Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) may have presidential aspirations but he’s created a major problem for himself. He was busted by Rachel Maddow for plagiarizing a Wikipedia entry for the movie Gattaca, then busted by BuzzFeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski both for plagiarizing a Wikipedia entry for the movie Stand and Deliver and for plagiarizing a Heritage Foundation study in his book Government Bullies.

He’s trying to argue that his critics are nitpicking him, but I don’t understand why he doesn’t write his own material. If he can’t write, that’s fine, but why doesn’t he hire someone who can?

Plus, he’s giving his rival, Chris Christie, a run for his money in the thin-skinned department. I mean, take a look at this:

Asked about the accusations on Sunday, Mr. Paul, a man of normally courtly demeanor, appeared to grit his teeth. The senator is considered a top Republican presidential prospect for 2016, and such charges can do harm.

“I take it as an insult, and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting,” he said, dismissing his critics as “hacks and haters.” Presumably in jest, Mr. Paul added: “If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, it’d be a duel challenge.”

I don’t know Rachel Maddow or Andrew Kaczynski, but neither of them appear to have done anything out of the ordinary for reporters. Are they willing to stop looking for more plagiarism in Rand Paul’s published speeches and writings or face the prospect of a duel?

Can it be a duel at dawn?

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at