Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rand Paul's Challenge in the Free Marketplace of Ideas

I guess most readers of political blogs know that Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been found to have used passages from Wikipedia in his speeches and three pages from a Heritage case study for his book. I admit, I've been finding his defense of it fairly interesting:

“I take it as an insult, and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting -- I have never intentionally done so and like I say, 'If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know it’d be a duel challenge,' " Paul said.

It would be a "duel challenge"? What happened was that Rachel Maddow and others have discovered chunks of language used from other sources that was virtually unchanged. It's not an accusation of unproven things--it's a thing you can look at and agree that the language is not changed. It isn't so much a problem even of attribution (given that the spoken word is held to a different standard) but sheer lassitude in not bothering to even editorialize or change the language to serve whatever point he has. His challenge "if they keep it up" (where by "they" he means people who can use Google and "keep it up" implies there may be other examples) seems impotent--either he or his speechwriters/ghostwriter employed a bunch of copy/paste--or he can show they didn't. He can't. It's not an insult. It is what it is. We can argue about what it shows about Rand Paul, politician and possible 2016 presidential candidate, but if you were to ask me, I'd say his response seems a bit revelatory: he's a bit of a short-cut artist, and he rather resents being told to try harder.


Yastreblyansky said...

Dueling is part of the code of the Southern gentleman, right? He hasn't been insulted--he doesn't know the language properly since he isn't, in fact, a member of the plantation aristocracy but a descendant of mostly German immigrants from the late 19th century rather dishonored by a cad telling the truth about him in a way that violates the code. So he tries to recover his honor by fantasizing about how he could recover it in that better world where you could tell the heroic individuals from the slaves. I just cannot hear enough stories about Rand Paul.

Vixen Strangely said...

In the code of honor that Rand Paul is imitating, the challenged party (or in this case parties) gets the choice of weapons. Mark Twain offered some advice on this score: "Never argue with people who buy ink by the barrel."

okjimm said...

I reheated a bowl of left over oatmeal this morning. It was more interesting than Rand Paul. Had more fiber,too.

If he wants to duel with me.... I suggest oatmeal at five paces (hard to throw oatmeal very far) added apples allowed.