Quote: "According to a new study, one-third of America’s youth cannot find Louisiana on a map. Well, hell, the federal government can’t find Louisiana on a map." David Letterman.
Figure of Speech: argumentum a fortiori (ah-for-tee-OR-ee), argument from strength.
Letterman makes one of Aristotle’s favorite appeals: if a powerful entity failed, a weaker one is more likely to fail. If the government misplaces a state, why should America’s youth find it?
But have you noticed how nearly every shocking survey of America’s youth shows that a third of them are idiots? Look at Bush’s latest poll numbers. They prove that a third of Americans are idiots.
Snappy Answer: Can you?
Here’s another example of an a fortiori argument.