Sunday, March 19, 2006

Torture Nation

Before and After Abu Ghraib, a U.S. Unit Abused Detainees

and Jim Macdonald lays some truth down on the idiots who say they "don't care" that we torture.

Mighty Conqueror of Straw Men!

Bush Using Straw-Man Arguments in Speeches

A specialist in presidential rhetoric, Wayne Fields of Washington University in St. Louis, views it as "a bizarre kind of double talk" that abuses the rules of legitimate discussion.

"It's such a phenomenal hole in the national debate that you can have arguments with nonexistent people," Fields said. "All politicians try to get away with this to a certain extent. What's striking here is how much this administration rests on a foundation of this kind of stuff."

Bush has caricatured the other side for years, trying to tilt legislative debates in his favor or score election-season points with voters.

Not long after taking office in 2001, Bush pushed for a new education testing law and began portraying skeptics as opposed to holding schools accountable.

The chief opposition, however, had nothing to do with the merits of measuring performance, but rather the cost and intrusiveness of the proposal.

I've decided to call Bush the Incomp-ident. Actually, he's quite good at articulating a straw man position and then rebutting it. Alas, I'd be more impressed if he rebutted the real position of someone.