A Montana Storm Not Likely To Be “Weathered”

According to Politico‘s Raju and Hohmann, Sen. John Walsh (D-MT) is engaged in “internal deliberations with his political team” about whether he should resign from the ticket before an August 11 deadline that would enable the Democratic Party to choose a replacement candidate. It seems nobody much in the universe of Montana Democratic pols wants to give him a push, or perhaps they don’t have a viable replacement. But here’s the passage I found kind of pathetic:

Another Democratic source said Walsh has been resistant to stepping down, and some expect he can weather the political storm by pointing to his long military record.

Unfortunately, the Army War College is due to begin an investigation into plagiarism allegations against Walsh concerning his 2007 master’s thesis at the school on August 15. Since Walsh has pretty much admitted his guilt, while trying to minimize the significance of cribbing one-third of a 15-page thesis from internet sources without attribution, I don’t think the investigation is going to go well for him, or enable him to “weather the political storm.” His latest defense has been that he was cut out to be a soldier, not a scholar, but the obvious rejoinder is that maybe he wasn’t cut out to be a U.S. Senator, either. The whole incident is pretty sad, but I’d hope his friends would advise him not to invite further humiliation (not to mention possible sanctions from the War College), and as a solider, to give Montana Democrats a fighting chance.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.