5.26.2010

Political "plagiarism" vs being a political hack

One really has to wonder some days how in the world Jack Craver got a job writing for the Isthmus. His latest piece is an attempt to hit candidate for Congress Chad Lee for "plagiarism" on his campaign website. Craver linked to a Journal-Sentinel piece as evidence, but the piece itself is desperately searching for a scandal where none exists.

If Lee's campaign did cut and paste a passage that he had "introduced" legislation, then he needs to fire the moron who did it and hire someone who knows what they are doing. In the end, though, how much of an issue is it? I'd love to see Baldwin beat, but even in this political environment I don't see it happening - especially with stupid mistakes like this. That's what it is. Stupidity, or more accurately, "sloppiness" that's worthy of derisive laughter and a story, but it is not indicative of a widespread "scandal."

And that's the problem with Craver's argument. He uses the notion that GOP candidates are plagiarizing one another to try and paint all of them as intellectually shallow and unoriginal. As evidence he uses the familiar pledge of term limits. Yes, Jack, many Republican challengers favor term limits - especially when taking on entrenched incumbents. I know, it's shocking, but maybe, just maybe, there are people who truly believe in term limits and serving the people. Something equally shocking - and Craver and other liberals like him may want to sit down for this one - is that members of the same political party often have similar views.

But why stop at term limits? If Craver were a real investigative journalist he'd have blown this wide open and exposed the similarities between candidates on taxes, spending, immigration, oil exploration, abortion, gay marriage, the list goes on and on.

Okay, enough with the sarcasm now. In reality, what is most irritating about the type of writing that Craver and so many other liberals engage in is that they seem to have only one mindset: everything a conservative does is a scandal. Or evil.

I'm fairly certain that if anyone really took the time to look at Democrat candidates' websites, they would find strikingly similar wording about immigration, abortion, taxes, stimulus spending, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, cap and trade, and a bunch of other issues. This isn't a scandal, it is a function of having strong and organized parties. It's a normal function of our political system.

I just guess no one told them that over at the Isthmus.