Gaslighting – verb (used with object), gaslighted or gaslit, gaslighting.
4. to cause (a person) to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation:
Both do a very good job of documenting Paul’s changing positions, but neither fully captures the frustration that comes from dealing with someone who refuses to play by the agreed upon rules of logic, rhetoric, and discourse that keeps society from descending into chaos.
Let me explain.
If you say to your girlfriend, “Why did you text that guy?” and she denies it, you might then say: “Well here’s a screen shot of you asking him to come over.”
That’s what’s called being caught red handed, and even the worst among us will eventually acknowledge when the jig is up. Sure, she might then employ other tactics such as denial or blame (“But nothing happened!” — “And you never give me enough attention…”), but what she will not do — what she cannot do — is deny (or transcend!) the physical existence of that text message evidence, for, to do so, would be to deny reality and consciousness.
But what if she does continue to deny it? Let’s say she responds with: “I don’t even know that person” — “And besides, I don’t even have a cell phone…”
Now, you are dealing with the type of person who is on a different plane than the rest of us. My advice to you? RUN.
It is virtually impossible to win an argument with someone who denies the existence of the very facts in front of them. Hell, eventually, you may even start to question your own sanity. “Maybe I didn’t really see that?” “Maybe it was just a phone glitch? “MAYBE I’M NOT REALLY EVEN HERE –”
This is all very esoteric — which is why it fits perfectly with a dorm room libertarian. When you say to Rand Paul (as John McCormack did), “What in your mind has changed” in regards to bombing ISIS, and he responds, “I still have exactly the same policy,” where do you go from there?
He might as well have said: “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”
This is infinitely more frustrating and, daresay, more effective, than actually copping to changing one’s mind. One is sometimes punished in politics for flip-flopping, so why admit it?
That’s why I think Moody is wrong when he suggests Paul is “at risk of falling into [John] Kerry territory.” It’s apples and oranges. Kerry knew he flip-flopped, and — living in the real world — knew he couldn’t get away with denying it. The best he could do was finesse it. This caused him to say ridiculous things about voting against bills after he voted for them (or was it the other way around? It hardly matters.)
No, Rand Paul is not in danger of entering John Kerry territory. Kerry wouldn’t dare attempt to pull something like this off. He knew he didn’t have what it takes to get us to suspend reality and embrace his delusions of grandeur.
Instead, Paul is, perhaps, closer to “Slick Willie” territory — which is to say this kid might just have what it takes to make it all the way to the top.
So is Rand Paul’s position on ISIS the same today as it was last month? Well, I guess that depends on what your definition of “is” is.