Politics is a game of ideological plagiarism. So rare is it to encounter a candidate who has original ideas, that the press is caught off guard when one surfaces. But it's good to see the Journal-Sentinel note examples of particularly pathetic pasting.
Mordecai Lee, a professor of governmental affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a former Democratic state senator, said voters shouldn't harshly judge beginning candidates who use borrowed language. Lee said he can remember working on campaigns using similar tactics in the 1970s.
But Lee did call it "sloppiness" for a challenger who has never been elected to office to refer incorrectly to legislation he has "introduced."
That challenger is Madison candidate Chad Lee, Tammy Baldwin's presumed opponent this fall. How hard is it to take an idea and change a couple words? Setting up a website is hard. Typing out two paragraphs on an issue is not. When I met Chad Lee at the Tea Party I told him he had the face to run for office. He said "Let's hope I have the head for it." This example reeks of Palinism.
The most clear example of copied ideas among GOP candidates is the term-limit mantra they all espouse (not the incumbents). Almost all Republican challengers publicly support term limits, and pledge to serve no more than 12 years (a couple say 8). Nevertheless, they impressively use different platitudes to express the point. Let's compare Chad Lee to say, former candidate Dick Leinenkugel:
Leiney: I believe that if you can't get something done and make a difference in two terms twelve years as a Senator then you need to step aside and get new blood into the process. That's why I commit to serve no more than two terms as U.S. Senator. Fresh ideas, continuously injected into the process, are what it will take to clean up Washington and restore its responsiveness to the voters. It's our government and our country, not that of the special interests, which pervade every aspect of the Washington political process.
Lee: Politicians that have been in Washington, DC, for too long lose touch with their constituents' lives and issues. The only answer to this corruption of our political process is returning government to its rightful owners, the people, and that requires term limits. What is needed are public servants our founding fathers envisioned. This type of public servant should go to Washington to serve their neighbors and their country for a limited time only.