“What’s the matter? Can’t keep up?”
Duane Gish is a famous scientist known as a staunch Creationist. His debate style was so remarkable that it eventually got its own name: “The Gish Gallop”. Here’s how Wikipedia explains it:
His debating opponents said that Gish used a rapid-fire approach during a debate, presenting arguments and changing topics quickly. Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, dubbed this approach the Gish Gallop, describing it as “where the creationist is allowed to run on for 45 minutes or an hour, spewing forth torrents of error that the evolutionist hasn’t a prayer of refuting in the format of a debate.”
The Urban Dictionary is a bit more direct:
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.
Let’s be honest: candidates are nearly always a bit full of shit. Some are far worse than others, of course, and Mitt Romney with his running mate Paul Ryan took the concept of telling blatant, provably false lies and not batting an eye to a new level in 2012.
But Romney and Ryan have nothing on Donald Trump and Mike Pence. Trump avoids specifics on any of his policies of course but the lies he’s spewing are legendary. In just the past week he accused Hillary Clinton of starting birtherism and of cheating on her husband. Yesterday he claimed that the current administration is intentionally “letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.”
Although he’s nowhere nearly as skilled as his boss, Pence is a Gish Galloper, too. During his debate last week with Tim Kaine, he repeatedly denied that he and Trump had made statements that five seconds with Google proves they totally did say.
Thankfully, Hillary Clinton has Joe Biden to thank for creating a new way to debate liars. She simply needs to Biden him:
This is how you handle liars. You show the perfect amount of derision for someone who is lying to the American people and then refute his lies with facts, openly, aggressively and with humor. […]
[Joe Biden] has shown us a new way to contend with politicians who have based their entire campaign on lies. You just have to Biden them.
Clinton has clearly learned how to Biden Donald Trump. If there’s any doubt in your mind, I have just three words for you – “The Hillary Shimmy”:
I rest my case.
[Photo by Gage Skidmore | Flickr]