The Straw Man of Obama’s More Egregious Associations

Setting up straw men and knocking them down is a time-tested method for, among other things, deflecting an argument from its real point. Here’s an example:

The New Republic’s Jason Zengerle is also intrigued.

“It’s as if it’s finally dawned on the McCain folks that a lot of Americans actually like Obama and don’t really buy the notion that he’s a dangerous radical intent on installing Weather Underground alums in key cabinet posts,” Zengerle writes. [Emphasis added.]

The straw man is in bold, and it’s entirely ludicrous. No rational person believes that Obama intends to include Ayers or any of his other questionable past (and present) associations in his administration, and the insinuation itself is insulting.

Rather, and of course, the concern is about Obama’s character as defined by his involvement with such people. Either he’s the ultimate panderer who’s willing to use whomever he can to get elected, no matter how utterly contemptuous they might be, or his affiliations show his fundamental beliefs better than do his stump speeches. The former case shows the lie of his Messianic image as an agent for “change,” while the latter makes him patently unfit for any public office.

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