February 8, 2016

"The worst thing about Rubio's repeated line isn't that he repeated it, but that he thinks 'dispel' is an intransitive verb..."

"... so he says 'Let's dispel with this fiction...' (intransitive, incorrect) instead of 'Let's dispel this fiction...' (transitive, correct) — or using a different verb, e.g. 'Let's dispense with this fiction...' (intransitive, correct)."

Writes my son, John Althouse Cohen, over on Facebook.

That's exactly what I was thinking. I could accept the repeating of a stock talking point. They all do that. Rubio did it rather ludicrously, conspicuously, with Chris Christie deftly, cheekily pointing it out. But I would get over that.

But it's the use of "dispel with" — more than once — that bothered me. It makes him seem too dumb to be President. It could just be a weird quirk, like the way I didn't notice how to spell "weird" correctly until I was 30. I'm holding the question open: Is Rubio a little dumb?

150 comments:

holdfast said...

Not overall "dumb", but not smart on a Ted Cruz or Bill Clinton level. Rubio is a lot like Obama in this - smart enough to get by and willing to be educated on the topics that he cares about. And he has blind spots and gaps.

~ Gordon Pasha said...

Maybe, but not as dumb as the question.

TreeJoe said...

I have used that same form myself and have had many others used the same form of "dispel with" many times.

There comes a point when a word is accepted as used and functions correctly and the traditional form of usage no longer functions correctly and is only worried over by pedants.

Typically love your care with words, and Jaltcoh's writings, but this is just over the top nitpickerry.

tim in vermont said...

The repeated use of "corpseman" as if the Marines were a zombie army however, not so disturbing. "Intercontinental Railroad..." Remember, this is a native speaker of English who got into Harvard.. not a problem. At least Rubio is bilingual.

Gusty Winds said...

Whenever he is on stage with the other candidates I picture him wearing an Elroy Jetson cap with the little antenna attached.

tim in vermont said...

I picture Cruz as Dr Smith from Lost In Space.

BarrySanders20 said...

Not dumb. But not pedantic either.

Or fussy if you prefer.

It's not the correct use of the word but it's close enough for politics.

surfed said...

Damed English teachers. My whole 7th grade junior high year spent sweating the diagramming of sentences under the baleful glare and ready red pen of Sister Dominique. But, truth be told, it was worth it. That students were taught that today...

Gahrie said...

But it's the use of "dispel with" — more than once — that bothered me. It makes him seem too dumb to be President

Wow someone being pedantic in order to call a Republican dumb....that's never happened before!

#HowRubioLostMe

SteveR said...

I knew what he meant, and you would have to be "dumb" not to have known what he meant. I realize that's not the point but I'd rather not endure the war on Hispanics taking place here.

Gahrie said...

How dumb do you have to be to mispronounce corpsman? Are you still smart enough to be president?

AReasonableMan said...

How quickly the mob turns on the weakest in the pack.

Michael K said...

Rubio seems to me to be very young and inexperienced. He might be a good candidate after a few years of seasoning but Obama opened the door to the inexperienced ethnic candidate and we are stuck with it.

Nobody is as inexperienced as Obama was.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama’s. He became Obama’s ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city’s most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

“He said, ‘Cliff, I’m gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'”

“Oh, you are? Who might that be?”

“Barack Obama.”


At least Rubio has some record.

Michael K said...

"How quickly the mob turns on the weakest in the pack."

No, some mobs elect him.

Carol said...

Imagine hearing that usage for 4 years...ugh, no.

He's not literate. He does not know enough to discern these things. He reminds me of all the "promising" young college republican baby pols and staffers who latch on to the party machinery and suck up to all the right GOP dowagers. They talk too fast and read too little.

No thanks.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

'Let's dispense with this fiction...' (intransitive, correct)."

YES! That bothered me a great deal. Not only did he like a robot repeat the same memorized sound byte in inappropriate response to questions, as if his programming had a repeat glitch......it is the WRONG word. Dispel is just wrong in this usage. Dispense is the correct word.

It is one thing to misuse words when speaking extemporaneously (that happens all the time) but to continually spew out the same incorrect recording I mean sound byte is another thing entirely. So not only did this show that he memorizes and unthinkingly regurgitates sound bytes, he or his advisers are also ignorant.

darrenoia said...

I'd say the Idiocracy lies more in the country first electing one celebrity airhead president and then threatening to follow his regime with an even worse dumb guy reality TV president.

MaxedOutMama said...

I found that jarring as well.

TreeJoe - I have never, ever heard "dispel" used this way. It's startlingly illiterate for someone who makes his living from words - perhaps a confusion between "dispense with" and "dispel"?

Rubio may not be dumb in the classic sense, but he certainly looked like Flashcard Ken in the debate. I have noticed this before - that he's very rapidly blurting out memorized speeches, and often mispronouncing words in them. It has made it seem that he doesn't understand what he is saying and certainly causes me to believe that someone else is writing these soundbites for him.

What hurt him the most is that he couldn't stop doing it even when Christie was beating him over the head for it! He can't think on his feet, can he? Perhaps he is memorizing all these blurbs because he's just not verbally talented. If so I can credit him for the effort.

But I wouldn't call Rubio that bright, either. I have looked at his proposals, and they do not make sense together. That says something about the candidate. I do believe he is the GOP's version of Obama, and not at all what we need at this time. Many acutely intelligent persons are not verbally glib. They are however very good problem solvers who think less in words than in abstractions. They are often far more effective at understanding and solving problems than persons who sound brilliant. However, when I combine the impact of Rubio's schizoid proposals along with the need to memorize and blurt out these policy soundbites, I would assess his intelligence as the lowest of all the candidates except Jeb Bush. And Jeb may be a significant cut above Rubio.

I personally believe that the Flashcard Ken persona is closer to the reality than the whiz kid.

Skipper said...

Let's compare the slight grammatical misuse of a word with the pathological, chronic lying of another candidate.

AReasonableMan said...

Michael K said...
Nobody is as inexperienced as Obama was.


David Frum deals effectively with this nonsense.

MathMom said...

He was just speaking Austrian.

Michael said...

He just confused "dispel" with "dispense." Big deal.

Curious George said...

Rubio dumb? He doesn't need his mom to draw attention to his actions.

David Begley said...

It's not like Obama made any speaking mistakes without his TelePrompTer. Like, you know?

Unknown said...

I am a teacher of English as a second language. My husband is brilliant but came to this country as a young preteen and although his English is way better than my Chinese, he will occasionally make weird grammatical errors. They are not the kind of errors a dumb person makes, but rather the errors of a non-native speaker. Dispel with is definitely the error of a non-native speaker.

Gusty Winds said...

AReasonableMan said...
How quickly the mob turns on the weakest in the pack.


I'm still in the anybody but Hillary! group. And I really don't think Sanders can win in the general election.

That being said, I soured on Marco Rubio when Frank "The Fixer" Luntz started airing Rubio skewed focus groups. Now I want to see Rubio get buried so Luntz's focus group credibility is destroyed.

How's that for shallow and spiteful?

tim in vermont said...

then threatening to follow his regime with an even worse dumb guy reality TV president.

He's not "even worse." If I went through all of Obama's malapropisms and mispronunciations, and outright errors of facts a 2nd grader wouldn't make, you would tune me out. Rubio is not "worse" than Obama. Besides, on the conservative side we don't need a magical light bender of a leader. We have some pretty simple first principles, that if followed will lead to good government. Better to have somebody electable.

Richard Dolan said...

The "worst thing"? If that were anything other than a bit of sly snarkiness (which is how it strikes me), one could fairly conclude that the cruel vortex was spinning off into prissy silliness.

But it is sly snarkiness. Imagine if it were true that the "worst thing" about Rubio's debate performance was a penchant for verbal slip-ups that have no impact on his ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Contrast that with the "worst thing" about a debate performance by Hillary!, or Trump, or Christie or any of them.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

Gusty Winds said...
How's that for shallow and spiteful?


I thought it was a good effort, undermined by an unfortunate excess of self-knowledge.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
machine said...

"...persistent R under-estimation of Barack Obama."

again and again and again...

tim in vermont said...

Actually ARM, all Frum says about Obama's experience is that he was against the war. Not that he was experienced, oh yeah, and like Hitler, he had written two autobiographies after achieving a rank equivalent of corporal.

I am sure you found his argument compelling as it provides a rationalization for your vote, but do Obama's speech errors and inability to speak without a teleprompter for years into his presidency ever give you doubts about whether he wrote that book all by his lonesome? Of course not.

tim in vermont said...

"...persistent R under-estimation of Barack Obama. - machine

How's your Democrat Party doing today? How many leaders you got lined up ready to be President? Just the one? LOL

Paddy O said...

Rubio is smart. He's smarter than all the candidates on the Democrat side (there are a lot of smart Democrats, but they're not running this time around), and smarter than at least a few on the Republican side.

Grammar is fluid. There's good grammar and bad grammar and popular grammar. If you want to be labeled elitist, only use perfect grammar in speeches.

However, one of his staffers should have caught this. So, either his staff isn't willing to offer corrections or he needs someone with a better ear for the language. Using the word dispense isn't common and sound elitist anyhow, so using it grammatically wrong makes it sound like using a vocabulary word wrong, unnatural and distracting.

tim in vermont said...

Anybody who has learned a foreign language and been given lists like this to learn:

diomatic Expressions with Prepositions

agree to a proposal, with a person, on a price, in principle
argue about a matter, with a person, for or against a proposition
compare to to show likenesses, with to show differences (sometimes similarities)
correspond to a thing, with a person
differ from an unlike thing, with a person
live at an address, in a house or city, on a street, with other people


It is likely that Rubio grew up hearing mostly Spanish spoken in the home. IDK, but if he didn't, his parents sure did.

But hey! Let's draw conclusions from it!

M Jordan said...

Speech errors are not merely common with dumb people, they're common with smart people. The thing to note is what the error is. If they say, "li-berry" for "li-brary," that's a tell. Al Sharpton calls "Skittles" candy, "Skillets." Does that make him dumb?

Yes. Yes, it truly does.

traditionalguy said...

If dispel means to break a spell, then the Rubiobot succeeded.

That Christie is a force. He needs to be co-opted by Trump. As Trump's VP he would shoot a bird at the New York Values haters.

Brando said...

I think the issue is that simply stating that Obama "knew what he was doing" doesn't really get around the point that Rubio lacks experience. He never really said "I also know what I am doing, and I will work to fix what Obama did wrong" or something to that effect. When Obama was being hit on the experience question in 2008, he made the lack of experience a feature, not a bug, saying that the experienced people got us into the mess. Rubio hasn't effectively made a similar pitch.

The "gaffe" part of it was simply that Christie called him out on repeating sound bytes, to which Rubio responded by repeating the same sound byte! I had never seen him so flustered in a debate, and if he's going to be the nominee he'd better have some "spontaneous" prepared remarks to pull out of a dive like that.

Boxty said...

Am I the only one that gets Rubio's point that executive experience isn't necessary to be a successful President because Obama has no executive experience but has all of Washington wrapped around his pinky?

Was Jimmy Carter great because he was a governor? Is Christie even a good governor? I don't hear about people moving to New Jersey like it was Texas.

Bob Ellison said...

We all make verbal typos.

Titus said...

Rubio is dumb.

rehajm said...

I liked it when we used to question if televised debates were the most effective way to elect presidents.

Bob Boyd said...

Let's dispel with the notion that this post is a trick by Althouse to get all her Trump and Cruz commenters leaping to the defense of Marco Rubio.

BDNYC said...

A president just needs to be smart enough. There are diminishing returns after awhile, and if the president lacks discipline, modesty, wisdom, prudence, patience, vision, etc., then who cares if he's highly intelligent.

Nixon was supposedly a genius.

Paddy O said...

Ha! I just noticed I said "dispense with isn't common." I should have said dispel with, only I shouldn't have said that except in saying what Rubio said.

I'm a little dumb.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rhhardin said...

Temo que no puedo disipar totalmente la desilusiĆ³n o la decepciĆ³n.

I fear that I cannot totally dispel the disillusionment or disappointment.

Bob R said...

Didn't see the debate, but someone said he should get points for pronouncing err as "ur" instead of "air."

Lyle Smith said...

Rubio is not as smart as Ted Cruz.

Meade said...

"It could just be a weird quirk, like the way I didn't notice how to spell "weird" correctly until I was 30."

If we had met in 1981, I would have thought — hmm she's way too wired to be my wife but damn wouldn't she make a fun girlfriend!

Barry Dauphin said...

Can't we wait until we hear how he pronounces "nuclear" before we call him dumb.

rhhardin said...

Strictly the mistake is getting the phrasal verb wrong, "dispense with" being as a unit transitive. It was just a bad substitution, not a transitive/intransitive mistake.

Nonapod said...

Pretty much every successful national level politician is probably going to have some kind of gaffe, malapropism, grammatical error, or unintentional factual error at some point in their career. I don't hold a single grammatical error against a presidential candidate. And I don't use one mistake like that as some sort of gauge of their intelligence.

If someone is constantly making errors, then that's a different story. There are plenty of examples of certain politicians who make a habit of errors (Joe Biden jumps to mind).

M Jordan said...

Here's the tic I wish Rubio would drop pronto: "When I'm president .."

So fakey, so stupid. Cruz says "If I'm elected president ..." Much better.

Lydia said...

Someone who's considered very smart often says things like "between Michelle and I".

Saint Croix said...

I would like to hear the most damning possible criticism of Rubio.

Speeding tickets! Water drinker! Transitive verb misuse!

You're kidding, right?

wholelottasplainin' said...

Yessir, grammar flames are right up there with spell flames as examples of unserious, pissy, insubstantial ways to disparage someone you disagree with or dislike.


As for coupe's comment: "Dispel is completely the wrong verb. You don't want to 'drive away by scattering' a notion, or idea. You want to 'end' or 'eliminate' the notion or idea."

Oh yeah? Well how come "dispel the notion" gets 243,000 google hits, including dictionary sites using that exact phrase (dispel the notion) as an example of how to use the verb "to dispel"?


M Jordan said...

"Rubio is not as smart as Ted Cruz"

Meh. Cruz is smart in a "gifted and talented" kind of way. Trump is gut smart. Better. Christie is prosecutor smart. Better. Carson is hands-on smart. Better but not for gaining political office. Bush is doggedly smart. Kasich is ... well, I suppose he's smart but it seems to me he has Tourette's.

Fact is, they're all smart and that includes Hillary and Bernie. But they're smart in different kinds of ways. The question for America is, what kind of smart matters now? I'm betting it's the Trump version.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It was a memorized canned sound byte. The fact that he consistently regurgitates the same grammatically incorrect pre recorded message tells us that 1. He is ignorant of the correct usage and more importantly 2. his handlers or programmers are also ignoramuses.

Speaking extemporaneously, off the cuff, people will often make grammar mistakes and misuse language. That is to be expected and can easily be forgiven. HOWEVER, Rubio and his people have had plenty of time to rehearse and prepare these canned sound bytes and the have FAILED miserably.

Attention to detail is important.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Duh...they have failed miserably.

Proofreading is important too :-|

BDNYC said...

FDR - Governor.
Truman - VP, Senator.
Eisenhower - WWII General.
JFK - Senator.
LBJ - VP, Senator.
Nixon - VP, Senator, Congressman.
Ford - VP, Congressman.
Carter - Governor.
Reagan - Governor.
Bush - VP, CIA Dir., Congressman.
Clinton - Governor.
Bush - Governor.
Obama - Senator.

Who was truly effective at changing the country? Not good or bad ... that's more a subjective assessment. But effective at pushing through a legislative agenda and remaking government and society in some significant way.

I would say FDR, LBJ and Reagan were the most effective. The effectiveness of Reagan and LBJ to push through legislation is all the more impressive considering the congressional opposition each faced.

Most of the rest were more like caretakers, at least in the domestic realm - which is not a bad thing IMHO. They might have passed laws or nibbled at the regulatory state here and there, but the country did not change much during their terms. Most of them probably were happy enough to just preside over a fairly stable and prosperous country while attending to national defense and foreign affairs.

I would say Obama will be remembered as more "effective" than most of the caretakers in the sense that he passed Obamacare and Dodd-Frank and the stimulus, but that's only because he had a very pliant Congress for his first two years. If he had the skills of Reagan, LBJ or FDR, he would have been far more effective at implementing his vision. He accomplished very little after 2010, thank God.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Oh yeah? Well how come "dispel the notion" gets 243,000 google hits, including dictionary sites using that exact phrase (dispel the notion) as an example of how to use the verb "to dispel"?

Because you can dispel something. But, you don't dispel "with" something. You dispense with.

Dispel the idea that Obama....bla bla bla
Dispense with the idea that Obama....bla bla bla

M Jordan said...

Rubio's response to Christie's "you're just a senator. I'm a governor, I made decisions" should be, "So according to Governor Christie, neither JFK nor Abraham Lincoln should've ever been president."

Meade said...

Pardon my puhdantics, but ya'll be d'spelling da word "d'spell" wrong.

Michael K said...

Obama had laid out his whole philosophy of life in a massive, highly self-aware and very revealing memoir.

"David Frum deals effectively with this nonsense."

Was THAT it ? Hilarious. Frum bought the crease in the pants argument about Obama and ran with it.

Some pranksters a few years ago, posted some paragraphs from Obama' biography" and attributed them, instead, to Sarah Palin. You should have seen the responses. "Stupid and ignorant" didn't cover it.

Paddy O said...

"Trump is gut smart"

This reminds me of how everything Obama said was considered a brilliant speech. I'm not a Trump fan, but I'm open to being convinced. I don't see the "gut smart" in his actual campaign, other than his willingness to not play the pc game on immigration. His missteps are overlooked and pronounced gut smart. For real estate maybe, but I don't see anything nearing gut smart for politics. He's as gut smart as Obama is a brilliant communicator: he is so because people say he is more than him actually showing he is.

Reagan was gut smart for politics. That was his huge gift.

Trump has guts. Trump is brash and obnoxious, and some people like that, but it also turns a lot of people off. But I don't think they're especially smart guts.

robother said...

"A little dumb" is, in my limited experience (lobbying for changes to a federal income tax provision) a pretty good descriptor for most US Senators. The default for both parties is John Kerry: tall, good hair, vain.

Best as I can tell, each party has maybe 4 smart guys (think Chuck Schumer) who can actually follow an explanation of a complex financial Code provision, ask intelligent questions about it and decide to oppose or support more or less on the merits. The rest of the Senators probably just ask these guys how to vote in the elevator on the way to the Senate floor.

dreams said...

In my opinion what he said is true and it can't be repeated enough.

Michael K said...

" He's as gut smart as Obama is a brilliant communicator: he is so because people say he is more than him actually showing he is. "

Trump is steadily improving his game as he goes along. That impresses me. He still affects me like fingernails on a blackboard but he is showing he can learn a new thing, and pretty fast.

sydney said...

People should be cut some slack when grammatical errors happen during the course of speaking.

JAORE said...

That disqualifies him from being President? No time this am to read all the comments, but I assume some have said:

And THIS is from a person that admits to having voted for "corpseman", 57 state (and more) BHO?

Bay Area Guy said...

Rubio, indeed, got slapped around by Christie at the debate. That's the breaks.

I guess he was too polite to retort, "Hey, Fatboy, I said it twice, just to be nice!"

Christie, in theory, would be an acceptable General election candidate against Hillary. He does have a point that he, a 2-term governor, and US Attorney" has more in depth experience than Rubio. But, it's not translating into any meaningful numbers in the primary.

MadisonMan said...

I see no reason to go nucular on off-the-cuff remarks. In a prepared speech, maybe.

But yes: Politicians are not bright bulbs. They are very smart at some things, but book-smart? No.

Saint Croix said...

The Supreme Court is filled with our best and brightest. Top of the class at Harvard, Yale, Stanford.

Marco Rubio went to a third-tier law school, the University of Miami.

And yet, he is right and they are wrong.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

He's a Republican. That means he's either dumb, evil, or both.
Is he dumb? Almost certainly--he's a Republican.

AprilApple said...

Hillary is very clever. Go for her.

rcocean said...

"He's a Republican. That means he's either dumb, evil, or both.'

Nixon, Hoover, and Cruz = Evil

Ike, Reagan, Ford**, Bush I, and Bush II = Dumb

** = they were right about Ford. Dumb as a post.

rcocean said...

"Christie, in theory, would be an acceptable General election candidate against Hillary."

Christie can be easily portrayed as a big, fat slob and bully. He would make Hillary seem likable.

mccullough said...

My 8-year-old daughter recently went over the "i before e except after c or when sounding like a as in neighbor or weigh" stuff and I said this is a weird rule because the word "weird" is an exception to it. More of a guideline than a rule

AprilApple said...

If you read a transcript of a Trump speech, it lacks coherence, is repetitive and reads like he isn't particularity educated.

AprilApple said...

11:14 Saint Croix - Thank you for that. Reminds me why Rubio is superior to many of the other candidates. Perfect.

When will the hack press ask Hillary about her stance on partial birth abortion?

traditionalguy said...

OK. Rubio is an excellent communicator and connects a message to an audience quite well. He connects to The Professor.

His problem is the messages are not adjusted to the situation that he finds himself facing. That IS what Christie pointed out.

So he is a brilliant communicator of flawed messages. In other words he is the perfect Senator.

Trump is fortunate that he was put through Military School where leadership was taught, or he would just be another glib Rubio.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

What about his verbal gaaaaafes?

jimbino said...

It's not so much that Rubio used "dispel" as an intransitive, but that he used "with" along with it. After all, "dispel" here means "dispense with"-- both transitive verbs.

Egregious examples are "launch" and "execute" and "complete" -- transitive verbs often used as intransitives as in "Windows 666 will launch next week" and "Wait while the program executes (completes)." The mania for using a transitive as an intransitive is so widespread among otherwise well-educated people that the descriptivists and their dictionaries will soon fully embrace it and then try to convince us all that such erroneous usages represent perfectly good English.

It's too bad that a google search doesn't flag all instances of bad English while it's correcting the mis-spellings.

Thanks to the Cohens for holding their fingers in the dike.

Dan Hossley said...

Good to know that someone is paying attention to the big issues.

Marco's mistake may have been borne out of ignorance or simply carelessness. Speakers sometimes say things in awkward ways when they're under pressure.

But his crime is nothing compared to the violence done to the English language by Hillary on an everyday basis.

mccullough said...

Rubio is bright. Smartness comes in two forms: brain power (IQ or whatever we want to call it that's mostly genetic) and breadth and depth of knowledge. Rubio seems about as knowledgeable as you would expect from a presidential candidate.

All the candidates (R and D) have the brain power to do the job. Some are more knowledgeable than others.

I'm not sure any job or elected office gives you the experience to be president. Other than someone who has been president, maybe a Vice President who was involved in the decision-making process would have some idea of what the job entails.

It seems like a good quality to look for is someone who can make and live with a serious of important decisions knowing that those decisions might turn out to be wrong.

Jonathan Graehl said...

"Dispel with X" sounds *ridiculous*. Maybe it's a region-ism though. Do people just say that in FL?

Reminiscent of Kobe Bryant's constant "changes the complexity of the game". He's parroting the smart-sounding (but also annoyingly vague) "change the *complexion* of X" idiom. But at least Kobe was grammatical while he was being uniquely nonsensical. Kobe would probably outdo Rubio if he'd obsessively focused on speechifying instead of basketball.

sane_voter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sane_voter said...

We need a good communicator as president and Rubio has that talent. Even if he uses a word improperly but in a way that most people still understand the idea of what he was trying to convey.

In the bigger picture, our language is being changed before our eyes and ears and has been since the days of Chaucer. For example, many people I see on TV and encounter IRL drop the -ly and use the adjective form for the adverb. People now add the "s" to deer for the plural. Will these changes become normal acceptable English over time? There is a very good chance they will. English is a living language and these changes will never end.

Jonathan Graehl said...

Jimbino, it is sad when computerese/businessese nounifies and de-transitivizes verbs, but I think your examples are sailed ships. As soon as people start copying the corrupt usage *knowingly*, it's done.

eric said...

Blogger Paddy O said...
"Trump is gut smart"

This reminds me of how everything Obama said was considered a brilliant speech.


I thought this too. But then I saw a clip from Saturdays debate where all the candidates are being introduced.

Christie is introduced first. Then Carson. But because of all the noise, Carson doesn't hear his introduction. So he just stands, awkwardly, waiting. Then Cruz is called and he walks on stage right past Carson. Then Trump is called. Trump sees what's happening and he waits with Carson, the stand up thing to do because they all know the order. Bush is then called and Trump and Carson are standing in his way, but in his rush to get on stage he just shoulders past Trump like a linebacker going for the football.

Anyway, this was smart and a kind gesture by Trump. He continues tonwait for Carson, even after they call Carson out. They call Carson and then almost immediately call Trump, without letting Carson have his moment of applause. Trump gives it a moment and waits for them to call him again, then he finally goes on stage.

I think this takes some smarts. Maybe it's not smarts but a feel for things? Bush and Cruz looked rude just walking past and going on stage. Trump looked like a stand up guy waiting for Carson.

They all should have waited.

AprilApple said...

We must destroy our most electable candidate (over an intransitive verb) so that we can lose to a communist or a corruptocrat.

Good thinking. Lets pick him apart.

Kasich should win Ohio, and that will feel good as a nice second place finish. Trump lags behind both Bernie and Corruption granny, so lets go with him.

jimbino said...

I'd give Rubio a pass, especially since he's bilingual. Otherwise intelligent folks often have a mania for employing questionable English grammar. Examples include the common, "He advocates for inoculation of children" when what's meant is "He advocates inoculation of all children (for preventive health reasons)." You advocate an action "for (on behalf of)" a client or cause."

Even Eugene Volokh, intelligent and well-spoken, has a mania for using "forbid from saying..." when he means either "prohibit from saying..." or "forbid to say...." But he is bilingual as well.

Indeed, in my experience, the German English speaker does better than the native English speaker when it comes to fine points of English grammar like these.

eric said...

Blogger AprilApple said...
We must destroy our most electable candidate (over an intransitive verb) so that we can lose to a communist or a corruptocrat.

Good thinking. Lets pick him apart.

Kasich should win Ohio, and that will feel good as a nice second place finish. Trump lags behind both Bernie and Corruption granny, so lets go with him.


Polls showing general election strength and weakness right now are next to useless.

The main reason is because people want to game the season. Example

AprilApple hates Trump and loves Rubio. More than hating Trump though, she can't stand Hillary or Sanders. So, if it came down to, she would vote for Trump over Clinton or Sanders.

However, when a pollster calls AprilApple, she ranks Trump at the bottom, even below Sanders and Clinton, because she knows how that'll look during the primary.

AprilApple said...

I don't hate Trump, eric, and your presumptuous notions about me are tired.
Why are Trump supporters so blinded?


JHapp said...

Reminds me of Dan Quayle and Candice Bergen, and the moment I realized the left cares about all the wrong things.

AprilApple said...

Will Trumpsters stomp out of the room in a huff if they don't get their Berlin wall candidate?

funny how Trump blind-faithers are are not willing to tell us if THEY will vote for any other GOP candidate if Trump should fail. Why? I suspect Trumpsters will seethe with rage and stay home in protest. Bravo. btw - If you stay home, you should also STFU.

cubanbob said...

All this back and forth on the relative intelligence of Marco Rubio is rather amusing especially when Joe Biden is the current Vice President and presumptive savior if the Hillary campaign collapses.

As for stupidity of candidates let us not forget that only one of the two parties are fielding candidates that are out of the closet communists or half way out of the closet elitist communists and are criminals, grifters and traitors as well.

eric said...

Blogger AprilApple said...
I don't hate Trump, eric, and your presumptuous notions about me are tired.
Why are Trump supporters so blinded?


I was just using you as my foil. I don't know what you think of Trump. My point was, there are a lot of people who feel passionate about their candidate and Trump is the front runner, non-establishment approved, so right now he will look worse than he really is in general election polling. This will change after the primary.

The opposite is true for Bush. Bush looks pretty strong against Clinton and Sanders. But Bush would lose in the general. He just doesn't inspire anyone.

As for Trump supporters, you'd have to ask traditional guy. While I like Trump, I'm for Cruz.

Brando said...

"funny how Trump blind-faithers are are not willing to tell us if THEY will vote for any other GOP candidate if Trump should fail. Why? I suspect Trumpsters will seethe with rage and stay home in protest. Bravo. btw - If you stay home, you should also STFU."

I think the only people who will actually stay home are the sort of people who don't vote normally--they live in a "safe" state, or don't really care about politics. The Trumpists will ghash their teeth if their guy doesn't win the election, but I think if they're politically active they'll show up anyway.

If immigration is your big issue, there's no way you're going to let Hillary get elected if you can help it. She's offering citizenship, not just amnesty, and intends to go around Congress to do it. The idea that Rubio would be just as bad is laughable.

tim in vermont said...

Hillary is really the candidate who demands her chance at power even at the cost of the destruction of her party.

jr565 said...

Not sure if I'd have a big issue with the grammatical error. I didnt' notice till it was pointed out. but aos, If its a canned line of dialog and there is a grammatical mistake in it, he will repeat that grammatical mistake everytime he says the canned speech. The basic mistake was not noticed when he memorized that talking point.

dreams said...

I thought Christie showed what an ugly and ultimately stupid person he is. Did he really think he was helping himself in that exchange? I agree with the quote below.

"Yet Rubio also had an important point: Christie’s premise is dead wrong. Obama has not steered the Titanic into an iceberg because he is an unprepared, untested amateur. He has done it quite deliberately, at times masterfully, because Obama believes in the policies that constitute the iceberg. He is a movement leftist with a transformational agenda and an Alinskyite’s understanding of the extortionate uses of power. Authoritarian rule, government-controlled health care, open borders, runaway spending, Islamist sympathies, crony-capitalist green energy – these are not initiatives Obama stumbled into because he was unprepared. Obama has studiously taken the country where he wants it to go. And he has rolled over the old experienced hands to do it – so much for amateur hour.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/430961/rubio-right-christie-wrong-about-obama

mtrobertslaw said...

MaxedOutMama nailed the problem with Rubio. When asked a question, his answer is a cut and paste job from parts of memorized speeches that have nothing to do with the question. And he does this over and over again. The sense one gets is that he doesn't understand the question and he doesn't even understand what he is saying. This leads to the inference that somebody else is writing these speeches for him, and Rubio's only job is to memorize them. Marco knows one thing: he wants power. As for his intelligence, he has an open mind, but only in the sense the anything can be poured into it. In other words, he's a completely programed candidate.

Exactly who these programmers are, and who will be the power behind the throne if Rubio is elected is unknown.

jr565 said...

He had to repeat himself though, because those on stage didn't seem to get his point and were arguing that Obama was simply incompetent, as opposed to commited to an agenda, and achieving it (which is not incompetent). Those who were dinging Rubio may be right that he repeated himself, but his underlying point is more valid than those saying Obama is simply incompetent.

John Scott said...

Rubio's debate performance was like an old album that has a scratch on the first song. Once you get past the skipping the rest of the album is perfectly fine.

Bay Area Guy said...

People, people, why the angst?

I too like Rubio. Smart young guy -- has a very bright future.

But, I also like Trump -- certainly compared to that felon Hillary, or socialist Sanders.

If rational minds absorb the fact that this primary election will be a long, messy slog (not shlong) with many bumps in the road, where either Cruz, Trump or Rubio will prevail -- and that each of these 3 is orders of magnitude better than Hillary or Bernie, and deserving of your vote in the General -- then remain calm, all is well! (Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House).

Do you know that Bernie never had a job until he was 40? He just pontificated as a socialist and dilly-dallied as a carpenter.

tim in vermont said...

I wonder if Bernie ever bid against Larry, Daryl, and Daryl's firm "Anything for a Buck," for a job? Or was he more like Ralph and Eb from Green Acres?

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

I think it is a lot of nonsense over nothing. Though if a bit of nonsense will help stop Rubio, that is OK.

If he had used this construction in an op-ed or even an email, I would agree. HE should have caught it.

Let anyone here without sin cast the first stone. I spend a lot of time in front of audiences of various kinds, including classrooms. I try not to do things like dispel with but I still screw up frequently. Anyone who speaks publicly will. Ann, I am sure you have in your classes.

Hopefully we recognize it and don't do it again. Often we recognize it as soon as we say it but once said, it can't be unsaid.

Obsessing over it is BS.

A word that I have struggled with for 30+ years in speaking is economics. For some reason, about one time out of 20 I will say economics but pronounce the emphasis like economist. Drives me nuts and I have managed to get better over the years but I still do it from time to time.

John Henry

jimbino said...

Bay Area Guy He just pontificated as a socialist and dilly-dallied as a carpenter. Pretty much like Jesus, except that Jesus had to stop working in his early 30s.

blogstupidgirl said...

Rubio made a similar grammatical gaffe with his "We need more welders and less philosophers" in November.

If a noun is countable, the correct adjective is "fewer," not "less."

tim in vermont said...

If a noun is countable, the correct adjective is "fewer," not "less.

How about "We need more welders, less pedants"?

Bay Area Guy said...

Ross Perot fulminated in 1992 about having too many "poets, philosophers and bee-keepers." It was unintentionally humorous at the time -- except that he got 19% of the "angry" vote, which swung the election to Bill Clinton.

@Jimbino -- heh -- if Bernie is our Savior, I don't wanna be saved:)


Juvenal said...

Who cares about his grammar? His ears are too goddam big! Ann, please start a tag named #RubioEars

Biff said...

I'm still struggling with the use of "dumb" to mean anything other than "unable to speak" in formal English.

Bay Area Guy said...

Can I say this without getting too much flak?

I kinda like Kasich too.

I remember when he was a young Congressman about 25 years ago. He was a total Reagan-disciple on both the budget and defense.

And, my kinfolk in Cleveland, say he's done a heluva job in Ohio. Two term Governor by landslides.

And, well, Ohio is a must-win state in the General.

Just sayin'

jr565 said...

Obscure grammatical rules are not enough to disqualify a president any more than althouse not being able to spell weird disqualified her from whatever job she held till she learned how to spell it correctly. A lot more people would notice that althouse couldn't spell "weird" than that Rubio thinking dispel" is an intransitive verb is a problem
I will bet you money that no one on the stage even thought that his use of said word was in any way incorrect. And they are governors of states, moguls and renowned brain surgeons.

Michael K said...

jimbino, thanks for a laugh. Jesus was a Jew, too. You left that out.

"Trump looked like a stand up guy waiting for Carson."

You know, Trump might grow on me if he keeps figuring out that his Cam Newton-style boastfullnss turns some of us off.

Matt said...

Dumber than Trump or Cruz? LOL, the GOP has a lot of dummies this year. Sorry. Truth. Of course, the Democrats don't have stellar choices either. How did this happen?

jr565 said...

The only reason althouse noticed the mistake was because he repeated it a few times. And then they played it on the news. But is she looking over each speech with a fine toothed comb finding grammatical errors?
I'm sure all of them made gaffes of one kind or another. And if you want to call Rubio dumb for not picking up on his flub you could just as easily say those making the argument are idiots for not noticing the other flubs which would be apparent if only you were smarter.

This is inevitably the case when someone acts like the grammar nazi on the Internet and points out the error but while doing so ignores even more glaring errors or, even worse, then misspells their correction.

So let's not be too harsh on Rubio for making a grammatical mistake. All the candidates did and we are simply not singling those out for ridicule. But we could.

Jason said...

These folks focusing on this inconsequential little syntactical imprecision obviously haven't spent much time in South Florida.

It's a community made up largely of ESL speakers and even among those fluent in English there are a number of different quirks and idioms that come up all the time here in Broward and Dade counties, that are quite common here.

Don't get me started on how we pronounce "salmon."

tim in vermont said...

Dumber than Trump or Cruz? LOL, the GOP has a lot of dummies this year. Sorry. Truth.

I would be interested in any evidence that Cruz is "dumb." I mean you did say it was "Truth," so I assume you can back it up.

tim in vermont said...

Don't get me started on how we pronounce "salmon."

It's correctly pronounced "locks," isn't it?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Let anyone here without sin cast the first stone. I spend a lot of time in front of audiences of various kinds, including classrooms.

@ Puerto

I too have spend a lot of time speaking in front of groups, crowds, classrooms, seminars. In those cases, as I assume yours, my speaking is not from a memorized script and while it contained points that I want to make and have arguments that I needed to convey, I didn't have a canned WORD FOR WORD mantra or sound byte that I presented. It wasn't a Valedictorian speech but a free form, and probably rambling presentation.

So did I stumble and make mistakes. Sure. People do this when they are winging it.

HOWEVER, Rubio has obviously prepared these mini speeches and has been coached to the nth degree on presentation. He has memorized canned sound bytes. Not a big deal. All politicians do this. The issue is that he can't seem to do anything BUT the canned responses and does them when they are not relevant to the questions or dialogue. Canned and rehearsed.

IF you are going to do a canned speech and repeat it over and over and over again.....at least use the words correctly so you don't look like an ignoramus.

Jason said...

Anyone ever heard Eisenhower try to speak extemporaneously? He was a one-man grammatical wrecking ball.

And truly brilliant. Know why he was who he was? My car insurance agent, who passed away recently, was a WWII vet, and told me once that Eisenhower was the greatest man he ever met, and probably that he ever will meet. Towards the end of his life, I got to ask him about his WWII experiences, and I asked him what Eisenhower was like, personally.

He met Eisenhower twice. Once in 1943 or so, in England. Larry was a lieutenant in military intelligence, and Ike chatted him up once about his family.

Larry was from Chicago, a die hard Cubs fan, and told Ike that his dad wasn't doing so well and was in the hospital.

The second time Larry met Ike was two years later, in France or Germany, towards the end of the war. Some business took a newly minted captain Larry into Ike's headquarters and Ike passed him and said "Captain! Larry Murvis! Glad to see you're well! How's your dad in Chicago?"

Ike had to have met and worked with thousands and thousands of people during the war, and had the weight of his shoulders, and he still remembered a nobody captain and his dad in Chicago.

Made Larry feel like a million bucks.

I recall a similar story about Eisenhower, after the war, in David Hackworth's book, "About Face." Hack was a private when he met him, and Ike still had the same qualities when it came to the lower enlisted in his command.

So I don't care if Ike misused "felicitations." He was a great planner, made sound and timely decisions, took responsibility, and took care of his people.

That's what I look for in POTUS.

Grammar? I couldn't care less.

Don't think much of professional journos who self-select into the profession because they're good at writing but never had to make a real decision in their lives bigger than what kind of car to drive trying to impose their tribal shibboleths on better men than them, either.

They said that Reagan was stupid and Reagan could speak and write rings around them.

Brando said...

"I kinda like Kasich too.

I remember when he was a young Congressman about 25 years ago. He was a total Reagan-disciple on both the budget and defense."

I remember back in the '90s he was sort of the earlier version of Paul Ryan--sharp, reasonable, and effective. He's got a genuinely conservative bent but knows how to sell it to moderates. Sort of what the GOP could use in a national election.

Of course he doesn't fire up the masses or move an audience with soaring oratory, and polls low right now. But I'd be pretty happy if a guy like that made it to the White House.

Steve Uhr said...

If the lawyers among the bunch released their LSAT scores, my guess is from highest to lowest:

Cruz
Clinton
Christie
Rubio

tim in vermont said...

Yet Hillary failed the bar exam....

grackle said...

I kinda like Kasich too.

I kind of like all of the GOP candidates, even Jim Gilmore. Any of them would be better than what the Democrats are running. Some GOP candidate will get my support after the GOP convention and my vote in November.

I have tests for who I support through the primaries. First, their attitude toward the 2nd amendment. It’s my first litmus. Christie is weak on this issue.

The 2nd test is their hold on reality, the ability to discern what is actually occurring. I was an early supporter of Fiorina. But she insisted she saw a video that did not exist and then doubled down afterwards. Despite her being in sync with my own views on abortion, I have to take a pass on her during the primaries.

A third test is attitude toward illegal immigration. For me Rubio comes up short on this issue. He voted for a silly comprehensive immigration bill. Also, he allowed Chuck Schumer to bamboozle him, which is a failure of my 2nd test involving a candidate’s hold on reality.

The 4th test is the amount of subterfuge from a candidate. So there’s Cruz. Who wants to sneak a value-added tax(VAT) into the tax system. I was also an early supporter of Cruz. But the VAT is a hidden tax that European regimes use on their hapless citizens.

A VAT means products are taxed at every step of their production. The ore is taxed as it comes out of the ground. It is taxed again when it is turned into steel. Again it is taxed when the steel is assembled into a Ford F-150 door. And it is taxed again when the Ford pickup is sold. All the consumer knows of is that final tax. The consumer doesn’t realize that the previous taxes, paid by the corporations, are simply included in the consumer’s price for the pickup.

I’ll put it another way: The VAT will allow the corporations to force the consumers to pay the corporations’ taxes. Why would any corporation pay taxes for real when the corporation can simply pass the cost of those taxes on to the consumer? I think we all know the answer. Of course politicians love the VAT because it allows them to raise taxes with relative impunity, which seems to be the dream of most politicians.

Cruz tries to hide the VAT in his tax plan by calling it a “flat tax for business.” That’s sneaky. And for me his judgement is suspect simply by the fact of his VAT being in his tax plan in the first place. But I’ll happily vote for him if he wins the nomination because the alternative on the Democrat side would be even more ruinous.

So let us all support our candidates but come election day flip the lever for the GOP candidate – whoever they may be.

deranged Trump supporter

Pettifogger said...

He's mixing up "dispel" and "dispense with." An occasional instance of that sort of thing doesn't make him stupid.

Howard Nelson said...

Worse is confusing 'congressman' with 'statesman.'

Ctmom4 said...

@ Grackle "The 2nd test is their hold on reality, the ability to discern what is actually occurring. I was an early supporter of Fiorina. But she insisted she saw a video that did not exist and then doubled down afterwards. Despite her being in sync with my own views on abortion, I have to take a pass on her during the primaries. " The video does exist. I saw it. The only confusing thing was that the narrator - a reformed abortion clinic worker- was not describing the specific late term fetus in the clip,but one at the same term that she saw born live and then destroyed. The almost fully formed fetus in the tray kicked his tiny foot. Carly didn't invent that.You have bought the propaganda.

Ctmom4 said...

Rubio was reportedly a mediocre student. I don't think he is particularly bright. But many people in public life use atrocious grammar and often misspeak. Obama is a serial offender . I think that every time Trump mentions he is a Wharton graduate, they must cringe.

rsbsail said...

"I'm holding the question open: Is Rubio a little dumb?"

Because he misused the word dispel?

In a word, no.

darrenoia said...

@tim in vermont I'm a Rubio fan. Would probably vote for him if my state's primary were held today. I think he's quite intelligent. I thought my implication in mentioning "reality TV" was clear but I guess it wasn't — I meant Trump. If we somehow elect Trump as president, we will truly and finally have become the Idiocracy. Obama was the first step. Any other Republican candidate but Trump would be a corrective.

Jason said...

@Grackle:

Carly was right. I saw the same vid. The libtards were lying. You fell for it.

Mark Caplan said...

I haven't figured out what Rubio means by saying Obama wants to make America more like the rest of the world. Does he mean Sweden? Singapore? Syria? Swaziland? It's a hollow, meaningless phrase.

Bay Area Guy said...

Here are the stakes:

If Hillary or Bernie wins:

1. Obamacare becomes permanent

2. 2 or 3 liberal Supreme Court Justices are appointed; hundreds of lower court judges

3. Amnesty by either Executive Order or judicial fiat comes to pass

4. Gun Contol by either Execuitve Order or Supreme Court weakening of the Heller Case

5. Radical Islam terrorists or immigrants are further appeased and/or encouraged.

6. Taxes, in some form, increase.

Think clearly and choose wisely on who can best stave off this continued "fundamental transformation" of our country.

I humbly submit that even Jeb! is better than this potentiality.

Leora said...

Since Rubio attended a state school instead of being recruited to the one of the Ivy's at at time when minorities were much in demand, I assumed that he was not academically gifted. I'd bet Christie scored higher on the LSAT than Hillary, though.

BN said...

This is the sort of pedantry up with which i shall not put.

BN said...

Lincoln was the most inexperienced President ever. But he could conjugate verbs, so there's that, i guess.

Well... hell... i don't know... could he? Who cares?

BN said...

BTW, I garan-damn-tee-ya, Grant couldn't conjugate no stinking' verbs. Lee could though. Real good.

BN said...

"too dumb to be President."

Hey, it's not like bein' a Perfesser. Ya don' haf to be REAL smart. Jes passable. With ironed pants and shit.

BN said...

BAG: "If Hillary or Bernie wins: 1.. 2... 3... 4..."

If any Democrat wins ever, in any election, anywhere period: Taxes go up, defense spending goes down, traditional morality gets shafted. Been that way since i was a little boy--and that was a long long time ago. That's their plan. You know. Burn, baby, Bernie.

Brando said...

"Think clearly and choose wisely on who can best stave off this continued "fundamental transformation" of our country.

I humbly submit that even Jeb! is better than this potentiality."

I'd add that the judiciary after a full 12 years of Democratic presidents will be packed with leftist judges, and the Supreme Court will almost definitely have a leftist majority. And the soup of federal regulations by then will have a crushing effect on business. Slow growth and low labor force participation will be the new normal, and our entitlement spending will be that much closer to swamping our economy in public debt.

Brando said...

"First, their attitude toward the 2nd amendment. It’s my first litmus. Christie is weak on this issue."

That's a big issue for me, but I think the real fight is at the local and state level. No federal bans are going to pass, but there are still a lot of places where concealed carry is prohibited (I live in one). If that issue gets to the Supreme Court, it will make all the more difference who is on that Court at that time. It's why this year is so important--the next president might pick another three or even four justices.

Sammy Finkelman said...

First of all, can somebody check the video and see what word Rubio actually sued?

Sammy Finkelman said...

If Hillary or Bernie wins:

1. Obamacare becomes permanent


Impossible. Obamacare will implode in 2017. Hillary would want to replace it but keep the same name. Bernie wants Sisngle payer (Medicare for all) instead. Bernie might actually recah some kind of acompromse with the Republicans - in any case something has got to gie.

2 or 3 liberal Supreme Court Justices are appointed; hundreds of lower court judges

Very possible.

3. Amnesty by either Executive Order or judicial fiat comes to pass

I think this will be a difficult issue for anyone. Most likely, dysfunction increases.

rehardless of who is elected, courts will make detenstion of newly arrived border crossers pretty much impossible, unless Congress spends more money on immigration judges. Which it won't.

If a Republican is elected, perhaps we get a nationwide student strike, on the issue of student loans and the lack of amnesty.

If anyone tries to do anything about "sanctuary cities", big trouble, although not quite civil war. We're only at 1844 or 1848 ion this issue, anyway.

4. Gun Contol by either Execuitve Order or Supreme Court weakening of the Heller Case

Executive orders can't do much. New Supreme Court justices will take several years to do anything.

5. Radical Islam terrorists or immigrants are further appeased and/or encouraged.

Not if they are successsful or have some near misses.

6. Taxes, in some form, increase.

Likely.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Pettifogger said...2/8/16, 5:41 PM

He's mixing up "dispel" and "dispense with." An occasional instance of that sort of thing doesn't make him stupid.

If he erally said it, he forgot the right word. But I would check the video - the transcript has numerous errors. It has Rubio saying "Girls Count Act" and "Tibet" instead of "Dabiq" and "imminent domain" instead of "eminent domain."