All The President’s Straw Men

The straw man is a logical fallacy, an attempt to appear to have won an argument by misrepresenting the opposing argument, or by knocking down an argument the opposition did not make.  President Obama is a devoted fan of straw men, having stood up and then batted down hundreds during his speeches and his recent campaign. 

Here are Barack Obama’s Second Inaugural Straw Men

We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few.

 Whose ideas is the President arguing against?  What politician ever said freedom & happiness are “reserved” for a few?

We reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.

Whose belief is that? Not the Republicans’ belief.  Did Romney campaign on such an assertion?

…what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names.

It is a principle of the Conservative/Libertarian ideology Obama opposes, that Americans are unique in being bound together NOT by ethnicity or religion like most other nations throughout history, but by ideas, the timeless principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence.  There is certainly no politician or academic today who declares us to be bound together by the colors of our skin.

The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob.

When has any historian or any of Obama’s political adversaries ever claimed the patriots of 1776 rebelled against the king in order to bring about mob rule?  Or “privileges for a few?”  Obama didn’t explicitly say it but he apparently wants you to think House Republicans want mob rule and/or a privileged few.

No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores.

Those of us who oppose Obama’s obsessive drive for a larger, ever more powerful, ever more expensive government argue that it’s already doing too much that would be, and in the past was better handled by free people operating in the private sector without political intervention.  Here the President ignored our argument and instead knocked down an absurdity he invented the notion that one person alone can train all the teachers or build all the roads or whatever.

…enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.

Actually, the belief held by Republican voters that Obama opposes is “peace through strength,” or the idea that by being militarily strong and prepared for war is the best way to avoid war.  None of Obama’s political adversaries have ever called for “perpetual war.”

We cannot…treat name-calling as reasoned debate.

Really? We’ll be waiting for the President correct his strident media supporters who, instead of attempting to rebut our arguments, call anyone who disagrees with him “racists.”

 

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