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October 30, 2013 11:07 AM Rand Paul, Serial Plagiarist

By Mark Kleiman

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.

What’s more, 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.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

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Mark Kleiman is a professor of public policy at the University of California Los Angeles.

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