The main news from last night's Republican debate seems to be the way that Marco Rubio walked straight into a devastating attack from Chris Christie, whose campaign has recently been focused on attacking Rubio for being "scripted" — see e.g. Charlie Spiering, "Chris Christie Releases Playlist of Marco Rubio’s ‘Scripted’ Responses", Breitbart 2/5/2016. Apparently Mr. Rubio's scriptwriters weren't able to reprogram him in time:
The result has been featured in the text media, left (Allegra Kirkland, "Christie Fillets ‘Scripted’ Rubio For Repeating The Same Line 3 Times", TPM 2/6/2016), right (Ruth Sherlock, "Chris Christie savages Marco Rubio as too young and too scripted to be president", The Telegraph 2/7/2016) and center (Amber Philips, "How Chris Christie owned Marco Rubio in Saturday’s GOP debate", WaPo 2/7/2016).
And Twitter ampified the meme — and indeed had been repeating it for a week or more before the debate,, though the hashtag #RubioGlitch seems to be new. (See also Sara Jerde, "Twitter Skewers 'Robot' Rubio For Repeating The Same Line 4 Times", TPM 2/6/2016, for another echo of the reaction; or David Frum's essay-in-tweet-form.).
Of course this is something that all politicians do, including Chris Christie. And most other public speakers have their well-rehearsed speechlets as well — though few would be as insensitive to context as senator Rubio seems to have been in this exchange. So I appreciated the pitiless oratorial vivisection, but what most struck me about it was a politically-irrelevant linguistic point: Rubio's use of with to introduce the complement of dispel.
But I would add this: Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing.
My first reaction was that this was a malapropism, "dispel with" substituted for "dispense with".
But this tends to counter the "scripted" meme, since presumably the Rubio campaign can afford to hire writers with a good grasp of English subcategorization conventions. So I wondered whether it might just be a usage that I've missed, rather than a case of bad scriptwriting or imperfect script-remembering.
However, "[dispel]with" in the relevant sense doesn't occur in the 520 million words of the BYU Corpus of Contemporary American English, although forms of dispel occur 1,585 times. There are five examples of passive-voice dispelled where a following with-clause has an instrumental interpretation, e.g. "If they had had any doubt that the concept would work, it was dispelled with the very first test photo."
And looking through the first few pages of a Google Books search for "dispel with", I see mostly instrumental and comitative uses like
It is less idiomatic to use dispel with a singular countable entity that cannot be regarded as divisible.
Almost acting as if they as an organization want to dispel with a vengeance any thought of this generation's IBM being out of touch with the needs of customers, todays IBM is a lean, mean e-business machine.
Our faith confirm, our fears dispel, With the old voice we loved so well.
They set them on high places to dispel with their flickering beams the darkness that brooded over the city.
Sometimes the recollection of their former rank comes over them like a qualm, which they dispel with brandy, and then humorously rally one another on their mutual degeneracy.
But there are a few examples of Rubio's usage:
[link] To see through this is the acceptance that we are living through our judgements and that we can dispel with them if we choose.
[link] As he might have two days prior, Rukh did not ask Christopher to dispel with the honorific.
[link] …doesn't openly become a third legislative branch, with parties, conventions and campaigns, so that we can dispel with the annoying fiction in which we all seem to wallow that it is an uncorrupted, apolitical dispenser of justice and wisdom.
Given the sparseness of this construction, I'm inclined to continue to regard it as a sporadic malaprop. But it's natural enough that some day Norma Loquendi may change her mind.