Rand Paul Plagiarizes Then Blames His “Haters” Then Gets Canned
Remember that first day in your high school English class when your teacher reviewed the syllabus? She likely discussed textbooks and timelines, homework and quizzes, stuff like that. Then, toward the end of the document, there was something written in bold letters. It was a warning that probably said something like, “DON”T CHEAT.” Remember that? Well, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) doesn’t. He was caught plagiarizing from Wikipedia (of all places). And, instead of taking responsibility, he blamed “haters” for making a big deal of it. Well, some of those haters must work at The Washington Post cause they just dropped him from his column over the ordeal. Sorry Rand. You lose.
This has been going on for quite some time. But, the plagiarizing issue was rekindled recently when MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted on The Rachel Show that Senator Paul had lifted entire sections of a speech from the Wikipedia website. Shortly thereafter, BuzzFeed found that Paul plagiarized large portions of an op-ed he wrote for The Washington Times. Politico then found similar issues with Paul’s previous speeches and confronted his staff directly. Now, one would think that having this many folks catching you on your mistakes would humble you a bit, spur a few mea culpas, and end the whole mess. But, no, we are talking about Sen. Rand Paul after all.
In an interview on ABC’s “This Week”, his first reaction was to simply attribute the ordeal to “hacks and haters.” He also said that he wasn’t “gonna put up with people casting aspersions on [his] character.” Lastly, he threatened to face off with Rachel Maddow (not by name) in a duel (like a real one…with pistols) but he backed down from that threat since those aren’t allowed in Kentucky.
In the end, the hacks and haters won on this one. After reviewing his op-eds and columns, The Washington Post announced that they will be severing ties with the Senator going forward.
Do we feel bad for Rand Paul? Of course not. His initial reaction, calling Rachel Maddow names and threatening to “duel” her (yes, he threatened a woman) just proves that he is missing several scruples. Any student in my classes who behaved similarly – using the scholarly work of others without providing sufficient credit – would have been failed post haste. What is disturbing though is that he was able to plagiarize for so long. I guess everyone on the editorial staff just assumed an educated sitting US senator would write his own op-eds. Guess not.
This just goes to show that politics are politics and politicians are politicians. Granting them sainthood is futile. And expecting them to subscribe to the standards we set for ourselves will only result in disappointment. Hopefully Senator Paul has learned his lesson. Or, maybe these publications have just learned who not to do business with in the future.
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