« Home

How 'Bout a Little Fire, Strawman?

I am sure that everyone is familiar with the edifice of the strawman whereby one attempts to use a false, misleading, or otherwise completely nonexistent opinion or opponent to try to win an argument. President Bush uses it frequently, often employing qualifiers such as ‘some’ or ‘a few’ to suggestion that only a small minority support a particular stance which he invariably will ‘disagree’ with. Very rarely is he ever challenged when he attempts to stand up one of these faux stand-ins.

This proclivity for vanquishing imaginary enemies has again been on display with regards to how the president views the American people’s opinions on the war in Iraq.
[In a press conference last week], Bush said: "I recognize there are a handful there, or some, who just say, `Get out, you know, it's just not worth it. Let's just leave.' I strongly disagree with that attitude. Most Americans do as well."

As the AP piece quoted above goes on to note, however, the opposite would appear to be true. Polls show a majority of Americans actually favor setting timetables for withdrawal. Solid pluralities favor such action even in the absence of ‘victory’.

So how do the Bushies explain this apparent disconnect? They chalk it up to a case of selective interpretation of polling results.
Bush aides say poll questions are asked so many ways, and often so imprecisely, that it is impossible to conclude that most Americans really want to get out. Failure, Bush says, is not what the public wants — they just don't fully understand that that is just what they will get if troops are pulled out before the Iraqi government is capable of keeping the country stable on its own.

A polling expert says “I don't see what they're talking about.” It's not hard to understand really since it is far easier to battle thresh filled foes than pissed off flesh and blood Americans who've had it with the administration's penchant for placing the goalposts further and further a field while at the same time lowering the bar on those posts.

President Bush likes to say he doesn't read polls. Perhaps it's time he put down the straw and gave it a try.

More from Meme.

(Filed at State of the Day)

Links to this post

Create a Link