Liam Donnelly ParadigmLast changed 4/22 5:58P PDT
4/22 update: two pre-TOC thoughts about the immigration topic:
1 - I don't think there's a great arg for not reading a plan specific to this topic.
2 - DAs on this topic have a bad rap. Sure, link evidence describing the aff is often non-existent. But there is a plethora of cards that could be read as pertaining to the aff, but for which the negative is unwilling to make those sorts of connections. I don't think you need a card saying everything. Reading a card about, say, a hypothetical immigration reform and then making a strong case for why that reform is not meaningfully different from the aff is sufficient to at least have a link argument.
/end of update
Email chain: firstname.lastname@example.org.
No tag team CX (see bottom). Prep ends when the flash drive leaves the computer or when you hit "send."
Coach at Ingraham. 4 years of policy in HS, 2 years of policy at the University of Puget Sound. The way I think about debate is largely influenced by my high school and college coaches: Danielle Jennings and Jame Stevenson. My favorite judges as a competitor were Ben Menzies and Geoff Lundeen. My least favorite judge was Brandon Silk.
I consider myself to be a critic of arguments. I don't adopt a single paradigm when judging debates. I try to tease-out the way that debaters would like me to evaluate certain arguments and the extent to which these evaluative directions are contested. I'm open to anything. What follows is a discussion of how I tend to consider arguments.
Claim + Warrant + Impact.
I’ve judged a lot of debaters who have been far too unclear for me to flow them effectively. I’ve even judged debaters this year that have been—gasp—too fast for me to flow. I’ll sometimes call clear, but even momentary lapses in clarity can alter the way I view a round.
I’m a technical judge and I try to protect later speeches. Arguments that are truly dropped are presumed true, at least insofar as they were initially made. A simple example: Dropping a warranted argument saying the CP would be delayed means I will assume it true for the purposes of the debate that the CP happens later than the aff would. Unless it was made clear why this matters, it won’t get the aff very far. If the 1AR then says something like “this means they don’t solve imminent nuclear threats identified in the 1AC” then, by default, I think the 2NR can respond to the claim that delaying implies anything about solving these nuclear threats but not to the claim that the CP is delayed.
I might read some evidence. How the evidence is debated frames the role the evidence plays in my decision.
"Clash of Civs" - Affs that aren't about the topic or don't have an advocacy statement? Affs without a plan that still discuss immigration policy? I’m a lot better for the latter. To me, T is a floor, FW is a ceiling. I care more that the aff is T than that it has a plan. And I think that what is topical can be informed by one’s relation to the topic. But I think Fairness is important and a terminal impact. In the hypothetical where one team has won a fairness argument, the other an exclusion argument, and there is zero comparison thereof, I’ll come down on the side of fairness every time. If you’re reading a K aff, you likely need defense against the theory part of the T debate.
I think you need an interp in Framework/T debates. I think the best strategy against Framework for an aff that is in the direction of the topic should include some interpretation of what the aff does defend - eg, the aff has to defend a restriction, not necessarily the usfg - coupled with some reasons wh what the aff doesn't have to defend is bad. I'm a stickler for you needing an interp in these sorts of debates.
"Egregious condo, terrible negative arguments" - 1NCs that read 2 bad CPs, a generic K, and 3 DAs that don't have uniqueness? You deserve to lose on condo. But the 2AC in most of these debates just needs to make a few analytics to effectively deal with over half the 1NC. In this sense, I do care about the truth value of your arguments; if you’re missing a bunch of internal links, not much ink needs to go on the flow to eliminate the DA.
Ks - "All our links are disadvantages to the perm" is sometimes intuitively true, but often cannot just be asserted. Links should have an impact and reason why the alt solves.
CPs - If I’m being honest, I think CPs should be both textually and functionally competitive, and that agent CPs are legitimate but process CPs are not competitive. Solvency deficits need to be impacted.
"Impact framing" - I’ll rarely vote on a big impact with significantly reduced risk just because it’s big. Significant differences in the plausibility of the DA usually proceed magnitude. But, “impact framing” debates aren’t doing much for me. In a lot of these debates, it seems like a lot of arguments assume that the risk of the big impact is low. But then “team structural impacts” ends up having bad defense and never backing this assumption up. Reading a bunch of abstract cards about probability should take the backseat to winning that the other team’s impact is low-probability.
Defaults (these hold unless otherwise debated): competing interpretations over reasonability. No judge-kick of arguments extended in the 2nr. It is possible for me to assign zero risk to an argument (but not likely enough for me to recommend as strategic not extending offense in your final rebuttal). Presumption flips aff when i'm comparing the aff to a world other than the status quo.
I think that debaters have a responsibility to make their arguments comprehensible to their opponents. This means that debaters can call "clear" or "slow" if need be, or teams can arrange another means of communicating this.
I give more points clustered around the median than other judges. If you’re clear and explain your arguments, expect 27.5-28. Organization, knowledge of arguments, CX quality, and strategic decision-making are important in how I give points.
Tag team: I think each debater needs to give and get a CX, and give a constructive and rebuttal. At times, it has felt like tag teaming has been a legitimized means for problematic power dynamics between partners to exist.
Clipping: loss and a zero. Intent is irrelevant. Making a false accusation hurts your points but doesn’t give you an auto-L. Usually you need a recording.
Don't say exclusionary things. Don't misgender your opponents. Let me know if you need accommodations or to take a moment for personal health.