Straw Men

Not to be bloggy–posting links rather than content that is–but I was flabbergasted to read that Bush has been using straw man arguments in his speeches. While I congratulate the Associated Press on the discovery, I’m a little perplexed and slightly depressed that only now, in the sixth year of his Presidency, has it occured to the AP to run such a story. Here’s an excerpt:

>’Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day,” President Bush said recently.

>Another time he said, ”Some say that if you’re Muslim you can’t be free.”

>”There are some really decent people,” the president said earlier this year, ”who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care … for all people.”

>Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.

Indeed. And while they’re at it, perhaps they should follow examine the archives of this site. The essence of George Will’s engagement with “the opposition”–to name one particularly egregious example–is the straw man (bleeding heart, motivated by the argument from pity, clueless) liberal. As he, the most distinguished looking member of the right-leaning punditocracy knows, when the quantifier “some” won’t do, just distort what they say.

2 thoughts on “Straw Men”

  1. I agree completely. It’s amazing that it took any major journalism entity *this* long to publish a story like this. Especially since President Bush, Jr. has made no attempts to truly hide his fallacious arguments whatsoever. In my current critical thinking class, we’ve been doing logical fallacies for our final paper. While hunting down examples, I came across this website: It is, unfortunately, a couple of years out-of-date. However, they site everything and don’t just attack President Bush, Jr.’s fallacies but all 2004 presidential candidates (even the ones most people never heard of). It’s interesting reading to day the least.

    Hopefully this finds you in good health. Keep up the good work!

  2. isn’t this a little too easy? i mean, pointing out the Prez’ argumentative incompentence is tantamaount to saying that Donald Trump has a bad haircut–it’s so painfully obvious it hardly bears mentioning. Perhaps the AP might be better served to focus their keen gaze on the fact that the latest adminstration line is basically as follows: “We’re all done here. Let the next guy clean up the mess.” the Bush/Cheney?Runmsfeld triumverate is pulling a Pontius Pilate here and no one in the mainstram media is calling them on it. instead we get the earth-shattering revalation that the Prez is incapable of engaging an adequate line of argumentation. Really? I thought that iraq was a shuimmering example of this adminstration’s ability to utilize the tools of reason and diplomacy to achieve a desired goal. this is yet another example of how the major media outlets in this country pretend the news to distract from the truth. Bravo AP.

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