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Quote: "Well, I think they're just engaging in politics." White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan

Figure of Speech: ad hominem (add HOM in em), the character attack.

Looks like Karl Rove is back in the saddle. After a couple of weeks of uncomfortable forthrightness, the White House is back in campaign, i.e., attack, mode.

At yesterday's press briefing, a reporter asked McClellan to comment on some Senators' concerns about "unchecked invasions of privacy," given the revelation that the White House ignored legally established secret courts to spy on American citizens. Instead of answering the question, McClellan attacked the Senators' motive. The president used the same words in a speech yesterday.

In logic, that's a fallacy. In political debate, it's a given. But, guys, can we have a debate?

Snappy Answer: "Unlike the White House. Ask Karl Rove."

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