The NEW Illustrated Guide to Mendacity and Folly in the 21st Century.
Posted on | October 8, 2012 | No CommentsBy now, everyone has already reviewed and reviewed the first debate ad nauseam. The insta-pundits, naturally, awarded the “win” to Mitt Romney because he looked so good while Obama looked like he was sleepwalking. Then the fact checkers weighed in to reveal that the only factual statement that Mitt Romney made was that he was Mitt Romney.
The Daily Kos made the amazing discovery that there is actually a name for the debating technique Mitt used. It’s called the Gish Gallop.
The Urban Dictionary provides this definition for the Gallop…
“Named for the debate tactic created by creationist shill Duane Gish, a Gish Gallop involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span on that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it. To make matters worse a Gish Gallop will often have one or more ‘talking points’ that has a tiny core of truth to it, making the person rebutting it spend even more time debunking it in order to explain that, yes, it’s not totally false but the Galloper is distorting/misusing/misstating the actual situation. A true Gish Gallop generally has two traits.
“1) The factual and logical content of the Gish Gallop is pure bullshit and anybody knowledgeable and informed on the subject would recognize it as such almost instantly. That is, the Gish Gallop is designed to appeal to and deceive precisely those sorts of people who are most in need of honest factual education.
“2) The points are all ones that the Galloper either knows, or damn well should know, are totally bullshit. With the slimier users of the Gish Gallop, like Gish himself, its a near certainty that the points are chosen not just because the Galloper knows that they’re bullshit, but because the Galloper is deliberately trying to shovel as much bullshit into as small a space as possible in order to overwhelm his opponent with sheer volume and bamboozle any audience members with a facade of scholarly acumen and factual knowledge.”
Or as we used to say in high school debate circles, if you can’t convince them with the facts (because you don’t have any), baffle them with bullshit. Ahh, how many times I personally was awarded the Golden Shovel–that gold-spray-painted trophy emblazoned with the words: PILED HIGHER AND DEEPER.
Now this does not excuse the President from his piss-poor performance. He seemed to be in a different room where someone was actually making points that Romney wasn’t even talking about. Al Gore opined that the problem was the altitude in Denver. But perhaps it was the altitude of Obama’s discourse. He simply couldn’t BELIEVE that so much bull was being thrown in his direction so instead he took the high road…only it went to a different city.
Paul Ryan, of course, did not want to be debating Joe Biden, because all Paul Ryan can do is vomit numbers that don’t mean anything, whereas Joe, bless his pointy little head, actually knows a thing or two about policy. And Joe is a fighter. But then next week, we will be subjected to another Obama-Romney duel. You can bet Romney will lie his ass off in this next one too–let’s hope Barry has the sense to say that he’s the President of 100% of the people, not the 47% Romney claimed.
But enough of that. A MORE IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT. Friday, October 12 is MY BIRTHDAY. Yes, I will be too old to want to say what my age is. But being as so many people in my life have shared this birthday with me, my dad, my uncle Gene, a former girlfriend, and several others, I want to WISH a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all COLUMBUS DAY-ERS! We used to only get a day off for the birthday some of the time but now we get a day off for it all the time–and 3 out of 7 years on the right day too! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY my fellow October 12-ers.