Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Political Plagiarism and Trump Campaign Incompetence

I went to sleep last night thinking that Melania Trump's speech was the only decent highlight of the night.  The political experts I follow were wondering how the Trump campaign could not close with it, as LTG (Ret.) Mike Flynn's speech was more of the shit-show that was the rest of the day at the RNC.  I wake up, I find myself having flashbacks to plagiarist episodes in my career.  Why?

Oh my.

First, plagiariasts, like pathological liars, often look better than their colleagues.  I had one class where the best student was the plagiarist: he/she could do the reading and talk about it during the class sessions because he/she was not doing the writing.  He/she had more time!  Melania looked better than the rest of the speakers because she was using, in part, the words that had been well written and revised and edited by professionals .... unlike the rest of the speakers.  That should have been the giveaway.

Second, Chris Christie really said tried to excuse the speech as being 93% original since only 7% appeared in Michelle Obama's speech in 2008--the part about hard work and ethics!!!!  This reminds me of the plagiarist who, when asked by a staff member in my department if he/she plagiarized, said a little bit.  Which leads to two responses:
  1. A little bit plagiarized is like being a little bit pregnant.  You either are or you are not.  No middle ground.
  2. 93%  My guess is that that other parts of the speech came from other sources, as plagiarists, in my humble experience, tend to borrow from more than one source.  Folks just found the most obvious source--the speech by a candidate's wife at a national convention. [Update: I forgot that she RickRolled].
Third, Chris Christie is willing to defend this after being humiliated not only by not being picked to be VP nominee by Trump but the leaks about his begging for it?  Ah, his journey is now complete.

This reminds me of the Iraq invasion.  I knew that Rummy and his folks would screw it up, but I could not imagine how badly they would screw it up.  I thought this convention would be a shit-show (sorry, no other word for it), but I had no idea that the first day would start with:
  • Alienating the Colorado delegates by messing up the voting procedures
  • Alienating the Utah delegation with Trump fans threatening one in a (women's) bathroom.  She wasn't even trans gender, which would have been going along with the general GOP policy guidance, I guess.
  • Alienating the Ohio delegation as Paul Manafort, the campaign "manager", spouted off about the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich.  
  • Platform gets more news than they would like as it softens language on Putin, because GOP just love Russia?
  • Donald Trump walking in to the music of a gay man who died of AIDS--Freddie Mercury.
  • The candidate's wife was given a speech that might have been 93% original.
  • Scott Baio.
My remaining questions are:
  • Did this set such a low bar the media can claim that the next three days are successful simply because they are better than the first day?
  • Could it possibly get any worse? (Not sure the country could handle it)
  • This convention stuff is actually supposed to be the easy part of the campaign as it can all be stage-managed.  If Trump and Manafort and the rest of his dis-organization cannot handle this, how will they handle the debates, the media as it gets more assertive, HRC and her surrogates as they ramp up their attacks, etc? 
Just don't expect anyone to take responsibility for this, as that is simply not Trump's way.  No apologies, many excuses, deflect all blame and learn precious little.

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