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October 11, 2007

Austan Goolsbee: The college years

Seeing as this blog, and the media in general, seems to be pretty obsessed with Austan Goolsbee, I thought I'd discuss Austan Goolsbee from a different perspective--the college student.More specifically, Austan Goolsbee the college debater.It turns out that Goolsbee use to be an extremely successful debater on the Yale Debate team in the same debate league I compete presently on: APDA. For example, he was the 3rd speaker at the World Championships in 1991, an accomplishment that is hard to overstate.One day while digging through the WIKI that APDA maintains, I stumbled upon some pretty funny discussions of Goolsbee back in the day.For example, at the Brown University tournament:

The case was that Mark Berkowitz should be cast as the lead for the revival of The Sound of Music. Part of Mark’s case was that he would work for free and that he’d sleep with anyone to get the part. This led Austan Goolsbee to remark during a floor speech that “Mark tells you that he’s cheap and easy, but really he’s in deep ‘cuz his case is cheesy.”
Now, to understand this, you need to know that there are two teams in a debate round, a government and an opposition. The gov. proposes something and the opp tries to show why the status quo is better.A floor speech is a speech given by a debater not competing or judging during a final round at a tournament.Speaking of cheesy cases though, Goolsbee seems to have hit a few of them.At the APDA National Championship Tournament, Goolsbee lost the final round to a Wesleyan team that proposed the following:
You are Captain Joe Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez, cruising through Prince William Sound. Go downstairs and have a beer, and let your First Mate ‘Skippy’ take over for a while.
How someone loses that, I'm not sure. Guess you had to be there.Anyways, the last interesting tidbit about Goolsbee the debater that I've found is that his occasional debate partner at Yale was none other than Slate's Supreme Court reporter Dahlia Lithwick.