Category Archives: Politicians

Logical fallacies straight from the horse’s mouth.

You ain’t just (dog)whistling Dixie

Newt Gingrich suggested that Romney serve Chick-fil-a at the Republican convention (reported in Newsmax here).  I certainly think that the Romney campaign would be smart to serve Chick-fil-A at the convention for one occasion. I think that would send a … Continue reading

Posted in Newt Gingrich | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Adventures in false dilemmas

Here's the title of Howard Rich's post at American Spectator. Barack Obama: Socialist or Nouveau Fascist? Rich argues that Socialism isn't quite right about Obama's policies, as he does let many who have done well keep their spoils.  So it's … Continue reading

Posted in Barack Obama, Complex Question, Equivocation, False Dichotomy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Ad rockstarium

I think it's worthwhile to keep track of the ways the sides in a debate try to paint the character of the other.  Sometimes, it is simple observations about what kind of person would hold such and such a view, … Continue reading

Posted in Ad Hominem, Ad Hominem Abusive, Appeal to the People, Barack Obama | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Cautionary analogies

Democracies are fragile, and one of the worries about them is that the seeds for their overthrow are sewn and grown inside.  That's a thought as old as Plato (see Republic IX's son of the democratic man, the eventual tyrant), … Continue reading

Posted in Barack Obama, General discussion, Good Arguments, Weak Analogy | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Another squirmish* in the culture wars

In the category of self-refuting worries (by now noticed by all of the web), here is disgraced former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich: "I have two grandchildren: Maggie is 11; Robert is 9," Gingrich said at Cornerstone Church here. … Continue reading

Posted in Contradictions, John Hagee, Newt Gingrich, Religion | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hypocrites that aren’t

This isn't quite the tu quoque some might believe (from Politico): A cadre of Democratic House members – all fierce defenders of President Obama’s health care reforms — are asking Republicans who want to repeal the law to forgo their taxpayer-subsidized health … Continue reading

Posted in Politicians, Specious allegations of fallacy | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Fill in the blanks

Dear Readers–been off for a bit, usual excuses. Writing for the New York Times, Peter Baker alleges that "Obama fills in the GOP's blanks."  Ok, that's the title of the article, but I didn't find anything in the article that … Continue reading

Posted in Barack Obama, hollow man | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A little back and forth

Normally these op-ed arguments go one way: pundit makes them, you must sit in stunned silence at the lunacy or the genius.  This week, however, we get a chance to see a little back-and-forth.  Well just once–once back, once forth … Continue reading

Posted in Dinesh D'Souza, Eugene Robinson, Newt Gingrich | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Burn out the day

Perhaps we can file this intervention by Sarah Palin in the "things that aren't analogous" file: "Book burning is antithetical to American ideals," she wrote. "People have a constitutional right to burn a Koran if they want to, but doing so is … Continue reading

Posted in Sarah Palin, Weak Analogy | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

An Exercise in Scarequoting

Classic downplaying is the strategy of making something look less important or significant.  You can do this with euphemisms, so you can call a pay cut "salary compression," or you can call the victims of indiscriminate use of lethal force … Continue reading

Posted in Argument Analysis, General discussion, John McCain, Reporting, Sarah Palin | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments