So the GOP convention is in full swing in Cleveland, and the big news is that Melania Trump, Donald Trump's wife, has given a speech parts of which were ripped directly off a speech given by Michelle Obama in 2008. The Twitterverse is all over this right now; rightie sites like Instapundit and Drudge haven't posted anything, but the comment threads at Instapundit are alive with cross-talk about the scandal.
Barack Obama infamously lifted large swaths of text from a speech by Deval Patrick. You may recall this as the "Just words?" speech. The words themselves were powerful, but Obama failed to attributed them to Patrick, whom he later called a "friend" while offering a lame justification for his plagiarism. What Melania Trump has done is the moral equivalent of Obama's naughty deed, so I'd say she deserves whatever opprobrium is heading her way.
What boggles my mind is how Mrs. Trump (and possibly by extension, The Donald) thought she could get away with lifting text almost word for word from Michelle Obama's speech. In this day and age, any lie you tell, any plagiarism you commit, will be caught and aired in public almost instantaneously.
So that's pretty blatant, right? pic.twitter.com/EPnHME7afV— Mike Hearn (@mikehearn) July 19, 2016
Here, too, while you're at it:
Anyway, this is embarrassing for Melania Trump. I'll be curious as to whether Donald Trump manages to Teflon his way through this new mini-crisis, or whether it becomes a "Dean scream" moment for him. Somehow, I doubt it'll be a "Dean scream"er. Consequences don't seem to attach themselves to his, or to his wife's, conduct.
ADDENDUM: this site mulls over the 2008 incident involving Obama's use of Deval Patrick's rhetoric. While the site author's conclusions are somewhat sympathetic to Obama, the author also makes some strong statements about those who accuse others of plagiarism, noting that such attacks tend to be politically motivated while generally lacking in substance, especially when seen in a larger context. For all I know, Melania can bat her lashes innocently and claim she was "inspired" by Michelle Obama, and/or that she and Michelle are "friends," thus making it somehow fine for Melania to appropriate Michelle's words. Two weeks from now, we probably won't be talking about Melania's text-cribbing.