Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Congressman's Anti-Alito Letter Plagiarized

In a time when Democrats have been accusing the Republican leadership of "corruption" left and right, it's no surprise to see one of theirs caught in a case of dishonesty. We expect our congressional leaders to at least show a certain level of decency, but this situation shows a complete lack of integrity.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) plagiarized the material for his letter against Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito from a blogger. The Plain Dealer reports:

Rep. Sherrod Brown wrote to Sen. Mike DeWine last Friday, voicing concern about Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's labor record.

Brown's language was crisp -- and was plagiarized.

Roughly 90 percent of what Brown, an Avon Democrat, wrote in his letter was lifted from an Internet posting by a blogger, as Brown's office acknowledged Monday when The Plain Dealer presented the similarities.

Brown had not credited the blogger, Nathan Newman of NathanNewman.org, or any other source.

It's disturbing how this incident will carry little or no punishment for an offense that warrants expulsion from any respectable institution of higher learning. Were a college student to simply copy an assignment worth 25% of a grade for a three-credit class, the response would be swift and decisive. Of course, the response would be completely justified as there is a need for the university's students to understand that plagiarism cannot be tolerated.

Nevertheless, it seems that the rules don't apply in Congress. Or perhaps they simply don't apply for Democrats. Whether you're a Kennedy or not, that single letter following your name is comparable to a 'Get Out of Jail Free' card. I believe the appropriate action to be taken is the immediate forced resignation of Rep. Brown. Not simply because he's a Democrat and I don't agree with anything he believes, but because our congressmen need to understand that their position doesn't shield them from taking responsibility for their actions.

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