No, of course I didn't. It likely wouldn't matter if I had; seems that it would take 12 years and well-financed opposition research to figure it out. WARNING: extreme cynicism ahead, and possible forcast of 'bad language' and sarcasm. If you are looking for proper tone and Strunk and White style spew and proper footnotes, you should defer to reading something submitted to the United States Army War College. I understand their ability for discernment is impeccable. And don't take this as a response in defense of Walsh. I intend to respond to the response, hence the cynicism.
So, Senator/General John Walsh got caught plagiarizing a paper. If you don't know what I'm talking about, please get out of your cave. Color me pink with shock and surprise. (Yes, that would be sarcasm.) I would love to say that I am surprised, just as I would adore actually being surprised at the reactions I've read to this scandilous horror which undermines our ENTIRE FAITH IN POLITICS! Being true to myself, I'm going to try and generate some surprise, just to see if I can find any.
When the story broke, the first thing that crossed my mind was this: how convenient that the NY Times ran the story short days after the release of a poll that showed Daines vulnerable, narrowing the Senate election in Montana to 7 points. Over on the Tweeters, Montana state Representative Ellie Hill noticed the same thing, with the same dry resolution I feel. It's dirty politics as usual, plyed by dirty people for dirty reasons. Which leads me to the first point of curiousity.
Mr. Mark Tokarski, never one to fail at defending the poor 'good' people, argues that they are politically, and often physically, assassinated by the ruling Illuminati who have all dirt against everyone. He has strangely been silent about the timing of this revelation of horrors. It's no mystery that Tokarski doesn't like Walsh, certainly doesn't think him a good person; but it is so curious that he doesn't comment on this obvious manipulation of the electorate. Mark knows all things politics, so what did Walsh do that pissed the oligarchs off enough to conspire such a character assasination? If our real struggle is against the foul and evil men who coerce our destiny, shouldn't we be supporting Walsh since they have deemed him 'dangerous'? Every single thing in this paragraph is a logical question based on what Mark has put forth for the last eight years. He has argued, well, I might add, that the only danger faced by politicians from the shadow government is that politician's ability to tell the truth and upset the order of shadow rule. He has argued that Democrats are the "real" problem because the somnabulent people will follow Democrats to Republicant policy without question. Yet, not once has Mark questioned the unbelievably coincidental timing of this 'scandel' which hurts a Democrat. So I am left with the questions: does Mark really believe what he spouts? Does his caterwaul have "integrity"? I'm certain, gentle reader, that you can understand my confusion.
Sheena Rice, on the Facilebook, wrote this:
On the latest political "scandal" this is all I have to say. While I was an undergrad TA at Montana State I graded many many papers, and the number of papers that included wrongly cited sources and/or outright plagiarized paragraphs were the majority. Maybe I'm jaded to it, but I honestly don't give a shit. Can we get back to talking about real issues that matter now? Like income inequality, the prison industrial complex, discrimination, global unrest, and the economy? Please? This so called "news" does absolutely nothing to get people interested in the political process and just provides opportunities for negative campaigning to those playing inside baseball.
I could not agree with her more. I spent two years working as a TA in Philosophy, and have spent 18 since working with students in the technological age. I would likely be retired now if I had charged good money to every person who has asked for or intimated that they would like a place to download papers to fulfill school work. (Hint: that would be plagiarism.) Like Sheena, I'm jaded to it. I do not consider plagiarism to be a high crime deserving casting of ash, woeful wail, and demand for public flogging. In truth, I consider it the very least of crimes that a sitting Congress-person could have committed. More than half the bills these assholes take credit for are submitted by other entities. All one has to do is follow the Tweeters and one will see more plagiarism in a day than Walsh has committed in his lifetime. I defy anyone reading this post to claim that they have never taken credit for another's thoughts, efforts or ideas. (If anyone does respond to that challenge, I will call them a liar, and the burden of proof lies with them.) The over-reaction to this scurrilous behavior is comedic, yet I find myself not laughing very much.
The over-reaction that does have me laughing comes from Bob Brigham. The camps have set their tents, and the lines have been drawn. Pogie is just a 'Walsh Denialist/Defender' and the good folk at 4 & 20 are rationally slamming Walsh as a pretender. But Brigham ... he is tearing up the Tweeters with the claim that anyone who sees Walsh as anything other than scum shares in that man's corruption; they have no "integrity". He has used the hashtag "cultureofcorruption" so many times that it is becoming meaningless. I like Bob Brigham; I've defended him at several websites. But let's be clear. He is bought and payed for. For him to be judging the "integrity" of anyone is a joke. The 'Culture of Corruption' refers to moneyed powers buying the democratic process, just like Bob is bought and payed for. He's being a fucking hypocrite. Not once has he bothered to question how the New York Times got the information they published. (Did they get it from him?) Not once has he bothered to publically question the timing of the release of this information. Nope, Bob is acting like a good little soldier for the candidate he was payed to support, and ignoring the fact that the 'culture of corruption' is really about hidden powers buying elections. Daines has more money than the God who he believes created the world 6,000 years ago (as long as it is politically expedient.) Much of that money comes from the "culture of corruption", but you won't find Bob bitching about that. He focuses on the candidate that beat the guy he was payed to get elected, and tells us all that if we do not turn that horrific moral pariah into the wilderness, than we are as corrupt as the Judas Walsh. Tell me that isn't funny.
The Copper Kids (no intention of linking) are all about how TERRIBLE a crime Walsh committed. Lizard (again, no intention of linking) has stated his peace that Walsh's crime is horrific but it's hard to pay attention to that given that we all must be concerned about what's happening in the Gaza. DON'T YOU CARE ABOUT WHAT"S REALLY IMPORTANT, YOU ASSHOLES!!! (I told you I was going to be sarcastic, so sue me.) JC's comments are the familiar flavor of 'This is how it affects me and you should think so too." The most rational and forthright post on the topic I've read so far is, of course, from James Conner at the Flathead Memo. He is patient and considerate. I encourage you to read this brief post and consider your own response before camping with any of the partisans, left, extremist left, disenchanted Democrat, right or extreme right.