U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has been caught plagiarizing. Repeatedly. Serially. He plagiarized Wikipedia entries for his speeches. He plagiarized another columnist’s work for his column for The Washington Times, for which the Times fired him. (Can you imagine how bad you have to be to get fired from an op-ed gig at the Washington Times?) And he has refused to accept responsibility for any of this.
The editorial page of the Lexington Herald-Leader draws him up short and sharp on this. Among my favorite passages:
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. …
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.
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.
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.
And longtime readers here know exactly what my two-syllable, basic-Anglo-Saxon response will be: “Door. Ass.”