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.