Over at memeorandum I see that a Wikipedia editor seems to have caught McCain’s speech writers pulling text directly from Wikipedia. I saw a mention of this over at TPM earlier today and didn’t think too much of it. I’m sure you can find plenty of examples of plagiarism in political speeches from 1776 to today. When Hillary brought up the “change you can xerox” line, I thought it was stupid then, I still think it is stupid today.
Josh’s commenter in the above TPM link says:
Really great title. But I’m not sure you really want to make this point. It just kills the “McCain can’t work a computer” meme.
No, not really McCain doesn’t write his own speeches (neither does Obama, save his 2004 speech). What it really shows is how lacking McCain is on foreign policy. If his speech writer has to steal from Wikipedia (which you can if you give proper sites and he did not do), instead of his policy papers, then what does that say about McCain’s foreign policy? Will his foreign policy guys crib from Wikipedia too?
Are we going to govern and set policy from a publicly editable website? I know McCain flip-flops quite a bit, but if we have to change our policy every time someone edits Wikipedia, we might be fucked. I mean imagine if the terrorists edited Wikipedia. Or even *gasp* removed whole sections of the site? What would we do?!?!?!