Rachel Maddow performs political surgery on Rand Paul

President Obama, to his great credit, has apologized to Americans who found their insurance policies canceled under ObamaCare and tasked his White House staff to find fixes to the problems I described in my latest column.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is embroiled in controversies about plagiarism, could learn from Obama instead of making lame and silly excuses that are being brilliantly dissected by Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and others.

Since the beginning of the Paul plagiarism scandal, Maddow has been ahead of the curve on the offensive, while Paul has been reduced to whining about the media without taking responsibility himself. Maddow's work on this matter is an outstanding example of an informed opinion host and serious journalist wrapped in one.

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Her latest offensive nails it: Paul is not ready for prime time. Paul seems to be claiming that he is not even up to the workload or pressure of being a senator, let alone a president. His response has been to excuse himself and evade his responsibility, to whine and moan, to bob and weave like a losing boxer desperately dodging hard punches from Maddow and others.

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who I sometimes praised and sometimes criticized, had a similar problem when bigoted comments were made in venues bearing his name. Instead of taking responsibility, Ron Paul too ducked and hedged, bobbed and weaved.

Remember when real libertarians believed in taking responsibility? Now pseudo-libertarians demand others take responsibility while they avoid responsibility for themselves. As a Democrat, I was willing to criticize Obama and suggest he take responsibIlity and fix the problems, which I did in my last column, and I offer high praise for the president here for his stepping up to the plate.

I challenge those on the right to criticize Rand Paul as he deserves to be criticized for his behavior surrounding the plagiarism scandal, rather than sounding like puppets attacking the president and automaton robots making excuses for Paul.

The right has a problem. It is the problem of the shrinking presidential candidates representing the right. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has shrunk to favorable ratings that are half the favorables of the president at his low, while retreating by promising not to support primaries against his Senate Republican colleagues, who view Cruz with the enthusiasm they feel for the bird flu.

I praised Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) several times for his statesmanship when the Senate passed immigration reform, but he has shrunk to insignificance on the issue with so many weasel words and shifting positions that I need a scorecard to discover his latest position.

Perhaps Rubio might apologize to Hispanic voters for his shape-shifting incoherence on immigration. Meanwhile, Maddow will continue to perform her surgery on Paul over the plagiarism scandal, and it will not be a fair fight.

Paul should fess up, stand up and take responsibility. Until he does the Maddow offensive will continue, and the Paul credibility will continue to shrink.

Even Ayn Rand, the great guru and goddess of greed, would be embarrassed by what certain Republicans do in her name.