1. Republican and Trump supporters who are making excuses for the embarrassing incident sound exactly like the Hillary Corrupted denying that there was anything wrong with using a private e-mail server for official communications. No, the plagiarism isn’t trivial. No, it is not mitigated by referencing how horrible Hillary Clinton is. No, you can’t argue that the similarity was a coincidence because the sentiments in both are generic and common.
2. The incident is especially significant because it shows how spectacularly incompetent the Trump campaign, and the Republican Party under Trump, are. And these are the people who are going to fix “everything,” though they can’t avoid a self-inflicted gaffe like this on the very first night of the convention?
3. This is the first test of whether Trump will enforce accountability, as he claims he will. The speechwriter or writers who permitted this should be canned, as should whoever assigned them to Trump’s wife and oversaw the program. Would that be the campaign manager, Paul Manafort? If nobody is fired (as the current rumor has it), that will be one more indication of Trump’s phoniness.
4. There is talk that this was intentional internal sabotage, designed to make Trump look bad through his wife. I doubt it, but if that was the case, what a miserable, cruel, cowardly thing to do.
5. Some Melania defenders are trying to show that Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech was itself plagiarized. Irrelevant. Melania’s speech was dishonestly represented to the convention and the nation as her own, and that is equally true whether Michelle’s speech was original or lifted from Cicero.
6. This was such incompetent plagiarism, too. Writes Ann Althouse, “Good Lord, change the words. Swap in synonyms. What are they paying you for?”
7. Regardless of the speechwriters’ role, the individual ultimately responsible for the plagiarism is Melania Trump. She spoke the words. She assumed responsibility for them. She even claimed that she substantially wrote the speech herself: too bad that wasn’t true. The one way to make sure your speechwriters aren’t cheating is not to use speechwriters. Personally, I feel that if you can’t write your own speech and speak for yourself, don’t make speeches.