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June 1, 2004
Fallacy, Bush Style

Dana Milbank of The Washington Post gives some nice examples of George Bush's favorite technique for fallacious argument : The Straw Man.

This is when you caricature the argument of your opponent, and then refute the caricature. Finding examples of this technique in politics is no great task, but Bush makes it all too easy.

In the typical speech, Bush explains the prewar intelligence indicating Saddam Hussein had such weapons, and then presents in inarguable conclusion: "So I had a choice to make: either trust the word of a madman, or defend America. Given that choice, I will defend America every time."

Missing from that equation is the actual choice Bush confronted: support continued U.N. weapons inspections, or go to war.

And my favorite:

There seems to be no end to the crazy positions the straw men take. Indeed, some have argued in favor of deeper recessions. "Some say, 'Well, maybe the recession should have been deeper,' " Bush said last summer. "That bothers me when people say that. You see, a deeper recession would have meant more families would have been out of work."

Previous Comments

This administration hired the best think tanks around like Ayn Rand Institute who must think Americans are idiots. All Bush has done to get where he is has been too steal logic from his voters. Hope they are able to get it back some day.