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Note to students who get a paper back with red marks all over it: Don’t despair, even a U.S. senator – who also is a college professor, no less – can’t avoid it.
Sen. Marco Rubio’s Op-Ed for Politico got decorated, so to speak, by a red pen belonging to a fellow lawmaker and apparent purist when it comes to grammar.
The lawmaker-editor is U.S. Rep. Mark Takano, who took Rubio’s op-ed — which is critical of President Barack Obama’s move to regulate the Internet – and marked up the offensive parts.
The California Democrat, who is a former high school teacher, scolded Rubio, a Florida Republican, for verbosity (“950 words is too long for an Op-Ed, try to say it in 600-700 words”), using web and Internet interchangeably (“web and Internet are different things”) and using clichés and mixed metaphors.
Then came the coup de grace, a grade of “F.”
"I only break out the red pen on special occasions,” Takano said on his Facebook page. “So when I saw Marco Rubio’s recent Op-Ed on Net Neutrality, you know I couldn't resist. It is intentionally misleading, poorly researched, and littered with errors.”
"Marco, please don't draft essays on your return flight from Iowa. See me in my office and I'll walk you through Net Neutrality."
Takano has corrected fellow Republican lawmakers before. In 2013, he marked up (in red, of course) a letter that Republicans sent to House Speaker John Boehner about the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill. Some observations included: “Exaggeration — avoid hyperbole,” and “redundant, paired adjectives.”
Takano gave the lawmakers an “F” and wrote: “See me after votes.”