I have it at 39ish AFFs with plans read in the 1st semester. Things I thought about while looking over the whole board:
Does the best AFF in a non-nukes area compare to the worst nukes AFF? I do believe some trade AFFs clear that bar.
Should deference AFFs just be better than trade AFFs because it is harder to write a deference NEG? I think so but some deference AFFs are just not there card wise.
The market has to count for something. How many people read it? Has it survived sophisticated strategies? Does it win a lot?
Does it pass the ESR test?
Tier 1--Top Shelf Prime AFFs
I think these are the best AFFs. NSA’s had a very good semester, good job Georgia. Losing an impact turn debate at Wake vs Harvard isn’t too surprising. With an AFF like that which can survive the T challenge the most likely thing to lose to is something you grant the link to. Should that really even happen because of infinite prep? No, but it does.
Iran is great fun although I don’t know if UNLV appreciates what it has. It’s so good, cut more cards about it. Don’t lose to ESR and politics. That makes us both look bad.
NFU, good AFF 8 years ago. Still good AFF. Lots of advantages, lots of link turns, good CP answers. Good clean fun.
Tier 2--Ham Sandwiches of AFFs
Rule of 2
North Korea and China are adv’s not AFFs. NFU for K reasons is just worse than NFU because you link to stuff, you restrain what advantages you can read and it is not worth the K args you can make in the 2AC.
Operational NFU is an extra topical over correction to a not that threatening set of negative arguments. ICBM bad lit is ok, but not hot enough to deviate.
Is there another trade AFF better than a nukes AFF?
I think, maybe. GMU’s business about national security exceptions and the WTO is probably the best version of the general Congress trade AFF I have seen.
Authorize first use in declaration of wars and court NFU are tough sells. I don’t think the existing versions are very strong. Both are too generally about nukes and NFU and not tailored enough from top to bottom.
Are they worse than trade or deference AFFs? I don’t think so, but it is a closer call.
One nukes AFF that is worse than trade is psychological evaluation. I am not trading T and the ableism K to read the white supremacists storm the nuke silos advantage. NO THANKS.
Trade AFF’s ranked
Iran then a big gap. Then GMU national security business emerges from a scrum of Congress tariff AFFs. Then everyone else’s Congress tariff AFF stuff. Then Cal’s TPA business. Then OFAC. Then sanction NK. Then sanction SCS. Then that court non-del thing UGA read. Then if another trade AFF exists no thank you.
You have to win a debate or get launched into the sun: do you read trade or deference
Phew, this is a tough question (obviously bracketing Iran sanctions). There are many issues with the way deference has been written to date.
One, the impacts are too easy to CP out of with ESR and Congress. Like that FAA thing about flight sharing? Not so much with the court key warrants.
Two, deference teams think their shit is magic. Like ok deference teams I get it. You’re edgy. You’re nerds. You love law reviews. You think you are so clever. But you can’t just come up with a legal abstraction then cut a bunch of cards that sounds like the same general concept and call it an AFF. You are a deference AFF, you aren’t God. You can’t solve with “legal standards” or “regulatory certainty” and just plug and chug whatever you want.
Three, answers to court DA’s suck which is weird because court DA’s suck (unless they are about national security/foreign affairs).
So NO I would not risk getting shot into the sun with deference AFFs to date. Have fun melting suckers.
I guess this Emory Curtis-Wright thing is the best one? Maybe?
Somebody had to do it (no, they actually didn’t, but debate is predictable this way). At the end of the day the marketplace of ideas has to tell you something about surveillance and treaty AFFs. They don’t punch above their weight, they are not read very often, they don’t win a lot. Maybe sometime, but not in the first semester.
I am Lincoln, head coach at UK and coach with Montgomery Bell Academy. This site's purpose is to post my ramblings about policy debate.