In a last gasp effort to smear Betsy DeVos and curry favor to the special interest teacher’s unions that have poured money into their campaign accounts, Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Patty Murray, are now lobbing phony claims of plagiarism. Murray’s desperate attack on DeVos was flipped on its head by the Washington Post and RedState as they reported that Murray plagiarized her own questions for the committee hearings.
This is just the latest episode of Senate Democrats’ desperate obstructionism being riddled with double standards and hypocrisy.
The Washington Post reported:
Murray also appears to have used language from other sources without attribution in at least two questions she asked of DeVos. One question about personnel shortages in special education included six sentences that match verbatim language from a factsheet published by the National Coalition on Personnel Shortages in Special Education and Related Services.
Another question, about DeVos’s stance on resolving student complaints about distance-education programs, included several phrases that match language in a 2016 Education Department press release.
RedState’s breakdown of Sen. Murray’s plagiarism and hypocrisy:
Some people just have a really, really hard time losing – and knowing that for the next two years, at least, they’ll be losing. Feeling like cornered beasts, they irrationally lash out and mount desperate campaigns in a misguided attempt to regain power.
Yes, I’m talking about the Democrats. In (one of) today’s sad episodes, Sen. Patty Murray engineered a WaPo hit piece on Betsy DeVos accusing her of plagiarism in her answers to questionnaires.
Only, it wasn’t plagiarism. As Joe Cunningham pointed out earlier today:
The statements are “similar” to other public statements, and they were not stolen at length, nor did she take credit for the answers. She was filling out a questionnaire from Democrats who were trying to inundate her with paperwork in order to delay her vote.
The bigger story is that, according to the WaPo/Murray standard, the plagiarist in this scenario is Murray herself. Her questions were lifted from both an advocacy group’s fact sheet and a news release from Obama’s Education Department.
I don’t buy the definition of “plagiarism” Murray and her collaborators are pushing here – but hey, if that’s the definition you’re going to push, you should be prepared to be held to the same standard.
Washington Examiner: “DeVos plagiarism story is a nothingburger”
Is that really plagiarism? No. Phrasing like that is a fairly standard talking point in the education policy world. It’s one of those noncontroversial vague statements that anyone might say.