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Rand Paul Plagiarizes, Decides to Add Footnotes ‘Like College Papers’

Rand Paul Plagiarizes, Decides to Add Footnotes ‘Like College Papers’
November 05
15:08 2013

For the myriad reasons everybody should be leery of our celebrity quarterback president, one thing he has going for him is that when he reads his speeches off of his teleprompter, at least it’s an original one written by his speechwriters.

But I hate to indulge in our Super Bowl styled political environment, yet the latest proof that the senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, plagiarized parts of his Washington Times op-ed are too tempting to pass by. Paul copied entire entire sentences word-for-word from Dan Stewart of The Week, except to be more clever than the average college student who plagiarizes, the senator added a hyphen between two words.

Paul’s solution to all this hubbub about possible plagiarism is to “do them like college papers” and put out footnotes. There’s going to be a footnoted version available if anybody’s interested.

However, that doesn’t solve the problem of lifting other people’s sentences without directly quoting them or paraphrasing them and giving the author credit.

If Rand Paul were one of my college English students, I’d have to sit him down and have a serious talk.

This is no way to conduct yourself as a professional, son, I’d have to say. You’re going to have to meet the Academic Integrity Board for a grueling 12 hour trial to determine your fate for having stolen somebody else’s work. This could ruin your career. The sweat will run down your cheeks, drip off your chin, and eventually dribble its way into pooling in the seat of your chair while hardcore academics question your motives.

And then I’d have to show Paul the old school handbook. I’d roll it into a tight baton and raise it menacingly to strike the necessary amount of fear in this student before proceeding with the important lesson. For individuals like Rand Paul, a lightning flash of fear jolting his nervous system is probably the only way he’ll think about correcting his wrongful actions.

First, I’d flip to the anti-plagiarism policy. School standards. Academic integrity. Then, I’d have to get back-to-basics with the senator and show him the difference between a direct quote, a paraphrase, and a summary.

These are all tools in your writing toolbox, Mr Paul, I’d say. But knowingly plagiarizing another’s work is like dropping your trousers and pissing into that toolbox.

Finally, I might decide to tell Senator Paul, as he sits slump-shouldered before me, that when artists like Bob Dylan plagiarize, they are doing so in a creative capacity and bringing back lost, or unheard of artistic work into the modern collective consciousness.

You, sir, with your half-assed op-eds, are not doing that. And neither is Fareed Zakaria. If this keeps up, Mr Paul, you’ll end up back at McDonald’s, scraping out a living by entertaining children while they eat food that slowly coagulates their blood and cakes their arteries with fat.

[photo courtesy of public commons and US Senate; Rand Paul being sworn in by another famous plagiarist, VP Joe Biden]

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