Senator John Walsh (D-Montana) plagiarized about two-thirds of a 14 page thesis he submitted to receive his master’s degree at the prestigious U.S. Army War College, the New York Times has reported.
The War College’s handbook explicitly states that, “Directly quoting another author’s work without giving proper credit to the author,” is academic fraud and that, “Plagiarism is a serious form of cheating that carries serious consequences.”
Walsh was appointed to the seat early this year by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock after Democratic Sen. Max Baucus resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China, setting Walsh up to defend the seat as an incumbent. Walsh is now the Democratic nominee in the race for a full, six-year term this fall against Republican Rep. Steve Daines.
The response of Walsh, his party and liberal supporters to this grave ethical breach that propelled Walsh forward in his career?
We’re behind him 100%. He’s our guy. His election is going to help us keep control of the senate. He’ll vote the way we want.
Walsh tried to minimize the seriousness of his actions. “My record will be defined by (service in) the National Guard, not by a few citations that were unintentionally left out in a term paper,” he said Sunday.
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman, Justin Barasky, called the disclosures “smears.”
“John Walsh is a decorated war hero, and it’s disgusting that Steve Daines and Washington Republicans are going to try denigrate John’s distinguished service after multiple polls show him gaining,” Barasky said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), who highlighted Walsh earning a masters’s degree from the War College when he welcomed him to the Senate in Feb. 2014, said Walsh “…has distinguished himself as leader in the Senate…”
Senator John Tester (D-Montana) argued that Walsh’s actions were a minor mistake and that voters should overlook a relatively minor mistake when weighed against his military service in Iraq and career serving his country.
As Tester put it, “He’s a soldier, not an academic.”
The willingness of Democrats to avert their eyes from Walsh’s transgression, to so blithely excuse it, is an obscenity. It’s the kind of behavior that’s behind Congress’ dismal ratings in the eyes of the public. Behavior like Walsh’s matters, even if he’s in your party and voting your way.
“It goes right to his strength — his military record and his integrity,” Montana State University political science professor, David Parker, said to ABC News. “He was willing to take somebody’s words and make them his own. That’s a question of honor.”