Friday, June 7, 2013

Do Montana Republicans Plagiarize Their Neighbors' Work?

Everyone should know that plagiarism is taking another's words or ideas without attribution. Some Montana Republicans are apparently paraphrasing Dakota War College comments without giving the authors credit.

For example, some Montana Republicans want Montana Republican candidates to take a "loyalty oath."

As a divided Montana Republican Party gathers Friday in Bozeman for its annual state convention, a former legislator for the GOP is suggesting the party should rate its candidates and officeholders on how they uphold party principles – and perhaps withhold support from those who don’t.
“How many times can you vote against (Republican principles) and still be a Republican?” asks Derek Skees, a one-term state representative from Whitefish who ran unsuccessfully for state auditor last year.
The Missoulian article continues:
Skees, an outspoken conservative, recently sent an email to fellow conservatives within the party, asking whether they’d support a party resolution to create “unity principles” that candidates must largely support if they expect help from the Montana GOP. 
He also said if a Republican legislator’s votes showed lack of support for the principles, he or she could be targeted for defeat in the next Republican primary election.
With all due respect to the Missoulian the proposal sounds more like a scorecard than a "loyalty oath":
Skees, a convention delegate, said he’s still refining his proposal, but the general idea is to choose perhaps 10 basic principles the define Republicans and use them to rate a Republican lawmaker’s votes or what a GOP candidate stands for.
If they vote or disagree more than 20 percent of the time, for example, then they wouldn’t get support from the party – and voters would be informed on the ratings as well, he said.
Skees said identifying the true conservatives will help the party win elections, because a majority of Montana voters are conservatives and want to vote for those who will represent them.
Republican legislators who voted with Democrats on key issues during the Legislature “severely damaged the credibility of the Republican Party in the state of Montana,” he said.
Recent DWC comments have many comments filled with scorecard love like the following:
And as far as what Kristi has said or promised, it really doesn’t mean much. While I listen to the words, it is the ACTIONS that matter and the SCORECARDS DON’T LIE. When you have a legislator with a voting record of around 60% when measured against conservative principles, they are not a strong conservative.
There have also been comments excoriating Republicans who vote with Democrats:
Imagine that, seems House [Minority] Leader Bernie Hunhoff, and EVERYONE of the Democrats in the South Dakota Legislature, agree with Rep Hoffman & former Senator Schoenbeck and want MORE government & MORE taxes:
Let the words sink in, “Republicans” advocating for MORE taxes even though there is no identified imperative need for the monies to be taken away from South Dakotans. “Republicans” advocating that MORE government is good, and that we need MORE government involvement in our lives.
DWC commenters also love the Republican platform. There's this comment:
The platform is also what we Republicans say is how we are going to fix the problems that are affecting South Dakotans. If you think raising taxes, increasing government spending, and expanding government is the answer.. then you are working against what Republicans believe is the answer and that is to reduce taxes, spending, and government.
Can’t have your cake and eat it too. You want to claim to be a Republican to get elected? Then vote like one when elected.
If you can’t support the party platform, then run as an Independent.
And this one:
If they promote liberal policies and oppose conservative ones, they are the ones I was talking about. You can read the GOP platform to find out what conservative principles are, in case you are clueless about that. Once you understand what conservative principles are, it’s easy to know who I was talking about.
I think you owe Republicans who believe in Republican values, and are being betrayed by these frauds, an apology–as do those who are betraying those values.
The South Dakota folk even talk about the party making sure that candidates are pure:
Republicans in elected leadership positions governing and legislating like liberals. However, I think we need to be judicious in culling these RINOs from the herd. We cannot just wave a magic wand and have them all immediately disappear.
Some of this has been going on for so long I am not even sure if all Republicans really truly understand what conservative principles and values are. Perhaps if they took some time to study these issues, they may think a little differently when they look in the mirror? Maybe it would even help them govern and legislate a little more like true conservatives?
The most distressing thing is how many in the party treat the far right conservatives. They are driving a wedge between them and the Republican Party that is only pushing them further away. Yes, these conservatives are passionate about their beliefs, but they are not wrong. They may be overly aggressive in their efforts to cull RINOs from the herd, but they are not wrong. And yes they may be misguided in some of the ways they try to accomplish their mission, but they are not wrong. The Republican Party is being taken over by progressive liberals.
Perhaps if the Republican Party was to exert a little “quality control” over who wears the big red “R”, that just might solve all of the problems? But no, I see none of that occurring. Their energy is spent on trying to marginalize the conservatives who are passionate about the conservative values and principles that should be the foundation of the Republican Party. That is what I see as WRONG. 
One would think the Montana Republicans could be more original. If I were a DWC commenter, I'd be angry they were taking ideas without giving credit.

HT: Montana Cowgirl

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