Mike Huckabee on Thursday called the plagiarism controversy hounding Sen. Rand Paul “absurd” and “just an indication that somebody is afraid of” the Kentucky Republican’s views. [...]All right, we can stop right there. What we have here is a conspicuous failure to communicate. First, Rand Paul and now Mike Huckabee are obsessed with this notion of having to footnote things, apparently because Rand Paul and now Mike Huckabee do not understand what plagiarism is. Or, apparently, theft. The problem is not that Mister Senator Rand Paul needs to have his office pass out little papers mentioning which of the world's various works of literature and sub-literature and sub-sub-literature Mister Senator Rand Paul is ripping off verbatim in order to bring you his latest speech or editorial opinion-having; the problem is that Mister Senator Rand Paul should not be considering the task of finding out which portions of Mister Senator Rand Paul's words have been blatantly ripped off from others to be an exercise for his listeners. Mister Senator Rand Paul should not be ripping off the verbatim work of others at all.
“I’m thinking, seriously? Is that the best they got? I’ve just been appalled,” Huckabee said on his radio show. “I don’t know of anybody who has ever made speeches that felt like they had to go and footnote everything in the speech.”
Huckabee — who did not address the charges of plagiarism surrounding Paul’s book or his weekly columns in The Washington Times, which the paper dropped Tuesday —
Let's continue this thought under the fold.
That said, if Mister Paul feels it absolutely necessary to lift a paragraph or two from a writer that expressed a thought better than Mister Paul, Mister Paul's staff and Mister Paul's voluminous hangers-on could possibly do by themselves, there has been a blindingly dull and established way to do that since approximately forever. You say "As said by so-and-so" at the beginning, and you are done. No catalog of index cards is required; no website need be created for the explicit task of citing all the various people whose words you are lifting. You tell the people when the words you are writing are not your own. This is not goddamn hard. It is only hard if you fail to grasp the ethical implications of lifting someone else's work and passing it off as your own, and Jesus Crackerjack Christ, while we all inherently know that our sitting senators frequently are flummoxed by ethical and moral boundaries that most decent people had wrapped their heads around by the time they were 12 years old, we do not like it when our senators make it so damn obvious. At least pretend to give a shit or two about professional ethics, Mister Senator. At least have someone on your staff look it up and give you the gist of it. You have an entire staff, surely one person among them will have heard of this ethics business and be able to draw a little sketch that explains the situation.
Which brings us to point the second: Radio boil Mike Huckabee not bringing up the rather glaring three pages of Mr. Paul's latest book copied near-verbatim from a Heritage Foundation paper on the topic, or the instance in which Mr. Paul was shown to have lifted a section of his Washington Times op-ed from an op-ed by a different writer a mere week earlier. That Huckabee deems these things to be so trivial as to not even be worth mentioning, instead painting the "controversy" as a few flubbed lines in a few flubbed speeches, demonstrates Mike Huckabee's character in a nutshell. He is a hack. He is a conspicuously and pompously Christian pundit who cannot grasp the illegitimacy of theft, and that should suffice as reason for any better persons out there to keep him far away from their wallets.
The whole episode, in fact, is another fine demonstration of the professional conservative movement being nothing more than a grift. From words to deeds to phony ethical befuddlements to radio-borne outrage, the whole thing reeks of bad con from top to bottom. And not even a good con—they're only getting by because the marks are, well, pretty damn stupid.