Another day and another example of Rand Paul stealing work from other people for profit. Doing it in political speeches and even newspaper op-eds is one thing, that's the plagiarism part. But doing it in a for-profit book changes the offense to copyright infringement and demonstrates a clear lack of respect for the intellectual property rights of other people.
It puts to rest any notion that Rand Paul can be taken seriously when repeating the cute little stories that Republicans love to tell during campaigns about how people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and be self-reliant instead of relying on government to help them.
Remember how Mitt Romney's solution for young adults who can't afford to go to college is to magically have a brand new set of rich parents to pay for it on their behalf? I guess Rand Paul's version of that is if you can't be troubled to do research of your own, just take it.
And these clowns used to be the moral majority? Seriously?
Here's what I see the media not understanding: plagiarism itself isn't the problem. Resorting to plagiarism out of desperation is understandable, although never acceptable. Serial plagiarists are intellectually bankrupt thieves incapable of thinking for themselves or expressing ideas of their own. Misappropriating the work of others shows a lack of morals, but also a lack of critical thought and originality.
We're talking about a sitting United States Senator with aspirations to be President of the United States, not a college student. There is a higher standard here that just are not being adhered to. Plagiarism will get you expelled from college, dropped by your book publisher, and as Paul just found out, fired from your weekly column. And that's the small pond.
Why hasn't Paul been condemned by unanimous consent by his colleagues, most of whom I assume already don't like him very much? Why hasn't both a Democratic and Republican challenger popped their head up and started running against Paul on the back of this mess?
I find it amazing that the more important the job in politics is, the lower the standards for behavior there are. One instance of plagiarism in a novel would probably ruin an author's career for good. When it comes to politics, the rules change. I doubt Paul's publisher will even drop him because without even looking, I'm sure it's probably a vanity publisher for right-wing pundits and politicians that will print anything to get the message out.
And now Paul is threatening to whine about media bias and play the refs if the media doesn't stop reporting that he's an unethical, brain-dead thief. And this is the guy that the far right wants to be their nominee in 2016?
Good luck with that.