Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Fearlessly Attacking the Straw Man

One of Bob's favorite propaganda techniques is the logical fallacy known as the straw man argument. Bob typically likes to define a bogeyman and then assign that group a position that is opposite of his own. The position assigned by Bob will be oversimplified, so it can be easily attacked. Bob's most commonly defined group is the hated "liberals."

An example of this technique can be found in last Monday's show when Bob stated that "liberals in this country paint Israel as the bad guys" in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Of course, this statement has no basis in fact. Surveys have shown broad support for Israel by Americans in a completely non-partisan fashion. Furthermore, the vast majority of American Jews identify as either moderate or liberal and only 19% voted for Bush in 2000. Surely, these liberal Jews don't hate the Jewish state of Israel! Of course, Bob won't tell you support for Israel is an equal opportunity endeavor, because Bob wants you to vote for Republicans.

Bob led up to the above straw man argument in a particularly bizarre way. First, Bob asserted that Democratic presidential candidates will suddenly start taking up conservative positions in the run-up to the 2008 election. To "prove" this assertion, Bob stated that Hillary Clinton recently criticized Palestinian textbooks for being anti-Israel. (Bob, of course, would agree with Hillary on this point) Then, Bob seemed to imply that this position was some sudden change for Senator Clinton and, as stated above, the "liberals" were anti-Israel. Of course, Bob is wrong again: Hillary has been criticizing Palestinian textbooks since at least 2000, so this is not some recent "flip-flop."

But please take a step back and appreciate the tortured, contorted "logic" that occurred here. Only Bob Dutko could cite a Democrat stating a position that he agrees with, cite no other sources, and then somehow conclude that Democrats actually have the opposite position. The mind reels.

1 comment:

djtyg said...

Also, when Bush was doing his "Road Map To Peace" plan for Israel and Palestine, Bush was said to be more open in its dealings with Palestine than Bill Clinton was when he brokered his peace deal in 1993.

Is Bush one of these so-called "liberals" that Bob is talking about?