I took this screencap on my iPhone earlier today from CNN.com's mobile page. The non-mobile version is here: http://www.cnn.com/…index.html



In the article, CNN quotes Palin as saying: "If you read the report, you will see that there was nothing unlawful or unethical about replacing a cabinet member,"



The very next paragraph in the CNN article explains: "Palin violated state ethics law by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator's report for the bipartisan Legislative Council concluded Friday."



See the problem? Palin is denying something she's not accused of. She says there was nothing wrong with firing a cabinet member. CNN says the Alaska state investigator's report found that she tried to get her brother-in-law fired--he's a state trooper, NOT a cabinet member.



Do I personally care about whether she pressured some people to get her BIL fired? It sounds like she's violated a law, so I care. However, the bigger issue, to me, is how she is dealing with the findings of this report.



She's using a straw man argument to distract from the reality that she may have broken the law.



A "straw man argument" is when you create an argument that is easy for you to win, rather than address the real argument that has been presented.



You accuse person A of committing a crime X and they immediately respond by saying "I didn't commit crime Y! Only a horrible person would commit crime Y--I think you're horribly mistaken!"



Person A then hops in her tour bus and zooms off.



Person A created a little man out of straw that they could easily blow down with a lung-full of air. The catch here is that she's not addressing the much bigger man made of brick and mortar.



This is an incredibly common technique used by LOTS of Republicans--and politicians in general, really. Watch for it the next time a politician you like (or dislike) gets accused of something.



In the end, Palin's reaction to the report's findings is completely predictable. It also makes her a perfect fit for Republicans--and politics in general, too.
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