When I debated in High School, from the first affirmative constructive, I had to propose a plan. Then I had to defend the plan. If you didn't adopt my plan, then the harm would be "x," with "x" generally being global nuclear war. Really. I'd scour the library until I found that one sweet quote that linked failure to adopt my plan on agriculture or water policy to global nuclear war. Then, cleverly, I'd say something to the effect that global nuclear war is bad.
My opponents in the first negative constructive would argue that either a) there'd be no actual war, b) my plan would actually lead to the collapse of the sun into a black hole or c) I did not propose a plan because my interpretation of the word "to" was wrong.
So as I watch the debate on the morning talk shows over Son of Immigration Reform, I keep wondering what "X" is. What's the harm of doing nothing? Other than Secretary Chertoff's comments below, no one can simply come out and say, if we do not pass this law then _____ will happen. And ______ will be worse than the status quo.
Instead, I get a string of adjectives describing the urgency, the necessity, the need, to do something, unintended consequences be damned.
I'm out here, way on the sidelines, wondering what the hell is "x"?
As a side note, if I could propose a constitutional amendment, I'd require every member elected to Congress to work a farm, winery, mine, fishery or timberland in their home district. They're salaries would be tied to their productivity. They could vote by VTC, and talk by telephone.
That would go a long way towards ending the tendency of Delta Charlie to "bubble up."