Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sarah Palin's Not-So-Original Reagan Speech Plagiarized from Newt Gingrich

Living in Alaska, apparently, can cause brain freeze. Or maybe it's just intellectual laziness. 

Whatever it is, the conservative heroine from the Great White North, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has been caught lifting lines (i.e., plagiarizing) about Ronald Reagan in a speech she delivered in Anchorage this week. 

Her source: None other that disgraced former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

Oops. Last time we checked, plagiarism was unethical. It's wrong. It's dishonest. How could Saint Sarah do such a thing? 

Reporter Geoffrey Dunn of The Huffington Post has the gory details here


Man of the West said...

How could Saint Sarah do such a thing?

I don't know. Maybe you could ask Joe Biden.

Alternative Tulsa said...

One tiny difference: Unlike the Right's passionate and unreserved embrace of Sarah Palin, we know of no one who thinks Joe Biden is ready for sainthood.

Man of the West said...

I'm not trying to poke fun, but that makes it sound an awful lot like you think plagiarism is, in fact, ok as long as the people aren't fooled.

Such thinking would explain a lot. :)

Alternative Tulsa said...

Well, no. Plagiarism is wrong in every case. Biden has taken some lumps for his errors, even from some of his allies. Palin, on the other, seems to get a pass from her admirers even when she's wrong.

Man of the West said...

Oh. I think I get it now; you actually have no more problem with Mrs. Palin on this issue than you do with with VP Biden. It's the idea that some people would contemplate rewarding her with their votes in spite of her plagiarism. This is, of course, utterly unlike the people who rewarded Joe Biden with their votes in spite of his plagiarism.

I can see why that might bug you. :)

Tulsan said...

This IS a convenient comparison.

Both recent VP candidates are guilty of plagiarism in a political speech.

So whether or not you think that is a terrible thing, it cancels out for those two.

In retrospect, we had a VP choice between an experienced and generally respected U.S. Senator and an astoundingly ignorant State Governor.

I'm tremendously relieved we didn't wind up with Palin a 72-year-old's heartbeat away from the White House.

The issue of plagiarism pales in comparison with that prospect.

Man of the West said...

The issue of plagiarism pales in comparison with that prospect.

Actually, I quite agree.

Oh, I disagree with your assessments of Joe Biden and Sarah Palin. Not that I'm terrifically impressed with Mrs. Palin; she seems like a basically common-sense, stubborn mom. I would have readily taken that over Joe Biden, whom I think of as a complete dolt.

But as far as whether the plagiarism matters much--well...

When it comes to politicians, I pretty much operate on the assumption that they're all scumbags. Party doesn't matter in this respect. While it would be nice to have perfectly pure people in powerful places, the reality of politics is otherwise.

So, given the choice of scumbags--which is what it seems to me I am facing every election cycle--my criteria is not perfection in personal behavior, which is exceedingly unlikely in a politician. When I go to vote, what I care about is how they vote or wield power. Politicians who have a track record of trending toward smaller government and less obscene taxation and pro-life(recognizing that no politician's track record is ever 100%) get my vote; those who don't, don't.

What's most frustrating for me is when I'm presented with a choice between neocons who grow government and Democrats who grow government. Then I really am in the position of trying to choose the lesser of two evils.

My only reason for responding to this post at all was to highlight something I see here all the time: apparent obliviousness to the fact they live in a glass house. I don't deny that Mrs. Palin may have committed plagiarism. I haven't looked into it. It wouldn't surprise me in the least, as--again--I operate on the assumption that all politicians are scumbags. But to write of her plagiarism as though it were a sin unknown in the Democratic Party struck me as just silly, and the attempt to justify doing so on the grounds of all the "lumps" that Joe Biden has taken was even sillier.

Aye, his constituents "lumped" him all the way into the vice-presidency. I only wish Mrs. Palin were punished so severely for her transgressions.

Tulsan said...

Either candidate may have had a speechwriter who helped themselves to some pre-written verbiage.

Frankly, I think Palin is likely to have been less directly culpable, as she probably depends far more heavily on the input of the speechwriter than Biden does.

Of course, in the end, the responsibility lies with the candidate.