If one had to wager whether a certain genre of argument would appear in a random 1NC speech doc impact defense would be the safest bet by miles. After all, how can one be successful against a K AFF without Teschke 11 and Gray 7 to answer endless wars?
The irony is impact defense might be the least bang for your buck argument you can put in the 1NC. Scott Phillips’ case against impact defense is threefold: 1. Impacts in a vacuum are probably the best part of the advantage 2. AFF teams use their internal link to make impact defense irrelevant so you should just start by answering the internal link 3. AFFs can easily prepare to defend their impacts. (https://hsimpact.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/politics-and-case-is-not-a-strategy-part-1/)
I agree with a lot of that, but my case against impact defense is different. My contention is why read impact defense when you can just link turn what the AFF is saying?
The case for link turning is straight forward:
1. It is more fun
Link turning is the purest form of debate. There is nothing like getting a judge to agree that the AFF was fundamentally wrong about their description of the status quo and the effect the plan had despite infinite prep and the ability to choose what they got to say.
2. Uniqueness is better than impact defense
Fun fact, saying a war or what have you is not going to occur now is kind of what people sound like when they go for impact defense. So all the muscles should not have to go through much of an adjustment. You just need to pick your reasons carefully (i.e pick a reason the link turn implicates) and then you get the added benefit of having an offensive argument with the same amount of work.
3. You want to answer the link to the advantage more anyway. That means you are already 1/3 of the way there
Links are usually worse than impact cards. So you should want to answer it. That puts you 1/3 of the way to link turning. Slight change from impact defense to uniqueness and we are cooking with no real extra work.
I think people get scared when they think about going for a DA and case turns. But you are going to spend time on case invariably, why not making it so you have an offensive out if the DA is going poorly for you?
4. Arguments that make the status quo a sustainable option are very good for the NEG.
Most judges like to feel their vote went towards the nicest option. Ceding uniqueness means bad things are coming. The judge will begin searching for solution to the bad things. Saying things won’t be that bad and the AFF probably couldn’t stop the bad things anyway is just inherently less compelling than the status quo is fine and the AFF makes it worse (all evidence being roughly equal of course).
I think one thing that makes people overlook how attainable these strategies are occurs during the research process. Most squads’ definition of a DA seems to be quality evidence, applies to a lot of cases, impact diversity so it is external, good angle on turns the case. This is obviously reasonable, but it is a high bar. Threads that don’t reach the bar don’t get pursued at all.
That is where the case turn can be found! The DA that isn’t external, applies to one plan or where you don’t want 2 minutes of 1AR scrutiny. That is link turn gold.
At the end of the day if you link turn the case you are saying the AFF is bad in the funnest way possible. That will lead to wins. If you read impact defense to the case you are saying you are kind of a coward, you may or may not have a case NEG and you don’t like fun or winning.
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.