Based on your reasoning, you never should have come to use the word pandering in this manner.
...rather than pandering to them...
The origins of pandering:
Your argument is that simply because his use of the phrase does not conform to it's traditional use it is not valid. My response to you is that if linguistic constructions were never allowed to take on new meaning, you would never have thought to use pandering as it traditionally denoted something other than 'to appeal to'.The plot function of Pandarus in Chaucer's and especially Shakespeare's famous works has given rise to the English words to pander, meaning to further other people's illicit amours, and a pander (in later usage a panderer), a person who does this. The strong pejorative connotations of pander apparently come less from Chaucer's well-meaning young Pandarus than from Shakespeare's cynical uncle figure who concludes the play's epilogue by wishing upon the audience all his many diseases. A panderer is, specifically, a bawd -- a male who arranges access to female sexual favors, the manager of prostitutes. Thus, in law, the charge of pandering is an accusation that an individual has sold the sexual services of another.
IMO, this is not the way to go about using language. Truthfully, if one intended to denote circular reasoning there are much more obvious ways to do this. Actually saying 'circular reasoning' would for example be more concise.