Once upon a time, someone used the phrase "Straw Man Argument" I had no clue what that meant so I headed to the Jr. High Library and found some information about fallacious arguments.
A List Of Fallacious Arguments Something like this list provided via the information superhighway. (Thank you Al Gore!)
As of late there has been lots of dissent over health care and the general direction of our country. Some opinions are very strong, well worded with real world examples to draw conclusions upon. Other opinions are barking a party line.
While some tend to use tricks to deal with the issues while not dealing with them. Or President loves the Straw Man argument and has been diligently using this device with nearly each of his pleadings of support on his version of Health Care.
There are accepted ways to argue, debate teams are a prime example of this. Being able to argue either side of an issue really gives you a good clear understanding of the issue. This would be regardless of your personal belief.
There is a big difference between discussion and debate and argument. Recognizing a straw man, for instance, for what it is can give you a clearer picture. Same with other debate tactics.