Definitions for "Strawman"
C&P page: 155 Definition: Broadly, dismissing a position by substituting another in place of it and directing one's critique toward this substitute instead. Comment: Naturally this is effective only if the substitute looks enough like the original to fool the right observers. Users of the strawman strategy sometimes fool even themselves, since they are more often careless than they are dishonest. The examples in Cedarblom and Paulsen exemplify this idea to a degree, but mix into the picture certain other fallacies which deserve independent analysis. See false dilemma, and critique.
a weak or sham argument set up to be easily refuted
a claim based on a misconstruction of the argument
In debate some will try to argue against ideas no one really defends. They are said to be debating the "strawman" or imaginary person holding those ideas. While it is good practice to attempt to predict before a debate what an oppponent will say, the term is not ordinarily used in that way. It is usually used disparagingly when debaters incorrectly attribute things to opponents during debates. This is different from, and should not be confused with, a "scarecrow."
a Republican's best hope in a debate
Keywords:  effigy, frighten, birds, seeds, shape
an effigy in the shape of a man to frighten birds away from seeds
a decoy used to divert attention away from the real issue or problem
a person used as a cover for some questionable activity