Saturday, January 31, 2015

Is Walker plagiarizing in his endorsing a “states-know-best” approach to government?

States don't always produce the best ideas. Washington doesn't always produce bad ideas. Let's commit to supporting good ideas, no matter where they originate.

Gov. Scott Walker is pushing for a theory of governance that suits his run for the presidency -- a “states-know-best” approach.
Employing a theme often used by Republican governors eyeing the White House, Walker stressed that the best ideas often come from the states -- and implicitly, from the people with experience running them -- rather than D.C.

“What I see in the states and from people in this country outside of Washington is a craving for something new, something fresh, something dynamic, instead of the top-down, government-knows-best approach that we’ve seen in Washington,” Walker said.
Walker also made good use of a line that people familiar with political history in Wisconsin will recall:
In a speech in Washington, D.C., Friday morning, Gov. Scott Walker took a spin on a historic political line that will be familiar to many Madisonians.

“For a lot of folks here in our nation’s capital in Washington it’s kind of a dome,” Walker said. “In fact, I like to call it 68 square miles surrounded by reality.”
Emphasis added.

That line was first delivered by former Gov. Lee Dreyfus more than 40 years ago, though Walker implies it’s his own creation.

Anyone here know the definition of plagiarism?
Plagiarism - an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author
But let’s look past that for a moment. The broader point is this: Scott Walker thinks that ideas should come from the states. That’s fine: some great ideas HAVE come from the states. Unemployment insurance, for example, was a state idea -- a Wisconsin idea, in fact -- that has since been implemented on the federal level.

Yet some of the WORST ideas came from the states, too. Slavery and Jim Crow come to mind. Same-sex marriage bans, which are fast being deemed unconstitutional, also came from the state legislatures of this nation.

The bottom line? A good idea is good, no matter where it comes from. Walker is going with his old strategy of “divide and conquer” and applying it to Washington. What does that get us? A good sound sound bite but little in policy.

For my money, I’m going to pick a candidate that has a better set of policy positions, and not division.

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