Seems like we may be at an impasse, but I'll go ahead and respond
Then write your own generics.
There is absolutely no way that any generic I wrote would contain the minute details of the prisoner law or PALs on TNWs. I'd have to crazy lucky to happen to have put that in the brief if I didn't know about those cases ahead of time.
You could make the argument that the AFF would require a reevaluation of the congressional budget, since it has already been decided upon; they'll likely try to fiat their way out of it though. A better strategy would be to refute the case on other grounds -- be creative; there's always more than one way beat a case and no case is perfect for that reason.
Sure, it's possible (though quite hard) to win without refuting that point. But the point is, debates become pretty stupid if the entire thing is Neg's legit DAs vs Aff's erroneous harms that are based on a false claim about the status quo. I'd rather debate about reality than Aff's fictitious idea of reality.
You don't need to be "that specific" to win. Specs are good to have, but they are not necessary; that's my point. No debater has a "right to specifics!" in a given round; hence, we shouldn't start exhorting teams to "be open". The NEG has a no more a right to my AFF than the Green Bay Packers have rights to see the game-day plans of the New England Patriots.
Right, you don't have a RIGHT to specifics, but it does improve the quality of debate by having people argue about reality rather than a fictional world.
You and I disagree on what "quality debate" looks like, so it seems. I do not think that pre-meditating an entire debate round so that everyone plays off of their frontlines is "quality debate"; academic debate is an exercise in critical thinking and logical reasoning, not a congressional deliberation (if you take a look at how much critical thinking and logical reasoning goes into a congressional "debate", I think you'll see my point... ).
1) As I previously mentioned, I think people can be TOO open. I'm not saying that everyone should know every minute detail about everyone's cases, merely that they should know what cases peopel are running.
2) Congressional debates are pretty high quality last I checked.
Who determines the "strongest D/As"? The D/A my brother/partner ran in our last outround at nationals was the deciding issue for one of our judges and he had no evidence to support it; this can be contrasted with the D/As from certain sourcebooks that have evidence and yield nothing in the round. Evidence is by no means an indicator of a "strong D/A". D/As are predicated upon ideas; if you have an idea better than that of a PhD, then you should be given due credit (and victory) based on that idea.
All I know is, from my experience, the strongest DAs by far are case specific and not at all general. OF course you can win a few ballots with super general DAs, but they usually have very theoretical impacts, and therefore do not appear as powerful as Aff's harms. I can't think of a single case that has more significant generic DAs to it than case specific DAs.
I mean, take TNWs for instance. What generic stuff can you run against that? Maybe some really weak DAs about relations or soft power or something, both of which can easily be refuted by Aff. You need to know about it in order to come up with anything very powerful against it.
To sum up my position, I think it's perfectly possible to have excellent debate rounds where one team runs a squirrel. However, I don't see why a debate with less detailed, more general arguments from neg, and arguments based on erroneous "facts" from aff, is higher quality than a debate that covers every aspect of the case, down to the tiny details. A debate where neg has no evidence is a restricted debate.
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