OVER 20 YEARS AGO, THEY CIRCLED THE WAGONS AROUND MICHAEL BELLESILES, TOO: When activist historians redefine ‘plagiarism’ to protect their own. Now it’s Kevin Kruse.

The discoveries about Kruse’s dissertation came as a shock to the political activist wing of the history profession, where Kruse is a well-known social media star famous for his “Historian here…” twitter threads that purport to correct both real and imagined errors of fact and interpretation by conservative-leaning political commentators. Most conceded that the evidence looked very bad for Kruse, but more than a few of his online fans redirected their ire at me personally for having discovered the similarities. Unfortunately, their decision to “shoot the messenger” was expected. In today’s hyper-politicized academy, evidence is almost wholly subordinate to a far-left ideological narrative.

The same pattern played out a few years ago when I drew attention to a long list of serious historical errors and misrepresentations in Nancy MacLean’s book Democracy in Chains. True to form, several of the exact same parties that lashed out against me over MacLean’s book are now on the warpath over the plagiarism revelations about Kruse.

Much more here.

I’m not a particular stickler on some things people call plagiarism — there’s no such thing as “self-plagiarism,” for example, any more than you can kidnap yourself — but the wagon-circling here is notable. As is the changing of standards to fit the needs of the moment.