Rand Paul, sleazy liar

Rand Paul ignores the First Rule of Holes: when you’re in one, stop digging!

One of the sleaziest ways to respond when accused of misconduct is to deny something you weren’t accused of. That’s the way Rand Paul has decided to handle the fact (no, not a mere “accusation”) that on at least two occasions he made speeches that quoted verbatim from Wikipedia entries without giving due credit.

The more recent instance involved the movie Gattaca, whose plot he cited as a reason for restricting abortion. Accused of plagiarism from Wikipedia, Paul responds that he gave credit: to the movie. Of course he did. He was talking about the movie. In particular, he was pretending that he’d seen the movie. But instead he simply lifted the description of the plotline from an on-line source, like a seventh grader cribbing a book report from a published review. Of course the book report is going to mention the book; the sin is in concealing the fact that the description of the book is not the pupil’s own work.

The 7th grader, if caught, would probably just get an F on the book report. Try that in college, and a second offense could easily get you suspended for a term with a permanent notation about academic dishonesty going on your transcript. But if you’re a Red-team U.S. Senator running for President, you just get to blame it on Rachel Maddow, and some reporters will, with a straight face, report your “defense” as if it weren’t an insult to the reader’s intelligence.

Is this a minor incident? Of course it is. But, as every novelist knows, sometimes a minor incident can be the best way of showing character. Or its absence.

Rand Paul, plagiarist

Where do they find these clowns?

UPDATE Paul is a recidvist plagiarist. See below.

This is really too funny for words. Rachel Maddow nails Rand Paul ripping off pieces of an anti-abortion speech he gave at Liberty University in support of Ken Cuccinelli’s dying gubernatorial candidacy from the Wikipedia page from a 20-year-old dud sci-fi movie.

Libertarians are often puzzled why the rest of us have a problem taking their ideology seriously. I dunno, but perhaps there’s a hint in here somewhere. Plagiarism aside, the concatenation of “anti-choice,” “Jerry Falwell,” and “Ken Cuccinelli” with “personal liberty” really doesn’t make much sense.

It’s a measure of the basic lack of self-respect of the contemporary GOP that this probably won’t cost Rand Paul anything if he runs in 2016.

Update Buzzfeed has Rand Paul cold plagiarizing another speech, also from Wikipedia. Paul is still refusing to comment. Red Blogistan is still as silent as the tomb.

Just to clarify: I doubt Paul knew he was plagiarizing in either case. He was just reading the pap put before him by his speechwriters, which is normal for a politician. But of course the speechwriter in each case knew. (It would be interesting to know whether it was the same speechwriter in each case, and whether more cases will emerge.)

What Paul is guilty of is hiring staff without basic morals and creating a culture in his office where people thought this sort of thing was OK. Sorta goes along with calling yourself a “board-certified” physician when you created the “board” yourself.