IrishMex Rebel wrote:
As a former LDer and coach, I'll play devil's advocate here.
There's nothing wrong with trying to confound your opponent's CX. I've had my debaters (and myself) ask opponents to rephrase really long complicated questions (either in the hopes they will have to spend time rephrasing it or just abandon it altogether) and wait a moment or two before answering most questions (2 second pause for every question, average CX of 10 questions is 20 seconds of just dead air time in a three minute space).
I think this can be a good thing. It can force a debater to operate more strategically and form questions in the most precise, strategic manner as to avoid these pitfalls. In addition it also probably incentivizes good flowing since you cannot rely on your CX alone.
That being said, repetition of every question is obnoxious and I would never teach someone do to it because it makes you look obnoxious or slow to the judge.
I've never thought of waiting a couple seconds before answering a question, but that sounds like a good idea. I don't like to waste my opponent's time on purpose, but I think a brief pause would seem more polite, like you're waiting to be sure your opponent has finished asking the question.
Of course, asking your opponent to rephrase a confusing question is no problem, given that the question is actually confusing! My concern is when people act like every question is confusing, rather than give an admission to a good question.
Thank you for your thoughts! I'll keep these things in mind as I work to improve my own CX.