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Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:42 AM

Romney Won Using a Debate Technique Called the Gish Gallop

As fact checkers busily highlight the myriad number of lies and distortions offered by Mitt-Etch-A-Sketch-Romney during last night's debate, and the spinners spin their polls with impunity, I find it interesting that the debate tactic itself has not yet been discussed nor properly analyzed. In fact, the lies and distortions offered by Romney in last night's debate are the very ESSENCE of his tactic -- and is therefore quite pertinent to the discussion. Romney used a debate tactic known as the Gish 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 canít 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.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/04/1139926/-Romney-Won-Using-a-Debate-Technique-Called-the-Gish-Gallop
much more at link

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Reply Romney Won Using a Debate Technique Called the Gish Gallop (Original post)
sasha031 Oct 2012 OP
SaveAmerica Oct 2012 #1
sasha031 Oct 2012 #6
sasha031 Oct 2012 #2
cilla4progress Oct 2012 #10
still_one Oct 2012 #3
DollarBillHines Oct 2012 #19
former-republican Oct 2012 #4
Marr Oct 2012 #16
former-republican Oct 2012 #18
BlueStreak Oct 2012 #17
former-republican Oct 2012 #5
KansDem Oct 2012 #7
upi402 Oct 2012 #8
silverweb Oct 2012 #9
cr8tvlde Oct 2012 #22
silverweb Oct 2012 #25
cr8tvlde Oct 2012 #33
Wednesdays Oct 2012 #11
Blue Owl Oct 2012 #12
Baitball Blogger Oct 2012 #13
flamingdem Oct 2012 #14
Incitatus Oct 2012 #15
pamela Oct 2012 #20
bbgrunt Oct 2012 #21
Warpy Oct 2012 #23
pokerfan Oct 2012 #24
busterbrown Oct 2012 #26
Judi Lynn Oct 2012 #27
Nye Bevan Oct 2012 #42
flyguyjake Oct 2012 #28
treestar Oct 2012 #29
flyguyjake Oct 2012 #31
treestar Oct 2012 #32
pokerfan Oct 2012 #34
treestar Oct 2012 #35
pokerfan Oct 2012 #40
Ikonoklast Oct 2012 #38
davidpdx Oct 2012 #30
PufPuf23 Oct 2012 #36
marions ghost Oct 2012 #37
reformist2 Oct 2012 #39
ThoughtCriminal Oct 2012 #41
hifiguy Oct 2012 #43
ProfessionalLeftist Oct 2012 #44

Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:44 AM

1. I was callng it flim-flammery, or snake oil salesmannery

Thanks for the info on what it's really called and, after reading the description, think that's what the Republican party has been doing all along.

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Response to SaveAmerica (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:47 AM

6. yes it's what's going on in Ma right now with Brown

throw out so many outrages as accusations all at once, your opponent doesn't have enough time to respond.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:45 AM

2. His 1st statemnt defund PBS

a point to everything Romney did. Defund PBS = I have power over you (moderator) Interruptions were about power too. who was most powerful?

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Response to sasha031 (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:59 AM

10. what a great observation

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:45 AM

3. romney was a liar before the debates, and was still a liar after the debates. /nt

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Response to still_one (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:45 AM

19. Hey! He's Lying for the Lord!

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:46 AM

4. How do you counter it ?

 

He's going to do it again.

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Response to former-republican (Reply #4)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:14 AM

16. Simply stating what the opponent is doing would do the trick.

"I'm sorry, but this man is just lying as fast he can. If you have no respect for civil debate, I would at least ask you to respect the intelligence of our audience", ought to do it.

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Response to Marr (Reply #16)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:32 AM

18. So this should be the moderator saying something like that not the President

 

They shouldn't just let Romney run wild like in this last debate.

I can't remember a debate before where the moderator was completely ignored and basically told to hush up.

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Response to former-republican (Reply #4)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:29 AM

17. He is paying a price

When Ryan did that, he earned a permanent tag of Lyin' Ryan. Even many people who aren't very heavily into politics have heard about that guy's reputation.

After the MSM euphoria about that debate work off (it only took 10 hours), the real story is how much Romney lied. That will stick with him. And in the process of lying and flip-flopping, he created several new problems. He now is clearly on record for killing Medicare for anybody under 56. He created a real mess by singling out Big Bird as the only example of government spending he would cut for sure. And he has everybody asking questions about his tax plan now.

And that is on top of the 47% problem that is still huge.

Team Obama understood they didn't have to engage on all those issues because they have a big lead in the electoral college and they have 4 debates to play this out.

By the time this is done, it will be clear that although Romney got credit for a win in the first debate, that debate will prove to be a setback, not a gain.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:47 AM

5. Would a strong debate moderator stop it ?

 

Because there was none at this one.
He was a joke.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:48 AM

7. Perhaps their party's nickname should be GGOP

"Gish Gallop Obnoxious Party"

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:49 AM

8. PBS; 'Betrayal of Democracy' showed

a Republican insider who stated that "The people are easy to fool."

Propaganda works. That's why I feel that the media is the prime betrayer of our nation, and the first thing that needs to change dramatically.

rec

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:54 AM

9. I know someone who does that all the time.

Like Romney, he's a bully, and he thinks he's very slick. I've always found the technique infuriating, but didn't know it had a name.

That tiny kernel of truth immersed in bullshit has always been the hardest for me to counter. Now I can call it what it is.

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Response to silverweb (Reply #9)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:38 AM

22. Ha, I had the displeasure of divorcing one of them.

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Response to cr8tvlde (Reply #22)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 03:47 AM

25. That must have been interesting.

I'm glad it's behind you.

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Response to silverweb (Reply #25)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 12:46 PM

33. Thanks. Me too. He's now County Chairman of a Political Party in a Blue State.

Figures. Right where he belongs. LOL

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:01 AM

11. What is this "won" shit?

The Reuters poll that Kos itself reported today showed that except for a handful of percentage points among Repugs, rMoney didnít win jack shit last night.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:06 AM

12. Thought this was some kinda weird dressage thing...

Did Ann teach Mitt the Gish Gallop?

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:07 AM

13. Sounds like the perfect strategy for Republicans.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:09 AM

14. If this is true why is he declared the "winner"

Bullshit wins? Or was it just a chance to express disappointment with Obama?

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:11 AM

15. If the loser of the debate was determined by who lied the most, it would definitely be bullshit Mitt

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:50 AM

20. Pretty fancy name for "lying your ass off."

Sorry, I can't give him credit for employing this technique as some sort of unique pre-planned strategy. He always lies his ass off, why would last night be any different? He's a fucking liar. Let's call it the fucking liar technique. I'm just sad we live in a world where people are so comfortable using "lied" and "won" in the same sentence.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 01:52 AM

21. this is the essence of the whole repuke party right now and

it is the same tactic they all use on any panel "discussion". It is the same tactic used to usurp discussion threads on forums--which derail any attempted discussion into petty bickering.

I never knew what it was called before, but it is an apt appellation.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 03:19 AM

23. His eyes were blinking like a fast spinning pulsar

which gave the game away as to how much bullshit he was slinging.

And yes, it was pure Gish Gallop.

The next moderator needs an air horn. Or Romney needs a shock collar.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 03:29 AM

24. More at rationalwiki

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop

The formal debating jargon term for this is spreading. You can hear some mindboggling examples here. It arose as a way to throw as much rubbish into five minutes as possible. In response, some debate judges now limit number of arguments as well as time. However, in places where debating judges aren't there to call bullshit on the practice, like the internet, such techniques are remarkably common.

Abusers of this technique:
Dinesh D'Souza
Scott Huse
Mitt Romney

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 03:49 AM

26. I'm very sure he did not win. Cnn's wrap up was disgusting.

Christ how much longer do we have to put up with Wolf Blitzer?
Shouldn't he be wearing a Yarmulke?
Don't get sensitive on me. I'm one of the chosen........

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:37 AM

27. We have several long-term trolls who specialize in this technique.

So glad to see there is actually a term for something which has up until now just seemed devious, dishonest, and dirty.

That's exactly what we witnessed with Romney's pathetic display last night.

Thank you for posting this.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #27)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:28 PM

42. How would that technique work on DU?

It seems that this strategy works by bamboozling poorly informed people with so much misinformation that your opponent does not have time to counter it. Here on DU, on the other hand, most posters are well-informed and there is no time limit in terms of replying to and rebutting other posters.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:43 AM

28. And that's how you get swing votes folks!

 

Now, only if Team Obama would have thought of this...

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:43 AM

29. How did he "win?"

If he won, there must be some sort of way of measuring that. Does one get points for using this technique? It sounds like it is not meant for honest debate. That and Rmoney's lies should lose him points.

I wish people would quit saying he "won" just aping the M$M pundits. The idea he "won" such a thing should be supported with something. Statistics or a point system.

The Gish Gallop should not be something that helps any type of "win." It is fallacious on its face.

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Response to treestar (Reply #29)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:53 AM

31. Your right...

 

but this technique gives the impression to voters that Romney is speaking with conviction and that he must know what he's talking about. Gives swing voters the impression "He firmly believes what he's saying".

EVEN THOUGH he's lying through his ASS! Not everyone is as smart as we are... Republicans or example.

God, Romney is like the Anti-Christ, his heard is flocking to him!

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Response to flyguyjake (Reply #31)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:56 AM

32. Have any of the pundits tried to inform anyone else

about this dishonest fallacy. (It is not a technique but use of a fallacy)? Probably not.

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Response to treestar (Reply #29)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:16 PM

34. He only appeared to win

by completely reinventing himself and running away from every position he has held for the past eighteen months.

Sadly, that's enough for the low-informed voter. This toon sums it up:

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Response to pokerfan (Reply #34)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:21 PM

35. Do we know this for sure?

The uninformed voter may still not like the way Mittens talked in that first debate. They'd still have to agree with his positions in that debate. They could still find out they were different from his previous positions and realize he can't be trusted. The voter who decides solely on that debate is mythical and even some of those beings might decide Obama came across better or was more aligned with whatever they might think.


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Response to treestar (Reply #35)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:38 PM

40. We will soon know

Right now it's still too soon to tell if it had an impact on the polls.

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/oct-4-too-soon-to-gauge-impact-of-debate-on-polls/

It could still be a matter of Mitt winning the battle but losing the war because now he has saddled himself with an entirely new host of policy positions that contradict everything he's been preaching to his base.

It all depends on a) if journalists are going to hold his feet to the fire and b) if the low information voter is paying attention.

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Response to treestar (Reply #29)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:35 PM

38. Mitt won in much the very same way that the Imperial Japanese Navy won the Battle of Pearl Harbor.

And the war that battle was a part of ended the same way as this election will end.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:50 AM

30. Wow, I'd never heard that before

I didn't see the debate, but it sounds quite accurate from what I've heard.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:25 PM

36. New term to me but very apt description of the debate. Thanks kr

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:31 PM

37. Mz Palin tried it

but she weren't good as Mittster Bombney. She got all turned around but Bombney, now there's a Galloper... run roughshod right over ya.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 02:35 PM

39. Mitt Romney is nothing but a con artist.


When you strip away all the prestigious degrees and arcane business-speak, that's all there is to him. A sleazy con man.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 04:19 PM

41. In know this strategy well

In my competitive debate days, I was pretty good at it. I wasn't an especially fast talker like many of my competitors - maybe 150-180 words per minute in and activity where 200-350 was common. But I learned that I could shorten arguments to the fewest words possible. I threw in lots of points that, even if they weren't winnable, demanded far more time to refute than they took to present.

It's not hard to come up with short, 10 to 15 second arguments that, while wrong, sound persuasive and take a full minute to beat or at least neutralize. When there are time limits, throwing out a bunch of these can work against even a more talented debater with facts on their side.

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 05:15 PM

43. Excellent explanation.

In otherwords, it is delivering bullshit by the dump-truck load rather than the shovelful.

Or as W.C. Fields once said, "If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit."

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Response to sasha031 (Original post)

Fri Oct 5, 2012, 11:38 PM

44. "Speed-lying" n/t

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