Melania Trump’s cultural appropriation of some of Michelle Obama’s convention speech clichés from eight years ago now has the LMC (Liberal Media ComplexTM) on hair trigger alert to spot other instances of plagiarism, which the media will then report in identical prose in their filings. (Heh.) I thought Rush Limbaugh had the right idea yesterday: Melania should offer an interview to Brian Williams to explain it.
Yes, it was sloppy and amateurish for such a mistake to have been made, but compared to what Democrats do Melania’s stumble isn’t even a parking ticket. Democrats simply lie about everything. It’s their business model. Maybe they just take their clues from Hillary and Elizabeth Warren. (Memo to Trump, incidentally: You should be calling Warren Fauxcahontas, since she made up her Indian heritage as a way of perpetrating a fraud on several universities in their hiring decisions. And she plagiarized a cookbook. Seriously: a cookbook.) And the media seldom devote as much attention to liberal lies.
There are occasional exceptions. Today, for example, the Wall Street Journal has exposed the blatant lies of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who has been thought high on the list of potential running mates for Hillary. Never mind that Perez is a first-order leftist thug. Here’s the opening:
When U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez talks about his ancestry, he routinely mentions that his grandfather was expelled from the Dominican Republic for opposing the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the 1930s.
Mr. Perez, in the running to be Hillary Clinton’s vice-presidential pick, said in a speech last month that his grandfather “was on the right side of history. And I’m so proud of my grandfather for doing that, even though it was against so many forces in place.”
Archival records offer a more complicated picture of Mr. Perez’s maternal grandfather, Rafael Brache. In his comments, Mr. Perez rarely, if ever, mentions that Mr. Brache was one of the dictator’s champions during at least the first five years of his repressive three-decade regime, a fact documented in dozens of cables, letters and memos in public archives in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic.
In addition, Mr. Perez testified in 2013 at his Senate confirmation hearing that his grandfather “was declared ‘non grata’ for speaking out against the dictator following the brutal massacre of thousands of Haitians” in 1937. But in fact, Mr. Brache had left the Dominican Republic about two years earlier, according to State Department memos and media accounts at the time.
Perez only made sense as a running mate for Hillary if the Republicans had settled on Marco Rubio or Ted Cruz as nominees or Trump had picked Susana Martinez as his running mate. Still, as you can see Perez would fit well with Hillary’s model of prevarication. Heck, I’ll bet Perez has taken incoming fire from Bosnian snipers, too. Let’s see if anyone else in the LMC picks up on this story.
P.S. One last thought on this plagiarism business. Political rhetoric is rife with clichés, which is one reason there are so few memorable political speeches in our time. But also consider this passage from a famous speech:
You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. . . You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
That’s from the close of Ronald Reagan’s “Time for Choosing” speech in 1964. And it contains allusions or near-exact quotations to four sentences from other great figures all at once: Patrick Henry, Franklin Roosevelt, Lincoln, and Churchill. Plagiarism? Here’s what I wrote about it on the 50th anniversary of that speech two years ago:
Reagan was masterful in appropriating the heights of the American rhetorical tradition and enlarging them in the course of making them his own. The conclusion of “A Time for Choosing” quotes Winston Churchill directly, by also borrows or adapts quotations from Patrick Hnery (“is life so dear or peace so sweet. . .”), FDR (“a rendezvous with destiny”) Lincoln (“the last best hope of man on earth”), and Churchill (“a thousand years of darkness”). But for his utter sincerity, you might almost charge him with plagiarism.
Or how about this, from Reagan’s First Inaugural Address:
From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?
Hmm, that sounds familiar. Where have I heard it before (besides Reagan’s first inaugural address as governor in 1967)? Maybe Thomas Jefferson in his First Inaugural Address:
Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.
The point is: most political rhetoric, like western civilization itself, builds on the images and themes of the giants of old. The real shame of Melania’s stumble was that she borrowed from someone as unworthy as Michelle Obama.