According to Rand Paul, the “standard [he’s] being held to is a little different than everybody else.” Yes, Rand…if by “everybody else” you mean every high school freshman who has ever turned in a term paper. And that’s why The Washington Times just pulled the plug on your weekly op-ed column.
At this point, it seems like any headline containing the words “Rand Paul” and “plagiarism” is destined to send readers immediately downward to check the date to make sure they’re not reading the headline from yesterday. Your own writer has officially right-clicked and added the word “pseudo-intellectual” to his spell-check dictionary, owing to the number of times he’s written the word in the last week. (And, after 33 years, he’s finally learned to spell “plagiarism” right the first time.) The sad fact is, Rand Paul’s thought-theft and source obfuscation would almost be old news at this point, if he didn’t keep making more.
Ever since The Great Thinker of the Conservative Movement got caught reading verbatim from Wikipedia, and then challenged Rachael Maddow to a duel for impugning his honor, he’s been the subject of a bit of extra attention from eagle-eyed readers checking for further instances of third-party thinking.
Apparently, the editors of Buzzfeed are among those readers, because amid many further instances of repetition without attribution, they’ve noticed that a few lines from the pseudo-intellectual (see?) Rand’s latest op-ed column on the consequences of the drug war to an article titled “Rethinking Mandatory Sentencing” earlier in the week.
Following the Buzzfeed break, the Times first added a disclaimer to Rand’s article,
“[Editor’s Note: Portions of the following article should have been attributed to “Rethinking mandatory sentencing,” an article written by Dan Stewart that appeared in The Week on Sept. 14, 2013.]”
…and then took preventative measures to protect its own integrity by axing Rand’s column altogether. Of course, both claim it was a “mutual decision” pending “restructuring,” but seriously…fired got fired. Here are the lines that got our would-be presidential candidate fired from a newspaper:
Stewart’s original text:
“…By design, mandatory sentencing laws take discretion away from prosecutors and judges so as to impose harsh sentences, regardless of circumstances.
…Mandatory sentencing began in the 1970s as a response to a growing drug-and-crime epidemic, and over the decades has put hundreds of thousands of people behind bars for drug possession and sale, and other non-violent crimes. Since mandatory sentencing began, America’s prison population has quadrupled, to 2.4 million. America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year.
Most public officials — including liberals, conservatives, and libertarians — have decided that it’s not. At least 20 states, both red and blue, have reformed their mandatory sentencing laws in some way, and Congress is considering a bipartisan bill that would do the same for federal crimes.”
And The Great Conservative Thinker’s “own words,” also repeated during a speech he gave before the Senate Judiciary Committee:
“By design, mandatory-sentencing laws take discretion away from prosecutors and judges so as to impose harsh sentences, regardless of circumstances.
Since mandatory sentencing began in the 1970s in response to a growing drug-and-crime epidemic, America’s prison population has quadrupled, to 2.4 million. America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year.
Most public officials — liberals, conservatives and libertarians — have decided that mandatory-minimum sentencing is unnecessary. At least 20 states, both red and blue, have reformed their mandatory-sentencing laws in some way, and Congress is considering a bipartisan bill that would do the same for federal crimes.”
As I’ve said many times before, Rand Paul is no intellectual — he’s a fake thinker, or “pseudo-intellectual” (spell-check, no red line). He’s a freshman hipster douchebag who’s one pair of Buddy Holly glasses short of a cold sore.
(My thumb is hiding my totally ironic herpes.)
In a previous article, I compared Rand Paul to the Michael Bolton Hair guy from Good Will Hunting…the one from Damon’s famous “Vickahs” monologue, in which he called the former out for simply memorizing passages from a book, reciting them and being utterly bereft of any original ideas of his own.
Rand acts as though he can’t understand why journalists are making such a big deal out of his supposedly accidental quote oversights. But journalists and writers WOULD be the first to do so. The best of us work hard to come up with original thoughts, original ideas, and the idea of stealing the thoughts of someone else and claiming them as your own is utterly anathema to anyone who (egotistically, perhaps) cares about sharing their own. That’s not just an insult to writers, journalists and thinkers of all stripes…it’s an insult to the process of thought, to the concept of intellect itself.
Maybe Rand has spent too long as a Koch puppet. Maybe he doesn’t want us to know who he speaks for, if not himself. Maybe he was trained from birth by Ron Paul to simply parrot his father’s ideas. Maybe the bloated prose of Ayn Rand has so thoroughly penetrated his frontal lobe and neocortex that it’s eradicated any capability for logic or reason absent some guidance from an external source. But three things are certain.
- Rand Paul is no intellectual. He’s no thinker. Nobody who has respect for reason, their own or of anyone else, would steal someone’s ideas and claim them as their own.
- Rand Paul is at best a parrot, an actor whose every thought is so secondarily sourced that he himself may genuinely believe that they are his own.
- I’ll never have to proofread “pseudo-intellectual” again.