We’ve gone through it for years, including the entire 2004 election campaign, but the media remained silent. Finally they are back. Look at this headline from AP: Bush Using Straw-Man Arguments in Speeches.
Jennifer Loven has finally said what we thought every time we’ve heard Bush speak, but nobody has said. She’s like the kid who had the guts to say, “The Emperor Has No Clothes.” She describes exactly what the Republicans do. After quoting a typical Bush attack, she explains:
Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.
When the president starts a sentence with “some say” or offers up what “some in Washington” believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows.
The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.
He typically then says he “strongly disagrees” — conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.
Am I allowed to make a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in journalism?