Rove on the straw man

In the WST, Obama’s Straw Men: Why does he routinely ascribe to opponents views they don’t espouse? Karl Rove describes several cases where an opposition is built from straw in order to make a point that doesn’t exist in order to sway a debate.

Lincoln offered careful, rigorous, sustained arguments to advance his aims and, when disagreeing with political opponents, rarely relied on the lazy rhetorical device of “straw men.” Mr. Obama, on the other hand, routinely ascribes to others views they don’t espouse and says opposition to his policies is grounded in views no one really advocates.

Mr. Obama’s persistent use of the device is troubling. Continually characterizing those who disagree with you in a fundamentally dishonest way can be the sign of a person who lacks confidence in the merits of his ideas.

Examples are provided. You can easily find your own. Or you can attack the observer, which is another fallacy being used to respond to observations such as Rove’s. If you are after honesty, be careful with integrity.

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