Asia Pivot is specific to Asia, but a everyone aligning with Russia and China would undercut the workability of the Asia Pivot…
Anyhow I fail to see how either side is ahead on any impact…The DA and case impact what are largely the same impacts and in nearly that same manner.
So the reason I voted Aff is that the Neg never contests the solvency – that building a space elevator will strengthen NASA (protecting alliances) and strengthen aerospace (protecting vs. cyberterror and strengthening economy). This WILL happen, whereas in the status quo there is only an approx.. 50% chance that the GOP will control the Senate and also avoid those things.