John Hawkins has a list of “The Top Seven Techniques Liberals Use to Lie About Conservatives,” including No. 7, the Straw Man:
If you can’t find a sin conservatives have committed to attack, then invent one. This is one of the most used arrows in the quiver of liberals who claim the Right wants to create a theocracy, kick senior citizens off of Social Security, or reward the rich at the expense of the middle class.
The Left uses this tactic against specific politicians as well. Remember during the 2004 campaign when the Left kept promising to fight a draft that Bush didn’t propose and didn’t support? How about all the attacks on Saxby Chambliss because he supposedly questioned the patriotism of crippled war vet Max Cleland? Except, of course, Saxby Chambliss never questioned Cleland’s patriotism.