Please watch the above, and listen carefully.
How does someone like this become the spokesperson of a major political party, much less get elected to Congress?
- Her response to Marco Rubio’s undeniably accurate statement was a pure ad hominem attack.
- Her explanation for why the President’s intentional misrepresentation isn’t the lie that it obviously is consists of nothing but assertively delivered double-talk and irrelevant talking points that do not address the issue.
- She thinks “misled” is pronounced “myzeld.” Let me repeat that…
She thinks “misled” is pronounced “myzeld!!!!”
I am not surprised at the first; the second is standard operating practice for this Congresswoman (and she has lots of company these days, on this topic), but the last is the canary dying in the mine.
Wasserman Schultz makes an English comprehension error that is common among grade-school children. We mocked my sister for this one when she was 10. Wasserman Schultz didn’t even wonder about her pronunciation after hearing her interviewer properly pronounce the word twice. This suggests, as anyone familiar with her has long suspected, that she never really listens to what anyone else is saying. (Ann Althouse gives her way too much slack, calling this error one common to people who read too much. Kids who read too much, yes. For an adult like the Congresswoman—she’s 47—it is an error that can only be attributed to listening, and thinking, too little.
How can the U.S. hope to educate its children when its elected officials, role models, sound illiterate? She must have heard and read the word many times. That she never had the intellectual curiosity to wonder what this “mis-led’ word everyone was using meant, or why it was that everyone over the age of 8 pronounced “misled” this way rather than “myzeld.” This leads me to wonder if she’s just not all that sharp—but then, every interview I’ve ever listened to involving her made even a stronger case in that direction.
Not that Wasserman Schultz doesn’t have a legitimate beef with, well, everybody. Where were her teachers? Where was her family? Friends? Dates? Surely many, many people have heard her mangle this word through the years. Why didn’t they say something? Letting someone you know do this is the language equivilent of not telling her that there’s a big piece of spinach on her teeth or a green booger dripping out a nostril—for decades. I used to think “hors d’oeuvre” was pronounced “whores devours”until I was about 12, when my mother disabused me of that misapprehension. I went to college with a guy who confessed during a late night bull session that he thought the animal was a “rhinoferous” until his junior year in high school. My father used to mix up the words “fiesta” and “fiasco,” calling the latter a “fiesca.” We constantly admonished him about it—I’m pretty sure he kept doing it just to annoy me. But he wasn’t on TV, and he wasn’t a member of Congress.
The most prominent members of society have a duty to model civility, good grammar, honesty, and literacy. I know Debbie Wasserman Schultz doesn’t believe in listening to anyone, and since her intent is usually to defend a partisan position in the absence of facts and logic, this can be helpful. In this instance, however, it just makes her look foolish.
Pointer: Ann Althouse