Rand Paul has already been the beneficiary of one rules violation that allowed him to be on the "big stage" of a debate that he did not qualify for. As the Washington Post (and others) have noted conclusively, Paul did not qualify for the CNN December debate according to the objective criteria laid out by CNN beforehand, yet somehow found himself on stage. No one knows whether CNN or the GOP was responsible for putting their thumb on the scale and getting him on stage, but there he was.

Now, Paul has yet again missed the cut, and Fox Business is not inclined to give him yet another bite at an apple that he has not earned. Paul's petulant whining about a conspiracy from Fox and the GOP to keep him off the stage is patently ludicrous, unseemly, and embarrassing.

Washington (CNN)Rand Paul said Thursday that the Republican Party and FOX News are trying to "pre-decide" who the Republican nominee will be.

"People have to realize that what the media is doing here is pre-deciding an election," he told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on "New Day."

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"I have an important voice. What do you think the liberty movement, the liberty voters in the Republican Party are thinking now? That the Republican Party in league with the media networks is saying we're not going to let the liberty candidate on the stage," he said.

Paul said his exclusion from the main debate stage "disenfranchises the voters of Iowa or New Hampshire."

This statement is so full of fatuous nonsense it is hard to know where to begin. Rand Paul has already been on stage for five nationally televised debates, that have been seen by well over 75 million people. The suggestion that the GOP (or the media) is trying to conspire to hide him or his message, especially in light of his "surprising" inclusion in the December debate, is facially implausible.

Second, the importance of Rand Paul's voice, per se, is determined by the number of followers he has. And the reason Paul isn't on the stage is that the objective evidence suggests that his voice frankly isn't all that important. If it was as important as he seems to believe it is, he wouldn't be facing this problem right now.

Third, Rand Paul is a smart enough guy to know that the word "disenfranchises" means "to deprive of voting rights." Absolutely no one is being deprived of the right to vote for Rand Paul in Iowa, New Hampshire, or anywhere else. They are being deprived of the privilege (for a certain value of the word "privilege") of seeing him on a private television network.

At various times, numerous other candidates, including Huckabee, Fiorina, and Christie, have all been demoted from the main stage. Although they have issued the polite protestations that they wished they could be on stage, none has engaged in such a pathetic, lengthy, and coordinated effort to paint the entire enterprise as a conspiracy, rather than the result of their campaign being an abject failure. If Rand Paul wants to be on TV, he should man up and do better at selling his message.