Media Blog

Rachel Maddow Accuses Rand Paul of Plagiarism

Over his alleged use of a plot summary from the Wikipedia entry of the movie Gattaca.

Yes, this looks to be a minor embarrassment to Rand Paul (or more likely, to his speech writer), but let’s not lose focus on what he was saying, why he was saying it, and why Rachel Maddow noted it: This is all about Paul’s stand on abortion.

Paul has used the Gattaca reference in the past, for example, like in this speech at the annual banquet for “Right to Life Owensboro” [Kentucky] on October 18:

In his speech, he used the 1997 science fiction film “Gattaca” to demonstrate his views on abortion. The film is about a future society that profiles embryonic genes and screens them for diseases prior to implanting them. The main character, who had an imperfection in his DNA and was predicted to die at age 30, used someone else’s DNA to fulfill his dream of becoming an astronaut.

“Imagine that kind of world, like a China with a one-child rule controlled by the state … a world where man has the ability to perfect DNA,” Paul said. “Will we get to that point where we eliminate people?”

Paul told the stories of a few renowned people with disabilities, including theoretical physicist Steven Hawking, who has a paralyzing motor neuron disease; Irish writer and painter Christy Brown, who had cerebral palsy; and prolific German composer and pianist Ludwig van Beethoven, who was deaf.

“Wouldn’t it be the ultimate irony if we decided only those with perfect DNA could be born?” Paul said. “Would we eliminate part of our humanness, part of our specialness? Would we be flying too close to the sun?”

Paul said technology has helped the anti-abortion agenda progress, citing ultrasounds. Babies can also be operated on in the womb at 20 weeks, he said, but not without anesthesia.

“That’s a very potent argument; the baby won’t stay still without anesthesia because it can feel pain,” he said.

Maddow doesn’t think this is an important issue? Maybe she can let us know her stance on aborting a baby that a future genetic test finds has a chance of being born gay.

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