**A Contemplation and Slight Head Explosion by Shifra**

Now that the State of the Union speech is over, and we got through it with a little help from MST3K, I began to reflect on how I, like millions of other Americans,  did not watch the Obamination circus Inauguration. I had much more pressing matters to take care of. (Hey, *someone’s* gotta take out the trash and clean the lint out of the dryer!)

It was enough to see some of the comments on twitter, and I gathered, from what I saw, that The Dumb Bastard the duly re-elected POTUS mocked and belittled celebrated our Constitution with a re-affirmation to bring our great nation to its knees to a new era of fascism and misery economic growth.

But then, I came across Karl Rove’s analysis of the speech (I know Rove is a scoundrel, but even a broken clock is right twice a day!), and I was disgusted and nauseated surprised and dismayed that the use of the straw man argument was alive and well in Obama’s address.

As I wrote in an earlier post, using a straw man argument is a cheap and juvenile rhetorical device.

Here’s how it works: Start with an opening statement of “There are those who say” or “Some say.” Then, suggest some outrageous statement that your imagined opponent said, or would say. Then, demolish your imagined opponent’s position.

For example, here is a straw man argument that Obama used in an April ’09 speech:

… there are those who say we cannot afford to invest in science. That support for research is somehow a luxury at a moment defined by necessities. I fundamentally disagree. Science is more essential for our prosperity, our security, our health, our environment, and our quality of life than it has ever been.

As Rove points out in the WSJ:

President Obama’s 15-minute, 2,108-word second inaugural address followed the old wedding advice to offer “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.”
The “something old” was Mr. Obama’s habit of serving up straw men before triumphantly demolishing them. “No single person,” he harrumphed, “can train all the math and science teachers” or “build all the roads and networks and research labs” America needs.

I’ll pay for a year’s subscription to this newspaper for anyone who can identify a single person who has suggested such a thing. While we’re at it, who exactly is proposing we “choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future”?

Well, since I am always on the hunt for Obama straw man arguments, I decided to hold my nose forge ahead and read the entire transcript of the inauguration address.

And I found a few more pieces o’ crap gems:

Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms

Who exactly are these “deniers” of the “overwhelming judgment of science” ?


For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.

Who has ever suggested that we “meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone” ?


Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.

This statement is particularly vile. Yes, unfortunately, the voting machines in some places caused long lines. But who exactly “forced” anyone to wait for hours? He implies that there was some malevolence involved in the long lines in some polling places.

And so, my fellow Americans, although there are some who say that you should not have a head explosion over the  State of the Union address, I say to you:

Ask not if Obama’s speech makes any sense, ask how many straw man arguments, lies, and hypocritical and outrageous falsehoods can be jammed into one speech.

I will be keeping score.












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21 Comments | Leave a comment
  1. Pat_S says:

    As long as there are some who pay Obama and the Progressives will spend.

  2. marleed says:

    Excellent post, Shifra . . . This POTUS really IS a piece of work, isn’t he? Good thing it would be impossible for one man to take a proud, prospering nation full of enterprising, innovative citizens and through purposeful malevolence commingled with gross incompetence fundamentally transform them into a second rate welfare state on the brink of economic and social collapse . . . . . . Nevermind!

  3. strider says:

    Sounded like a jumble of buzz words and phrases like you’d throw together for a self-evaluation.

  4. Kitten says:

    You nailed it, Shifra! Not having listened to the inauguration speech or the SOTU last night, there’s a reason I (and many others) cannot stand to listen to him speak. To the “average” American living in this economy he created, his arguments are never plausible, hence the straw man.

    Also, not only do his arguments not hold water, they are manipulative to the low information voter who will not question him. What he says sounds good to them when in fact, the truth was distorted.

    That’s what makes me angry enough to have a head explosion. Thank God for MST3K!

  5. LJZumpano says:

    My first response would be, “If he only had a brain”, but then I realized he does have one and he is using it to turn us all into zombies in his vast wasteland vision for America. Good piece Shifra!!

  6. FrankRemley says:

    No wonder I watched an episode of “Wagon Train” on You Tube instead of the State of the Union.

  7. idaho_karen says:

    Sigh! When his mouth moves, you know he is lying or telling half-truths (which Shifra, you point out here exceptionally well).

    I didn’t watch the ‘shew’ either but later in seeing a clip, he did make one true statement: “If Congress won’t act, I will”. Unfortunately, he has been on a high-speed journey for the ‘transformation’ in the first 4 years, so can only imagine his activity will break a land-speed record on his way to his legacy… That legacy having nothing to do with the country or it’s citizens, but only to assuage his need to be worshipped now and forever.

  8. Maynard says:

    There are those that say those that say “Those that say …” are playing word games to divide and manipulate us. Shifra is one of those that say that.

  9. Maynard says:

    But seriously, the straw man argument fuels cultural paranoia. It’s an implicit reminder that your enemy (anyone remember Emmanuel Goldstein?) is out there, working on his nasty little plan to put y’all back in chains. This is not exactly a formula for uniting the country, and encouraging us to work together and pull together.

  10. RosaLee says:

    If any more straw men were thrown on that dais, the fire marshal would have had to shut the place down as a fire hazard.

  11. midget says:

    Shifra-I left a comment on the wrong page with Rubio,meant for here.

  12. LucyLadley says:

    Shifra, Love! Love! Love! your use of drawing lines through your original thoughts & then your P.C. addendum’s. What a great read!

    • Alain41 says:


      SNL has had a few funny characters where the premise was along the lines of saying something under your breath that was what you really meant or to influence the person you were speaking to. I think Kevin O’Neal (?) was the funniest, but I believe that both Jon Lovitz and Chevy Chase had similar characters. Shifra should write for SNL, the material would be funnier and more intelligent.

  13. otlset says:

    There are those who say that because I’m late to this thread I’m irresponsible, that I can’t take care of my affairs in a timely manner, and I’m too disorganized to meet my obligations. Well they’re all full of crap.

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