Rational Wiki explains it this way: “The Gish Gallop (also proof by verbosity) is the fallacious debating tactic of drowning an opponent in such a torrent of small arguments that the opponent cannot possibly rebut each one in real-time.”
Donald Trump’s behavior is a Gish Gallop of offensive, tone-deaf, and/or potentially cataclysmic geopolitical gaffes (“If we have them [nuclear weapons], why can’t we use them?”), which is finally getting the scrutiny it deserved from the press for over a year. But here’s the truth: Herr Drumpf is merely channeling his inner “Dug” from the Pixar movie “Up.” Squirrel!
Consider the recent interview with the (supposedly “banned”) Washington Post. He couldn’t focus on the questions being asked (let alone give a coherent answer). He interrupted the interview FIVE TIMES to offer his thoughts on what Fox News was talking about (there was a TV on in the room). Squirrel! Read a transcript of any of his remarks, from any event, at any point during the Republican primary. It’s just stream-of-consciousness gobbledygook, with a side-order of xenophobic harangue. Mr. “I have a very good brain” couldn’t stay on message if he tried.
Recent stories which suggest the GOP leadership is seeking a strategy to deal with the fallout ‘should Trump drop out of the race’ are as specious as conspiracy theories suggesting he’s ‘throwing the race’ at Hillary’s behest.
Look, I love watching the right-wing implode as much as the next guy (s’long TEA Party numbskull Huelskamp [R-KS]), but both Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell confirmed, ‘Trump will sign what we send him.’ As long as he can put pen to paper, their endorsements will remain intact — even if there have been a few high-profile defections. Losing Meg Whitman’s money and Rolodex had to hurt, huh?
It’s tempting to buy into the narrative that Drumpf’s campaign is in ‘free-fall,’ his behavior “way worse than people realize,” or that “Trump is getting nuttier and nuttier” as the press finally begins to do its job. He’s ALWAYS been nuts.
The Hill reported the other day that one of his donors is at his “wit’s ends” about Donald’s tumultuous Twitter tirades, saying “I would break his f*cking thumbs if I could!” What’s important here is that this mystery donor doesn’t care whether or not Trump holds these repulsive beliefs — he cares that Trump’s leaving pieces of his broken mind all over the Internet.
It’s easy to laugh at Trump’s tiny hands (the imprint at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum confirms they’re below average size), but his elephantine ego is clearly the captain of the “S.S. Trumptanic.” It’s far too early to say whether or not the band is playing “Autumn.” If the media continues to parrot his nonsense, lending his indefensible claptrap “equal time” with the truth, I’m afraid the general election outcome will continue to be closer than most rational human beings find comfortable.
The usually-reliable NPR, for example, played a soundbite of Trump telling folks in Florida, “Iran — I don’t think you heard this anywhere but here — Iran provided all of that footage, the tape of taking that money off the airplane.” No, no, NO. “The tape is of the people taking the money off the plane. Right? That means that in order to embarrass us further, Iran sent us the tapes. Right?” Wrong.
The video (which he apparently saw on “b-roll footage” during a Fox segment, is film of the three Americans arriving in Geneva on January 17th, following their release from a prison in Tehran.
The Trump campaign tried to walk his comment back, but there was Donald spewing the same nonsense for the minions in Maine today, saying, “I wonder where that money really goes, by the way. … Well, it went either in their pockets, which I actually think more so, or toward terrorism — probably a combination of both.”
During a press conference, President Obama was forced to remind reporters, “What we have is the manufacturing of outrage in a story that we disclosed in January. We were completely open with everybody about it, and it’s interesting to me that this suddenly became a story again. We do not pay ransom for hostages.”
I don’t believe Trump’s narcissism allows him to believe new polling from key battleground states (which shows Secretary Clinton’s post-convention lead growing into the double-digits), nor do I buy that his massive ego could ever admit failure. Quit? Drop out? Seriously? No, no, NO.
What we got, instead, was another Gish Gallop, which included the likelihood of a “rigged” election; the non-endorsement of both Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan and Arizona Senator John McCain; a “mansplanation” of sexual harassment in the workplace; questions of whether Republican Senator Kelly Ayote “should be representing us, okay?”; a continuation of his fight with Gold Star dad, Khizr Khan; acceptance of a wounded veteran’s Purple Heart, because it was “much easier” than earning one; and getting his knickers in a twist aboard the “Screaming Baby Express,” which is a Trump campaign event.
“A man you can bait with a tweet (Squirrel!) is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.” True — but nothing anyone can say or do will penetrate Trump’s “cone of silence,” because he’s “speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” A lot of offensive, tone-deaf, and/or potentially cataclysmic things. It doesn’t matter if Democrats or the media successfully attach the “collar of shame” to Donald Trump — he’s still going to find a way to lick his balls.