I finally understand in my own terms what right wingers (the lock step kind) do these days that makes me so angry, and misleads the audience so much. Please mind that I am 26, so this could be a) obvious to you, b) the way it's always been, and/or c) only a minor piece. But it seems to me...
These days, when a liberal and a conservative talk or argue, usually the conservative just seems to be on this other level. I think the formula, mentally, for what they are doing is this: Speak to everyone except the liberal; Address the liberal while doing so.
This gives the false appearance that actual discussion is going on. The conservative is listening to the liberal to be sure, any point made is redressed for everyone who is not liberal, and the response is in that form.
I don't know what if any rhetorical trick or logical fallacy that is, but to me it smacks of elementary school playground trickery.
obligatory: not all 'pubs are evil, not all conservatism is dishonest.
But hey, it's fine for w to say that atheists aren't real americans, because that's just his way.