Aug 4, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 44 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The sad thing about plagiarism, aside from the act itself, is that examples are always plentiful. Just a few weeks ago The Scrapbook took note of the serial larceny of antiwar polemicist Chris Hedges (“War Is a Force That Makes Us Plagiarize,” June 23). Now, courtesy of the New York Times’s Jonathan Martin, we are apprised of shameless theft by a United States senator. The senator in question is Democrat John Walsh of Montana, who was appointed in February to succeed Max Baucus, now ambassador to China.
As Martin’s Times story points out, “Democrats were thrilled” when the onetime adjutant general of the Montana National Guard, and Iraq war veteran, was named as Baucus’s replacement, since Walsh “offered the Democratic Party something it frequently lacks: a seasoned military man.” Seasoned or not, however, the thrill of Senator Walsh must be diminishing for Democrats.
Since his appointment, it has been learned that, as adjutant general, Walsh had been denied a routine promotion to brigadier general because (in the Times’s words) he had “[used] his role . . . to urge other guardsmen to join a private advocacy group . . . in which he was seeking a leadership role.” Then it was discovered that he had lied, in his official congressional biography, about where he had gone to college.
And now this. In 2007, Walsh earned a master’s degree at the Army War College, and, as the Times demonstrates in scrupulous detail, a large portion of his 14-page “final paper”—roughly the equivalent of a thesis—is almost entirely lifted from the text of a 1998 essay by a Harvard political scientist and a 2002 paper produced by four -scholars at the Carnegie Endowment for Inter-national Peace.
As is almost invariably the case with plagiarism, Walsh is not disputing the evidence—or put another way, he admits his guilt—but is also offering an incredible excuse. A staffer was dispatched to tell the Times that the senator’s thievery of others’ words should “be viewed in the context of [his] long career,” and that there were extenuating circumstances:
Mr. Walsh had been going through a difficult period at the time he wrote the paper, noting that one of the members of his unit from Iraq had committed suicide in 2007, weeks before the assignment was due. . . . The aide said Mr. Walsh, who served in Iraq from November 2004 to November 2005, had “dealt with the experience of post-deployment,” but said he had not sought treatment.
Readers will, perhaps, excuse The Scrapbook’s revulsion at the invocation of a soldier’s suicide to rationalize deliberately dishonest behavior. Readers may also be surprised to learn that production of a modest research paper in pursuit of professional advancement should have so easily stymied “a seasoned military man,” driving him to deception. If Senator Walsh wants us to understand his actions in the context of his career, The Scrapbook would remind him that the words of a commissioned officer’s oath should stop any plagiarist dead in his tracks.
12:00 AM, Jul 24, 2014 • By FRED BARNES
Republicans have distinct advantages in Senate races this year, including President Obama’s low job ratings, the number of vulnerable Democrats, and an unhappy national mood. But there’s another advantage: the generally high quality of their candidates. This wasn’t the case in 2010 and 2012, when Republicans blew chances to capture the Senate.
The Democrats’ Senate problem.Apr 14, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 29 • By JAY COST
What do Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia have in common? For one, none has a city larger than 400,000 people. For another, they all voted for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. For yet another, they are the most likely places for Republicans to pick up Senate seats, thus taking control of the upper chamber, in 2014.
These three facts are related.
6:00 AM, Feb 24, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The political committee for former Montana senator Max Baucus, a Democrat, wrote a large check to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee just days before being confirmed as the new U.S. ambassador to China. According to the DSCC's public filings, Friends of Max Baucus made a donation of $475,000 to the organization on January 31. Read a copy of the filing here, where Baucus's donation is listed on page 6.
12:10 PM, Dec 19, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Brian Schweitzer, the former Democratic governor of Montana who may run for president in 2016, spoke Wednesday night to Progress Iowa, a liberal grassroots organization, in Altoona, Iowa. In his speech, Schweitzer criticized Democrats who voted for the Iraq war, a group that includes a potential rival for the Democratic nomination: Hillary Clinton.
Watch Schweitzer's remarks below:
Hosted by Michael Graham.5:00 PM, Dec 16, 2013 • By TWS PODCAST
The WEEKLY STANDARD podcast with staff writer Michael Warren on his recent piece Schweitzer Takes Aim, and how the populist former Democratic governor of Montana might challenge Hillary Clinton in 2016.
A progressive populist has Hillary in his sightsDec 23, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 15 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Brian Schweitzer sounds content with being a “former” pol. As we chat on the phone, he is looking out the window of his home on Georgetown Lake in western Montana. By mid-November, the lake is frozen, and the Pintler Mountains to the south are covered with snow. Schweitzer’s home sits at the end of a dirt road more than a mile long. “I’m 25 miles from groceries,” he says.
12:37 PM, Aug 20, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
As Obamacare's launch on October 1 draws closer, the Obama administration is trying to reassure the public that the program is going to deliver on the promises of the last four years. On Tuesday, White House Deputy Senior Advisor for Communications & Strategy David Simas tweeted (and the White House retweeted): “Great ACA news from Montana.
10:10 AM, Apr 23, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Democrat Max Baucus, the senior senator from Montana, will not seek reelection to his seat in 2014. The Washington Post reports:
Meet Corey Stapleton.3:16 PM, Feb 6, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Former state senator and Republican Corey Stapleton of Montana is jumping into the race to challenge a long-serving Senate Democrat, Max Baucus. One Republican strategist says Stapleton, a former state senator and retired officer in the Navy, has a "good story to tell," calling the small business owner a "young, fresh face."
11:20 AM, Sep 21, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Senate majority leader Harry Reid is holding up the Senate to allow a vote on a bill introduced by embattled Democrat Jon Tester.
2:04 PM, Jun 22, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
A new ad from the Montana GOP focuses on Republican Senate candidate Denny Rehberg's record of independence from Washington and his own party, and includes a criticism of Paul Ryan's proposed Medicare reforms, which Rehberg voted against in the House.
3:35 PM, May 30, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Senate candidate Denny Rehberg of Montana has a new television ad knocking his opponent, Democratic senator Jon Tester, for voting for Obamacare and Wall Street bailouts. Watch the ad, a sequel to Rehberg's first "Washington baloney" ad, below:
12:00 PM, May 17, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Republican Senate candidate Denny Rehberg of Montana has a new television spot out taking on his opponent, first-term Democrat Jon Tester, for bringing back home "Washington bologna."