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A damning indictment of Ron Paul:

I've never thought Ron Paul's presidential candidacy was serious enough to merit much attention. But I have to acknowledge that it has caught fire on the Internet and that he's done surprisingly well in the voting so far. He's raised substantial money and has gotten support from some very serious bloggers and other commentators. Ilya and David have previously pointed out the problematic nature of his campaign in posts, for example, here and here, noting especially his failure to repudiate some of his extremist supporters. It does neither libertarianism nor conservatism any good to be associated with a fringe of hateful conspiracy mongers.

Now Jamie Kirchick, a rising young writer at The New Republic, has connected Paul more directly to a political legacy of conspiracy-mongering, racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia, which may provide some context for Paul's reluctance to confront these things among some of his supporters. Kirchick's article exposes some nasty stuff published in a newsletter running under Paul's name back in the 1980s and 1990s. The newsletter was variously called Ron Paul's Freedom Report, the Ron Paul Political Report, and The Ron Paul Survival Report. Some of the newsletter material is available here.

Paul's campaign has responded by claiming that Paul wrote some of the material that appeared in the report, that he did not write the more incendiary passages, that he often did not see material published in the newsletter, that he disagrees with at least some of it, and so on. Paul's campaign has issued a perfunctory press release to this effect, adding that the charges against him are "old news." Kirchick concludes that the Paul campaign's excuses don't matter much:

In other words, Paul's campaign wants to depict its candidate as a naïve, absentee overseer, with minimal knowledge of what his underlings were doing on his behalf. This portrayal might be more believable if extremist views had cropped up in the newsletters only sporadically--or if the newsletters had just been published for a short time. But it is difficult to imagine how Paul could allow material consistently saturated in racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy-mongering to be printed under his name for so long if he did not share these views. In that respect, whether or not Paul personally wrote the most offensive passages is almost beside the point. If he disagreed with what was being written under his name, you would think that at some point--over the course of decades--he would have done something about it.

I agree. It's perfectly acceptable to publish a newsletter containing material you disagree with. But it seems reasonable, under those circumstances, at least to disclaim any endorsement of it. The large volume and context of the material published strongly suggests that it represented Paul's views, at least at the time. Whether Ron Paul actually wrote the material, endorsed but did not write it, or was simply negligent in allowing it to appear in a newsletter bearing his name, he bears heavy responsibility for it. Self-serving disclaimers now, in the middle of a presidential campaign, aren't terribly convincing. Even if he has since changed his views about the material in his newsletters, they seriously call into question his judgment. He was, after all, an adult and had even served in Congress when this material appeared. He has at worst endorsed, and at best coddled, some of the most base impulses in American politics.

Paul has fringe supporters who won't be troubled by what's in the newsletters or who will turn cartwheels to excuse it in some way. But many well-meaning people have endorsed Paul as a refreshing alternative to what they see as stale and mealy-mouthed politicians and to big government run amok — whether in Iraq, in taxes, in spending, or in regulation. The moral challenge for these prominent and responsible Paul supporters now is to repudiate his candidacy.

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan, perhaps Paul's most prominent supporter in the country, calls the newsletters "ugly" and "repellant" and has shifted his support to McCain.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. A damning indictment of Ron Paul:
  2. More Trouble for Ron Paul:
anon VC reader 5464657213:
To match the comment I left in the other entry concerning this issue, here's Paul's response in the following press release:

January 8, 2008 5:28 am EST

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – In response to an article published by The New Republic, Ron Paul issued the following statement:

“The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.

“In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person's character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: ‘I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.’

“This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It's once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.

“When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.”

Link to the release
1.8.2008 5:21pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
Here come the flying monkeys.

Here's my take: I'll accept for the sake of argument the notion that he didn't know that this stuff was in the newsletter. But I can't imagine a responsible person permitting a publication under his name without reviewing it occasionally. I also can't imagine a responsible person permitting a publication under his name without vetting the editor/publisher sufficiently to keep out the sort of whackjobs who would publish stuff like this. How can you expect anyone so careless with his own "brand" to be any more careful with the country's "brand"?
1.8.2008 5:27pm
Gabriel Malor (mail):
I want to echo Ex-Fed by quoting Kirchick again:

Paul's campaign wants to depict its candidate as a naïve, absentee overseer, with minimal knowledge of what his underlings were doing on his behalf.


Why would we want such a person running the country?
1.8.2008 5:30pm
Eric Muller (www):
Anyone now surprised by the stuff put out by Ron Paul and under his name over the years has simply been suspending his or her disbelief. This has all been obvious for a long time.
1.8.2008 5:40pm
Mark Nonya (mail):
Yes, it reduces Ron Paul in my mind because he is admitting to a lapse in control of a newsletter printed in his name, but I notice that the author of the piece himself says he doesn't think that Ron Paul is racist. That he's a cynic and wants to stir the pot. Keep that in mind, the person who wrote the piece admits that he's doing it just to screw with Ron Paul and his supporters. Hmmm are you enjoying dancing to his tune Dale? :)
1.8.2008 5:42pm
Per Son:
I am now officially convinced that Ron Paul is nuts.
1.8.2008 5:46pm
TLB (mail) (www):
Paul has fringe supporters who won't be troubled by what's in the newsletters or who will turn cartwheels to excuse it in some way.

Neat pre-smear of those who would point out that Kirchick doesn't provide context for much of it and there there are no citations or scans so the reader can decide for themselves.

While he mentions "conspiracy theories" he doesn't go into too much detail, and one he does appears to be based in fact.

Also, perhaps someone can tell me what we knew in 1990 and whether they think Kirchick just made a "mistake" or was trying to deceive.
1.8.2008 5:51pm
Gabriel Malor (mail):
Mark Nonya, does the motivation of the author matter if what he says is true? Or do you think we should perhaps pretend that we don't know about Paul's newsletters, just so we can avoid the appearance of "dancing to Kirchick's tune"?
1.8.2008 5:51pm
Tmack (mail):
How can anyone take seriously "The New Republic" after the Scott Beachucamp affair? How can you give an insta of attention when the editor Foer still has explained himself?
Source first. And when you consider that, you don't, morally can't, go any further.
1.8.2008 5:54pm
bornyesterday (mail) (www):
I'm confused. I thought this newsletter was the subject of the discussion much earlier in the campaign season. How is this new article any more conclusive or condemnatory than any of the others that have been written about it?

@Gabriel - isn't that how a lot of people have been describing Dubya?
1.8.2008 5:55pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
If the source is doubtful, surely the Paul campaign can come out and demonstrate that these quotes were not in the newsletters, or that the newsletters did not go out under Paul's name. Unless the quotes are real, and did go out under Paul's name. In which case they might explain why we should trust someone who lets people like these put out conspiracy theory fanzines under his name.
1.8.2008 6:04pm
PLR:
I suspect that Ron Paul never expected to be anything more than a doctor and a lowly Texas congressman elected from a gerrymandered district created thanks to the largesse of Tom DeLay.

I don't have a lot of trouble believing that Paul was clueless about what was being written if it didn't bring heat from the voters in his district.
1.8.2008 6:17pm
CDU (mail) (www):
@Gabriel - isn't that how a lot of people have been describing Dubya?


"He's no worse than Dubya!"

Hardly a persuasive argument to elect someone president at this point.
1.8.2008 6:21pm
Ex-Fed (mail) (www):
The comments on the New Republic thread are delightful.

Apparently it is reactionary, hateful, and cowardly to think any less of Dr. Paul simply because he uses the same method to chose which publication to sponsor as Krusty the Klown uses to select product endorsements.
1.8.2008 6:23pm
veteran:
One name,

Senator Robert Byrd

You can find dirt on anybody.
1.8.2008 6:34pm
Linus (mail):
You mean, "I heartily endorse this event or product."

Heh.
1.8.2008 6:35pm
Joel (mail):
Well, if nothing else, Fox News will no longer be criticized for leaving Paul out of that debate.
1.8.2008 6:36pm
Bleepless (mail):
Let's see, now: Paul's response quotes at length all of his complaints to the publishers about the content he found objectionable and about their unauthorized use of his name -- wait a minute. What? Really? Uh. Never mind.
1.8.2008 6:39pm
Anderson (mail):
Paul's response quotes at length all of his complaints to the publishers about the content he found objectionable and about their unauthorized use of his name

If only the American legal system had allowed Paul some sort of recourse against such scoundrels! But alas, he was helpless.
1.8.2008 7:11pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Well, let's accept his explanation at face value. A person who exhibits such poor management, administration, oversight, and judgement has no business being president. He's essentially telling us he didn't know what was being done in his name.

On the other hand, if he did know, then he also has no business being president.
1.8.2008 7:16pm
wekt:
Don't support Ron Paul, he's guilty by association! Oh wait, he's actually only guilty of being negligently unaware of what his newletter business was printing.

As David Bernstein pointed out, Paul is and has been a sane but non-mainstream politican, but his nonmainstreamness has attracted a varirety of nutjobs to whom Paul negligently trusted his newletter.

If this is the worst that can be said of Paul, I think it is praise by faint damnation. He's the only candidate who believes in obeying the Constitution as it is written, including the Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment. Romney and Giuliani would also butcher the 2nd Amendment, either from failing to having a clue about what it means or from deliberately misinterpreting it. McCain supports unconstitutional restrictions on political free speech (remember McCain-Feingold?).

I admit that some of Paul's positions may be a bit naive, but attacking him on what other people said in his newsletter is not a "damning indictment", it is an ad hominem attack.
1.8.2008 7:17pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Exactly, Elliot. As I discuss here, even taking Paul at his word, it demonstrates an appalling lack of judgment, which continues to this day.

He seems to think that merely denying being a racist and praising MLK and Rosa Parks puts the issue to rest. But Bill's angry denial of having sex with that woman did not really mean he didn't. As we all know, it turned out that Nixon really was a crook, too.

The crucial question at this point is whether the people who wrote this filth have remained associated with Ron Paul. He so for won't tell us who wrote this garbage in his name, or even, so far as I know, who edited the newsletter at the time. Are any of those people working for his campaign? And did Paul find out about the garbage before or after it became a scandal in his 1996 campaign? If he didn't find out before, why not? If he did, why didn't he fix it faster, and repudiate it then?
1.8.2008 7:21pm
neurodoc:
In 1991, William Buckley devoted most of an issue of the National Review, about 50 pages IIRC, to a look at antisemitism in America. He called out by name 3 people as antisemites and discussed at length the evidence for so labeling them. One was a longtime Buckley adversary from the Left, Gore Vidal; two were friends of Buckley's on the Right, one of the two a former editor under Buckley, Joseph Sobran, the other Pat Buchanan. Both Sobran and Buchanan have enthusiastically endorsed Ron Paul. (Gore Vidal has neither condemned, nor endorsed Paul, just expressing surprise at the money Paul has raised and observing, "he's quite appealing as a politician when he speaks about ending the internal revenue service and ending the personal income tax.")

When Joe Sobran and Pat Buchanan like a candidate as much as they do Paul, that alone might be cause for pause. (There are a great many more reasons to reject him, of course, but I thought to throw these endorsements into the mix.)
1.8.2008 7:35pm
guy in the veal calf office (mail) (www):
Despite all the contrived breathlessness of a pretend new discovery, nothing in this post compels anyone to repudiate Paul. He's the only candidate articulating a particular vision, and if that's your vision, you should vote for him.

I wouldn't repudiate Guliani because he got bamboozled by Kerik, or Hilary because she's a cuckhold, or anyone else because of an embarrassing episode that they clearly and obviously (to anyone besides axe grinders) wish never happened and, by that embarrased silence and downplaying, repudiate.

No candidate is as pure as a law professor, of course, so we're left with picking among those reality contestants willing to submit to modern campaigns. Their quality makes it too easy to wallow in unseemly swifboating with Yglesias or his right wing analogs, but I generally appreciate Volokh.com for keeping campaign debates at a higher level than this post.
1.8.2008 7:39pm
American Patriot:
This language is comparable in tone to anti-Christian, anti-everyone-who-disagrees-with-me posts that you would find every single day on the Daily Kos, Huffington Post and other left-wing blogs in support of all of the mainstream Democratic candidates.

Asides from this, from what I gather, Pat Buchanan in 1992 and Pat Robertson in 1996 both had a great deal more support than Ron Paul. But weren't they (at least Buchanan, not sure about Robertson) associated with just as many fringe elements as Ron Paul is, if not more? And their rhetoric was also far more hostile to the other side as that of Ron Paul, who doesn't try to demonize his opponents. My point is just that while today you have a lot of really extreme fringe rhetoric from the left, there really isn't much of it from the right, especially by comparison to the recent past.
1.8.2008 7:41pm
byomtov (mail):
Neurodoc,

While I agree with the substance of your comment, Buckley was actually a bit mealy-mouthed about Buchanan, saying something like, "even though he walks and talks and writes like an anti-Semite, I don' think he is one."

Paul has fringe supporters who won't be troubled by what's in the newsletters or who will turn cartwheels to excuse it in some way.

This statement was proven true in what might be record time.
1.8.2008 7:43pm
Colin (mail):
In the course of defending homophobic comments by Andy Rooney of CBS, a 1990 newsletter notes that a reporter for a gay magazine "certainly had an axe to grind, and that's not easy with a limp wrist."

The June 1990 issue of the Political Report says: "I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities."

From the August 1990 issue of the Political Report: "Bring Back the Closet!"

A January 1994 edition of the Survival Report states that "gays in San Francisco do not obey the dictates of good sense," adding: "[T]hese men don't really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners." Also, "they enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick."


Was Clayton Cramer ghostwriting for Dr. Paul?
1.8.2008 7:50pm
American Patriot:
Neurodoc, there may be many reasons to reject Ron Paul, but your argument is deeply flawed because any libertarian candidate would always necessarily attract votes from fringe elements (including the likes of Sobran and Buchanan, among others).

Imagine someone who holds views of what the government should do that are completely out of line with what the views of the mainstream -- be it a theocrat, a monarchist, a feudalist, a white supremacist, etc. The ideal government for all these people would be a far cry from libertarianism. However, for theocrats, monarchists, feudalists, etc., everything that the government does today makes basically no sense, so a libertarian government is more acceptable than supporting any of the mainstream Republicans or Democrats. Buchanan and Sobran are not even as extreme as white supremacists, monarchists or the like, but the point still stands: people with very "unconventional" views would be rational by supporting libertarians.

And that aside, Ron Paul's platform involves cancelling all foreign aid, which includes cancelling all aid to Israel. That alone would attract support for Buchanan or Sobran. So if you believe that cancelling all foreign aid is in itself a reason not to vote for Paul, fine, but there is no need to rely on Buchanan or Sobran's support as a proxy.

(Incidentally, in Ron Paul's ideal society, there would be no income tax, and therefore rich Jews and others would have a great deal of money to contribute to Israel, among other causes, if they want to do so. I support foreign aid to Israel personally, but I am not convinced that a system with no income tax and no foreign aid would really make Israel that much worst off).
1.8.2008 7:51pm
wekt:
The choice before us is: Do we want more gov't, or do we want less gov't? Paul is clearly the philosophically libertarian type of limited-government advocate. Even if he did deliberately pander to the nutjob type of limited-government supporters, is that really disqualifying when all the other candidates are in favor of bigger gov't (and the attendant higher taxes, welfare state, and botched SWAT raids on innocent families)?

I can see three substantive arguments against Paul: (1) his foreign policy will hurt America more than his domestic policy will help, (2) he has nutty domestic policies (e.g., the gold standard) that can hurt America, and (3) he has a slim chance of winning the primary, so in our current winner-takes-all system, it would be best to vote for a viable candidate.

Does anyone really believes that this hit piece by Kirchick (conveniently timed for NH primary) is really a damning indictment of Ron Paul despite the difference of his platform versus those of the all the other candidates? What actions would he take as president that you would object to? (Of course, if you already disagree with Ron Paul, then Kirchick merely adds icing to the cake.)
1.8.2008 7:59pm
wekt:

... antisemites ... Sobran and Buchanan have enthusiastically endorsed Ron Paul.

Person A says P.
Person A is evil.
Therefore P is false.
1.8.2008 8:10pm
Disgusting:
@wekt

No, the choice before us is do we want a sputtering racist who wrote disgusting stereotypical articles, or a normal functional human being?

Ron Paul said that gays were better off in the closet. Do you want that man to be President of the free world? I don't care what other positions he holds, if he's racist and bigoted then he will be a horrible leader that would make a mockery of the country.
1.8.2008 8:11pm
happylee:
Is Carpenter ghost blogging as "Disgusting"? Anyway, yes, I think that gay rights will be better protected with Huckabee or Romney. lol

And, as Tom Cruise will tell you, it's better in the closet.
1.8.2008 8:38pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
Two points that need to be made:

1) Read the newsletter. It was written the week of the LA riots and most of those quotes don't come across as racist if you read them in their context. You would think a group as savvy as this would know to go to the original source instead of accepting a vaguely worded accusation at face value. Isn't this one of the prime lessons of law school?

2) Ron Paul has written hundreds (perhaps thousands) of articles and posted many of them on the internet. His style and his political and philosophical views are readily apparent from his attested works and they haven't changed much in 30 years. These works contradict this notion that he is some sort of prejudiced figure.
1.8.2008 8:43pm
frankcross (mail):
Could you explain how the claim that 95% of blacks are criminals doesn't come across as racist due to context. What exactly was the context that made them seem reasonable?

I can readily believe that he didn't write this and probably doesn't believe it. But if he selects people like this, I wouldn't want him as President.
1.8.2008 8:50pm
TLB (mail) (www):
How do you define "complete and absolute establishment suck-up?" Kirchick gives us a clue in this interview: youtube.com/watch?v=Whqtv9D9g-Y

"When someone mentions the Trilaterial Commission in nefarious terms, you know that they're a little kooky... ...The Bilderbergers, that's a real out there conspiracy theory..."
1.8.2008 8:57pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Somin writes”

“Perhaps worst of all, Paul has bought into the conservative nativist line on immigration. He not only favors a massive crackdown on illegal immigration but even seems to endorse the view that immigration should be "reduced, not expanded" whether legal or not.”


Since this is an example of the “worst” of Ron Paul, let’s deal with it. Unless you are an advocate of open borders, what is the problem with a “crackdown” on illegal immigration? I assume a crackdown means the tightening border security, and the deportation of people who have entered illegally or overstayed their visa. If this is an extreme position, then most every country in the world is extremist. If a crackdown includes enforcement of our laws against tax evasion and identity theft, then how is enforcing these laws in any way an extreme position?

What is the optimum total population for the United States? Is it infinite or finite? If it’s finite then give me a number. Once we reach that number we will require some curtailment of immigration unless our population starts declining.

According to dictionary.com the word “nativist” means: the policy of protecting the interests of native inhabitants against those of immigrants. Should the president put the interests of immigrants above those of the current inhabitants? Is that what citizens should vote for?

BTW I’m not a fan of Ron Paul, and would not vote for him.
1.8.2008 9:07pm
John Crowley (mail):
I think it is incredibly pompous that you think your take and analyzation of a situation merits a "damning indictment." How much bigger can your ego get? I am also very tired of people saying that Ron Paul "will not be president."

I do not say that about other candidates, although I may disagree with their policies.

They all have an equal chance of winning, or they are suppose to. The public is suppose to vote and then collectively decide who becomes president... It is not Fox News job or a freelance journalists job to say Who Will and Who Will not be President. You do not have that authority, give yourself a break.

Restore the Republic! We were not founded or ever meant to be a "Democracy." The constitution contains the word Democracy- Zero Times.

Alexander Hamilton said:

"It has been observed that a pure democracy if it were practicable would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies in which the people themselves deliberated never possessed one good feature of government. Their very character was tyranny; their figure deformity."
1.8.2008 9:11pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
No, they're not all supposed to have an "equal chance of winning," John Crowley. The smarter, more qualified, more sane people should have a much better chance of winning. Ron Paul will not, in fact, be President, this year or ever. His views, no matter how fantastic you may find them, are far out of tune with the overwhelmingly vast majority of the American public. Contrary to the beliefs of the Paulites, the Constitution does not enshrine libertarianism as the law of the land. Just in case you really believe what you said, nobody here is claiming authority to say "Who Will and Who Will not be President."

No, we're exercising one of those Constitutional rights that's actually IN the Constitution, the right to freedom of speech and of the press. We're not saying he legally CAN'T be President, we are making a prediction that he will never be President. Sorry you have such trouble with basic communication.
1.8.2008 9:28pm
I'm with John Crowley:
I <3 John Crowley for saying it only as a Ron Paul supporter could. Would you like some dressing for that word salad?
1.8.2008 9:29pm
Mark Bahner (www):
No, the choice before us is do we want a sputtering racist who wrote disgusting stereotypical articles, or a normal functional human being?


There's a problem you don't mention, which is that the normal functional human beings would ignore the Constitution; specifically and especially the Tenth Amendment, which Jefferson (a racist, though not exceptionally so for his time) called the foundation of the Constitution.
1.8.2008 9:32pm
Archon (mail):
Why are people incapable of assessing Ron Paul's comments (if indeed he did make them himself) taking into account the times in which they were made?

Simply put, in the late 80's and early 90's AIDS was a huge concern that was mostly misunderstood and not well researched. there was no welfare reform, large cities were bastons of crime and poverty, race relations were at an all-time low, political questions involving affirmative action were largely unanswered and merely being white and opposing affirmative action was considered racist, there were local and university speech codes restricting so-called racist and offensive speech, there was an economical recession producing more pressure more discontent among the poor, there were race riots in the inner cities, Ruby Ridge, Waco, and many many other problems.

It was not a fun time and it is no surprise that Ron Paul's rhetoric reflected these political realities.
1.8.2008 9:47pm
outsidethebeltway (mail):
This attack on the most popular libertarian candidate in living memory demonstrates why libertarian electioneering is futile.

"Libertarians" inside and near the Beltway will never accept a real libertarian like Paul, as that would put most of their federal government employee and contractor friends, and indirectly their lobbyist friends, out on the streets. Any real libertarian is thus a "nutjob", "anti-Semitic", or whatever other dirt the beneath-the-Beltway crowd can throw at him.
1.8.2008 9:52pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
I'm amazed at some of the latent racism coming out in Ron Paul supporters. Those who don't dismiss the story just because Paul denies actually penning the stories frequently suggest that truth is a defense, and that he's only saying what "most white people" think anyway.

I mean, look at Archon's statement above, excusing referring to black people as "animals" who are coming to get all the white folks, or that "95% of all black men are criminals," as just "reflecting the political realities of the times."

They were racist statements then, they're racist statements now, and it's becoming increasingly clear that a large number of Paul supporters would feel very comfortable with the folks at Ruby Ridge and Waco. That scares me.
1.8.2008 9:56pm
Archon (mail):
First, people who riot and trash entire sections of a city are animals regardless of their race. Also, in some cases they were actually coming to get white people. How quick we are to forget the LA riots when black men yanked a white man out of his truck and nearly beat him to death merely because of his race.

Second, the "95% of black men are criminals" statement was clearly political hyperbole when read in context. It is the equivalent of saying "all democrats are socialists" or "all republicans are racist." Clearly the person making the statement doesn't actually think that is true. They are using exageration to make a point. The same came legitimately be done using race without being "racist."
1.8.2008 10:06pm
Randy R. (mail):
"Ron Paul said that gays were better off in the closet."

Here's the real irony. The New Republic is as anti-gay as they come. The comments that Ron Paul supposedly wrote in his newsletter about gays is mild compared to what the TNR has written in the past.

So what is their point is exposing his homophobia? They AGREE with it! Except now, I guess, when being homophobic is bad when you want to bash a candidate you don't like. My head is spinning.....
1.8.2008 10:09pm
Brett Bellmore:
Geeze, if this is a damning indictment of Paul, given what we know of the other candidates from their actual records in government, (Paul has one, too, you might have noticed, and not a trace of bigotry in it.) we'd have to create a 12th circle of Hell just to find someplace to proportionately damn THEM to.

More and more, witnessing what Paul's political establishment foes will stoop to in order to spike his campaign, I'm convinced he's the guy I ought to be supporting whole-heartedly. He's not perfect, but he's the only one of them who's not trying to take the government in the direction of more usurpations of power, and more intrusions into our lives.
1.8.2008 10:11pm
Entertainment value:
There's some fantastic conspiracy theories coming out of Ron Paul sites right now.

First it was the "MSM" hand-selecting which counties to report first to make RP look bad. Now that he's losing WORSE than before, the MSM is delaying the results so that he looks bad for a longer time.

Then, this gem: "more suspicious activity: all of a sudden we've fallen behind Rudy by 1100 and we are only 1% behind same as when we were 200 behind." Not such a great understanding of statistics over there, huh? 1% of 20,000 is 200; 1% of 100,000 is 1000.

Then lots of questions about why McCain is still winning even though there are a lot more precincts reporting, as if all the Romney supporters live in one super-secret precinct just to screw with people.

Good times.
1.8.2008 10:11pm
NickM (mail) (www):

Could you explain how the claim that 95% of blacks are criminals doesn't come across as racist due to context. What exactly was the context that made them seem reasonable?


Well, since he was referring to Washington D.C.'s black population, Marion Barry's reelection? :-D

Nick
1.8.2008 10:14pm
Lysander (mail) (www):
Having actually met the Doctor in a NON-political setting, yes, I do believe he holds those beliefs. It explains much.
1.8.2008 10:25pm
TLB (mail) (www):
PatHMV says: a large number of Paul supporters would feel very comfortable with the folks at Ruby Ridge and Waco. That scares me.

You can ease your troubled mind by doing research into both cases, since I don't think you understand them.

Entertainment value: I don't know what you're refering to, but see the quote from the youtube video above. The author of the piece is a complete suck-up, and some group stands to gain from such articles. Asking whether there's a connection is a very valid question.

Also, Fox News may have deleted RP's name from a story they ran, although I haven't checked that out to verify it. While some "conspiracy theories" are indeed fantastic, some turn out later on to have been partially or completely true.
1.8.2008 10:37pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Archon, it's entirely possible (easy, in fact!) to urge a fight against crime without talking about "black crime." One can talk about taking back the streets without reference to "animals taking over the zoo" or black folks rioting only until it was time to get their welfare checks. One article painted the abolition of apartheid in South Africa as part of the "destruction of civilization." One referred to MLK day as "National Hate Whitey Day!"

Vile. Anybody who defends this kind of vile racist garbage is vile. Defend Ron Paul if he didn't say it, fine. Defend Ron Paul for now praising MLK and Rosa Parks, fine. But defend what's written in those articles, and you are a vile racist, period.
1.8.2008 10:41pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
I have, and I do, TLB. And I'm far more scared of people like them than I am of the ATF, regardless of their occasional excesses.
1.8.2008 10:43pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
But for now, I'm content to establish that Ron Paul supporters are mostly made up of people who sympathize with the likes of David Koresh.
1.8.2008 10:44pm
Archon (mail):
PatHMV:

So now Ron Paul's sole crime is using the wrong verbage. I guess in your mind making politicl statements that fall outside of the mainstream political conventions of decency is racist. Sure, its hard hitting commentary, but that doesn't make it racist.

First, in the late 80's and early 90's black crime was a HUGE problem in the inner cities. In that time it would be impossible to have an effective color blind discussion about crime. Also, it would be foolish and counterproductive to ignore race when having such a discussion especially when the numbers indicate that blacks are responsible for a huge proportion of crime in certain jurisdictions.

Secondly, especially in the era before welfare reform, it is quite possible that the inner city riots (which took place in areas heavily populated by welfare receipents) broke up because people found it necessary to tend to other matters such as making sure they had enough money to pay monthly bills. I don't think it is far fetched to suggest that welfare check distribution had something to do with the rather sudden brake up of violence.

Third, Ron Paul's commentary was mostly concentrated about the backlash that would happen against white people in South Africa once aparthied ended. Well, what do you know, history proves that he was right. White people were subjected to violence and illegal land seizures. But I guess in your warped mind this racist reaction was justified...

Also, as for "National Hate Whitey Day" well that was pretty much the theme during the late 80's and early 90's on most college campuses and in extremely liberal areas of the country. At that time, black racism was acceptable and widely demonstrated on MLK day.
1.8.2008 10:57pm
Jon Rowe (mail) (www):

Here's the real irony. The New Republic is as anti-gay as they come.


Tell that to the author of the piece Jamie Kirchick who is openly gay. I'm not sure when the New Republic produced anti-gay pieces (they are an old magazine, so they may well have years ago), but given Andrew Sullivan was their openly gay editor in the early to mid-90s, I don't think it's fair to say they've been anti-gay for some time, if ever in the modern era.
1.8.2008 11:09pm
I keep forgetting login names (mail):
Lysander, I'm a big fan of anecdotes, too. You've convinced me, I'm cutting my support for Ron Paul right this moment.
1.8.2008 11:41pm
Randy R. (mail):
Mea culpa! I was confusing this one with the National Review. My bad.
1.8.2008 11:52pm
whit:
"They all have an equal chance of winning"

riiiiiight.

and i have an equal chance of winning a MMA fight with Randy Couture.
1.9.2008 12:00am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Whatever people think, I would urge them to read the pieces TNR linked to, instead of taking Kirchick's word. Some of the stuff is obscenely offensive -- the stuff about gays and MLK -- but other stuff is offensive only to those who dislike libertarian views, and then others are simply misrepresented by Kirchick. For instance, he writes:

"A 1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel, a Canadian Holocaust-denier."

But when you actually click on the link, what the newsletter actually says is that Zundel's writings are offensive, but that TNR -- yes, it singles out TNR by name -- is hypocritical because it supports Rushdie's free speech but opposes Zundel's.

I couldn't begin to defend -- and wouldn't want to -- the bigotry in there, but Kirchick does twist a lot of things out of context.
1.9.2008 12:03am
David M. Nieporent (www):
So now Ron Paul's sole crime is using the wrong verbage. I guess in your mind making politicl statements that fall outside of the mainstream political conventions of decency is racist.
Well, yeah. Kind of like how robbing a bank is theft -- it's the definition.
Sure, its hard hitting commentary, but that doesn't make it racist.
That it's hard-hitting doesn't make it racist. That it's racist does.
1.9.2008 12:06am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Secondly, especially in the era before welfare reform, it is quite possible that the inner city riots (which took place in areas heavily populated by welfare receipents) broke up because people found it necessary to tend to other matters such as making sure they had enough money to pay monthly bills. I don't think it is far fetched to suggest that welfare check distribution had something to do with the rather sudden brake up of violence.
If your aim is to help Ron Paul... trust me, you're not.
1.9.2008 12:09am
AK (mail):
Andrew Sullivan, perhaps Paul's most prominent supporter in the country, calls the newsletters "ugly" and "repellant" and has shifted his support to McCain

Golly, who cares what St. Andrew of the Sacred Heart-Ache thinks? Besides, his support for McCain is only temporary. He's going to support Obama in the end. You read it here first!
1.9.2008 12:09am
Harry Eagar (mail):
Lindbergh, Jesse Jackson, Paul.

One of these three is not like the other.

One has a whole lot more anti-jewish statements attached to him.

I was also amused by Pat HMV's reference to 'latant racism.' Nothing latent about it.
1.9.2008 12:34am
NickM (mail) (www):
According to former Ron Paul staffer Eric Dondero, Lew Rockwell was the primary ghostwriter for the newsletters. That explains a lot.

Nick
1.9.2008 12:47am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
Let's see:

- Ron Paul has repeatedly stated that he does not have racist, anti-semitic, or white supremicist views.

- He has denied condoning or agreeing with the statements in the newsletter.

- At the time other people were producing the newsletter he was occupied working in a - I'm guessing probably busy - OB/GYN practice.

Conclusion:
This a well-timed smear piece from the establishment Left. And the Conspiracy, or at least parts of the Conspiracy, are much more neoconservative and much less libertarian than they let on for giving this crap this much exposure. (And no, that isn't a contradiction - the establishment Left, the establishment Right, and neoconservatives are all threatened by and hate the Ron Paul candidacy and the movement it has inspired.)
1.9.2008 12:52am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
So all the conspiracy theorist nuts supporting Paul are saying: he has "repeatedly stated" that he's not racist, therefore he can't possibly be a racist. Fascinating. If only they accepted other repeated denials as quickly and easily.

Harry Eagar... I've got no problem if you want to call Jesse Jackson a racist. I would agree with you. But that's very different from saying all (or most) black people are racist. It's using the actions of a minority of the members of a race to tar the entire race with misconduct. Talking about "blacks" this and "blacks" that seems to me to be the antithesis of the individualist outlook that Ron Paul purportedly supports. Making generalizations about an entire race is by definition not looking at the individual.

In other words, not only are many Ron Paul supporters (and Paul himself, to the extent he didn't totally disassociate himself from these newsletters after the first time he read one) racist, but they are complete hypocrites, preaching individualism while engaging in judging black people as a race.
1.9.2008 1:10am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
NickM-

According to former Ron Paul staffer Eric Dondero, Lew Rockwell was the primary ghostwriter for the newsletters. That explains a lot.

Right, the same Lew Rockwell who every day on his libertarian website features articles from Jewish, latino, openly gay, and African-american writers.

The same Lew Rockwell who holds Ludwig von Mises, who was Jewish, as one of his main economic and philosophical influences.

If you're going to smear people at least do some fundamental research.
1.9.2008 1:13am
Joe Bingham (mail):
As a RP supporter, I'm really annoyed that the people who make him look bad are showing up in this thread. For God's sake, people, this is embarrassing stuff, and it's more embarrassing that you're not embarrassed. Can't you at least disappear for awhile? I remain a RP supporter only because he's embarrassed about this garbage (some taken out of context, yes, but plenty of meat there to be upset about; denying that only makes you look kookier).
1.9.2008 1:17am
NickM (mail) (www):
Better than fundamental research - I heard Lew Rockwell speak (1994 national YAF convention). The man is a racist. You don't repeatedly refer to blacks as a group as being inferior without being a racist.

And for you, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, to demand anyone do research is laughable.

Nick
1.9.2008 1:18am
Archon (mail):
The odd thing is that no one who has accused Ron Paul of being racist has actually backed it up with any type of analysis. Apparently, just smacking the label "racist" on any type of speech that may be viewed as being critical of a minority is enough to then permanently brand that writing as "racist."

Oh yeah, by the way, you would be a fool to think that if the company was still passing out the payroll to a bunch of strikers that they wouldn't break to collect their checks. I'm sure the same is true for people who were on the government dole at the time.

Also, you can't brand commentary "racist" becuase it might be viewed as offensive to people with delicate sensibilities. Nothing that Ron Paul wrote (if indeed he actually wrote it) falls outside of acceptable political rhetoric.
1.9.2008 1:21am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
PatHMV-

So all the conspiracy theorist nuts supporting Paul are saying: he has "repeatedly stated" that he's not racist, therefore he can't possibly be a racist. Fascinating. If only they accepted other repeated denials as quickly and easily.

Hmmm. Ron Paul regularly writes articles for Lew Rockwell's website and is a good friend of Lew Rockwell's. Paul's articles appear alongside articles from Jewish, latino, openly gay, and African-american writers. Yep, they sound really racist, anti-semitic, and anti-gay to me. And Paul also holds Ludwig von Mises, who was Jewish, as one of his main intellectual influences in economics and philosophy. Plus seeing as how libertarian philosophy is just about as anti-racist as you can get, your theory is showing some major flaws here.

And those who criticizes this smear piece are "conspiracy theory nuts"? I think that's what's known as an ad hominem attack. Perhaps you would do better with some substantive arguments.
1.9.2008 1:27am
UWV (mail):
Paul can say it was done when he was away but the problem may be compounded if it turns out that the author of those horrid pieces is still close to Paul, an avid Paul supporter and adviser. And since back in the 90s it was widely discussed that the Ron Paul newsletter was written by Lew Rockwell, who remains a Paul supporter and friend.

TLB false says “Kirchick doesn’t provide context for much of it and there are no citations or scans so the readers can decide for themselves.” In fact I read the scans of the newsletters on the New Republic site before I read the article. He proved his case very conclusively. In addition I read the Paul newsletters during the 1990s and remember some horridly anti-gay sentiments then along with pieces that smacked strongly of racism. Seeing the reprints of them confirmed what I remembered.

Bornyesterday: Here is the difference between this story and the earlier revelation of racist material. The earlier story was based on one issue of the newsletter. It was plausible to say Paul didn’t know about that one issue. This covers numerous issues over a period of years showing a pattern and removing the excuse used when the first story came out.

In addition we can’t say this attacking Paual “on what other people said.” Some of this material is written in the first person as if Ron Paul wrote it. And his name is plastered in big letters at the top of the front page. In addition the people involved with that newsletter are still involved with Paul. He has remained close friends with them even after he claimed things happened without his knowledge. It is inconceivable that he published a newsletter in his own name for several years, with articles published as he wrote them, without him ever looking at them to see what was being said.

Jim at FSU says Paul has written 100s of articles. How do you know that? One thing this shows is that a lot of what was published in his name he says he never even saw. And I know the ghost writers of his book on gold. Paul doesn’t write nearly as much as people think.

Finally I too have known Dr. Paul long before he started this run -- back when he was something more of a libertarian -- before accepting Rockwell’s anti-immigration stand for instance. Even back then Paul flirted with anti-gay sentiments and only tried to excuse them when questioned about them. I had one long talk with him expressing my displeasure at his antigay views. He had excuses but he continued on with them long after that in his newsletters -- as we have seen. There was a lot of discussion about gay libertarians in his previous presidential bid as to whether or not they should support him because he was seen to be prejudiced on the matter. Some didn’t and some, like myself, reluctantly went with him only because we disliked other choices even more.
1.9.2008 1:29am
American Patriot:
"Talking about "blacks" this and "blacks" that seems to me to be the antithesis of the individualist outlook that Ron Paul purportedly supports. Making generalizations about an entire race is by definition not looking at the individual.

In other words, not only are many Ron Paul supporters (and Paul himself, to the extent he didn't totally disassociate himself from these newsletters after the first time he read one) racist, but they are complete hypocrites, preaching individualism while engaging in judging black people as a race."

Not necessarily. When the writer of the newsletter talks about "blacks", he is not referring to all blacks, but only to the black people that he is criticizing. If he talks about blacks involved in riots, for example, he is only talking about those blacks who are involved in the riots, not saying that all blacks are involved in riots. And I don't see any of his sentences that implies anything bad with respect to ALL black people. I certainly agree that the newsletters are not PC and thus not acceptable in today's political discourse, and I also think that some of the statements may be wrong on the merit, but it is simply false to say that the comments are making unsupported generalizations about race.

By the way, I am a Romney supporter, not a nut.
1.9.2008 1:36am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
NickM-

Better than fundamental research - I heard Lew Rockwell speak (1994 national YAF convention). The man is a racist. You don't repeatedly refer to blacks as a group as being inferior without being a racist.

What did he say? Do you have documentation? If that's the case why does he feature latino and black writers on his website?

And for you, a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, to demand anyone do research is laughable.

Reasonable, rational people can have problems with the official story of 9/11. And a lot do. But I'm sure you have all the answers, and everyone else is a kook.
1.9.2008 1:39am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
If that were true, "American Patriot", then the articles would say "the rioters" without reference to their race or skin color. Adding the qualifier "black" adds nothing unless the writer was trying to make a point about all black people. Nobody was using the term "black" to distinguish between the black rioters and the white rioters. That garbage is all vilely racist, and those of you defending it are racists. You can deny it all you want, you can claim "but I have black friends" all you want, the simple fact is that I'm shocked to see such racist garbage outside of a Klan meeting.
1.9.2008 1:50am
American Psikhushka (mail) (www):
PatHMV-

That garbage is all vilely racist, and those of you defending it are racists.

You better be careful about who you are calling a racist. I'm not racist and I didn't defend anything that was written, I merely pointed out that Ron Paul has stated that he didn't write those things, doesn't agree with them, and that his general political philosophy is anti-racist.
1.9.2008 2:01am
Procrastinator:
So his political philosophy is anti-racist, but apparently his publishing choices go in another direction. Why? If I got this newsletter in the mail, I'd sure think Ron Paul was a racist. What was the point? Why was he so lax in sending out this nonsense, if he didn't write it or apparently read it? What could he possibly gain from printing racist garbage?

Between this and his creationism (anyone remember that, from just a few days ago?), Ron is obviously completely irrational.
1.9.2008 2:05am
Jueri :
Dave Weigel at Reason has an interview with Paul from a couple of hours ago on the TNR hit piece:

Ron Paul: All it is—it's old stuff. It's all been rehashed. It's all political stuff.
reason: Why don't you release all the old letters?
Paul: I don't even have copies of them, because it's ancient history.
reason: Do you stand by what appears in the letters? Did you write these...?
Paul: No. I've discussed all of that in the past. It's just old news.
reason: Did the New Republic talk to you before they ran it?
Paul: No, I never talked to them.
reason: What do you think of Martin Luther King?
Paul: Martin Luther King is one of my heroes because he believed in nonviolence and that's a libertarian principle. Rosa Parks is the same way. Gandhi, I admire. Because they're willing to take on the government, they were willing to take on bad laws. So I believe in civil disobedience if you understand the consequences. Martin Luther King was a great person because he did that and he changed America for the better because of that.
reason: You didn't write the derogatory things about him in the letter?
Paul: No.


January 8, 2008 5:28 am EST

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – In response to an article published by The New Republic, Ron Paul issued the following statement:

The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.

“In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person's character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: ‘I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.’

“This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It's once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.

“When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.”



Via:
Gays for Ron Paul



I first met Jamie at a holiday party held by the venerable libertarian magazine Reason just a few weeks ago. When Jamie saw my "Ron Paul 2008" button, he snickered and said, "Oh, Ron Paul... I've been reading up on him. Have you read the stuff that guy's written? Nasty stuff! Racist, anti-semitic, homophobic!"

I emailed Jamie the next day to engage him further and to ask just what he found so offensive. His response:

Hi Berin,

Thanks for writing; and I’m glad you enjoyed by [sic] piece in the Boston Globe. I’ll try and make the [DC Log Cabin Republicans] party tonight, though [LCR President] Patrick Sammon isn’t particularly happy with me after I wrote this piece [attacking LCR for not endorsing Giuliani, whom Kirchick calls "the most pro-gay Republican White House contender in history"]
http://www.advocate.com/exclusive_detail_ektid50709.asp

Anyways, I don’t think Ron Paul is a homophobe; I’m just cynical and enjoy getting supporters of political candidates riled up. If you were a Giuliani guy I’d have called him a fascist. But I must say, the Ron Paul supporters are the most enthusiastic of the bunch! [Emphasis added.]

Best,
Jamie



Well, you can believe him or not, but what seems certain is that many of the "quotes" attributed to Paul cannot be attributed to Paul.
Carry on.
1.9.2008 2:24am
American Patriot:
PatHMV: I agree that the language can be offensive (and perhaps more than "mildly" offensive, as another poster said above) and I certainly would not have used the same words if I had wanted to convey the same points. It may arguably even be almost racist, I am sure (though certainly not racism of the David Duke variety). But I don't think that your reading of this to mean all black people is at all reasonable or defensible. The articles said "blacks" and not just "the rioters" because it turned out that the rioters were black. There was a real racial element to the riot and really no point in masquing this element. Of course it is not politically correct not to discuss/emphasize racial issues in popular conversation but if you think that failing to abide by PC norms is racist and comparable to the KKK, you are severely underestimating the ugliness of KKK beliefs; you should probably read some Stormfront posts (or Norman Finkelstein, for that matter) to see what truly repugnant racism/anti-semitism is about.
1.9.2008 2:28am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
This stuff is far beyond "not PC." I'm hardly a member of the PC police. There is certainly a way to discuss the particular problems experienced predominantly in very poor African-American communities. These writings don't do that, not by a long shot. A real discussion of such subjects would ask things like, "why did this group of poor black people riot and this other group didn't?" Or it might compare the similarities between the poor black people who riot and blame "whitey" for their sufferings with the poor white people who blame the Jews for their own perceived injustices. Ranting about "them rioting blacks" is racism, pure and simple, not any kind of "un-PC discussion" about racial issues.

If you want to continue to draw some fine line to distinguish it in your mind from "real" racism (and just what constitutes that in your mind, out and out equating black people with monkeys or something?), go right ahead, but insisting that this is just "not PC" is wrong. That the KKK and Stormfront (hmmm... who accepts money from Stormfront?) exude even worse racism doesn't make this "not racist."
1.9.2008 2:44am
Bob from Ohio (mail):

Reasonable, rational people can have problems with the official story of 9/11.


No, they cannot.

Having "doubts" about 9/11 is, in the words yesterday of that noted George Bush supporter Bill Clinton, "nuts".
1.9.2008 2:48am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Apparently, just smacking the label "racist" on any type of speech that may be viewed as being critical of a minority is enough to then permanently brand that writing as "racist."
Boy, you can't put one over on Archon. Next he'll figure out that in fact, up is up. (Or that A is A, if that's more language he understands.)


Hmmm. Ron Paul regularly writes articles for Lew Rockwell's website and is a good friend of Lew Rockwell's. Paul's articles appear alongside articles from Jewish, latino, openly gay, and African-american writers. Yep, they sound really racist, anti-semitic, and anti-gay to me. And Paul also holds Ludwig von Mises, who was Jewish, as one of his main intellectual influences in economics and philosophy.
And I'm sure some Klan members eat peanut butter. Does that mean they're not racist because George Washington Carver was black? What on earth does one have to do with the other? If I think Top Gun was a fun movie, does that mean I must be a fan of Scientology? If you show that lots of Jewish people drive Fords, does that mean Henry Ford wasn't an anti-semite? Do you actually even pay attention to your arguments, or do you just hope nobody else will, either?
Plus seeing as how libertarian philosophy is just about as anti-racist as you can get, your theory is showing some major flaws here.
It's also pro-immigration, but that doesn't seem to impact Ron Paul. Libertarians are people, not political platforms. They can hold non-libertarian views on some issues.

What did he say? Do you have documentation? If that's the case why does he feature latino and black writers on his website?
Perhaps he likes the contents of what they wrote? Again, what does one have to do with the other? You can be a bigot towards a particular minority without wanting to burn the books written by members of that minority.
1.9.2008 2:48am
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Again, the simple language of the writings talks about "blacks" as a GROUP. That is in theory anathema to the supposed libertarian principle of focusing on the individual. If Al Sharpton were going on about "white oppression" (like Paul or his aide talked about "black riots"), individual white people would certainly take offense, even though it's most certainly true that some significant number of white people still harbor hostile views against black people, based simply on the color of their skin and their race.
1.9.2008 2:48am
David M. Nieporent (www):
The articles said "blacks" and not just "the rioters" because it turned out that the rioters were black. There was a real racial element to the riot and really no point in masquing this element.
It could have said "the black rioters," which would have made the point.

But no matter how hard you strain, it's hard to explain away this one:
An October 1990 edition of the Political Report ridicules black activists, led by Al Sharpton, for demonstrating at the Statue of Liberty in favor of renaming New York City after Martin Luther King. The newsletter suggests that "Welfaria," "Zooville," "Rapetown," "Dirtburg," and "Lazyopolis" would be better alternatives--and says, "Next time, hold that demonstration at a food stamp bureau or a crack house."
From looking at the actual newsletter, it looks like it was an attempt at a humorous little gibe. The problem, to state the obvious, is the mindset of someone who would actually think that this was humorous. If it was said orally, one might be able to excuse it as an attempt at humor that went wrong -- but it was written. Someone had time to look at it on paper, and yet included it anyway.
1.9.2008 3:05am
neurodoc:
"A 1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel, a Canadian Holocaust-denier." But when you actually click on the link, what the newsletter actually says is that Zundel's writings are offensive, but that TNR -- yes, it singles out TNR by name -- is hypocritical because it supports Rushdie's free speech but opposes Zundel's.
Kirchick "simply misrepresented" when he said "1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel"?! The newsletter compared the Rushdie affair to the Zundel one, did it not, linking them one to the other.

"...what the newsletter actually says is that Zundel's writings are offensive..." What the newsletter actually(!) says is not that, nor anything so unequivocally condemnatory of Zundel or his writings. Rather than, "Zundel's writings are offensive," it was first, "I (Paul?) am personally offended by writings advocating fascism, socialism, Communism, and other forms of special-interest big government." Then, "Many people find offensive Zundel's writing." And Zundel wasn't characterized as a "Holocaust denier," but rather as someone who had "questions" about the Holocaust.

Also, why neglect to note, "But his (Zundel) case is no different in principle from Rushdie's, except that he is poor and in jail, and Rushdie is rich and protected." Really, no different other than "poor and in jail" vs "rich and protected"? And how about the speculation that those who "hyped" the Rushdie case were "anti-religious" trying to make all religous believers into ayatollah religious zealots, or doing so to "make Moslems look bad for geopolitical reasons." (Not surprisingly, there was no speculation of any sort about the motives of those championing the Holocaust denier's cause.)

The old adage is that when you have neither the law, nor the facts on your side, then pound the table loudly. You will have to pound much, much louder and shout a great deal if you hope to direct attention away from where it should rightfully go here. And that is not to the TNR reporting, but to the story itself.
1.9.2008 3:54am
TheSnarkmeister (mail) (www):
The lasting contribution of Ron Paul's campaign will be in its inciting neocons masquerading as libertarians to expose themselves. Namby-pamby liberal accusations would not scare off a true advocates of liberty. However fair-weather patriots will run for cover and neocon moles will exploit the accusations as a way to further undermine true libertarianism. Kirchick has exposed himself as a fraud, a mole working to undermine American liberty. Further by weakening Paul, he has weaken the anti-war movement. That means American money will continue to pay for the deaths of innocent Iraqi civilians. How many more, another 100,000? We can't know, but that additional blood will be on the hands of Mr. Kirchick. The irony is that he may not care.
1.9.2008 4:16am
Runnin fast:
Indeed, you can be sure our disco boy Kirchick does not care.
1.9.2008 4:43am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Kirchick "simply misrepresented" when he said "1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel"?! The newsletter compared the Rushdie affair to the Zundel one, did it not, linking them one to the other.
Yes, indeed, it did. You do understand the difference between comparing incidents that happened to two people, and comparing the people themselves, right? In each case, we have people being threatened -- in Zundel's case, punished -- for their speech. Does it matter that we like Rushdie's speech and not Zundel's? No; the principle is the same. That doesn't mean the people are. Kirchick misrepresents this one.
1.9.2008 5:08am
David M. Nieporent (www):
The sad thing about Ron Paul supporters is that -- as Snarkmeister's post illustrates -- it's impossible to tell the difference between parodies of them and actual posts by them.
1.9.2008 5:12am
advisory opinion:
Game over for Ronnie Paulnuts.

First a deluded, isolationist foreign policy, next his creationism, and now his crypto-racism and homophobia. The guy is an utter crackpot.

No wonder he hangs out with Stormfront.
1.9.2008 6:17am
Ralph Phelan (mail):
PatHMV says:
it's entirely possible (easy, in fact!) to urge a fight against crime without talking about "black crime."

And it's possible to fight a war against estrimist Islam without ever naming it and calling it a "war on terror" instead.

But the fact that it's possible to ignore salient facts doesn't mean it's necessary or a good idea.
1.9.2008 8:24am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
PatHMV
You are less afraid of the ATF than Randy Weaver and family? What did they do to anybody?

Ditto the Koresh folks. The ATF screwed the pooch on both of these cases and then turned them over to the cowboys of the FBI.

If Koresh is accused of child molestation, then it would be useful to explain what in the ATF's charter deals with child molestation. And to ask why the local cops did nothing about it.

As one reporter said, ref Ruby Ridge, the Weavers got screwed but we didn't cover it much because he was an unpleasant person.

Maybe that is the same as being read out of the protection of the constitution in your view.
1.9.2008 8:34am
Ralph Phelan (mail):
PatHMV:
I've got no problem if you want to call Jesse Jackson a racist. I would agree with you. But that's very different from saying all (or most) black people are racist.

When I was closely following the Duke Lacrosse rape frame one of the things I observed that surprised me was the depth and breadth of black hatred for white people displayed. I fully expected that the black response to white people getting railroaded would be a sarcastic "Aww, poor you." I did not expect blacks to be loudly, energetically, enthusiastically in favor of false prosecutions so long as the victims are white. But they were - how else to explain Nifong's election victory long after it was clear to all outside observers that his case was a frame?

While some of the quotes on other subjects (particularly Jesse Helms &Israel) are pretty nutty, this part of the "scandal" perfectly fits the definition of a "gaffe":

A politician accidentally telling the truth.
1.9.2008 8:38am
Ralph Phelan (mail):
PatHMV says:
"I'm hardly a member of the PC police."
Then immediately contradicts himself by acting like he is:
"There is certainly a way to discuss the particular problems experienced predominantly in very poor African-American communities. These writings don't do that, not by a long shot."
1.9.2008 8:44am
American Patriot:
"The sad thing about Ron Paul supporters is that -- as Snarkmeister's post illustrates -- it's impossible to tell the difference between parodies of them and actual posts by them."

Wow, that's a gross generalization. All Ron Paul supporters? Good thing that this kind of generalization wasn't about race or else... Of course, the same comment could be made about at least some of the Ron Paul detractors; see ridiculous comment by "advisory opinion".

As for the comment about renaming the city of New York, many commentators (e.g., Coulter and Savage on the right, Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich on the left) constantly insert jokes, often not funny, to villify and mock those who disagree with them in their writings. This is not a particularly effective debating tactic, but that's not the authors' primary concern. Of course, unlike the RP newsletters, Coulter and others have the good sense not to make their demeaning comments about race (Dowd doesn't, but as a liberal she can get away with it).
1.9.2008 8:45am
advisory opinion:
"many commentators . . . constantly insert jokes, often not funny, to villify and mock those who disagree with them in their writings."
And? The apologists can't help themselves. Some, like "American Patriot" have to defending overtly racist "jokes" by invoking the tu quoque, insinuating that others can be demeaning too (just not about race).

But of course "being demeaning" wasn't the issue. What is at issue is that the use of such labels in this particular case reveals Paul's underlying attitude towards race. Coulter et al. may be vindictive against their political opposites (and in the case of Coulter, gay people), but they haven't revealed themselves to be singularly vindictive about race.

Ron Paul, on the other hand, stands revealed as a casual racist. Paul's bigotry which you try to soft-peddle here as 'humorous' won't fly. And you know it. Yet you remain a committed apologist.

The parody here is you.

Deluded foreign policy, scientifically-illiterate creationist, and crypto-racist. Game over for Ronnie Paulnuts. :)
1.9.2008 9:19am
advisory opinion:
"stooped to defending . . ."
1.9.2008 9:21am
AntonK (mail):
Little Green Footballs had the Ron Paul newsletter story MONTHS ago.
1.9.2008 9:29am
advisory opinion:
And notice also, that while characterizing my comment about Paul as "ridiculous," our Ron Paul zealot here doesn't actually attempt to refute it.

Paul was on candid camera with Stormfront founder Don Black and has accepted Stormfront donations. Paul is on record as 'not accepting' the theory of evolution. And Paul's Neville Chamberlain impression is also well known (in fact the repudiation of alliances is one of his policy lodestones). So: everything about Paul is ludicrous.

And as Dale has observed, Pauline idolators tend to be rather overzealous in their defence of the man. Thank the stars he is unelectable.
1.9.2008 9:32am
Anderson (mail):
Why is this thread all about "racism," when Paul's homophobia is at least as repulsive?
1.9.2008 9:35am
Crimso:
The only message I get from all of this is that Paul is clearly not qualified to be POTUS. If you publish a newsletter for years without ever checking to see what's going out under your name, you're an idiot. Yeah, I know, he was busy delivering babies. And no, being an MD in no way excludes the possibility of being an idiot. Trust me.
1.9.2008 9:43am
Cold Warrior:
When the issue of Ron Paul's closet racism (and other unsavory things) came up on this blog previously, I defended him. I thought people were making way too much out of his quirky continuing opposition to a Congressional declaration commemorating the Civil Rights Act. I thought nobody had come up with anything convincing regarding Paul's long public career that would support a charge of racism.

I read the New Republic piece, and I've changed my mind. His name was on the newsletter, and presumably he had editorial control. Even if he didn't have pre-publicaiton editorial control, certainly he should've objected after the first offensive story was published. His name was on it, he didn't stop it, it's fair to say that's because he supported what his newsletter was printing.

Plus I watched him in the NH debate, and he was a little more twisted than I've seen him before. The obsession witht he gold standard thing is now bordering on the bizarre.

So my impression went from "harmless strange little man who may do America a service by bringing libertarian ideas into the public debate" to "weird little crackpot."
1.9.2008 9:52am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
After Paul's 1988 Libertarian Party campaign for President, which I worked on a bit, I started receiving the newsletters in question. That's part of why I have never sent any more money to Ron Paul.

This wasn't the primary reason why I am no longer a libertarian, but unfortunately, the LP attracted a lot of very crazy people--the sorts who I run into supporting Ron Paul today.
1.9.2008 10:12am
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):


Was Clayton Cramer ghostwriting for Dr. Paul?
Nope. I found Paul's newsletters also bizarre and worrisome.
1.9.2008 10:16am
advisory opinion:

"I thought nobody had come up with anything convincing regarding Paul's long public career that would support a charge of racism."
The irony is, even critics of Paul (see, e.g., David B.) went out of their way not to cast Paul as a closet racist. I for one didn't believe he was one. My beef was with his supporters and his campaign's apparent unconcern with an especially vile section of his support. I thought maybe the guy was just incompetent, or simply an opportunist, given his apparent lack of discomfort with the likes of Stormfront, etc. Now that his more impolitic views have come to light, it is apparently that he wasn't given too little benefit of the doubt - but rather TOO MUCH benefit of the doubt.

All of which makes Paul's supporters' defence of the indefensible even more galling, and their imputations of bad faith on the part of Paul's critics especially laughable.
1.9.2008 10:17am
David M (www):
The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/09/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.
1.9.2008 11:21am
Pooche (mail):
What a liar and idiot of a writer and the responses are those of the uninformed.
1.9.2008 11:36am
Christopher Cooke (mail):
I liked Dr. Paul's maverick style and part of me --a liberal Democrat on most issues-- was attracted to him as an antidote to the Big Government that has screwed up our country, in its foreign policy, in its domestic policy. In other words, I thought Dr. Paul could perform "radical" surgery that would help our
country, even if I disagreed with him on a host of domestic issues. I was planning to register Republican to vote for him.

But, I could never vote for someone who put out newsletters like that.

I think they do reveal a racist, anti-semitic, and homophobic side to him that I did not know to exist. It also perhaps explains his refusal to disavow support he has received from the neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups who have contributed to his campaign.

Sorry Dr. Paul supporters, but his hiding from his past is not good, and makes me think he is not the "straight-shooter" he appears to be. His apparent belief in some of the nuttier conspiracy theories undermines my faith in his judgment, which appears to be clouded by this strange ideology that has nothing to do with libertarianism, and everything to do with the marginalized white supremacists who believe in this stuff, and who were apparently Dr. Paul's associates for many years when he was in the political wilderness. Now, maybe the man has changed but I haven't seen convincing rebuttal evidence showing this to be the case. While I admire underdogs and grass-roots campaigning, I can only accept so much kookiness from any candidate.
1.9.2008 11:41am
MINN1L (mail):
While I think Ron Paul is a nut, as well as all of those negative things one can infer from his newsletters, I also believe that it is important to consider that people may change. I do not believe that Paul fits into that category, but we should be hesitant to damn someone for their past behavior without examining what they have done more recently. A prime example is Hugo Black. Now I know that many, if not most, Conspiracy readers and writers likely do not hold Mr. Justice Black in the same esteem as I do, but a look at his record will demonstrate the danger of writing someone off based solely on that person's past record. Black went from being a member of the Ku Klux Klan to one of the strongest champions of civil rights in Supreme Court history. While his KKK membership was, and is, reprehensible, if it guided his later decisions at all, it did so in a positive way.

Ron Paul is different because he was a nut and still is a nut. He likely will remain a nut. But Professor Carpenter's post damns Paul based solely on what happened in the past. I just felt it necessary to point out that such a tactic is not always wise.
1.9.2008 11:48am
Colin (mail):
Is there any chance of adding the phrase "Thunder Run" to the spam filter? I understand that the Chinese spam is hard to catch, but when that site announces its name in every post it should be relatively easy to block.
1.9.2008 11:50am
Archon (mail):
HOW TO COMMIT CHARACTER ASSASINATION
(long title: How to drum up false charges of racism, sexism, anti-semitism, or homophobia to perclude an individual from forwarding their message and make them irrelevant in the eyes of the mainstream political establishment)

1. Send out researchers to comb over every recorded written record or verbal utterace that can be found about the target. The older the statement the better. Researchers should also target statements made during turbulent times or specific events. For instance, statements made during school integration, race based riots, the Matthew Shephard case, and similar events are good examples.

2. Read for any phrase or sentence that could be construed as being even remotely mildly offensive and that relates to sex, race, religion, and sexual orientation and set aside.

3. Select and publish said qoutes in an out of context manner and include outside commentary that suggests motivation for making the statement were hatred and bigotry.

For example, the qoute "David Duke's candidacy shook the Republican establishment" frame the statement to appear as not just be an observation about Duke's candidacy, but is also somehow an endorsement of that candidacy.

4. Quickly after publication, begin to change the public dialogue away from analyzing the actual qoutes and begin to generalize them. Turn the specific qoutes into more generalized statements. You must successfully do this in order to turn what, in context and reviewed in the timeframe in whcih they were made, appear to be statements of blatant bigotry. This way three qoutes discussing race and crime in the inner city become simply "(Person X) thinks all black people in a city are criminals."

5. After successfully conversting specific statements into generalized, distorted general summations begin to use these in the media until it catches on and no one publishes the actual, specific statements.

6. Begin attacking anyone defending the target. Use charged terms such as "racist", "apologist", "denier", and "bigot" to describe those people. Ask them, "why are you defending a bigot/racist?" Attempt to make the person defend themself and not the target.

7. Now to seal the deal, begin to pronounce the statements as "indefensible" and begin to publicly brand the target as a bigot, racist, homophobe which then makes him and everything he stands for irrelevant.

8. Now urge supporters to disassociate themselves with the target and publish public condemnations. Keep in mind that very few people will want to even remotely seem like they are publicly supporting someone who is being called a racist or bigot.

9. Call for the target to apologize and explain thier statements. This gives the target only a few choices. They cannot continue to defend their statements since public dialouge has been converted from discussion about the material to discussion about HOW racist is the material. It is now widely assumed that the material was in fact racist/bigoted.

The target can attempt to continue a defense, but this will become ackward shortly.

The target will then either after to make the decision to apologize and explain or ignore these calls. If he ignores the calls to apologize he seems like nothing more then an unapologetic bigot. "He did apologize - that means he must agree with all that racist trash he said," most people will say in response.

If the target does apologize, it will solidify and make the public believe that these statements were indeed racist and at one point the target may be racist.

With any of these results the character of the target will be sufficiently reduced and his legitimacy will be severely harmed.

Repeat as necessary.
1.9.2008 12:13pm
neurodoc:
David M. Nieporent: it is somehow consequential that Kirchick wrote, "A 1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel, a Canadian Holocaust-denier.", rather than something like, "A 1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie's case to that of Ernst Zundel, a Canadian Holocaust-denier."? If so, how so: People reading only Kirchick's 12-word referent to the newsletter discussion might have thought (fill in the blank), whereas those who bothered to read what was actually in the newsletter for themselves would discover the newsletter said something rather different, that is (fill in the blank).

What would you say in defense of your own summary account, if Kirchick were to fire back: "Nieporent 'simply misrepresented' what is in the newsletter, maintaining as he did, '(W)hat the newsletter actually says is that Zundel's writings are offensive.' Those who bothered to see for themselves what was actually in the newsletter would discover there was no definite condemnation of Zundel or his writings. Instead, Paul (or the person writing in Paul's name) said, 'I am personally offended by writings advocating fascism, socialism, Communism, and other forms of special-interest big government.', then continued, 'Many people find offensive Zundel's writing.' Is Zundel known as an advocate of fascism, socialism, Communism, or other forms of special-interest big government, or is he known first, foremost, and deservedly as a purveyor of raw antisemitism? Surely Nieporent, who is no fool, realizes there is no clear, non-evasive condemnation of Zundel's writing in, 'I am personally offended by writings advocating w, x, y, and z. Many people are offfended by a (Zundel's writing).' Is Nieporent impressed that it was allowed that 'many people' rather than just a few are offended by Zundel's writing, if not Zundel himself? Or is he struggling to find a defense where there is none?"

"In each case, we have people being threatened — in Zundel's case, punished — for their speech. Does it matter that we like Rushdie's speech and not Zundel's? No; the principle is the same." In the US, the First Amendment would protect both Rushdie's speech and Zundel's. In Canada and Germany, which have no First Amendment, everyone is on notice that Holocaust denial may be prosecuted and lead to time in jail. You don't just prefer our system of government to those that allow proscription of Holocaust denial, you think it fundamentally offensive to any notion of "freedom," perhaps even morally abhorrent, to have such laws? Germany (Zundel was prosecuted there too, wasn't he?) cannot justify such limits on "freedom of expression"?

Exam question: Rushdie and Zundel have both "suffered" on account of their writings. Compare and contrast the individuals and their respective cases, making clear whether you think the likenesses or the differences are more significant, and how so.

Again, you will have to pound much, much louder and shout a great deal if you hope to direct attention away from where it should rightfully go here. And that is not to the TNR reporting, but to the story itself. Quibbling over Kirchick's failure to distinguish between a comparison of Rushdie and Zundel and one between Rushdie's writings and Zundel's writings won't do. It only focuses more attention on what is in the newsletter about their respective cases, and that is the very opposite of what defense counsel should do.
1.9.2008 12:16pm
feckless:
Dr Paul is a rank hypocrit:

Houston Chronicle- "Representative Ron Paul has long crusaded against a big central government. But he also" "represented a congressional district that's consistently among the top in Texas in its reliance on dollars from Washington. In the first nine months of the federal government's" fiscal "2006 fiscal year," "it received more than $4 billion." And they report, The Wall Street Journal, 65 earmark-targeted projects, $400 million that you have put into congressional bills for your district, which leads us to the Congressional Quarterly. "The Earmark Dossier of `Dr. No.'

Trotsky was right about Stalin, but that didn't make Bolshevism a good idea.

Dr. Paul is right about Bush's abuse of the constitution, and not much else.
1.9.2008 12:23pm
Ron in Houston:
In the 1990's there were numerous militia groups in Texas (the largest being called "The Republic of Texas") claiming either that the annexation of Texas was illegal or otherwise claiming that the government did not have legitimate power.

Paul actively courted these groups and these newsletters show how he courted them.

These groups often had racist and anti-semitic views so it's not surprising that Paul's newsletters would reflect those views.

For those who want to claim character assassination, the fact is these newsletters were not widely circulated and it would have taken some dedicated research to find copies.

I remember him having these newsletters. Now how much he actually wrote, no one knows.
1.9.2008 12:45pm
Anderson (mail):
HOW TO COMMIT CHARACTER ASSASSINATION (shorter version):

(1) Find out what a candidate has said, written, or allowed to be put forth under his own name.

(2) Hold him accountable for it.
1.9.2008 12:46pm
Gary McGath (www):
Last weekend, at the New Hampshire Liberty Forum, the speaker giving a talk opening for Ron Paul was the head of the John Birch Society. He lost my support right then and there.
1.9.2008 12:59pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
In Canada and Germany, which have no First Amendment, everyone is on notice that Holocaust denial may be prosecuted and lead to time in jail. You don't just prefer our system of government to those that allow proscription of Holocaust denial, you think it fundamentally offensive to any notion of "freedom," perhaps even morally abhorrent, to have such laws?

Yes. And if you don't get something that basic, it's easy to see how you might misinterpret many of Paul's remarks.

None of which changes my opinion that he's a nut. "Trilateralist" ... yeesh!
1.9.2008 1:06pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
I'm very disappointed by McGath's report above.
I expected better of the Birchers.
1.9.2008 1:07pm
TLB (mail) (www):
UWV accuses me of lying, without realizing that TNR released the article first and then, after I had left my comment complaining about the lack of scans - released the scans hours later. I'd say you can't trust what UWV says, but no one knows who it is because it didn't provide an email or URL.

neurodoc: even those who don't support RP should be concerned about the background of this matter. in addition to watching the youtube video I linked above, let me suggest watching this one:

youtube.com/watch?v=wo5qNtflqV0

Then, please tell us where on the spectrum between "the TNR piece is just honest, good journalism" and "DR and/or Rudy ordered the hit" you would place the article. (Please only comment after listening to the first youtube and after reading the article again specifically the DR references.)
1.9.2008 1:41pm
wekt:
At the absolute worst, Paul pandered to racist elements (despite not being a racist himself); more likely, he was simply negligent in choosing who to run his newsletter.

Compare to the other candidates. They deliberately or recklessly ignore the Constitution, including the First Amendment (McCain-Feingold), the Second Amendment (Romney's support for the "assault weapon" ban), the Fourth Amendment (Giuliani and the USA PATRIOT Act), and the Tenth Amendment. They take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, and then they rip out the parts that they don't like. Is this not tantamount to treason against our Constitutional Republic? Perhaps it isn't so morally damning given that everybody else in Washington is doing it, in the same way that supporting slavery was not so morally culpable in Ancient Rome given that all the other Romans also supported slavery.
1.9.2008 1:43pm
Gino:
The revolution is ongoing. Slow, but on going. Luke-warm and faint-hearted libertarians need not apply. Vote Republican. You'll get the government you deserve.
1.9.2008 1:47pm
Crimso:
If he doesn't pay attention to his own newsletter, I don't trust him to pay attention to the Constitution.
1.9.2008 2:05pm
John H. (mail):
This was debunked months ago. The newsletters' publishers admitted that Paul had little direct control over the content and guest authors were often invited to write on his behalf. This was merely a business venture- a way to supplement his private practice (which occupied the vast majority of his time) and hopefully help cement a base for future political pursuits. He mistakenly trusted the newsletter's authors to accurately reflect his views and was blindsided more than once. Several of the more blatant references were actually retracted in subsequent months after Dr. Paul learned of them and was infuriated. Unfortunately Kirchick's cynical agenda doesn't comport with these facts.

http://www.freemarketnews.com/WorldNews.asp?nid=41822

-John
1.9.2008 2:09pm
Crimso:
"You'll get the government you deserve."

Instead of the Sturmabteilung. Chasing Hannity through the streets (What were they thinking? He's white!). Just remember, RP supporters, the fate that befell Roehm.
1.9.2008 2:11pm
Crimso:
"hopefully help cement a base for future political pursuits"

It's done just that. Just that.
1.9.2008 2:13pm
American Patriot:
Wekt, you are too negative and your extreme rhetoric is unecessarily alienating. Romney, Giuliani, McCain are all good Americans. They do ignore the Constitution on many issues (though nowhere near as much as the Democrats) but this is not treason; they actually believe that what they do is in line with the Constitution, and in many cases there are reasonable (though wrong) arguments supporting their positions. I do think that it reflects extremely well on Paul that he is the only candidate to truly follow the Constitution, and this positive outweights the negatives associated with the 20-year-old newsletters, but this is not a reason to demonize all of Paul's opponents.
1.9.2008 2:33pm
Crimso:
"the only candidate to truly follow the Constitution"

I'm not a lawyer, and I know many of you are, so help me out with this. Doesn't following the Constitution entail recognizing the authority of SCOTUS to interpret it? Or is that authority not in the Constitution? Does Paul believe that any SCOTUS decisions were wrong? Because Constitutionally, by definition, they can't be, can they? Does he support Roe vs. Wade?
1.9.2008 2:40pm
happylee:
Archon has it right. Imagine what we could find if we investigated, uh, anybody?
1.9.2008 2:44pm
Ralph Phelan (mail):
where on the spectrum between "the TNR piece is just honest, good journalism" and "DR and/or Rudy ordered the hit" you would place the article
The article's presence in TNR alone is enough to damn it.
However it got me curious enough to go check places like LGF that ultimately linked back to original documents, and I didn't much like what I saw, and the "I didn't know what was being published in my name" excuse is bad if it's a lie and even worse if it's true.
1.9.2008 3:12pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Why are people incapable of assessing Ron Paul's comments (if indeed he did make them himself) taking into account the times in which they were made?"

We are capable of assessing his comments within the historical context. That context was a difficult time, and those comments reveal someone incapable of dealing with diffucult times as a national leader.

Since I presume we will see difficult times in the future, it's not reasonable to have a national leader who couldn't even deal with the times in comments. He didn't have to lead. He didn't have to develop policy. He didn't have to create a consensus. All he had to do was comment, and that's easy. And he blew it.

He may have some fine ideas, and we may be well advised to follow his recommendations. However, that doesn't mean he is capable of responsible leadership. His comments during those difficult times prove that.
1.9.2008 3:46pm
No Paul Supporter:
Crimso: The short answer is that mainstream Republicans disagree with Roe v. Wade as well as much of the liberal decisions of the Warren Court and, to a lesser extent, the courts that followed. Much of the current jurisprudence is based on an activist interpretention of the Constitution. The solution to this is not to ignore Supreme Court rulings, but to appoint justices who follow the Constitution. Most Republicans would agree with this, but Paul feels more strongly than others about the issue, and he also goes farther than the other candidates in terms of the number of cases that should be overruled (e.g., most Republicans disagree with Roe, but Paul would overrule Griswold as well).
1.9.2008 4:34pm
Joel:
Crimso: SCOTUS' power to interpret the Constitution is not explicit, but it is long-standing. Article 3 gives SCOTUS the “judicial power” of the United States; in Marbury v. Madison SCOTUS stated that power included the ability to void laws that conflict with the Constitution.
1.9.2008 4:36pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'Yeah, I know, he was busy delivering babies.'

And Bill Frist was busy cracking chests.

I don't suppose anybody is being harmed by all this except the suckers who give Paul money, either this year as campaign donations or wno paid to get his newsletter. (And how big a market was there for that sort of thing? Hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands?)

Paul was pretty old (a grandfather, at least) to be commiting youthful indescretions in 1990, far beyond the limit that racist nuts had tried to establish once upon a time.

That had been 28, the age at which G. Harrold Carswell was being forgiven for his white supremacy speech.

Us older folk who remember Carswell have seen enough racists to recognize another one when he comes along.
1.9.2008 4:43pm
Brett Bellmore:

Wekt, you are too negative and your extreme rhetoric is unecessarily alienating. Romney, Giuliani, McCain are all good Americans. They do ignore the Constitution on many issues (though nowhere near as much as the Democrats) but this is not treason; they actually believe that what they do is in line with the Constitution, and in many cases there are reasonable (though wrong) arguments supporting their positions.


Sorry, I don't buy that excuse. We're not faced here with honest error. This is the fundamental, inescapable problem with governance in America today: We have a constitution which mandates a limited government of few and enumerated powers, and instead we are governed by the Leviathan. To square this circle requires a degree of systematic bad faith which is simply incompatible with our government being run by people of normal honesty.

This is not to say that our rulers arise each morning, and say to themselves, "Today I will lie from morning to night!" That would actually be more honest, and less dangerous, than the sort of self-deception our ruling class practices. Instead we have a massive edifice of systematic dishonesty, a jurisprudence of lies piled on lies, and people who aren't capable of or willing to participate in the charade are carefully excluded from public office. It's not a system that appeared overnight, but by now it's very well developed indeed, and few manage to evade it.

Paul managed to make it into the House without being excluded by that filter, only due to his starting out as a well financed third party Presidential candidate, and capitalizing on that nation-wide support network to run for a mere House seat. He has remained in that seat in the face of persistent efforts by 'his own' party to unseat him. And by running for higher office, it has now become necessary to pull out all the stops, and destroy him.

You're now witnessing the Leviathan's immune system in operation.
1.9.2008 5:43pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Paul was on candid camera with Stormfront founder Don Black and has accepted Stormfront donations.
Oh, please. This is the kind of garbage that makes the Ron Paul defenders on this issue look they have a better case than they do. Some guy stood next to him and Paul's picture was taken. So? It's not that Paul was secretly captured on film at a Nazi rally; that would be a problem. But some guy stood near Paul. It wasn't a celebrity; there's no reason to believe Paul had any idea who he was.

And he accepted money from the guy? So? If someone sends in money, why should he turn it down? (Really, who would you rather have with the money -- Paul or Black? If Black wants to give away all his money, I say, great.)
Paul is on record as 'not accepting' the theory of evolution.
Which is indeed idiotic, but has nothing to do with the topic.
1.9.2008 7:07pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
"In each case, we have people being threatened — in Zundel's case, punished — for their speech. Does it matter that we like Rushdie's speech and not Zundel's? No; the principle is the same." In the US, the First Amendment would protect both Rushdie's speech and Zundel's. In Canada and Germany, which have no First Amendment, everyone is on notice that Holocaust denial may be prosecuted and lead to time in jail. You don't just prefer our system of government to those that allow proscription of Holocaust denial, you think it fundamentally offensive to any notion of "freedom," perhaps even morally abhorrent, to have such laws?
Yes, Neurodoc, I do. (Voltaire didn't actually say the line, "I don't agree with what you say, but I will defend to your death the right to say it," but it's a good one, anyway.)
Germany (Zundel was prosecuted there too, wasn't he?) cannot justify such limits on "freedom of expression"?
No.

And if I were Paul's counsel, that would be a problem, but I'm not. I have criticized Paul repeatedly above, and in the previous thread on this subject. I am pointing out that people should look at the original sources rather than relying on Kirchick's commentary.

Nor am I quibbling; Kirchick lied. It's not a small difference, but a huge one. If I say that there were assassination attempts against both FDR and Hitler, I am not "comparing" FDR to Hitler, and it would be a lie to say that I was.
1.9.2008 7:18pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Those last two paragraphs of my 7:18 post were supposed to be in response to this comment of Neurodoc's:
Again, you will have to pound much, much louder and shout a great deal if you hope to direct attention away from where it should rightfully go here. And that is not to the TNR reporting, but to the story itself. Quibbling over Kirchick's failure to distinguish between a comparison of Rushdie and Zundel and one between Rushdie's writings and Zundel's writings won't do. It only focuses more attention on what is in the newsletter about their respective cases, and that is the very opposite of what defense counsel should do.
1.9.2008 7:25pm
gnuorder:
I read this piece on Ron Paul and was willing to accept that he either didn't write those bits or has changed since then. After reading the justifications from his supporters, I'm more incline to believe he did and does hold those views. I'm a free speech advocate too but when you talk like a racist and a homophobe, expect to be treated like one.
1.9.2008 10:48pm
neurodoc:
David M. Nieporent, speaking of what Kirchick linked to, you said before "some of the stuff is obscenely offensive...but other stuff is offensive only to those who like libertarian views, and then others are simply misrepresented by Kirchick." The sole example you offered of the "simply misrepresented" was Kirchick's, "A 1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel, a Canadian Holocaust-denier." Now, you would up the ante, declaring, "Kirchick lied"?! (I think there is a place for exclamation marks to signify utter amazement or disbelieve, and this is such a place.)

If you had the burden of proving "lied" in court, do you think you would stand a 1 in 100 chance of persuading a judge or jury that Kirchick chose to say something he knew to be "untrue," that is he "lied," when he said, "A 1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel" rather than "A 1989 newsletter compares Salman Rushdie('s case) to Ernst Zundel('s case)"? Why don't you show it to some friends, along with all that is there about Rushdie and Zundel, and see whether they agree with you or not.

"If I say that there were assassination attempts against both FDR and Hitler, I am not "comparing" FDR to Hitler, and it would be a lie to say that I was." I think in some contexts (e.g., essay question) "compare" may be understood to mean "compare and contrast." And it would not be a "lie" to direct readers to a link in which you "compared" FDR to Hitler, if it turned out that you wrote something like, "Both FDR and Hitler took office when their countries were in great economic distress, held power for the next 12+ years, and were targets of assassination attempts. They were as different as leaders could be, however."

If anything was "simply misrepresented," then it might have been your report that "...what the newsletter actually says is that Zundel's writings are offensive." What the newsletter actually said was, "Many people are offfended by Zundel's writing." But I think you read the linked passage too quickly and missed the implication, not that you were out to mislead anyone, let alone that you "lied."

Leaving aside "simply misrepresented" vs "lie" vs "quibble," would you tell us what of real importance you think Kirchick and TNR got wrong.
1.10.2008 1:11am
Ralph Phelan (mail):
To me the distinction between "compares Salman Rushdie to Ernst Zundel" and "compares the cases of Salman Rushdie and Ernst Zundel" is pretty major, and I think it would be equally major to any free-speech enthusiast who's ever had to hold his nose and support the rights of the likes of Larry Flint.

Kirchik labeled as "racist" a lot of true statements that were merely un-pc, mixed with a much smaller number of genuinely racist statements, which tends to make the racism issue look bigger than it really is (not that it isn't big enough).

Kirchik labeled as "anti-semitic" the anti-ADL stuff, when there are plenty of reasons for a non-anti-semite who dislikes liberalism to dislike the ADL.

Kirchik seriously underplayed the fund-raising letter with the "new-money" looney-ness.

It looks like Kirchik was so determined to squish Paul into the "bigot" box that he missed evidence that Paul belongs in the "batshit-crazy" box instead.
1.10.2008 3:00pm
Jason M:
Gosh, I have seen the light!

We can't take Paul seriously due to guilt by association over something he may or may not have endorsed 10+ years ago, so I guess the only choice is to vote for Huckabee who still thinks evolution is an "unproven theory" and that the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

Either that, or we could just vote for John McCain who is against the Religious Right up to the point where he needs to suck up to them.

You could vote for Hillary, the preferred candidate of big Pharma...

All of the candidates have their warts, and anyone could be used to make some snap judgments as to why not to vote for them. I think more and more people are looking for a reason NOT to like Ron Paul, and perhaps are sacrificing their critical thinking skills in the process.
1.10.2008 4:24pm
formerbeltwaywonk (mail):
The conspiracy theories surrounding the coordinated New Hampshire primary media attack on Ron Paul -- TNR from the left, Fox News and talk radio from the right, and piling on from beltway "libertarians" who made a point of loudly repeating the TNR smears and dumping Ron Paul on the day of the primary -- these conspiracy theories are metaphorically accurate.

The reality behind the conspiratorial metaphor is the social networking between denizens of the Beltway, who sport a wide variety of political labels but are, relative to the rest of the country, a monoculture. These denizens range from the journalists who report the mass media news to various bloggers such as the ones on this blog. Vast amounts of federal money, that stuff that is taken out of your paycheck with such automatic ease, flow into the Beltway area. Directly and indirectly, almost every person who lives in or near the Beltway depends on the very income tax that Ron Paul declared he would abolish -- with no replacement!

Many of these paycheck vampires call themselves "libertarians" and inspire us with their libertarian rhetoric to support them with our attention, our blog hits, and our tuition money as well as the tax money that already funds them or their friends. But at the first sign of political incorrectness, all these below-the-Beltway "libertarians" have dumped Ron Paul like yesterday's garbage. Now they can rest easy that they will still be invited to the parties thrown by their lobbyist and government employee and contractor friends, who for a second or two got worried by all those Google searches that Ron Paul might have some influence, resulting in some of them losing their jobs (end the income tax with no replacement?! The guy is obvioiusly a kook, and we don't invite the supporters of kooks to our parties!). Now everybody around the Beltway can go back to partying at the taxpayer's expense. All the money will keep flowing in, hooray!

The lesson millions of young libertarians have now learned from our beltway "libertarians"? Libertarian electioneering is futile. Voting is futile. Democracy is futile. Anybody who actually wants liberty is a kook, as can be proven by their association with kooks. Beltway wonks posing as "libertarians" are happy to write things to inflame your hopes for liberty that they don't really mean. Then they make sure that we elect the politicians their friends want -- the ones that will enslave your future to pay for full social security for Baby Boomers. The ones that will send you off to foreign lands to kill and die. Our Beltway "libertarians" are happy to sell a whole new generation of libertarians down the tubes in order to keep their Beltway friends happy.
1.10.2008 5:43pm
Just another wanderer, following the links.:
A single thought that struck me when I was reading this... just an idea. Take it or leave it:

Regarding those hateful shameful articles from within a Ron Paul publication...
Perhaps they exist because he agreed with the principals? But not necessarily the literal claims of the articles themselves?
Those principals ... freedom of speech?
1.10.2008 6:55pm
Randy R. (mail):
They are principles, not principals. And there are far better ways to express freedom of speech than to insult whole groups of people.
1.10.2008 9:34pm