straw man

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Synonyms for straw man

a person used as a cover for some questionable activity

a weak or sham argument set up to be easily refuted

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an effigy in the shape of a man to frighten birds away from seeds

References in periodicals archive ?
Change has occurred, but the new wars/old wars argument is between strawmen who do not exist, or if they did, who survived only for a time and need to be examined in historical context.
WILLIAM and Kate, Elvis and even Gonzo from the Muppet Show were spotted in the Colne Valley at the weekend - they all popped up in the second annual Golcar Scarecrow Festival on Saturday when 25 strawmen were put up around the village as part of the event.
As a lawyer, he should be able to make his argument without the aid of strawmen and lies about federal forest management.
g, or the perniciousness of religious belief), so they should not be allowed to get away with making simplistic and unfounded generalizations or with demolishing strawmen, which is usually what they do.
Alterman's technique is always the same: He sets up strawmen in order to then knock them down.
It's an analysis for people who'd rather joust lazily with strawmen than engage their opponents' ideas.
An acceptance of these points will hopefully put an end to the prevalence of strawmen in the debate, and focus attention on meatier issues.
Let's first clear away some rhetorical brush and demolish some strawmen erected by various overwrought columnists and political pundits.