Thursday, January 24, 2013

the straw man's straw man

I was reading a philosophy textbook the other day (yes, I do that), and I came across the term ‘Straw man’.  I knew of it before, but I had never seen it actually spelled out in an education setting.  It struck me as the perfect way to describe a lot of what I have found most despicable about the republican party in the post 2000s.

I thought to myself, “Huh, I should write a smart frog about that.”

But I put it up on the shelf, thinking I would get to it eventually.  Once upon a time ago I wrote about what I called Counter Logic Arguments.  This was how many public figures (particularly on the right) would accuse the opposing side of something that they themselves were guilty of.  This diffuses the argument, making bystanders think that both sides are just two sides of the same coin.

And wouldn’t you know, after the inauguration speech, Paul Ryan said that Obama’s phrasing about takers was just a ‘straw man strategy’.   You asshole!  You did it again, and now it looks like I’m just turning the accusation around as defense. 

I was going to point out that the right has overused and abused the straw man argument.  I was going to show how what they say about Obama’s spending and deficit numbers are actually the opposite of what is true.  I was going to point out gun control, and how, as an owner of a handgun myself, I am pissed that the only folks making any sense are being accused of being gun grabbers. 

I was going to discuss how it has created and continues to foster a very angry nation. 

Piss on it – can’t do it now.  You watch, straw man is going to be used everywhere.  So I will just get lost in the noise as just another person making that argument.  Bah!

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