Editorial Of The Day: Cut And Paste Edition

I just got through reading the Lexington Herald-Leader’s editorial about Senator Aqua Buddha’s self inflicted plagiarism problem. It’s nice to see the pouty little baby getting bipped around back home. In the Paulite tradition, I decided to cut and paste the whole damn thing for your perusal.Unlike Senator Aqua Buddha, however, I’m not claiming it as my own work:

It’s hard to know where to start with Sen. Rand Paul’s reaction to legitimate criticism of his repeated plagiarism of other authors.

Paul said he accepted responsibility and then went on quickly to slough it off, laying it on his rapid ascent to national prominence, which he sought relentlessly, on his staff, whom he hired, and finally, of course, on “the haters” who just want to bring the great man down.

Paul appears to believe profoundly in his own exceptionalism, including that the rules don’t apply to him. Even worse, he now wants to rewrite the rules.

Weaseling around the plagiarism charges relative to his wholesale, unattributed quoting of Wikipedia’s description of the film Gattaca, Paul said it wasn’t really plagiarism because he didn’t claim he had the idea for the movie.

He might have gotten a pass on that last week, but by Monday he should have taken the trouble to look up a definition of plagiarism.

Wikipedia, a source we know he trusts, describes it as using someone else’s “language, thoughts, ideas or expressions” without attribution. So, of course, stealing ideas is plagiarism, but so is appropriating the language and expressions of others without giving them credit. Which is just what Paul has done.

Say what he will about the “haters,” Paul was cut loose by The Washington Times, a conservative redoubt, which canceled his weekly column after discovering that he had lifted language from a columnist in another publication. “We expect our columnists to submit original work and to properly attribute material,” the editor wrote.

Trying to put this behind him, Paul said that he and his staff will attribute sources “if it will make people leave me the hell alone.”

A curious remark for someone who has sought attention at every turn, grandstanding at Senate hearings, touring television talk shows, accepting speaking invitations in states critical to a presidential bid.

Paul’s sense of self-grandeur is so great that, like a pouting child, he threatened to leave politics altogether if everyone keeps being mean to him. “People can think what they want. I can go back to being a doctor any time,” he said.

If he can’t do any better than this when the heat is on, even those who were Paul “lovers” might be ready to say, “OK, go.”

6 thoughts on “Editorial Of The Day: Cut And Paste Edition

  1. maplestreet says:

    Well put. I also note that some of the commentators on the article seem to miss that plagiarism is not only the use of another’s words, but the use of another’s ideas without proper attribution is also plagiarism.
    I had forgotten about the reason for Aqua Buddah so found and article mentioning the episode. As I remember it, Clinton got a lot of flack for admitting he smoked pot in Britain, which wasn’t against the laws of the USA.
    Dumb Question: As Rand Paul was not only smoking pot in Waco Texas / Baylor University around the same time, but trying to force a blindfolded coed to take hits from his bong, why isn’t that a big issue?
    I know IOKIYAR.

  2. gratuitous says:

    Considering how many thousands of 18-year-old college freshmen can grasp the concept, Sen. Paul’s reaction has seemed by turns whiny, petulant, stubborn, and ignorant. I’d have to think that Kentucky can elect better Senators than the brace of buffoons they currently have.
    But congratulations, Sen. Paul: You’ve sought the national spotlight so relentlessly, you’re finally being held to the standards of a national politician. If the heat’s too much for you, please to leave the kitchen.

  3. mellowjohn says:

    “I can go back to being a doctor any time.” –Rand Pau;
    “Fuckity bye!” –Malcolm Tucker

  4. Lex says:

    For a guy who wants to be president, he certainly has some curious ideas about the amount of scrutiny he should be expected to undergo. And, Rand, buddy, if you think being outed as a serial plagiarist is, in any way, going to make people leave you the hell alone, let me give you some bad news: To the contrary, it’s going to make bloggers, if not the sorry-ass mainstream media, ride you like a beast across the plains of Mongolia. You’re not going to be able to take a DUMP for the next two years without it showing up on the Internet. If you’re not ready for your close-up now, and I don’t think you are, then, buddy, you never will be. As for going back to being a doctor, I’ve got two words of basic Anglo-Saxon for you: Door. Ass.

  5. MichaelF says:

    Thanks for the Malcolm Tucker reference, mellowjohn…
    Anyway, I was wondering why Paul was getting so whiny from the get go, but maybe it’s because he knows there’s a lot more out there for anyone willing to look. I mean, if it’d just been a speech or two, you can brush it off, blame your staff, make a joke, etc., but it’s starting to sound like this might be more than an isolated incident…

  6. Bruce Webb says:

    This guy plarigarized himself into his own Board of Opthamology.
    I mean when people read ‘Board-certified’ they normally read it to mean the actual Board that certifies Physicians in that speciality and not a Board apparently founded in your living room and run by your wife. For those wondering what I am talking about you can Google National Board of Ophthamology (basically Paul and his wife) vs American Board of Opthamology where it would appear (despite certain claims to the contrary) that Dr. Paul never actually got certified.
    Which makes you wonder how much of an actual career he would have it he actually let that Door hit his Ass on the way out.
    Okay maybe dummying up your own organization so that you can self-certify is not EXACTLY plagiarism. Call it having No Shame Plus Brass Balls the Size of an Elephant-ism. But is sure falls into a pattern of thinking rules don’t apply to Golden Boys. Maybe we could just short hand it as Shrub-ism in tribute to Molly Ivins. Who knew bullshit when she smelled it.

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