Orlando's picture

    Meet Your New Roommate or Obama’s Plan to House the Guantanamo Prisoners

    Sometimes, I get confused when people use slang or terms of art. I’m more of a straightforward, un-fancy communicator. I’m ashamed to admit it might be something I have in common with our former president—although I tend not to make up my own words.

    Something I am less ashamed to admit is that I don’t always follow some of the terms bandied about on the blogs. One of those terms is “strawman.” I’m from the Midwest. Out here, strawmen live in fields and they don’t generally talk, which makes it difficult for them to participate in arguments.

    But, I’m proud to admit that today, for possibly the first time, I feel I have an absolute grasp of what “creating a strawman” means. Thanks, Republicans!

    See if you can follow the trail of metaphorical straw. (Side Note: real strawmen leave a straw trail too, only it’s not metaphorical and it makes me sneeze.) From what I’m hearing coming out of conservative mouths this week, here’s what I’ve got so far:

    • President Obama is going to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
    • There are bad men who have been living there for many years.
    • We will have to find a new place for the bad men.
    • During the campaign, then-Senator Obama and his staff saved money by asking supporters to allow out-of-town campaign staff to stay in their spare bedrooms.
    • We can save money and solve the detainee housing crisis by asking Obama supporters to house terrorists.

    Wheeeeeeee. Because it’s not like we have maximum security prisons or anything. Those prisoners are coming to your neighborhood and Republicans want you to be hiding-under-your-bed-wetting-your-pants scared.

    Honestly. It’s not like we should expect anything remotely honest from the people who want you to believe that dinosaurs weren’t extinct until a few thousand years ago, at which point we were calling them dragons. But just how stupid do they think we are?

    Don’t answer that. I can only handle one strawman per day.



    Actually, I'm not sure if that qualifies as a strawman – unless they're claiming that this is an argument being presented by "the other side". (I'm sure Genghis will correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm no expert in the sophistic arts myself.) Of course, that does leave open what the proper terminology for such an argument is, and it's surely not a new type of argument from them. I think this fallacy is similar to the argument some pro-choicers make that if you don't support allowing abortion you need to be willing to adopt every child that's not wanted. (Don't get me wrong: I'm not wanting to make abortion illegal. I just find that particular argument to be flawed.)

    As I'm cogitating on it, "non sequitor" is the expression that comes to mind.

    Great. I'll just stick to my simple words from now on. Tongue out

    That would be best. Logic is hard.

    Seriously, I'm sorry to deflate your sense of midwestern achievement, but this is not a strawman fallacy. A strawman fallacy is an argument that you attribute to your opponent and then proceed to demolish the hell out of, when in fact, the argument that you've just demolished the hell out of is a total misrepresentation of your opponent's argument, which explains why it was so easy to demolish the hell out of. It's called "strawman" because demolishing the hell out of a misrepresented argument is like winning an epic battle with a strawman. It's not real.

    The fallacy you describe is the Asshat Fallacy.

    You coasties sure like to look down on us midwesterners...


    Using Google, I found this good example of which the O does speak:

    All Jackasses have long ears
    Karl is a jackass
    Therefore, Karl has long ears

    I resisted the urge to substitute names...

    I like ellipses...

    My first link click through was for:

    Equivocation is the use in a syllogism (a logical chain of reasoning) of a term several times, but giving the term a different meaning each time.

    Alas I think it is tried and true (repulbicans seem to love this one):

    deductive fallacy, or logical fallacy, is defined as a deductive argument that is invalid. The argument itself could have true premises, but still have a false conclusion[1]. Thus, a deductive fallacy is a fallacy where deduction goes wrong, and is no longer a logical process.

    That is my 2 canadian pennies.

    Whatever. You guys are so mean. Stop picking on the girl.

    Latest Comments