I didn't watch last night's Republican debate, and catching up on it the day after, Rubio's programming glitch — in which he responded to allegations of robotically repeating talking points by robotically repeating his talking points — certainly struck me as funny:
But was it bad in the kind of way that people would actually care about? David Frum, one of the smartest conservative pundits around, made the case that it was that bad in a series of tweets that are very much worth your time.
The key move in Frum's argument is that he connects the glitch to the substantive problem Rubio is having — his role in crafting the Gang of Eight immigration bill that he later abandoned. The two things play off each other because they both raise essentially the same question: Can Rubio make smart decisions under pressure?
According to Rubio, he made the wrong decision about the Gang of Eight. And according to basically everyone on the planet, he made the wrong decision about how to respond to Christie. And people simply haven't seen Rubio under pressure all that often.