A Little Googling Shows That a Lot of People Have Been Pyromaniacs In a Field of Straw Men

In a Wall Street Journal story about the firing of Canadian hockey legend Don Cherry from his broadcasting job, Peter Mansbridge, the dean of Canadian newscasters, was described as “a pyromaniac in a field of straw men.”

A good line—I wondered if it had been used before. Like many good lines, the answer is yes.

George Will in 2011: “Elizabeth Warren is (as William F. Buckley described Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith) a pyromaniac in a field of straw men: She refutes propositions no one asserts.”

George Will again in 2011: “During a fascinating Right vs. Left debate on ABC’s This Week, after Robert Reich predictably pined for higher income tax rates to solve all that ails us, Will struck back with the line of the weekend, ‘You are a pyromaniac in a field of straw men.'”

Former Congressman Paul Ryan in 2011: “I think the president has become a pyromaniac in a field of straw men. I think what he wants to do is set up those of us on the other side of the aisle as some caricature and assign policies to us that we don’t have and then defeat those arguments.”

And there’s this one, in 2009, from former Congressman and convicted felon Anthony Weiner: While debating Dr. Betsy McCaughey, the former Lieutenant Governor of New York, he said she was “a pyromaniac in a field of straw men.”

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