Saturday, March 18, 2006

A Straw Man for All Seasons

Well, knock me over and fry me in anti-freeze, the AP finally devotes a news story to the White House's rhetorical deceit (which has been a major peeve on this here blog for some time):

Reporter Jennifer Loven writes:

"Straw men have made more frequent appearances in recent months, often on national security — once Bush's strong suit with the public but at the center of some of his difficulties today. Under fire for a domestic eavesdropping program, a ports-management deal and the rising violence in Iraq, Bush now sees his approval ratings hovering around the lowest of his presidency.


"Last fall, the rhetorical tool became popular with Bush when the debate heated up over when troops would return from Iraq. 'Some say perhaps we ought to just pull out of Iraq,' he told GOP supporters in October, echoing similar lines from other speeches. 'That is foolhardy policy.'

"Yet even the speediest plan, as advocated by only a few Democrats, suggested not an immediate drawdown, but one over six months. Most Democrats were not even arguing for a specific troop withdrawal timetable.

"Recently defending his decision to allow the National Security Agency to monitor without subpoenas the international communications of Americans suspected of terrorist ties, Bush has suggested that those who question the program underestimate the terrorist threat.

"'There's some in America who say, "Well, this can't be true there are still people willing to attack,"' Bush said during a January visit to the NSA."

Not that it does much good to carp about it now, but hey, I'll take what I can get.


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