A foil, the straw man, and civility in discourse

Much as Soros is perceived on the right, the Koch brothers are seen from the left. That sets up an opportunity for comparison and contrast in discerning the differences by observing behavior. A letter to the Obama campaign (Powerline, Johnson) provides some insight.

Byron Tau reports at Politico that the Koch Companies have released a response to the Obama campaign’s fundraising letter of this past Friday directly assaulting the Koch brothers and their business. John wrote about the disgusting nature of the Obama capping fundraising letter here, alternately quoting from and responding to it. It is a letter that comes straight out of the Alinsky playbook.

Tau links to the Koch Companies’ response, a letter to the Obama campaign from Phillip Ellender, head of Government Affairs and Public Relations at the Koch Companies. It seems to me that Ellender’s letter deserves the widest circulation.

For a presidential campaign to use individual citizens as a foil for their presentation is extremely rare. In this era, though, demonization of opponents real or perceived is a common tactic. Alinsky’s playbook and end justifies the means seem to be the predominant values. That does not lead towards civil discourse or intellectual integrity.

Comments are closed.