After Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was caught presenting others’ work as his own by The Rachel Maddow Show, BuzzFeed, and Politico, the senator’s office seemed to realize Paul had a problem on his hands. It reached the point late Friday that the senator’s aides started making it more difficult to access Paul’s speeches, perhaps fearful more evidence would come to light.
Unfortunately for the senator, it’s too late to hide op-eds Paul has already written and published. Andrew Kaczynski reported last night:
Sections of an op-ed Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul wrote on mandatory minimums in The Washington Times in September appear nearly identical to an article by Dan Stewart of The Week that ran a week earlier. The discovery comes amid reports from BuzzFeed that Paul plagiarized in his book and in several speeches.
Paul also delivered testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 16, 2013, that included the copied sections.
As the controversy has grown over the last week, Paul has done his best to change the subject, complaining about those who’ve noticed him presenting others’ work as his own, trying to redefine words like “plagiarism” and “footnotes,” and complaining that he’s being held to an unreasonable “standard.”
The senator’s pushback hasn’t helped, in part because it’s unpersuasive, and in part because it’s unrelated to the issue at hand.
One assumes Paul will be more careful going forward, but over the last three years, he’s given lots of speeches, written plenty of op-eds, and even published a couple of books. And if the last week is any indication, the closer one looks at the senator’s body of work, the more evidence emerges that Paul has an ugly habit he’s refused to acknowledge or apologize for.