Tea Party Senator Rand Paul has come under fire for the past week for delivering plagiarized speeches. Rachel Maddow has highlighted several instances in which Paul recited passages from Wikipedia word for word. The presidential hopeful presented the passages as his own creation, which has drawn repeated criticism from Maddow, who has been covering the story for the past week. Rand Paul has responded by calling Maddow a “hater” and a “hack,” but has now sunk to a new low that tops the plagiarism charge.
Rand Paul fantasized about shooting Rachel Maddow in a gunfight.
During a an interview on Sunday, Rand Paul responded to the charges by fantasizing about using gun violence against the MSNBC host. ABC’s George Stephanopoulis pressed Paul to explain why his speeches are carbon copies of Wikipedia entries. Paul admitted that he should have given credit to Wikipedia, but disagreed that it was plagiarism. That’s not the worst part of the interview, however. Paul then lashed out at Rachel Maddow by remarking that if dueling were allowed in Kentucky, he’d challenge her to a gunfight.
“I take it as an insult and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting,” Paul declared. “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… 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.”
Here’s the video via from ABC News.
Rand Paul has no idea what he’s talking about.
It’s not surprising that Rand Paul would bring up gun violence while trying to combat the accusations leveled against him. After all, Paul is not only a pro-gun conservative, he’s a southerner. Duels were common in the South, where many men fought in the name of honor over any little insult or accusation. However, it is surprising that Paul would challenge Rachel Maddow to a gunfight. In the days of dueling, it was considered unhonorable for a man to face a woman in such a spectacle. Men fought men. And women fought women. But duels between women were considered more of a novelty that very rarely took place and weren’t threatening to either participant. Women were far more likely to stop a duel than engage in one.
For some odd reason, Rand Paul thought it was perfectly appropriate to lash out at Maddow by dreaming out-loud about shooting her. He could have just tried to change the subject like other politicians. Or, he could have just admitted that he copied Wikipedia to write speeches and apologized. But he didn’t do either. Instead, he resorted to talking about guns and duels and how he’d love to fire a weapon at Maddow point blank.
Rand Paul should be disqualified from running for president.
The Tea Party crowd will absolutely love Paul for doing so. But most Americans will recoil in horror from a wannabe presidential candidate who uses such banter. We all know that conservatives hate the media, but fantasizing about shooting a media personality for presenting damning factual evidence is really low. This kind of talk should disqualify Paul from a presidential run. Plagiarism is something that the American people may be able to forgive but Paul’s words about fighting Rachel Maddow in a duel is revolting and not something people want to hear from someone who wants to be president. This is especially true considering the gun tragedies that have plagued the nation in recent years.
Rand Paul just made a bad situation much worse.
This is just another example of a conservative longing for the good ole days. You know, when women were restricted to household chores instead of reporting the news and dueling was an acceptable way to vanquish political opponents. If Rand Paul really wants to be seen as viable candidate in the presidential field, he should avoid using Wikipedia to write his speeches and he should definitely avoid talking about challenging women to gunfights. Unfortunately for Paul, he has just committed both and it’s unlikely that Americans, or Rachel Maddow, will forget either now.