Others have shown how much the current administration uses the “straw-man” argument. For those who may not know, that’s when you falsely claim that your opponent believes something ridiculous and then shoot that non-argument down.
To give just one example, President Obama used this technique when he said: “In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis—the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems…” I am not aware of anyone, of any political persuasion whatever, who believes that “tax cuts alone will solve all our problems.”
So to take the straw-man phenomenon to new levels, John Farmer of the Newark Star-Ledger wrote an article (or blog entry; I can’t tell which) entitled “Suddenly the GOP Wants Active Federal Government”. In this masterpiece of the straw-man technique he actually has the chutzpah to say that Republicans “(just about all of them) want to reduce government to a permanent vegetative state.”
I (and most conservatives) want a Federal Government that is highly active, engaged, and effective (which it’s often not)—within the realm of its constitutionally assigned responsibilities. I also want state governments to be active, engaged, and effective (they’re often not either), in the areas for which they should be responsible. And in other areas I believe—and the constitution specifically states—that the people are sovereign and therefore individually responsible.
It’s not that we don’t want government, we merely don’t want government doing things that the constitution says they can’t do. (Oh, and by the way, the Federal government does this all the time: e.g. the health-care bill.)