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A New Conspiracy Theory from the Mises Institute Crowd:

Prof. Thomas DiLorenzo at LewRockwell.com argues that the Ron Paul newsletter scandal was the result of a plot by "beltway libertarians" headquartered at the Cato Institute (where, full disclosure, I am an adjunct fellow, and which is co-publishing my next book), and encouraged by the Kansas-based Koch family (major donors to libertarian causes) to discredit Ron Paul. Here's the kicker: "The author [of the New Republic piece detailing the newsletters' outrageous statements] claims to have retrieved the newsletters from the University of Kansas library, the university where Charles Koch, CATO funder, is a major patron. How on earth would a kid just out of college know to go to a library in Kansas, of all places, to dig up such stuff?"

Well, one theory is that Charles Koch and the leaders of the Cato Institute forwarded the newsletters, or at least the information on where to find them, to the New Republic at the precise right moment to discredit Ron Paul. A rather simpler theory is that James Kirchick, author of the TNR piece, simply went to a well-known Internet database called Worldcat, which tells you which libraries hold which books and periodicals. When I type "Ron Paul" into Worldcat's "Title" tab, I find that the University of Kansas is the only library reported to hold Dr. Ron Paul's Special Report (see for yourself) and one of five libraries to hold Ron Paul's Freedom Report. Several other Ron Paul newsletters are held only by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Even "kids just out of college" often know how to use the Internet, I believe.

Lo and behold, James Kirchick, author of the TNR piece, reported that "finding the pre-1999 newsletters was no easy task, but I was able to track many of them down at the libraries of the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society."

Funny? Pathetic? Both?

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. A New Conspiracy Theory from the Mises Institute Crowd:
  2. More Ron Paul Fallout:
  3. Who Wrote Ron Paul's Newsletters?:
Thoughtful (mail):
So you're saying, since the Internet was involved, the conspiracy against Ron Paul also involved Al Gore?

:-)
1.12.2008 7:49pm
Wondering Willy:
Whether funny, pathetic, or both, the pointed rejection of Ron Paul by what has been referred to as the "Beltway Libertarians" is damaging to the cause.
1.12.2008 7:50pm
Randy R. (mail):
I guess it really hurts when your god turns out to be pretty darn ordinary, even base.

Perfect example of people cutting the evidence to fit the theory.
1.12.2008 7:53pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
I would have thought that the Mises people and the Cato people would have come down differently in regards to Ron Paul. I would have expected Mises to oppose and Cato to support Paul, or at least support his approach to promoting libertarian ideals.

IMO, the Mises folks have been far more ideologically strict than the Cato crowd, who I believe to be more pragmatic in their views. I would have thought that Paul's pro-life, anti-immigration libertarianism would have been recognized as the sort of big-tent approach that would advance libertarian ideals at the cost of ideological perfection- the sort of thing Cato is usually accused of by the Mises guys.
1.12.2008 8:03pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
Well, Dr. DiLorenzo, a while back people invented something called the Internet, which you may be somewhat familiar with as a blogger. Some people use the Internet to do something called "research." One very useful research resource available on the Internet is a database called Worldcat, which tells you which libraries hold which books and periodicals. When I type "Ron Paul" into the "Title" tab, I find that the University of Kansas is the only library reported to hold Dr. Ron Paul's Special Report (see for yourself) and one of five libraries to hold Ron Paul's Freedom Report. Several other Ron Paul newsletters are held only by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Even "kids just out of college" often know how to use the Internet, I believe.

I initially encountered libertarianism through the Mises Institute. I'm grateful to them for that.

I was turned off to the institute by the tone of their rhetoric before I knew anything about their oddball extremist connections. Mr. Bernstein, this post sounds, to me, a lot like their small-minded sarcasm. The fact that you happen to be right in this case doesn't make this lowbrow sarcasm seem much less tacky.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Jim @ FSU has an interesting point.
1.12.2008 8:20pm
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Whether funny, pathetic, or both, the pointed rejection of Ron Paul by what has been referred to as the "Beltway Libertarians" is damaging to the cause.

Fortunately he still has the neoNazis.
1.12.2008 8:24pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Jim's point is misguided because the folks at Cato are no less libertarian in their policy prescriptions than the LVMI people, and indeed in some ways are more so (are more favorable to immigration, for example). The real difference is whether being a "libertarian" movement implies being a "liberal" (tolerant, cosmopolitan) movement. Liberals don't race-bait, don't stir up populist resentment by inventing or promoting nefarious conspiracies, and believe that creating and sustaining in a society with liberal values is as important as, and ultimately a prerequisite for, rolling back the power of the state.
1.12.2008 8:29pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
conspriacies=conspiracy theories
1.12.2008 8:30pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
Ron Paul has been asked to prove a negative--that he is not a racist and that he did not write the subject newsletters. So, in all fairness, prove that Kirchick wrote the article all by himself with his own research.
1.12.2008 8:32pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
I hope my comment didn't sound as disrepectful as I'm afraid it did. I'm just afraid you were (justifiably) upset enough by Prof. DiLorenzo's absurd post that you might not realize how you were coming across (or seemed, to me, to be coming across).
1.12.2008 8:33pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
Also, why did you leave out this part of DiLorenzo's statement:

" In the article itself I recognized a paragraph that was identical to one written on several occassions by one of the especially hate-filled Beltway Losers who works at a D.C. "think tank" on his spleen-venting personal blog."

That's circumstantial evidence of collusion. So--call DiLorenzo a liar if you dare.
1.12.2008 8:39pm
rrm (mail):
Re: Jerri Lynn Ward:

Amazing. Simply amazing.
1.12.2008 8:40pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
Joe, I think you're actually on to something, and I toned down the post a bit, though the point remains.
1.12.2008 8:41pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
A point with which I agree! Thanks.
1.12.2008 8:44pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"Re: Jerri Lynn Ward:

Amazing. Simply amazing."

I'm just in favor of using the same kind of slimy tactics that Kirchick used on all parties involved--if one is going to use them at all.
1.12.2008 8:46pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
One comment about "beltway libertarians." This seems like the classical complaint of non-mainstream activist groups complaining that the incrementalist approach isn't working fast enough.

I think these complaints fail to appreciate that incrementalism isn't adopted out a love of playing politics, but out of necessity. Political change must often accomplished at a very slow pace, hence the metaphor about boiling frogs slowly. A quick revolution that completely redraws the landscape will gore many oxen, creating many enemies of the new order. If one is going to create enemies, one should do so at a manageable pace, lest one be overwhelmed and dealt lasting setbacks.

Examples of this problem include: the assault weapons ban of the 90s, the bush attempt to privatize social security in 2005, the clinton attempt to nationalize health care. One could even include the US overthrow of the sunni government in Iraq, one cause of continuing violence in that country.
1.12.2008 8:50pm
NI:
OK, maybe I'm stupid, but why would "beltway libertarians" want to sink the candidacy of the most libertarian of the major party candidates?
1.12.2008 8:53pm
Richard McEnroe (mail):
jeri lynn ward -- um, you do know Ron Paul both acknowledged writing and defended these newsletters back in 96, yes?
1.12.2008 8:58pm
Thoughtful (mail):
Jerri Lynn says to DB:
"Also, why did you leave out this part of DiLorenzo's statement:

" In the article itself I recognized a paragraph that was identical to one written on several occassions by one of the especially hate-filled Beltway Losers who works at a D.C. "think tank" on his spleen-venting personal blog."

That's circumstantial evidence of collusion."

Jerri, in addition to being somewhat bizarre, your comments also suffer from ambiguity and incompleteness.

It is ambiguous because it is not clear if you are suggesting collusion between Professor Bernstein and the DC think-tank worker or between the DC think-tank worker and Kirchick.

It is incomplete because, rather than collusion you never consider the likely possibility (assuming DiLorenzo's statement is correct) of plagiarism.
1.12.2008 9:04pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
Hey Richard,

I live in Texas and acutely remember the 1996 smearing of Ron Paul during the 1996 election by Lefty Morris--the liberal Democrat schooled in propaganda tactics. Dr. Ron Paul made it clear that he took responsibility for those newsletters. He NEVER said that he wrote them or believed the content thereof--but he took responsibility. He still takes responsibility for their dissemination.

I have read his writings since 1970. He is a gentleman and does not write in the manner of those newsletters. He won't reveal the writer of the news-letters because he is a Christian acutely aware of the admonitions of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew regarding forgiveness and the redemption of those who transgress against us.

I don't particularly approve of the tact that Lew Rockwell's folks are taking in this fight--but I am certainly not going to take the side of those who engage in the tactics of Saul Alinsky either.
1.12.2008 9:11pm
Wugong:
R. McEnroe,

Do you have a cite for that? I hadn't heard that he admitted writing them.
1.12.2008 9:12pm
Zach:
As I recall, KU has an excellent journalism library. It's not really that surprising that they had copies of the newsletter, particularly since DiLorenzo would probably be just as surprised if the relevant library were in any one of about 40 small states.
1.12.2008 9:15pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"It is ambiguous because it is not clear if you are suggesting collusion between Professor Bernstein and the DC think-tank worker or between the DC think-tank worker and Kirchick."

What? I have no idea what you are saying. Go read Dilorenzo's post. I'm talking about the collusion to which Dilorenzo refers. Bernstein has nothing to do with it.

Further, I understand that circumstantial evidence does not equal transcendent truth. I have no idea what's true. I'm merely pointing out "evidence", such as Dr. Dilorenzo's recollection of a similar paragraph.
1.12.2008 9:15pm
Cro (mail):
Not to mention the newsletters were posted on Free Republic weeks ago...
1.12.2008 9:23pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
" In the article itself I recognized a paragraph that was identical to one written on several occassions by one of the especially hate-filled Beltway Losers who works at a D.C. "think tank" on his spleen-venting personal blog."


Jerri Lynn, did he identify which one of the "hate-filled Beltway Losers" wrote the original paragraph? Did he offer the similar paragraphs for comparison? If the answer to both questions is "no", then it is not circumstantial evidence--or any other kind. It is an unsupported assertion, or am assertion based on possibly flawed memory.
1.12.2008 9:43pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Pass the popcorn
1.12.2008 9:44pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
wuzzagrunt:

"Jerri Lynn, did he identify which one of the "hate-filled Beltway Losers" wrote the original paragraph? Did he offer the similar paragraphs for comparison? If the answer to both questions is "no", then it is not circumstantial evidence--or any other kind. It is an unsupported assertion, or am assertion based on possibly flawed memory."

No he didn't and he should and I hope that he does. That's not my point.
1.12.2008 9:55pm
Doc W (mail):
It has been one hour since Richard McEnroe's claim that Ron Paul acknowledged writing the offending newsletters in '96. Like Wugong, I'm waiting for a cite or a retraction of the claim.
1.12.2008 10:00pm
I will vote no more forever:
Didn't these newsletters come up in Paul's original Congressional campaign against Greg Laughlin ten years ago? This is not the first time these newsletters have surfaced, is it?
1.12.2008 10:03pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Whether funny, pathetic, or both, the pointed rejection of Ron Paul by what has been referred to as the "Beltway Libertarians" is damaging to the cause.
Really? Because I think the things Paul did that caused him to be pointedly rejected is what is damaging to the cause.
1.12.2008 10:04pm
MichaelB (mail):


Jerri Lynn, did he identify which one of the "hate-filled Beltway Losers" wrote the original paragraph? Did he offer the similar paragraphs for comparison? If the answer to both questions is "no", then it is not circumstantial evidence--or any other kind. It is an unsupported assertion, or am assertion based on possibly flawed memory.

I'm pretty confident he was referring to Tom Palmer.
1.12.2008 10:07pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Ron Paul has been asked to prove a negative--that he is not a racist and that he did not write the subject newsletters. So, in all fairness, prove that Kirchick wrote the article all by himself with his own research.
Why? Is Kirchick running for office?
1.12.2008 10:07pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Ron Paul has been asked to prove a negative--that he is not a racist and that he did not write the subject newsletters."

He's actualy been asked who wrote them. The newsletter appears under his name, so it's a reasonable question. Do you know?

But, perhaps his name was hijacked and he didn't know it was being used for a newsletter. If so, maybe he can tell us, and help determine who stole his identity?

Or perhaps he was so negligent that he allowed anyone to use his name and didn't pay any attention to what they used it for. Maybe he could tell us if that is the case?

Nobody is asking him to prove a negative, just to answer a few simple and reasonable questions.

I suppose the most unfortunate thing about all this is that so many sincere libertarians hung their hopes on a nutcase. First rule of holes: when you are in one, stop digging.
1.12.2008 10:12pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
For those who want to see what happened in 1996, check out Matt Welch's post over at Reason. If the cultists want to hang their hat on the fact that Paul never said, "I personally wrote these things and I approve of them," they're probably right. But he didn't exactly deny that he wrote them, either. Instead, he repeatedly defended the statements.
1.12.2008 10:13pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"He won't reveal the writer of the news-letters because he is a Christian acutely aware of the admonitions of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew regarding forgiveness and the redemption of those who transgress against us."

In that case we sure don't want him as Commander-in-Chief. I can hear him now, piously telling the American people that he cannot reveal who attacked New York because Matthew doesn't want the word to get out.
1.12.2008 10:20pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"He's actualy been asked who wrote them. The newsletter appears under his name, so it's a reasonable question. Do you know?"

No I don't. Are you asking that Dr. Paul, the consumate Gentleman and Christian "out" the writer to the braying jackals? Are you a Christian?

Assuming that the characterization of these newsletters is that they are racist etc., please remember that the person who has been hurt by them is RON PAUL. It is is integrity and reputation that has been respeatedly attacked as a result.

The demand that he identify the writers is utilitarian and antithetical to Dr. Paul's Christian religion. The Gospel of Matthew is very clear about forgiveness and the procedure to use with those who transgress against you--and who owe you a debt. It involves compassion and forgiveness and the recognition that every man is capable of redemption. It means that you go directly and discreetly to the person who has transgressed against you and resolve it with grace and justice--such as termination of the relationship, restitution, forgiveness and discretion.

It does not include sacrifice of your transgressor to a pack of wolves years after resolution in order to save your own butt. It does not include subjecting your transgressor to personal and professional ruination in order to divert the wrath of others from yourself.
It does not mean building up your treasure on earth instead of in heaven by choosing the more expedient solution.

The writer owes a debt ONLY to Ron Paul--not to anyone else. It is Ron Paul who has been harmed and no one else. He has handled the debt in the discreet manner of a Christian gentlemen in the face of jackels spewing slander, speculation, innuendo and complete misrepresentations.

He has more courage and fortitude than any other man in public office.

Rather than giving due to the nattering classes, I prefer to heed the words of Jesus against the Pharisees who treasured worldly power and tradition over God's commandments about how we are to treat one another:

"You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!"

By supporting Ron Paul, I reject continuing to swallow the camels Ron Paul seeks to banish.
1.12.2008 10:24pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
""He won't reveal the writer of the news-letters because he is a Christian acutely aware of the admonitions of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew regarding forgiveness and the redemption of those who transgress against us."

In that case we sure don't want him as Commander-in-Chief. I can hear him now, piously telling the American people that he cannot reveal who attacked New York because Matthew doesn't want the word to get out."

You are disgustingly obtuse. The newsletters hurt only RON PAUL. You are describing an instance of National Security.
1.12.2008 10:26pm
Sebastian Holsclaw (mail):
Pretty sneaky conspiracy to be able to go back decades and force Ron Paul to let racist homophobes write for his newsletter!

But if they have a time machine AND a mind control device, why do they have to be so roundabout?
1.12.2008 10:32pm
frankcross (mail):
Interesting theory, Jerri. I always though the Bible spoke on behalf of telling truth, which is to set us free. Clearly, it is the writer who should come forward bue he is apparently too cowardly. Now, Ron Paul appears to be sheltering him. And I find it interesting that you are forgiving to racists but show no forgiveness to those whom you call jackals and wolves, apparently on the grounds that they disagree with you. Not very Biblical. That can only further the perceptions about Ron Paul and his followers.
1.12.2008 10:42pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
No I don't. Are you asking that Dr. Paul, the consumate Gentleman and Christian "out" the writer to the braying jackals?
That would seem to be appropriate.

What would also be appropriate, if this person is Paul's friend, would be for this person to admit it, and explain that he did it without Paul's knowledge.
Are you a Christian?
No. Does that matter?
1.12.2008 10:44pm
fishbane (mail):
No I don't. Are you asking that Dr. Paul, the consumate Gentleman and Christian "out" the writer to the braying jackals? Are you a Christian?

Yes, I do think it would be wise for Paul to identify the author of the racist, homophobic and generally nutty screeds, if he would like to be taken seriously by many people who identify as libertarians.

No, I am not a christian, although I was raised as one. I suppose you can decide that the reason I find that question offensive and a complete non sequitur can be found in my answer, if you choose.

You are disgustingly obtuse. The newsletters hurt only RON PAUL. You are describing an instance of National Security.

Um... wow. Can you please describe in what specific ways disclosure of the source of nutty, racist rants published under Paul's name from the '90s could impact national security? Either I'm completely misunderstanding your point, of that's insane.

But you're wrong in a different way - Paul made a splash using the libertarian mantle, and turned out to be a dangerous nut. This harms the libertarian cause. He didn't just hurt himself. As others have said, now people like me need to qualify self-identifying as libertarian so as to include "but not like Ron Paul, who is really a kooky right-wing authoritarian." And thats still going to be viewed with skeptical eyes from otherwise intelligent people. He's done a ton of damage.
1.12.2008 10:49pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
To David M. Nieporent who said "No. Does that matter?:


Yes it certainly does. Dr. Paul is a Christian who walks his talk and does not wear his faith on his sleeve. Do you want him to facilitate, in contravention of his faith, the personal and professional ruination of a person who for all you know regrets what he or she wrote in those newsletters? Do you?

To frankcross who said: "Interesting theory, Jerri. I always though the Bible spoke on behalf of telling truth, which is to set us free."

Theory? I did not discuss a "theory". I discussed the commandments of Jesus regarding those who transgress against us and how we are to deal with them. May I infer from your comments that any person whom you purport to forgive may subsequently be pilloried if it benefits YOU?
1.12.2008 10:58pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"Um... wow. Can you please describe in what specific ways disclosure of the source of nutty, racist rants published under Paul's name from the '90s could impact national security? Either I'm completely misunderstanding your point, of that's insane."

Yes you did completely misunderstand. Re-read my comments. You reached the complete opposite conclusion.
1.12.2008 11:01pm
jim47:
jerri lynn ward:

I take your point that Paul's beliefs compel him not to divulge the writer of the offensive material, but I doubt that Paul's religion guarantees to him a free pass for doing so. In other words, by not divulging the writer, Paul is making a sacrifice to help his comrade; doesn't that only have meaning if he is actually sacrificing something.

The distribution of racist material does harm people generally, not just Paul. Now if Paul is truly taking responsibility for that distribution, then sure, the author only really owes anything to Paul, but that's because Paul has decided to take responsibility for the harm done by the words.

It's not unfair then to ask Paul to bear the burden of restitution.

And the point might be that in some circumstances, you do not want a President who forgives his subordinates, takes responsibility for their actions, then asks the people forgiveness for himself. Sometimes transparency demands that the American people know who in the government screwed up and how, and decide directly if forgiveness is warranted.
1.12.2008 11:02pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"The distribution of racist material does harm people generally, not just Paul. Now if Paul is truly taking responsibility for that distribution, then sure, the author only really owes anything to Paul, but that's because Paul has decided to take responsibility for the harm done by the words."

I do not accept your presupposition that anyone other than Dr. Paul was hurt. Given that, since the 1990's, Dr. Paul HAS taken responsibility for the newsletters. He has accepted the attacks and accusations that have arisen since at least 1996. In all that time, he has refused to deflect blame to the writer of the newsletters and has accepted the attacks.

How easy with would have been for him to point to some low-level intern and said "there is your racist!" He has refused to do so.
1.12.2008 11:07pm
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
Doc W, Wugong, Jerri Lynn Ward:
http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/016595.php

So either he was lying then or he was writing at least some of the controversial articles then. Take your pick.
1.12.2008 11:08pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Do you want him to facilitate, in contravention of his faith, the personal and professional ruination of a person who for all you know regrets what he or she wrote in those newsletters? Do you?
I want him to tell the truth. If there's something in his faith which prevents him from telling the truth, I think that would pose another problem. If Paul knew that Rockwell had killed someone, would he keep it secret because Rockwell had apologized and "regretted" it?

If Rockwell actually regretted what he wrote, would he hang out with the people he does?
1.12.2008 11:09pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"If Paul knew that Rockwell had killed someone, would he keep it secret because Rockwell had apologized and "regretted" it?"

This is ridiculous. You are describing a situation where a third person has been impacted--the murdered individual.

Go read the Gospel of Matthew. I describe a situation that is totally different where ONE INDIVIDUAL has been harmed--Ron Paul. It is only to him that a debt is owed. A debt which involves the compromise of his reputation.
1.12.2008 11:14pm
Doc W (mail):
I watched Paul on Wolf Blitzer. He denied writing the objectionable stuff. He repudiated it. I think he's telling the truth. Does that make me a cultist?


(From fishbane, 10:49) "Paul made a splash using the libertarian mantle, and turned out to be a dangerous nut."

Paul's positions on the issues are strongly libertarian, categorically so in comparison to any of the other presidential candidates. I'm sorry, fishbane, can you explain to me how he is a nut? I missed that part. All I see is a 72-year-old guy working his butt off for limited government, individual liberty at home, foreign non-interventionism, fiscal responsibility--and getting sniped at because he's more closely associated with one childish warring faction of the libertarian movement that the other.
1.12.2008 11:20pm
jim47:

I do not accept your presupposition that anyone other than Dr. Paul was hurt.


It is precisely because the dissemination of racist materials harms society and individuals that we frown upon such things. If it didn't matter, those of us who accept that Dr. Paul is not a racist would not be angry with him. We would simply say, no one got hurt and he's not a racist, so let's move on. But people did, in a small way, get hurt because of Paul either knowingly or negligently assisting in the distribution of racist material.

Paul needs to make amends for that negligence, and he has to show us his judgement in choosing his associates has improved. Outing the author might be one way of doing that, but just because that option is foreclosed to him, doesn't mean Paul is off the hook for doing those things.
1.12.2008 11:22pm
shakespeare101 (mail):
jim47, isn't the dissemination of material, be it found offensive or even racist an inalienable right of our freedom of speech? I can disagree with the author, but society would be harmed more by censoring thought and speech.
1.12.2008 11:30pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
Jim,

Ron Paul has repeatedly made amends for "his negligence" since 1996. That said, I will never agree with your presupposition that some people "got hurt". How the heck did they get "hurt". Quantify that, please.

Regardless, Dr. Paul hasnot tried to get "off the hook". He has apologized and tried to clarify is that he does not look at people in terms of their race, religion, etc. He looks at them as individuals.
1.12.2008 11:31pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Paul's positions on the issues are strongly libertarian,
Except his views on immigration, abortion, gay marriage, flag burning...

Paul regularly puts federalism ahead of individual rights, not merely arguing (e.g.,) that a particular court decision is wrong, but seeking to amend the constitution to allow states to infringe on individual rights.
1.12.2008 11:50pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"Except his views on immigration, abortion, gay marriage, flag burning..."

Let me address his views on abortion. He wrote a book in 1989 about the subject. In this book, he reaffirmed the libertarian idea of non-aggression. He acknowledged that abortion is aggression against an innocent person who happens to reside in the womb. He pointed out that the "location" of the person does not justify aggression against that person. Moreover, he argues that, if the fact that a fetus is totally dependent upon the mother in the womb justifies murder of the fetus--why should a mother not be entitled to murder her helpless babe in the crib?

Therefore, if the captain of a ship no longer wishes the presence of a passenger, why should he not kill the passenger or set him adrift risking his death?

Ron Paul takes the position of a Christian who happens to be libertarian regarding abortion.

You speak of individual rights while completely ignoring the rights of the child within the womb.
1.12.2008 11:59pm
neurodoc:
Ron Paul has been asked to prove a negative--that he is not a racist and that he did not write the subject newsletters. So, in all fairness, prove that Kirchick wrote the article all by himself with his own research.
It is of some consequence whether Ron Paul, a member of Congress and candidate for president, in fact wrote the subject newsletters. It is of NO consequnce whether James Kirchick, a TNR editor unknown to most, in fact wrote the article all by himself (or he only put his name to it) with his own research (or material all of which was found by others.)
1.13.2008 12:03am
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"It is of some consequence whether Ron Paul, a member of Congress and candidate for president, in fact wrote the subject newsletters."

He did not write the subject newsletters. He was not managing the newsletter at the time they were written. Even Kirchick recognizes this.
1.13.2008 12:07am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
"I do not accept your presupposition that anyone other than Dr. Paul was hurt. Given that, since the 1990's, Dr. Paul HAS taken responsibility for the newsletters. He has accepted the attacks and accusations that have arisen since at least 1996. In all that time, he has refused to deflect blame to the writer of the newsletters and has accepted the attacks."

Yes, you're right. But that doesn't absolve him. Here's the situation: Paul's ghostwriter wrote racist, homophobic, bigoted nonsense in Paul's newsletter. Paul was damaged by the association with racism, homophobia, and bigotry.

Now, Paul has a decision to make. First, he could disassociate himself from the above by saying that he neither wrote nor agreed with the material. This would most likely be followed by an admission of who DID write that material. The ghostwriter would then be associated with all that idiocy, and Paul's name would be cleared.

However, Paul chose Option 2, which was to protect the writer from that association by representing that he did indeed write the newsletters in question. So he sacrificed himself (i.e. associated himself with the idiocy in the newsletters) to protect the ghostwriter (from the association). HOWEVER: This does NOT mean that Paul is not now associated with the idiocy in the newsletters. It just means that he had a good reason to create that association.

I don't see how you can simultaneously argue that Ron Paul decided to associate himself with the racist homophobic bigoted newsletters in order to protect the ghostwriters, and then in the next breath say that he should not be associated with the racist homophobic bigotry because he did so.
1.13.2008 12:08am
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
Mathe Mage,

He HAS disassoaciated himself from the material and condemned the content. HE HAS DONE THIS.

He dealt with whomever did this--but chooses to take the heat rather than contributing to the ruination of the person who wrote the newsletters--because he has forgiven the person who damaged his reputation. I can't write anything additional which explains why this is the Christian response to the damage done to Dr. Paul.

"I don't see how you can simultaneously argue that Ron Paul decided to associate himself with the racist homophobic bigoted newsletters in order to protect the ghostwriters, and then in the next breath say that he should not be associated with the racist homophobic bigotry because he did so."

What? Do you not understand Christian doctrine? First, how do you know that the writers have not repented and sought redemption for what they wrote? Second, Dr. Paul has forgiven them and moved on.

Have you never done anything for which you needed forgiveness? If you have, what would you think of the person who forgave you and, then, a few years later decided to FEED YOU TO THE WOLVES in order to save themselves?
1.13.2008 12:20am
Math_Mage (mail) (www):
"Regardless, Dr. Paul hasnot tried to get "off the hook". He has apologized and tried to clarify is that he does not look at people in terms of their race, religion, etc. He looks at them as individuals."

Ah, I see. You say that Ron Paul has made up for the association with his other behavior, and thus should not be tarnished with the various labels one could attribute to the newsletters.

So, to you, his sins are threefold. First, he was negligent to have allowed the stuff to be published under his name. Second, he was dishonest to have represented that he wrote the articles when he did not in fact do so. Third, by representing that he wrote those articles, he associated himself with racism, homophobia, and bigotry. You excuse the first as negligible (no pun intended), excuse the second as Paul sacrificing himself to save the ghostwriter, and the third because Paul did enough to make up for it.

Two quibbles. First, on the second point: Did Paul really sacrifice anything? He was reelected, after all. All he has to do is continue acting like himself to deflect the questions, and the current furor probably hasn't diminished his supporters at all. It seems like all he did was lie, and not sacrifice. Second, he lied to protect the ghostwriter from - what? From being associated with his own writings? Seems weak to me. If Bush told us tomorrow that he was the one who ordered the destruction of the CIA videotapes, and it came out later that Random CIA guy #1 did, Random CIA guy #1 would be blamed for the destruction (fitting, since he DID do it) and Bush would be blamed for lying to protect an underling (but excused from the destruction). The only substantive difference in Ron Paul's situation (that I see) is that Ron Paul was additionally negligent to have let the stuff be written in the first place, whereas Bush can't be expected to monitor Random CIA guy #1 all the time.

This is all assuming, of course, that Paul was lying in '96 and telling the truth now.
1.13.2008 12:25am
Doc W (mail):
Paul opposed the flag-burning amendment: Here is the text of a speech in the House. Sorry, it came up on Lew Rockwell via Google.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul99.html

Paul is not an open-borders guy, at least not anymore, and I see his point. There is a big problem with large numbers of people coming across the southern border illegally and having access to tax-based social services. It's especially problematic in states like Texas where Paul lives. Ideally you wouldn't have the welfare state, government schools, etc, and borders wouldn't much matter, but that's not where we are. Paul is not isolationist and not against immigration per se.

On abortion, the question hinges on the status of the fetus or unborn child. Seems you can't even verbally phrase the issue without taking a stand. Is a fetus, one day before labor, just a tumor to be cut out at will? If not, where to draw the line? How much status as a human being, if any, does a fetus have at a given point? Libertarianism does not answer that question. Many pro-choice libertarians apparently would just like to ignore it.

Paul's stand on gay marriage is that the government should get out of the business of defining marriage. That one is quintessentially libertarian.

I read that in 1997 Paul introduced a constitutional amendment authorizing the states to ban flag-burning, in order to make the point that flag burning is unconstitutional. He has spoken out and voted against a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. His whole web site is pro-individual liberty.

As a legal and historical matter, he apparently believe the Bill of Rights only constrains the federal government. That has to do with law and history, not with libertarian philosophy.

Ron Paul may not be a strict capital-L libertarian (nor am I) but he is simply light years farther in that direction than anyone else of significance on the political scene.
1.13.2008 12:36am
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
He lied to protect the ghostwriter? Prove it! He has never stated that he wrote the particular columns. He has taken responsibility for the fact that the columns went out in a newsletter bearing his name and nothing more. My point is that he is not deflecting blame or passing the buck by "outing" the writer--not that he is "lying" about anything.

He was re-elected because his constituents knew him to be a man of honor. His sacrifice is the embarrassment of the continuing rehashing of the newsletter issue. I don't understand what the heck you are trying to say about Bush.

Insofar as Ron Paul's negligence, my understanding is that he was maintaining a full time practice of medicine. He had an ownership interest in the newsletter but was neither managing nor editing it--nor publishing it. He was an owner and was not working "in" the business--though he sometimes submitted articles.

If you own a business in which you do not work and that you do not manage, you will understand my point. If you are an employee, you may not.
1.13.2008 12:38am
Elliot123 (mail):
"You are disgustingly obtuse. The newsletters hurt only RON PAUL. You are describing an instance of National Security."

Does Matthew make an exception for national security? Under what conditions can Matthew be ignored?
1.13.2008 12:40am
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
Elliot,

The Gospel of Matthew to which I refer concerns those who transgress against individuals like you and me. The persons who wrote in an intemperate manner in Dr. Paul's newsletters transgressed against him.

However, you make a good point. Take homicide. It wasn't always dealt with by imprisonment or civil decrees of death. At one time, it was a matter of restitution (in cases of accidental homicide)--so the commandments of Jesus laid out in the Gospel of Matthew could apply in such instances.
1.13.2008 12:51am
neurodoc:
Insofar as Ron Paul's negligence, my understanding is that he was maintaining a full time practice of medicine. He had an ownership interest in the newsletter but was neither managing nor editing it--nor publishing it. He was an owner and was not working "in" the business--though he sometimes submitted articles.
Paul was too busy delivering babies and/or uninterested, so did not read the newsletters in which he had an ownership interest; newsletter that were represented to subscribers not just as reflections of Paul's thinking, but as his own written expression; and newsletters from which he derived income? We should believe this because we should know that he would never lie or misrepresent?? Or are we supposed to take it on the word of his ardent defender Jerri Lynn Ward??? ("He did not write the subject newsletters.")
1.13.2008 1:06am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Paul opposed the flag-burning amendment:
He also sponsored one, although he claims he did it to make a political point. But let's move on:
Here is the text of a speech in the House. Sorry, it came up on Lew Rockwell via Google.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul99.html
Yes. And most of it could be words that any libertarian could say (minus the kooky aside about how the 16th amendment wasn't ratified). But then you get to the part of that column which is anti-libertarian:
I also support overriding the Supreme Court case that overturned State laws prohibiting flag burning. Under the Constitutional principle of federalism, questions such as whether or not Texas should prohibit flag burning are strictly up to the people of Texas, not the United States Supreme Court. Thus, if this amendment simply restored the state's authority to ban flag burning, I would enthusiastically support it.
He doesn't just say that the Supreme Court's decision was wrong -- a statement which itself demonstrates a weird understanding of "federalism" -- but adds that he would "enthusiastically" support a constitutional amendment to allow Texas to infringe on freedom of speech.
1.13.2008 1:20am
jim47:
shakespeare101: I do not equate the criticism by private citizens of a person for his words, on the one hand, with government censorship, on the other. Anyone has a right to express any opinion and I have the right to express my views of that opinion.

Saying that the expression of some ideas is harmful to society does not undermine this libertarian free speech position, because state censorship is a greater evil, but neither does it make the expression of all opinions a positive good.
1.13.2008 1:24am
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"We should believe this because we should know that he would never lie or misrepresent?? Or are we supposed to take it on the word of his ardent defender Jerri Lynn Ward??? ("He did not write the subject newsletters.")"

I don't care what you believe. Believe whatever you pull out of your nether-regions. This is what Ron Paul has said and I believe him. Should I believe your theories? Who are you? I've followed Ron Paul since the 1970's when he was stumping for Ronald Reagan in defiance of establishment Republicans. I believe him.

Generally, when someone calls a person a liar, they are the ones required to bring forth proof. Can you bring forth proof that Ron Paul is lying when he says that he was not running the newsletter on a day by day basis? Despite that, he is still honorable enough to take responsibility for failing to detect what was written in his name. You don't even have sufficient honor or courage to publish your real name on this site along with your accusations. and innuendo.
1.13.2008 1:34am
David M. Nieporent (www):
He has never stated that he wrote the particular columns.
Yes, he did. During the 1996 campaign.
1.13.2008 1:36am
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
David, read the source article: http://www.texasmonthly.com/2001-10-01/feature7-2.php
1.13.2008 1:43am
Kazinski:
Whether Paul wrote the newsletters or not, he is responsible for what went out under his name. That disqualifies him to be considered for the presidency in my opinion, not that I was considering him anyway.

If he was unaware of what was going out on the newsletter that indicates a lack of judgment and reflects badly on him. If he was aware of what was going out and did nothing about it, that is even worse, if he wrote those words then he shouldn't even be allowed up on the stage with the other Republicans in the debates.
1.13.2008 1:47am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Jeri, I've read his 5-year-later denials. But that's not what he said in 1996. Not clear why we should believe him now, especially when he refuses to tell the truth about who did write them. Of course, even if we do believe him about not writing them, there's still the question of why we should believe that he didn't know about them.

And even if we do believe that, there's still the question of why he would be in bed with people who write that sort of thing. And before you repeat your same mantra, the question isn't whether Paul forgave him for it. The question is why Paul was friends with this person in the first place.
1.13.2008 3:55am
CLS (mail):
The purported actual author of the newsletters is Lew Rockwell, the head of the Mises Institute. Of course they will do what ever they can to divert attention away from the actual content of the newsletters and the question of why Rockwell is such a coward and refusing to take responsibility for the publican he edited on Paul's behalf.

What evidence does diLorenzo offer? He claims a paragraph is similar to a paragraph that appeared on a website run by a Cato person -- Tom Palmer clearly. Why doesn't diLorenzo show this paragraph?

And if they are the same then ask yourself what Mr. Kirchick would do to research his story. He would run a search on racism and the Mises Institute for one -- there is plenty on that. And one site that would come up would be Palmer's site. At best diLorenzo could claim that Kirchick used Palmer's web site as one source for his information -- hardly as damning ad the wackos at the Mises Institute want to pretend.

Considering their associations with bigots, racists and anti-Semites the Mises Insitute deserves some scrutiny.
1.13.2008 4:28am
MDJD2B (mail):
When a person asks for our vote, it is that person's burden of proof to show that he deserves it. Depending on how important an issue is to us, we can set that burden of proof as high as we like. Similarly, the candidate has the burden of proof to show voters that he has sufficient character and judgment to hold the office.

This is why negative campaigning (unattroactive as it is) is so successful. If I am desperately interested in one or a few issues, or in one or a few indicia of character and judgment, the burden may be high indeed.

Many who personally have been affected by discrimination set an extremely high bar. They want to see a candidate squeaky clean.

Libertarianism (or classic liberalism) includesthe right to discriminate an any basis. It is easy for racists who prefer capitalism to hide behind libertarian ideology. Libertarians who believe themselves to be putative targets of ethnic or other discrimination will be concerned about Dr. Paul, because he is not squeaky clean in this way.
1.13.2008 10:02am
American Patriot:
Nieporent wrote:

"Except his views on immigration, abortion, gay marriage, flag burning."

Immigration: One's position on immigration has nothing to do with whether one is a libertarian. Even if it did in a perfectly libertarian society, in our current welfare state more immigration could mean more government intervention in the economy. Moreover, Paul's emphasis is first and foremost on stopping illegal immigration, which is certainly not un-libertarian.

Abortion: If you believe that the fetus is a human, then the libertarian position would be to protect the fetuses' right as well as the right of other people. Paul does not even make the assumption that the fetus is a human, he just wants the state to be able to make that assumption.

Gay marriage: One's position on gay marriage has nothing to do with libertarianism. However marriage is defined, it will include some couples and exclude others (e.g., it excludes marriying a man and a basketball). If you agree that the state should have a role in marriage, it is necessary for the state to agree on some definition.

Flag burning: Of the four issues listed by Nieporent, this is the only issue on which libertarians would agree. As it turns out, Paul strongly believes that we should have a right to flag burning. He introduced the anti-flag-burning amendment in Congress only because he wanted to make the point that, if Congress were to ban flag burning, it would need a constitutional amendment rather than just a statute (which would violate the First Amendment). Paul himself never supported the constitutional amendment to ban flag burning.
1.13.2008 10:29am
Doc W (mail):
[Sorry, fell asleep]

(from David M. Nieporent) "He doesn't just say that the Supreme Court's decision was wrong -- a statement which itself demonstrates a weird understanding of "federalism" -- but adds that he would "enthusiastically" support a constitutional amendment to allow Texas to infringe on freedom of speech."

You mean a different understanding of federalism from your own. That is a historical and legal difference, not a difference in libertarian philosophy. Paul's statements indicate he would be opposed to outlawing flag burning at any level, but he doesn't believe the feds have the constitutional authority to interfere with the states in such matters. I wouldn't go along with him on that any more than you do, but I stand by my observation that Paul's libertarian credentials are strong, remarkably and uniquely so in comparison to any of the presidential contenders and virtually anyone of significance on the political scene.
1.13.2008 10:30am
American Patriot:
"Jeri, I've read his 5-year-later denials. But that's not what he said in 1996. Not clear why we should believe him now, especially when he refuses to tell the truth about who did write them."

Paul wrote part of the newsletters and some of his supporters wrote other parts of the newsletters. Paul did not write the most controversial comments. Even if Paul wrote the comments that were discussed in 1996, that doesn't mean he wrote most of the quotes from the TNR article.

And even if Paul defended the substance of the quotes in 1996, it doesn't even necessarily mean that he wrote or eveb edited these quotes; as editor, he knew he had some degree of responsibility over the newsletters whether or not he wrote/edited anything, and to the extent he agreed with them on the merits, he could have defended them. This is a different situation with the TNR quotes since here he does not agree with them on the merits.

The main problem with all this is that political incorrectness is now considered the greatest political sin. No one cares whether, say, Giuliani was married three times, but if a politician is friends with someone who is friends with white nationalists (e.g., Ron Paul's friendship with Rockwell, who apparently is connected with white nationalists), this is a career killer.
1.13.2008 10:37am
frankcross (mail):
Jerri, your vigor is remarkable, but you're not really persuasive. Because you are cherrypicking. Perhaps my first post was unclear.

1. There is nothing inconsistent about telling the truth and Christian forgiveness. Nothing about forgiveness means you don't tell the truth. In fact, it is contrary, forgiveness should be preceded by the transgressor's confession of truth.

2. Your principle of Christian forgiveness is horribly contradicted by your position on those who criticize Ron Paul. You call them names and show no forgiveness toward them. The only consistent reading of your posts to date is that you worship Ron Paul, and not God, because you defend him unthinkingly.
1.13.2008 12:01pm
K Parker (mail):
"beltway libertarians"
Congratulations at arriving, DB! You're part of The Machine™ now.
1.13.2008 12:29pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Ron Paul associated himself with people who hold/held some repellent ideas, and represented those ideas as those of Ron Paul. He has repudiated the ideas and made the (completely believable) claim that he was not the author of the newsletters. His defenders are claiming that the author(s) made some sort of apology to Dr. Paul. Also, that Dr. Paul has forgiven the author(s) and/or disassociated himself from him/them. Additionally, Dr. Paul's defenders are claiming that only Ron Paul has been harmed by the resulting--and entirely predictable--kerfuffle.

I have several problems with this. First, people contributed scarce resources (money, time, energy) to his campaign, and they may have a different opinion about whether they were also harmed. A candidate is not responsible for every supporter's hurt feelings, but he does have an obligation to be truthful and open.

Second, since Dr. Paul refuses to identify the author(s) of the newsletters, nobody has any way of knowing whether he has truly disassociated himself with the individual(s) in question. If he is continuing the association, people have a right to question his commitment to his stated ideals.

Third, and not incidental to #2, Ron Paul has stated that he has "no idea" who wrote the articles. I flat-out don't believe him. At best, it is a lie of omission because he could easily find out, but won't ask. But really.......

Ron Paul doesn't owe me a thing because I was never going to contribute to his campaign, or vote for him. His wacky conspiracy theories--or his pandering to those who hold them--is enough for me to disqualify him from consideration. His lack of consistency, on signature issues, is also a disqualifier. On "earmarks" for his district, and his constant shrieking about the constitutionality of military operations (absent a congressional declaration of war), he has no credibility.

If "VOTE FOR ME (I'm marginally better than the other lying politicians)" were a campaign slogan that could get traction, I'm sure someone else would have used it by now. It might work in Chicago or Boston, but not nationally.
1.13.2008 12:36pm
MDJD2B (mail):

No one cares whether, say, Giuliani was married three times, but if a politician is friends with someone who is friends with white nationalists (e.g., Ron Paul's friendship with Rockwell, who apparently is connected with white nationalists), this is a career killer.

Right. People whom white nationalist would harm will vote against candidates who might support, and thus who might enact, their agenda. Surprise.
1.13.2008 1:08pm
Jerri Lynn Ward (mail):
"You call them names and show no forgiveness toward them."

I am not using horrible names against Ron Paul's mere critics. I am using horrible names against smearers and utilizers of Saul Alinsky tactics--such as Kirchick. I use those names in the same vein as did Jesus against the Pharisees:

23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 "You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

I don't disagree that Ron Paul should be criticized for failing to be more careful about what went out under his name, especially since he believes that the wording was intemperate and antithetical to his methods of persuasion. He has acknowledged this. He has taken responsibility for this.

Moreover, many of the quotes were cherry picked out of context to look much worse than they were. I have to say that I have a good memory of the days following those riots and remember hearing very similar kinds of statements coming from the mouths of talking heads like Rush Limbaugh. In fact, when I read the newsletters, it crossed my mind that Ann Coulter or Michael Savage might have interned with the newsletters during that period.

I also remember, long before, having heard accusations against MLK concerning plagarism, adultery and ties with communists--which, as far as I can tell, have been confirmed.

As a life long Texan and Republican, I certainly did not think highly of Barbara Jordan--because of her ideology and political positions. And to see conservatives make a huge political sin of "homophobia" is plain laughable to me. Count me in on that one when it comes to gay activism and so-called hate crimes that involve undermining of the First Amendment.

By the way, Lew Rockwell and the Von Mises organization have no ties to White Nationalists--that is rank defamation. Go look at the number of Jewish writers involved in both endeavors--like Walter Block, Murray Sabrin, and the publisher of the Lew Rockwell site, Burton S. Blumert.
1.13.2008 1:42pm
frankcross (mail):
I'm not sure you should compare yourself to Jesus. In your ability to decide who should be criticized and who not.
1.13.2008 1:44pm
Steven Horwitz (mail) (www):
Jerri writes:


By the way, Lew Rockwell and the Von Mises organization have no ties to White Nationalists--that is rank defamation. Go look at the number of Jewish writers involved in both endeavors--like Walter Block, Murray Sabrin, and the publisher of the Lew Rockwell site, Burton S. Blumert.


Sigh. I hate to disagree, but: http://rightwatch.tblog.com/archive/2007/02/ Read the evidence for yourself.

Having some Jewish friends hardly protects you against having other close friends who are anti-Semitic and/or White Nationalists.

Let's also not forget that Joe Sobran is/was a contributor to both sites in addition to his "work" for the Institute for Historical Review.

Ask yourself Jerri why Stormfront and the KKK continue to promote and support Ron Paul as their candidate. It's not an accident - Paul's name has been used to cultivate their support by the core of people now associated with the Mises Institute, and the newsletters are evidence thereof.
1.13.2008 2:01pm
American Patriot:
Steven Horwitz: So the Mises Institute may have published works by people who happened to be white nationalists or anti-semitic, or hosted conferences that included speakers with similarly racist view, even though the vast majority of scholars affiliated with the Mises Institute are not themselves racist or white nationalists. From your perspective, this makes the Mises Institute abhorrent and any respectable person should dissociated him/herself from the Institute.

But Harvard, Yale and Columbia certainly have a good number of communists or people with similarly ridiculous views on their faculty, particularly within their African American Studies, Women's Studies or Sociology Departments. Some of the extreme leftists at top universities also have views that bloggers on VC have acknowledged to be anti-semitic. Does this mean that any respectable person should dissociate himself from Harvard, Yale and Columbia? If not, do you really think that the Mises Institute is more closely affiliated with extreme right-wingers than Harvard, Yale and Columbia are affiliated with extreme left-wingers?
1.13.2008 2:09pm
American Patriot:
"Ask yourself Jerri why Stormfront and the KKK continue to promote and support Ron Paul as their candidate."

A few months ago, the VC linked to the Stormfront post that explained why they support Ron Paul. From what I recall, they listed seven or eight reasons, none of which was particularly controversial. These included Ron Paul's opposition to hate crime laws, opposition to illegal immigration, opposition to the Iraq War, opposition to foreign aid to Israel [which only derives from his general opposition to all foreign aid], etc.
1.13.2008 2:17pm
Doc W (mail):
(From wuzzagrunt, 12.36 pm) "On "earmarks" for his district, and his constant shrieking about the constitutionality of military operations (absent a congressional declaration of war), he has no credibility."

One more time on earmarks: If the spending bill passes, all the money appropriated will be spent. If Paul doesn't request earmarks for his district, the money will be spent elsewhere. The total spending will not decrease, and his constituents will not get a refund on any of their taxes. The earmark allows his constituents to get some of their money back. Paul votes against the spending bill, but his vote is insufficient to keep it from passing. If there were enough Ron Pauls in Congress, there would be no earmarks. Sounds like a completely credible position to me.

We invaded a country (Iraq) that did not attack us and posed no military threat to us and have occupied that country for several years, to the tune of thousands dead, tens of thousands wounded, a trillion dollars squandered (not to mention the Iraqi losses!), without a declaration of war. Paul objects to that. Sounds like a credible objection to me. The people whom we should all agree lack credibility on this issue are those who ordered the invasion and those who supported it (and continue to support it).

As to the significance of those newsletters, I guess we just disagree. I've posted several times on that here. It just seems to me that there's something going on here beyond the merits of the issue--namely, that stinking civil war between factions in the pro-liberty movement. Grow up, all of you.
1.13.2008 2:34pm
NickM (mail) (www):
I didn't know Jesus taught omerta.

Nick
1.13.2008 2:38pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Ron Paul associated himself with people who hold/held some repellent ideas, and represented those ideas as those of Ron Paul. He has repudiated the ideas and made the (completely believable) claim that he was not the author of the newsletters.
You know what would make the claim more convincing?

If, in the particular issue of the newsletter that was published after Paul discovered these things, a note from the publisher was printed which apologized to readers and pointed out that some of the items previously published therein didn't reflect the views of Ron Paul.

Wonder if Paul ever did that?
1.13.2008 2:58pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Moreover, many of the quotes were cherry picked out of context to look much worse than they were.
There's no "context" in which they don't look bad. And TNR linked to PDFs of the actual newsletters, so we can see the "context." They don't look any better.

I have to say that I have a good memory of the days following those riots and remember hearing very similar kinds of statements coming from the mouths of talking heads like Rush Limbaugh. In fact, when I read the newsletters, it crossed my mind that Ann Coulter or Michael Savage might have interned with the newsletters during that period.
Maybe they did. Paul won't tell us.

How "He sounds like Michael Savage" is supposed to be a defense of Paul is beyond me, though.
1.13.2008 3:43pm
wuzzagrunt (mail):
Doc W, Paul's explanation of the earmarks was perfectly reasonable...for Huckabee or McCain. The fact that RP didn't create the system, but is merely working within its rules for the interests of his constituents, is what they all say. If you want to set a higher standard, don't be surprised if you are held to it.

Doc W:
We invaded a country (Iraq) that did not attack us and posed no military threat to us and have occupied that country for several years, to the tune of thousands dead, tens of thousands wounded, a trillion dollars squandered (not to mention the Iraqi losses!), without a declaration of war. Paul objects to that. Sounds like a credible objection to me. The people whom we should all agree lack credibility on this issue are those who ordered the invasion and those who supported it (and continue to support it).

Unfortunately, none of that addresses the question. Paul claims the Iraq invasion is unconstitutional because there was no congressional DoW. He did, however, vote for the AUMF against Terrorists, which is the same thing--except remarkably open-ended. A joint resolution of Congress is either a legal authorization for the Executive to make war, or it is not. It is not only constitutionally permissible when Ron Paul approves of the adventure.
1.13.2008 4:18pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Collusion?

Let's say the Kochites did 'place' the story. What's wrong with that?

Every morning when I sit down at my desk in the newsroom, dozens of people attempt to 'place' news story ideas with me -- that is, they send me material that they think I don't already know.

If the information looks interesting, and if it checks out, off we go. The motives of the original informant are irrelevant.
1.13.2008 4:35pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"The Gospel of Matthew to which I refer concerns those who transgress against individuals like you and me. The persons who wrote in an intemperate manner in Dr. Paul's newsletters transgressed against him."

"Individuals like you and me???" Does that leave out those individuals like Clarence Thomas, Denzel Washington, and Condoleza Rice? I would think racist nonsense transgresses against them, not Ron Paul. Did Matthew carve out a safe harbor for consumate Christians for transgressions against Blacks?
1.13.2008 4:49pm
Cro (mail):
Funny. I'm laughing. Why can't we find a libertarian who's not nuts? Or is that the only kind that's electorally viable?

Isn't that scary?
1.13.2008 5:55pm
Curious (mail):
Elliot123: Let me clarify that I stopped my support of Ron Paul (even though I think it highly unlikely that he is, personally, a bigot) when I read these newsletters.

Having said that, I think Clarence Thomas, Denzel Washington, and Condoleza Rice are managing well, and have not been harmed by what was in the Ron Paul broadsides. I think even Oprah will manage to survive this.

There IS an interesting philosophic question, which I raise only as an intellectual curiosity and not as a recommendation or as an implication that these are the only choices before us: would you (and this is an especially interesting question if you are black) prefer to be governed by someone who is a racist, but who because of his beliefs in limited government, lowers your taxes, introduces competition in education, ends the drug war that turns inner cities into war zones, and doesn't believe the government has the power to implement Jim Crow [I know Jim Crow laws were state and city laws; this is a hypothetical], or would you prefer someone who very much supports blacks, and puts them in his Cabinet, but because of his other beliefs heavily regulates businesses and supports licensing regulations of hundreds of occupations that have the practical effect of making it harder to find a job and earn a living, is very supportive of teacher's unions and manufacturing unions, which also practically harm you as an individual; will do nothing to eliminate price supports, which cost you in the marketplace; and is thinking about re-instituting the draft, the better to fight foreign wars.

In other words, would you rather be governed by a bigot whose policies help you or an enlightened fellow whose policies hurt you?
1.13.2008 6:05pm
Waldensian (mail):

In other words, would you rather be governed by a bigot whose policies help you or an enlightened fellow whose policies hurt you?

Are these my only choices?
1.13.2008 6:39pm
Elliot123 (mail):
I have to say that I have a good memory of the days following those riots and remember hearing very similar kinds of statements coming from the mouths of talking heads like Rush Limbaugh. In fact, when I read the newsletters, it crossed my mind that Ann Coulter or Michael Savage might have interned with the newsletters during that period.

Good point. If Limbaugh, Coulter, or Savage made such comments, and were running for president, we should certainly dig up whatever they said and demand an explanation. However, I think any of those three would handle themselves far better than Paul did last week.

"In other words, would you rather be governed by a bigot whose policies help you or an enlightened fellow whose policies hurt you?"

You set the parameters of your question, so I will sytay within them. I'd take the bigot. Thankfully, I am not faced with that choice.
1.13.2008 8:11pm
MDJD2B (mail):
Curious--

Take your hypothetical a bit further.

If you personally were a disfavored minority (DM), would you prefer to live in a society where the per capita DM income was $50,000 and the average majority person (MP) per capita income was $100,000; or would you prefer to live in a society in which the per capita income was $35,000 both for DMs and for MPs?

Assume the disparity is because DM's are excluded from lucrative jobs because of private choices by MP's. Assume also that DM's are regularly subjected to personal abuse and humiliation that did not affect their material standard of living. Say you were forced to live in defined areas and were forced to ride on special busses and trains with wooden seats instead of padded seats, etc.

Which would you choose?
1.13.2008 8:16pm
Curious (mail):
Waldesian, considering my hypothetical asks, "are those my only choices?"

Well, if you'll look again at what I wrote, I began: "There IS an interesting philosophic question, which I raise only as an intellectual curiosity and not as a recommendation or as an implication that these are the only choices before us

And MDJD2B extends the hypothetical in a way designed to make it uncomfortable to choose "more money". And I agree with him. Certainly money is not the only variable, and in fact specific sums were never mentioned in my initial scenario. My scenario was instead designed to focus on one fact, both interesting and curious, which can often be overlooked: namely, that policies and politics have real-world effects independent of the desires and predictions of their supporters. So it is possible, in some circumstances likely, that actual policies put into effect by someone who has neanderthal ideas about the races might make blacks better off than actual policies supported by those who correctly recognize blacks as equals.

Anyone is free, of course, to construct hypotheticals as they desire, to focus on whatever they see as important. But I can't help but notice, with his discussion of special buses, etc., that in MDJD2B's scenario it is not merely the President but a significant percentage, perhaps majority, of the society that is racist. Clearly, it is not controversial to suggest such a society would be unpleasant for blacks, and they'd be foolish to choose it, even if they might be somewhat better off financially. However, what if, as I hypothesized, we had a government leader who was racist but who advocated policies that made blacks better off, society otherwise being the same as now? Then we're dealing with something like: "The President won't have me over to supper, and will avoid shaking my hand in a crowd; I understand, too, that in private he makes jokes at the expense of people like me. But my taxes are lower, my kid's schools have improved, the inner cities are less violent, and me and all my white friends agree we're all better off."

I don't typically design hypotheticals to force a point I think is obvious. I create them to flesh out and re-evaluate issues for which the answer is not, to me, immediately evident. So I don't know what choice I'd make. I just offered it as an interesting consideration.
1.13.2008 9:07pm
American Patriot:
"If you personally were a disfavored minority (DM), would you prefer to live in a society where the per capita DM income was $50,000 and the average majority person (MP) per capita income was $100,000; or would you prefer to live in a society in which the per capita income was $35,000 both for DMs and for MPs?"

This is not a hard choice. Even Leftist philosopher John Rawls (who places much more weight to the value of equality than normal people would) would prefer the former, since given these two scenarios the inequalities of the first society benefit the worst of members of society.

It is truly stunning how much weight liberals place in equality. I for one would much prefer living in a society where half of society earns $40,000 and the other half earns $250,000 than in a society where everyone earns $50,000.
1.13.2008 9:15pm
MDJD2B (mail):

This is not a hard choice. Even Leftist philosopher John Rawls (who places much more weight to the value of equality than normal people would) would prefer the former, since given these two scenarios the inequalities of the first society benefit the worst of members of society.


Curious agrees that non-economic choices enter into the decision. Many people would prefer not to live as members of a disadvantaged minority regardless of the economic consequences because of the psychic (and potentioal physical) consequences of such a state.

Furthermore, paople natrually tend to assume that a politician's supporters approve or tolerate the whole package. I (a Jew) recall visiting New Orleans on professional business shortly after David Duke won almost 1/2 the white vote in an election. My reaction whenever I walked down the street is that half the whites I saw had voted for a rabid anti-Semite. This was not unique-- it came up in some conversations I had there. Were they Klansmen? Probably not, but it was very disturbing that they had voted for this guy. Had I been voting in that election, I would have voted for anyone else, no matter what his position on economic issues.

If you want to attract minorities to your movement, then you should repudiate the racists. The last I lookes, Hispanics, Asians, and people of African extraction comprised over 25% of the population. If you rally behind the likes of Ron Paul and his friends from Mises, many, if not most of them will not even begin to listen to what you have to say.
1.13.2008 10:04pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Actually, MDJD, you wouldn't have voted for ANYONE else. You would have had to vote for Edwin Edwards.

Recall the bumper sticker of the time: Vote for the crook.

Which people did.

And it wasn't half the people who had voted for a bigot.

It was half the Democrats who voted in the primary, so, probably, one person in 10 or 20.
1.13.2008 10:55pm
MDJD2B (mail):
Right. "Vote for the wizard, not the lizard." Better the lizard.
1.14.2008 8:11am
John M. Perkins (mail):
Standard interlibrary loan [ILL].
Go to WorldCat, a semi-public view of the OCLC ILL system, and request.
1.14.2008 10:32am
Connecticut Lawyer (mail):
When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. That's why Dr. Paul is so itchy.
1.14.2008 10:52am
WhatsOldIsNewAgain:
Here are some better informed views of the anti-Paul smear campaign conducted by Marty Peretz and the beltway "libertarians":

Steve Sailer on Marty Peretz vs. Ron Paul

"formerbeltwaywonk" on the social networks that lie behind the simultaneous attacks against Paul by the beltway "libertarians"
1.14.2008 10:58pm
formerbeltwaywonk (mail):
Ron Paul has repeatedly made amends for "his negligence" since 1996. That said, I will never agree with your presupposition that some people "got hurt". How the heck did they get "hurt". Quantify that, please.

Regardless, Dr. Paul has not tried to get "off the hook". He has apologized and tried to clarify is that he does not look at people in terms of their race, religion, etc. He looks at them as individuals.


Jeri, you're wasting your breath trying to reason with these Volokh/Cato people. They are fanatically attached to their own narrow beltway monoculture (Cato, GMU, etc.). They have had a very old running feud with Rockwell, Paul, and the Von Mises Institute. They and other bloggers associated with Cato and GMU have been quite happy to discuss in shocked tones, starting well before the polls closed on the very day of the most important primary, any and all of the worst dirt Marty Peretz' TNR crew and others could dig up about Dr. Paul. (It's well known, BTW, that Jamie Kirchik, author of the TNR hit piece, was a regular at beltway "libertarian" parties and discussed his plans for the hit piece at these parties).

Dr. Paul has brought more people to the libertarian movement than anybody since Ayn Rand. He is the best hope libertarians have had in decades. But Cato bloggers, GMU professors, and others in this social network have eagerly spread Marty Peretz's anti-Paul smears as far and wide as they can. They spread these smears in order to further their vendetta with Rockwell and make sure they can go back to the cocktail parties with their federal employee, contractor and lobbyist friends without being associated with this vast army of "kooks" who might threaten hundreds of thousands of these D.C. area jobs if they succeed in their goal of eliminating the income tax -- with no replacement!

Why are the beltway "libertarians" so scared of the Ron Paul "kooks"? Search engine hits for Republican candidates:

"Ron Paul" 52.8 million
"Mike Huckabee" 32.9 million
"Mitt Romney" 28.9 million
"John McCain" 26.7 million
"Rudy Giuliani" (+ "Rudolph") 22.6 million
"Fred Thompson" 18.4 million

Whoever replaces Ron Paul as the face(s) of this vast new Internet movement is going to face similar smear campaigns from the D.C. insiders. This is a very old pattern conservative and libertarian political activists have faced since at least the New Deal. Now the D.C. insiders are trying to see if it will work in the Internet era. Expect more, and more vicious, as the Internet removes more media from their control. Get used to it.
1.14.2008 11:40pm
Elliot123 (mail):
"Dr. Paul has brought more people to the libertarian movement than anybody since Ayn Rand. He is the best hope libertarians have had in decades."

I'm sure Ayn Rand could answer some simple questions about her past writings. She would do it quite well, showing how such writings fit into her overall philosophy, and expounding on them to provide a better understanding. Paul, however, has shown us what he is made of with the comments in his newsletter and his miserable recent explanations of them. He's no Ayn Rand.
1.15.2008 12:55am
David M. Nieporent (www):
I see the cult is still out in full force. If people report negative things about a political candidate, this isn't evidence that there are negative things to say about this candidate, or that these people disagree with the candidate; it's a "conspiracy."

The cult leader is indispensible. One must not criticize the cult leader. The cult leader is the Hope. He's the only one who can save the world.
1.15.2008 12:57am
Joe Allen (mail) (www):
Try, for just a minute, to imagine the following scenario. The New Republic, or some other stronghold of neocondom, has just discovered the website of the church Ron Paul has been attending for the last 20 years. At the very top of the site's home page is the following statement:

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly White and Unapologetically Christian...Our roots in the White religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are a European people, and remain "true to our native land", the mother continent, the cradle of civilization...We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a White worship service and ministries which address the White Community.
It doesn't take a lot of imagination to guess what would follow. The story would be on all the evening newscasts, the neocon and Beltway libertarian talking heads would be all over the cable news channels expressing their disgust, and even the paleolibertarians would jump ship. No explanation he could offer would be acceptable. Ron Paul's campaign would be dead.

But if you just change "White" to "Black" and "European" to "African" you'll have the exact words that appear at the top of the home page of the website of the Trinity United Church of Christ, the Chicago church that Barack Obama has been attending faithfully for the past 20 years. Yet, so far the media — with the exception of a few conservative columnists — have given Obama a pass on his connection with this church.

The terms "racism" and "racist" are thrown around so much these days that they have effectively lost all meaning. Well, not all meaning. In fact it's very simple if you just remember that racism is what lies at the root of one's opponents' thoughts and actions, while one's own thoughts and actions arise from only the purest of motives.

The charge of "racism" is most often made by the Left against the Right. However, increasingly — and distressingly —conservatives are hurling the "racist" epithet at their opponents on the Left. There are so many examples of this, it is not necessary to provide links to them. Just Google "Alberto Gonzales" and "racist" to find some examples. Or go look up what some neocons have said about Ron Paul.

When Wolf Blitzer was questioning him about his old newsletters on CNN last week, Dr. Paul said "Libertarians are incapable of being racists, because racism is a collectivist idea". I don't know that I agree with the first part of that statement, but Dr. Paul should be forgiven because he was being ambushed with a question and had only a few minutes to answer it. (A much better exposition of his views on racism can be found on his campaign website.)

I think a libertarian can be a racist because I think anybody can be a racist. I don't mean a hooded, cross-burning, night-riding racist; just someone for whom race is a factor, however minor, in his or her personal decision calculus. Most people naturally prefer the company of people who are like themselves in most ways. They might not require the exclusive company of others like themselves, but they also don't want to associate exclusively with people who are very different.

Thomas Schelling, a Nobel laureate in economics, once proposed a game. Get a roll of pennies, a roll of dimes and a large sheet of paper divided into one-inch squares. Distribute the coins one per square on the sheet of paper, leaving about a third of the spaces empty. Adopt a rule: assume each coin wants at least some proportion — say, a third — of its neighbors to be of the same kind. Now find a coin for which the rule is not satisfied — i.e. less than a third of its neighbors are of the same kind — and move it to a square where it is. Repeat this step until all coins are on squares that satisfy the rule. When you get to this point, you'll find that the pennies have tended to cluster with other pennies, while the dimes are clustered with other dimes.

Under the rule adopted, these coins were very open minded — each was willing to live where up to two-thirds of its neighbors were of another "race". Nevertheless, the end result of this "invisible hand" process was that most ended up living where all of their neighbors were the same.

The point of the game is to demonstrate how a pattern of racial segregation can result from the individual decisions of people whom hardly anyone would accuse of being racist. Which is one of the reasons the charge of "racism" is one that is almost impossible to defend against.

A person accused of being a racist can usually clear his or her name with the accuser only by agreeing with the accuser. Last week on The Huffington Post Earl Ofari Hutchinson demanded that Ron Paul issue "a clear and direct public statement...that says I fully support all civil rights laws, will work hard against racial and gender profiling, and will push government economic support initiatives to boost minorities and the poor" as the price for being absolved of the charge of racism.

In other words, the only way the libertarian Dr. Paul can prove he's not a racist is to abandon libertarianism and adopt Hutchinson's statist policy prescriptions. That's like telling a Christian televangelist whose assistant had swindled viewers that repentance and restitution are not enough — he has to renounce Christianity if he wants to be forgiven.

The significant point about libertarians and racism is not that a libertarian can't be a racist; it's that, in a true libertarian society, racism is irrelvant. A libertarian government would not have the authority to enact legislation that favors one racial or ethnic group at the expense of another because it would not have the authority to enact legislation that favors anybody at the expense of another.

Nor would the government have the authority to enact legislation to correct the results of "invisible hand" processes like Schelling's game. In fact, the mere attempt to do so would be not only racist, but futile as well.

An example of the futility and racism inherent in using the police power of the state to correct racial discrimination — intended or otherwise — resulting from individual decisions are laws prohibiting racial discrimination in employment. Since the hiring decision is multidimensional, a racist manager could claim any number of reasons for rejecting an applicant of the "wrong" race. Hence the need for affirmative action if the law is to achieve its desired effect. But, since affirmative action requires basing the hiring decision on race, it is itself racist (and most probably in violation of the law it is meant to enforce).

One of the silliest things a politician or pundit can say is that she/he opposes affirmative action, but supports laws prohibiting racial discrimination in employment. You can't have one without the other. If you don't believe it, consider this: age discrimination is against the law, too, yet it's rampant in the workforce. Just ask any computer programmer over 40. The difference is, there's no affirmative action based on age. Ron Paul is probably the only Presidential candidate in either party who understands this.

There are, of course, people whose attitudes about race go far beyond just feeling more comfortable around people who are like themselves. But is that necessarily something to get alarmed about? As long as they're not harming or threatening anyone else, why should we care? If they choose to act out their hatred by harming people of another race, then the government can act. Otherwise the government is trying to read minds.

Racism and racist are words that, through overuse, have lost their sting. They are what you say when you have nothing else to say. Probably the best thing for all of us would be to banish them from the language. Certainly, they add nothing constructive to political discourse.

The above post is from Phil Manger, a fellow blogger at Nolanchart.com

I would just like to ask the oponents of Dr Paul two questions:
1. given that libertarianism is a small minority, if you could defeat one and only one collectivist ideology, would it be racism or statism?
2.What answer to question #1 would a real libertarian give?
1.15.2008 3:58am