Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stolen words

For political junkies it's nice to see today's Wisconsin primary important again. Wisconsin, of course, was a big state for John F. Kennedy's campaign in 1960, when they beat Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota in that primary. Humphrey's people, and the press, for the most part, tried to say that Kennedy's victory was due only to the large Catholic population in the state, which enraged both Jack and Robert Kennedy. And so the Kennedy's went at West Virginia with a vengeance, spreading around plenty of Joe Sr.'s dough--Protestant ministers were a favorite beneficiary of Kennedy "donations"--and destroyed Humphrey.

By the way, it's fun too see a nice little plagiarism scandal today, with Hillary accusing Obama of stealing some juicy lines from his friend, Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts. It might have been nice had Obama given Patrick a little nod, but as plagiarism goes, this is chump change. I don't usually agree with Obama's "Oh, my god, these horrible mean Clintons are saying nasty things about poor,poor me!" stance, but in this case he's right to dismiss it. Politicians are not a notoriously original lot, as we know--stolen words and ideas are their currency.

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