In light of the latest malfunction of the Rubiobot, some desperate hacks have come up with the idea that the Rubiobot is in fact engaged in a subtle literary technique. This is laughable on its face — the fact that he catches himself during the second “throat” should probably be the tipoff that this wasn’t a deliberate stylistic choice — but nothing is too laughable to make its way to a favorite Republican puke funnel:
Have people really never read Walt Whitman before? Do they not understand the concept of anaphora? https://t.co/GSjnj06cM9
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) February 9, 2016
He’s a poet like Shelley or Byron!
Dan McLaughlin provides the more hilarious version:
C'mon. Repeating phrases to build a theme is a common device in the very best of political rhetoric pic.twitter.com/VKd9c4ujDB
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) February 9, 2016
Yes, MLK repeating the same five-word phrase followed by different content each time for effect is exactly like Rubio repeating the same dumb 25-second point three times while being mocked by his debate opponent for robotically repeating his talking points, or for repeating the same talking point during a speech and recognizing your mistake halfway through. Rubio is truly an oratorical and literary genius:
That is not anaphora, because it is not the repetition of the first part of the sentence. This important difference explains why Dickens did not write, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and why Churchill did not say, “We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, and we shall fight in … France.”
Nor is it part of some poetic device that makes sense if you watch the context of the speech, which I did, and which is just Rubio cycling through his standard stump lines rather than repeating them for some kind of literary effect.
And this is why Rubio visibly hesitates when he is about to say “throats” for the second time. It is the horrified panic of a candidate who realizes he has just done the one thing he desperately needs at this moment not to do.
It will be very meta to see desperate Republicans defend Rubio’s robotic reptition of dumb talking points with the robotic repetition of an even dumber talking point.