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January 10, 2014 / compassioninpolitics

The super simple overview of Framework debates

To me, in some ways this gets back to structures good/structures bad in debate for facilitating fairness & education. Often, though the person who critiques the structures indicts specific structures…so it is incumbent to be able to defend them.

I think many of these debate break down into on of the following 5 categories:

• Traditional debate good/bad (speed, evidence, or some other practice or practices)
• Roleplaying the federal government good/bad
• Representation(s), Language, and/or Discourse Focus good/bad
• Exclusion good/bad (or rather limits good/bad)
• Whatever -ism the affirmative is claiming (they may also indict the worldview of the aff from a truth or ethical stance as well)

To me one fertile line of attack is the idea of representations. This used to be an easy way for affirmatives to stand above….but I don’t think its quite so easy anymore (there is a lot more evidence which calls into question a language focus as a means to solve real world problems). This is arguably one of the easier to research (assuming you have the cites you need to chase down)….and generally doesn’t fall into framework files.

Pro performance/critique affirmatives tend to fall on one side….the anti-critique tend to fall on the other.

One word of caution in terms of framework:
1. Most critical affirmatives use this as a leverage point
2. Most critical affirmatives can use their -ism to get outside the framework argument. You have to implicate your argument in terms of what they are valuing & prioritizing. This is always true in debate….but its incredibly true in critical debates. (especially so call “clash of civilization” debate…where one side stands of sort of post-modern values….and the other for modern values).

These affs are often defending three lines of argument:
1. We should defend the margins (stop the domination, otherization, dehumanization, etc… of minorities)
2. We should challenge the structure/status quo
3. We should embrace the wild & creative (the dionysian values). Its the romantic answer to the enlightenment.

One key way to challenge them is to play in the middle ground…..and coopt their advocacy:
1. Figure out how you can stand on the side of that minority group
2. Figure out how they make life worse for that minority group (aka another K) perhaps combined with some decent case turns
3. Race to the middle ground. Blend your framework to allow for both types of argument, but prioritizing the one you stand for (this is used by both sides….with various levels of success). This serves as an inclusive cooption of their stance (kind of like a counterplan).

The challenge becomes however that these teams often refuse to defend much of anything….except language focus key & talking about oppression good.

Of course the other option is to defend the “man”……aka say realism good, power good, utilitarianism good, fear good, enemies good, militarism good, etc…(depending on what they are attacking) You have to be ready for their twists on these arguments….but its the other side of the coin in terms of debating K affs. There are also a number of K authors who have a conservative orientation….who are another option of attack.

The last line of defense or rather strategem against these affs is counter-planning with another agent….and critically indicting their agent (or for instance excluding one or more of the 3 agents they claim to use for a critical net benefit). I don’t think I’ve ever seen this executed, but its a seemingly viable option.

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