I’ve written before about Barack Obama’s penchant for creating strawman arguments, in which Obama presents an exaggerated and misleading characterization of Republican proposals in order to make Obama’s own policy seem like the only reasonable choice.
Most typically, Obama will frame the sentence beginning with words similar to “some people say we should do nothing ….” Obama then presents his policy as the only alternative to “doing nothing.”
The quote below from Barack Obama (h/t Gabriel Malor) may be the most extreme strawman argument Obama has made to date, and is all the more inflammatory because it was made in connection with the “deal” Obama struck with Republicans to extent all the current marginal tax rates regardless of income.
Speaking of the extension of current tax rates for people earning over $250,000, Obama stated (emphasis mine):
“When they expire in two years, I will fight to end them,” Obama said. “Just as I suspect the Republican Party may fight to end the middle-class tax cuts that I’ve championed and that they’ve opposed.”
For Obama to state that the Republican Party “opposed” the “middle-class tax cuts” simply is false. The Republican Party wanted current tax rates extended for everyone, and never, ever argued that the Bush middle class tax cuts should be eliminated.
Obama’s frequent use of strawman arguments reflects someone schooled in the ways of agitation, not argumentation.