As accusations through this week have continued to pour in from a number of well-known media sources, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has become more dismissive of the charges with each new accusation. Paul, who has now finally responded to the media, now claims that he wants to duel the “hacks and haters” that are unfairly targeting him.
“I will admit, sometimes we haven’t footnoted things properly. In fact, I’ve given thousands of speeches and I don’t think I’ve ever footnoted any of those speeches? I’ve written scientific papers. I know how to footnote things. But we’ve never footnoted speeches. And if that’s the standard I’m going to be held to, yes, we will change and we will footnote things.”
First of all, whatever Paul’s education or lack of education, these accusations toward him have nothing to do at all with “footnotes.” A footnote is just a reference at the bottom of a page that gives more information not contained in the current work. Sometimes, it does give a citation for what appears in quotation marks to credit the original work of another source. That does not mean a person can copy an entire work word for word, give a footnote to show credit, and then turn around say, “Yep, that’s my work. I did that.”
The accusations of plagiarism toward Paul really have nothing at all to do with not giving enough credit to someone else. To be clear, he didn’t copy one or two sentences and just neglect to mention that it was someone else’s work. Paul literally copied pages verbatim and then presented it as his own work. It would be the same scenario if Paul had stood in front of a crowd and read out loud “A Tale of Two Cities,” and then added his name to the byline in place of the name Charles Dickens.
Paul went on to say:
“But the difference is, I take it as an insult and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting. And like I say, if, you know, if dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge. But I can’t do that, because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then.”
Paul may have meant that as a passive threat or euphemism, but it hardly seems appropriate given the sheer number of times he has plagiarized as well as the number of different media outlets catching him in his lie. Whatever spin he wants to put out there about the allegations against him, he cannot hide basic facts or the definition of what he has done.
Paul then went on a somewhat incoherent rant about what he doesn’t understand about the meaning of the word plagiarism:
“So when I wrote scientific papers, I sometimes had statements with eight footnotes for one sentence. Is that what you want me to do for my speeches? If it’s required, I’ll do it. But I think I’m being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters. And I’m just not going to put up with people casting aspersions on my character.”
No one is trying to cast aspersions on your character, Senator Paul. You have shown your character in your own actions and have refused to give an explanation of why you or your staff have taken the actions they have. You may think you are being unfairly targeted, but you do owe an explanation to your constituents and fellow congressmen.
Here is my favorite quote from him through the whole exchange:
“Well, we’re going to have to footnote things, like I say. But here’s the problem, George. Ninety-eight percent of my speeches are extemporaneous.”
The word extemporaneous means that it was done without preparation. Quite obviously, if his speeches were copied verbatim from Wikipedia and other sources, he prepared them even though they were not his own work.
Watch the footnote ramblings of Senator Paul in the video.
Related articles from Liberal America:
Rand Paul Plagiarized Speech From Wikipedia
Top Image from The Raw Story