We agreed to debate the question of whether market forces are the best check on corruption. Aff violates this agreement in the following independent ways:
First, having a plan fiats the truth of that statement. In a world where plan is the object of your decision, resolution is true IF plan is passed. Alternatively, BECAUSE resolution is true, pass plan. In either case, aff begs the question rather than answering it.
Second, 1AC is a hasty generalization, relying on a singular example to prove an entire categorical claim. Such a generalization carries an accompanying burden to prove that the example is typical and inductively representative. In resolutions with words like "is" and "are," such inductive representation is a prima facie burden. This means that on-face the 1AC does not prove the truth of the resolution. It doesn?t even try.
Third, intrinsicness. None of the advantages are intrinsic to the question of market forces checking corruption. Disregard all arguments in this debate about free speech, robust debate, accountability, individual rights. At best the advantages prove the resolution by the effects of several steps, which justifies me arguing that giving my son an allowance allows him to invest money, which opens up the market process, which gives everyone more money, which allows them a good education, which means they?ll take ethics classes, which means there will be less corruption.
Finally, the resolution requires a comparison: Market forces are the BEST way to solve corruption. This comparison is also a prima facie responsibility of the 1AC.
This is a voter for the following reasons:
First, social contract. Despite what the aff claims, we DID agree to debate markets and corruption, and you CAN see the context of that discussion on the threads in question.
Second, Scooter Gratson. Scooter wanted to see a debate about markets and corruption. The 1AC doesn?t provide this. Scooter?s desire to learn more about this is a powerful metaphor for the reason many of us are participating?Steck lengthened the word counts and changed the format for Scooter?s sake. Scooter represents all those who read these debates for the purpose of educating themselves and their students. Falling into non-intrinsic, self-admittedly unrepresentative quasi-affirmations of agreed-upon resolutions decreases the educational value of this forum.
Third: "Has the 1AC, in a vacuum, proven the truth of the resolution?" is a yes/no question. If it hasn?t, then the aff should lose.
Moreover, you should disregard the quasi-resolutional-sounding statement of the 1AC?s introduction. That statement contains no warrants It is not demonstrated by the substantive claims of the 1AC.
The word “efforts” in plan text doesn?t distinguish between established law such as FECA and McCain-Feingold, and current attempts to expand CFR, such as the recent rider attached to the defense bill in the House, or attempts and existing laws by states such as New Mexico, Wisconsin and Minnesota. “Efforts” might even include grass-roots campaigns for CFR that haven?t made their way into Congress. “Efforts” might include court decisions. This word cannot possibly be a model of legislative intent.
Moreover, this word affords the aff the opportunity to fiat away ALL existing laws and participatory movements towards CFR. You should prefer precision in policy debates, and should hold the aff up to the highest possible standard of precision since the resolution is NOT a policy resolution and the aff chose to interpret it as such.
Also, vagueness allows the POTENTIAL for shifts and reinterpretations, and in an activity with limited preparation and research time, potential abuse is indistinguishable from real abuse, since I have to waste time thinking about what the plan COULD mean.
Also, cross-examination did not check in this instance: aff?s CX answer merely repeated that Congress “would end all efforts at campaign finance regulation.”
Moreover, CX doesn?t matter: Policymakers and the courts would strike down legislation that used such vague language anyway.
This is a voter for reasons of precision, education, fairness, and no solvency.
On plan and resolutional analysis:
First, aff right to define isn?t exclusive. Neg also has the right to define. Definitional disputes should be a matter of the merits of competing interpretations rather than merely defaulting to one side?s right to define; otherwise, resolutions always have the potential to be meaningless.
Second, plan ain?t topical: the words “market forces” and “corruption” are not in plan text. Moreover, they aren?t in case advantages. Plan in a vacuum is not topical, violating BY OMISSION (not definition) the words listed above, as well as “best.” This is a voter because it de-limits the topic, legitimizes extra-topicality and effects topicality, and violates the social contract. The resolution exists as a predictive mechanism to ensure clash in debates.
Third, case cannot legitimize the topicality of plan. If you have to look to case (and in this instance also to cross-examination answers) to determine the connection between the resolution and the plan, then you should vote negative on topicality. Remember, the resolution exists as a predictive mechanism to ensure clash in debates.
Fourth and finally, the affirmative should lose because the 1AC doesn?t develop an inherency argument. The aff utilization of fiat in order to picture what the world would look like if the plan where implemented by the government disconnects us from our personal agency and responsibility for the harms articulated in the 1AC. The aff?s refusal to develop an inherency contention (despite having extra word-space to do so) is damning here because the political forces both calling for and opposing CFR are all in bed with corporate and other powerful interests, but using “plan-advantage” debate reifies the illusion that one only needs a “good idea” to solve political problems. Good ideas are constantly circumvented by real structural and attitudinal forces. This is a voting issue because: (1) the resolution could have been interpreted as a call for personal advocacy and action, an interpretation which would have been a better utilization of the aff?s personal energy and intelligence, and (2) it?s functionally an absolute PMN: voting affirmative in this debate will do NOTHING to affect campaign finance reform politics, while the alternative of actually discussing what individuals could do within the system would have had a better chance of affecting genuine change.
On advantage one, “free speech”
First, the 60-day ban is only on ads paid for by corporations or unions; “everyday american citizens” can still buy advertisements. Those citizens can also pool their resources; by the affirmative?s own logic, this means that those ideas enjoying the greatest amount of popular support can still be disseminated through these media.
Second, the ban only applies to radio and television. They can still do telephone campaigns, direct mail, web-based and newspaper advertising
Third, the ban only applies to ads that mention particular candidates. Issue-oriented advertising can still occur.
Fourth, political action committees can still pay for electioneering communications. They can even collect that money from individuals within corporations and unions. They merely cannot get that money from the treasury of corporations or unions.
Fifth, all of these arguments suggest that the impact of banning corporate and union electioneering during the 60-day period is minimal to zero. The aff has never demonstrated that allowing corporate and union treasury money for electioneering during the 60 day period is essential for free speech. Don?t do that work for the aff.
Sixth, there is no warrant for the claim that pent up political interest will flow into the system.
Seventh, this advantage ignores the vast differences in access between those with a great deal of money and those without. The hidden foundation of the aff?s argument is that all citizens have the equal ability to give much instead of little (or alternatively, as I shall argue below, this advantage entrenches a Calvinist notion that the wealthy are more deserving of political influence than the poor).
Eighth, those who only have the ability to give “a little” have greater access to political influence under the sixty day rule, which levels the playing field by banning corporate and union advertising and requires advertising be paid for through smaller contributions which can be fielded from large numbers of poor people. While this doesn?t completely solve corporate influence, it does somewhat level the playing field. Removing the 60-day rule gives the corporations more freedom of speech than citizens lacking those resources.
Ninth, the argument that disclosure rules increase participation is irrelevant; the same disclosure rules exist in the status quo as would exist with the plan. You should not credit the affirmative with any advantage claimed from disclosure. The plan neither helps nor augments the disclosure process.
Tenth, the argument that money is akin to free speech yields the unacceptable conclusion that those with more money are entitled to more speech. This is the antithesis of the “one person, one vote” principle of democratic equality.
Eleventh, “Incumbents raise so much more money than challengers that a spending limit will actually tend to level the playing field and help challengers remain competitive. U.S. House incumbents, for example, out-raised challengers nearly 7 to 1 in the 2002 election cycle. Not surprisingly, these incumbents won 90% of the time. In the City of Albuquerque [where strict spending limits were in place for 30 years], on the other hand, spending limits have dramatically decreased mayoral re-election rates.” (http://www.buckbuckley.com/pdfs/spending_limits_myths.pdf)
Twelfth, hidden in the conflation of free speech and money is actually a very dangerous idea: a political reification of the religious notion of “the elect” – the Calvinist idea that there is a spiritual hierarchy. Carl Pope writes,
“By equating money with speech, the Supreme Court gave the loudest voice in our political system to the citizen who has the most cash. In doing so, it decided a question that has dogged American democracy since the Constitutional Convention debated whether to give the vote only to property owners. One of the ugly secrets behind opposition to campaign finance reform is the surprisingly widespread belief that allowing elections to be purchased by those with money-what John Calvin called “the elect”-is not only acceptable but desirable. The often self-serving notion is that society ought to be run by the successful. Why? Because they’ll be better at it-despite (or maybe even because of) their tendency to run that society for their personal benefit.” (http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200111/ways.asp)
Thirteenth, this consigns the poor to second-class citizenship. This kind of political hierarchy crowds out people like my parents, the people who go to the soup kitchen in my neighborhood, students in Urban Debate Leagues, and the like. They are unable to buy influence with the kind of frequency or success of others. That’s fundamentally unfair and turns any notion of the universal value of free speech.
Fourteenth, don?t give the affirmative anything close to full weight of “free speech” impacts – or individualism impacts on the last advantage. The limits in question are tiny-- the ban on soft money eliminates around $500 million in spending, one sixth of the total. If the affirmative claims “symbolic significance” to this amount beyond its quantification, then you should prefer the “symbolic signficance” of my arguments for two reasons: First, as I will argue below, the public perceives unlimited spending as corrupt, and thus participates LESS in a world of unlimited spending; second, because you should always err on the side of looking out for the least wealthy members of society–both Rawlsian and Christian principles give many warrants for this.
Sixteenth, even if all the aff claims are true in this advantage, nothing here demonstrates that market forces check or decrease corruption. Aff never argues that cfr creates corruption, nor that there is some pool of corruption that a greater amount of free speech solves. The entire advantage is non-instrinsic to the resolutional question and should be removed from your consideration even if you agree with it.
On advantage two, “robust debate”
First, the argument that cfr silences views is only warranted by an appeal to the 60-day rule. No warrant for the assumption that corporate and union financed advertising is essential for a diversity of views.
Second, airwave space is finite–at the very least, functionally finite. Allowing unlimited corporate and union domination of airwave space risks crowding out alternative views.
Third, markets will encourage the cost of that advertising to increase, not decrease. It will be in the interests of stations to raise the price of advertising to a threshold only attainable by corporate and/or union treasuries.
Fourth, “…allowing unfettered campaign spending enables well-financed candidates to drown out the voices of their opponents, reducing the overall quality and diversity of public debate. The purpose of the First Amendment is not just to protect the speaker, but also the public?s right to be exposed to varying viewpoints, under the theory that the truth will win out in a fair marketplace of ideas.” (http://www.buckbuckley.com/pdfs/spending_limits_myths.pdf)
Fifth, no link between spending more money on campaigns and debates being more “robust” or enthusiastic.
Sixth, there is a risk of a turn: if airwave space is only available to the highest bidder, alternative candidates will become less enthusiastic about public debate. This is at least as likely as the affirmative scenario.
Seventh, public enthusiasm depends on the public’s PERCEPTION of the political process, not necessarily someone’s idea of the “objective reality” of the political process. This is important, because absent spending limits, the public perceives the process as being corrupt, and they will simply not participate as much. Take the case of Albuquerque:
“Even if policy experts may quibble about the importance of overall campaign spending, one thing that?s certain is that it makes the public sick. Time and again, citizens report that
there?s too much money in politics and they wonder if politicians are more accountable to their constituents or their wealthiest donors. The City of Albuquerque?s spending limits were recently struck by the 10th Circuit. When they were in place, though, more than 2/3 of Albuquerque residents believed they improved the integrity of local elections. 59% said they would have less faith in their elections if the limits
Eighth, data shows that spending limits increase competition. The following passage is worth quoting at length:
"Reasonable expenditure limits can also increase competition more generally. The current unlimited spending environment is a nightmare for those seeking to unseat a sitting officeholder.
"Only 5 congressional incumbents lost their elections last fall, and nearly 90% won by at least 20 points. In VT, in the nine election cycles conducted before the legislature enacted their spending limits law, only ONE incumbent lost a race for statewide office. Some have argued that contribution and spending limits hurt challengers. But this simplyn doesn?t play out in reality.
“We released a report in 2002 that debunked the myth that low contribution limits hurt challengers. GMU Economist Thomas Stratmann found that lower contributions limits are actually associated with somewhat smaller margins of victory for incumbents.”
Ninth, this advantage assumes plan results in better decisionmaking and policies. But the current system sucks time from robust POST-ELECTION debate and policymaking. Spending limits decrease the necessity to spend all your time fundraising. Officials can spend more time studying and debating the issues; candidates can spend more time communicating with everyday people rather than just potential contributors. You should prefer a scenario like this–not because “rich people are evil,” but because there?s more non-rich people than there are rich people.
Tenth, this is all non-intrinsic to the resolutional question?nothing in this advantage has anything to do with market forces checking corruption.
On advantage three, “accountability of influence”
First, the only relevant link to anything the plan might actually address is that “few people pay attention to what lobbyists give governmental officials.”
Second, there is absolutely no proof here that encouraging open contributions during the campaign process would decrease the amount of money given “under the table” after the campaign. This entire argument hinges upon you believing the following: (1) the main reason why influence is bought after the election is that it cannot be bought during the election; (2) if we just allow corporations and unions to buy influence during the election, they would not buy “undue” influence after the election. Neither of these components is warranted with narrative argument, empirical data, or the testimony of those in question.
Third, plan does not mandate any new regulations concerning how money is given to political leaders after the elections.
Fourth, we can already find out these things. The plan doesn?t make it any more likely to happen. Remember this: disclosure laws are the same both before and after the plan.
Fifth, nothing in this advantage is instrinsic to the resolutional question. In order for such intrinsicness to be proven, the affirmative would have to demonstrate that this advantage spurs an increase in market forces, and that such an increase would decrease or check corruption. This is especially true since the affirmative never defines “corruption.”
on advantage four, “individual rights”
First, the statement that the usfg tramples on individual rights is unwarranted?no examples are given, no evidence is cited. Even if you personally believe it, don?t let that belief fill in for the lack of warrants from the aff. Political hyperbole is more dangerous than limits on rights, because hyperbole emboldens demagogues, obscures the real nature of problems in the guise of “enemy” and threat rhetoric, and encourages reactionary solutions to problems that require more reasoned and balanced thinking. Hyperbolic, unwarranted rhetoric in this advantage functionally turns any impacts the affirmative claims.
Second, no terminal impact to individual rights. The advantage begs the question: obviously those in favor of cfr believe that some limits on individual rights are necessary IN ORDER TO PRESERVE A HIGHER DEGREE OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. The aff shouldn’t be allowed to leap-frog over this debate.
Third, aff fails to establish uniqueness to this advantage. Individual rights to murder, rape, discriminate, etc., are limited for good reasons. Other individual rights may be limited for bad reasons. Absent uniqueness, there is no threshold for when violations of rights become unacceptable.
Fourth, generally, the foundation of the rule of law is that some limits on individual liberty are sometimes necessary to uphold a greater degree of individual liberty. Aff must demonstrate that this is not the case with limits on corporate or union speech.
Fifth, this advantage is only true is if the affirmative demonstrates that corporations and unions are “individuals.” Since individuals within corporations and unions can still buy advertising within the 60 days, the affirmative must show why adding the provision that corporations and unions can buy advertising will protect individual rights.
Sixth, the phone-tapping analogy in the d-subpoint is inappropriate without further linkage, which is not provided. Limits on speech are not analogous to phone-tapping. Such hyperbolic discourse permeates the 1AC and should be rejected.
Seventh, the rest of the d-subpoint is mere rhetoric. If we have already established that individuals can buy advertising, then this is all meaningless.
Eighth, even if the affirmative established some quantifiable harm here, and even if there were some terminal impact to individual rights, such an impact would be non-intrinsic to the resolutional question?nothing in this advantage has anything to do with market forces checking corruption.