The consensus is, basically, that libertarianism needs to more aggressively disassociate itself from right-wing fringe loonies who use libertarianism as a mask to disguise other agendas, or who support libertarianism only because they adhere to some bizarre conspiracy theory or other involving the federal government. Those of us who long ago (as I did) made a decision not to associate with the creepy-paleocons-disguising themselves-as-libertarians in the Lew Rockwell circle--Rockwell being, among other things, the primary suspect as the author of the offensive passages in Ron Paul's newsletters, though he denied it to the New Republic's James Kirchik--need to exert peer pressure on our libertarian friends to follow suit.
Speaking of which, why would otherwise respectable libertarians such as Doug Bandow and Alan Bock write for, and allow themselves to be listed as columnists for, Justin Raimondo's Antiwar.com? Raimondo, one might recall, is best-known for such illuminating commentary as, "If we observe how we were lied into war with Iraq, and by whom, the whole affair looks more like an Israeli covert operation by the day" (and read the whole thing, not to mention his bizarre book, to get the full flavor). Perhaps it's not just elements of the Left that became unhinged by the Iraq War.
UPDATE: The Economist's Democracy in America blog reports:
according to numerous veterans of the libertarian movement, it was an open secret during the late-80s and early-90s who was ghostwriting the portions of Mr Paul's newsletters not penned by the congressman himself: Lew Rockwell, founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and members of his staff, among them Jeffrey Tucker, now editorial vice president of the Institute. Mr Rockwell denied authorship to Jamie Kirchick, the reporter whose New Republic article published earlier this week reignited controversy over the newsletters. But both Mr Rockwell (who attacked the New Republic article on his site) and Mr Tucker refused to discuss the matter with Democracy in America.
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