What’s with the Bush Did It Too dodge in defending Obama?

And why does the left fail so miserably at it?

Scarecrows by Giles Moss on Flickr

The other day I wrote about a skirmish I had that day with Tim Grieve over a tweet of his:

Even after multiple challenges I had a hard time getting Tim to see the difference between the quantity and quality—the actual details—of those numbers.

So I wrote the post demonstrating that, to the extent the Supreme Court ruled, there was a clear line between Bush’s actions and Obama’s.

Clear enough that it was 9–0 at the Supreme Court.

Today I ran across another tweet, one I’d missed from the other day:

Do you see what’s wrong with this one?

Same thing.

Straw men are so easy to defeat.

That’s why so many of them are recruited for argumentation in place of, you know, evidence. Logic.


But a fallacy is still a fallacy.

The Supreme Court didn’t outlaw recess appointments, or even pull presidents back from their historical abuse.

They only called a halt to further encroachment.

And—by the way—reminding this president that only the House and Senate get to make their rules.

Not the president.

So bringing up Bush’s recess appointments doesn’t doesn’t do anything to take the sting out of this huge Supreme Court defeat of this president.

And nobody at all on my end of the ideological pole is criticizing Mr. Obama for the number of his executive orders.

Only for what we view as an attempt to undermine constitutionally-designed separation of powers.

You can argue with the nature of his orders.

But invoking the sheer numbers of orders by previous presidents doesn’t clear anything up.

It’s just rhetorical sand in the eyes.

Trouble is, I think the only people who are fooled are the people spreading the argumentative foolishness.

Why do they keep going back to that well of fallacy?

My suspicion is because it’s all they got.


Photo credit: Giles Moss, Scarecrows, on Flickr



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