Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Not Plagiarism

First of all, it's preposterous to think that there is a presumption of originality with regard to political speeches. Is the gripe, I wonder, that Obama didn't pay someone to come up with the words for him? Furthermore, as anyone who's ever had a close intellectual relationship knows, people's ideas start mixing together. You'll find yourself saying things in conversation that came straight out of the other person's mouth. Sometimes it's important to cite them, sometimes not. This is just the way of things. In cases in which the people in question have implicitly or explicitly waved any claim on citation, this is especially unobjectionable. It wouldn't have hurt for Obama to have mentioned Patrick, but under the circumstances, it isn't obligatory.

This makes the Clinton camp look pretty bad actually--reminding us of their other bits of nasty nit-picking--but they may be blameless in this case. If they didn't know of the relationship between Obama and Patrick, their objection was reasonable. Now that the relationship has been made clear, they'd be well advised to drop it. They're already turning people off with their nastiness.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

When you campaign on rhetoric rather than résumé, the rhetoric should be your own.

Now, I pilfered that line, but it would be nasty to hold it against me. Except for LL, who understandably holds me to a higher standard than we do Democratic presidential candidates.

Good luck in MO, WS.

7:06 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Since TVD is without sin, let him cast the first stone.

I thought that up myself. Riiight.

(Another distortion from TVD: He claimed explicitly that all his observations were his own, and I satirized his obvious borrowings. Hey, no one expects your every thought to arise sui generis. Absent neurological disorder - which I'm not alleging - there's no reading or dialog that doesn't influence the participant in some way.)

1:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Distortion is a pretty nasty word to parse a casual comment. But that's how it is here in the Bearded Spock Universe---all nasty, all the time.

6:27 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

Poor baby! Distortion is too "nasty" for you.

What would you call it? Casually speaking of course...

It was just a harmless joke. Nobody expects those to start from true facts, do they?

Or something like that...

9:16 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Yes, I suppose that in the Bearded Spock Universe, "distortion" is considered polite speech. Playful, affectionate even. I keep forgetting the rules here.

I do understand your creating noise and nastiness to try to bury the fact that you attacked me personally for the same thing Sen. Obama did---and provably did worse---and for which we appear to be giving him a pass.

Which was the point, the issue, the raison d'être for my original comment.

So, absent a substantive rebuttal, it's the best tactic to put me on the defensive, at the same time getting both you and Sen. Obama off the hook, and my compliments. Lord knows I keep getting sucked into it, silly boy.

9:48 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

That's your story and you're sticking to it, eh? I don't think you're stupid, but you do a good job of acting stupid.

Here's the difference: You made a specific claim of originality. Obama did not. Or is there a newly discovered by iron-clad rule in conservative-world that opening one's mouth implies the claim, and that everyone already knew that.

For more points, name me a prominent politician who writes his own speeches. And, no, though I've written all of my own speeches, I don't count as prominent.

I'm sure though that you'll find a way not to get this. Selective density - you should patent it except that there's so much prior art.

9:57 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

As long as we're tearing up Philosoraptor, a logic quibble: Is there no meaning space at all between 'nasty' and 'polite'?

If you think not, I'd guess that the recently departed analogy sections on the SAT were not your friend.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Actually, you attacked me for not being original, for being a parrot. A criticism you refuse to make about Sen. Obama and in fact have stood on your head now to justify.

[Cribbing from another politician isn't the same as paying a speechwriter. Nice try.]

And you prove that in the Bearded Spock Universe, there is no space between nasty and polite. They are meaningless concepts, so just fire away.

I'm getting the hang of the rules. At last. You'll do anything to bury the actual point.

12:22 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

You'll do anything to bury the actual point.

Is it an eternal verity that conservatives accuse others of their own defects?

Cribbing from another politician isn't the same as paying a speechwriter.

So it's o.k. to pay Peggy Noonan or David Frum or, hell, Dick Goodwin to borrow literary allusions that the speaker could never come up with himself, but it's not o.k. to borrow from your political pal, who quite visibly doesn't object? Hey, I live in Massachusetts, so I knew from six months ago that Obama was running the Deval Patrick campaign. This didn't surprise me.

And you prove that in the Bearded Spock Universe, there is no space between nasty and polite. They are meaningless concepts, so just fire away.

Speaking of incoherent, this is just a verbal tantrum. Gonna ask me to step outside next?

2:29 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Tantrum? Hardly.

Everything you write confirms that you hold me to a higher standard than you do Democratic presidential candidates. Thanks for proving my original contention, and I think our work is finished here.

3:05 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

You were a high school debater, weren't you?

It was the you proved my point formula that gave you away.

3:13 PM  
Blogger lovable liberal said...

More on phrasiarism here. Hope no one calls the originality cops on me.

1:14 AM  

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