Ron Paul

I'm disappointed in Paul and in his campaign.

First, a few caveats. I think Paul's prone to nutty conspiracy theories, but I don't think he's a racist, at least not today. Perhaps there was a time when he held views that I and many people reading this site would find repugnant. But I certainly don't think that's the case now. Paul's temperament and demeanor in public does not suggest he's the kind of person capable of writing the bile Kirchick quotes in his article. Paul's position on the drug war alone—which he has acknowledged disproportionately affects minorities—would do more for blacks in America than any proposal any of the other candidates currently has on the table. Paul has also recently rescinded his support for the federal death penalty, also due to its disproportionate impact on blacks. Those two positions alone certainly don't indicate a candidate who fears "animal" blacks from the urban jungle are coming to kill all the white people.

I also think the Paul phenomenon ought to be separated from any personal baggage Paul may have. Yes, there are some losers who support Paul's candidacy. Any time you're a fringe candidate cobbling together support from those who feel disaffected and left behind by the two-party system, you're going to end up bumping elbows with a few weirdos. But there's nothing bigoted about the thousands of college kids, mainstream libertarians, war opponents, drug war opponents, and hundreds-long threads on sites like Digg and Reddit where enthusiasm for Paul's candidacy is strong. This movement is about ideas. There's a vocal, enthusiastic minority of people out there, skewing young, that is excited about "the Constitution," limited government, and personal freedom. That's significant and heartening, and shouldn't be tainted by the fallout from Kirchick's article (though I fear it will—more on that in a bit).

I'd also point out that if we're going to clean house, here, we should go ahead and give it a thorough cleaning. When it comes to alleged sordid associations with neo-confederate organizations, Paul's in good company in the Republican Party (see Haley Barbour and John Ashcroft, among others). When it comes to anti-Semitism, one needn't look any farther than Al Sharpton, who still commands inexplicable respect from the Democratic establishment. None of this excuses what's in those newsletters, nor does it excuse Paul's association with them. It just means he has company, and I suspect the outrage we'll see in the coming days will be rather selective.

All of that said, let me get to the scolding. Like Nick Gillespie, I think the most disappointing thing about all of this is what Dave Weigel posted this afternoon from New Hampshire: Paul doesn't consider this worthy of a serious reaction. I was hoping for much, much more. If Paul didn't write these screeds, he should tell us who did, or assign someone from the campaign to do some research, and reveal the authors' identity. He should explain his relationship with the authors, and how it is they came to write for a newsletter that went out under his name. He should acknowledge which of these positions he at one time supported but now repudiates, which he has never supported, and which he still supports. If he's going to claim he merely lent his name to some people and causes he shouldn't have, and with whom he didn't at the time or doesn't now agree, he should say so, and explain how he could let a newsletter continue to be published under his name after first, fifth, tenth, or twentieth time it ran something he found offensive. Like Kirchick, I find the prospect that Paul never read the newsletter implausible.

The 1990s is not "ancient history." We were by then well past the point in American history where the kind of racism and bigotry present in those articles had any place in civil discourse. I simply can't imagine seeing any piece of paper go out under my name that included sympathetic words for David Duke. That a newsletter with Paul's name did just that demands an explanation from Paul. The "I've answered that in the past" reply isn't sufficient. You're running for president, now. You have a national platform. You've been an ambassador for libertarian ideas on Colbert, the Daily Show, Meet the Press, and Jay Leno. That you've provided a brief explanation for some of these passages a decade ago during a little-noticed congressional campaign doesn't cut it. No one was paying attention then. Just about everyone is now.

That Paul and his campaign don't consider this worthy of a serious reaction I'm afraid makes it all the more difficult to buy into the least damning spin on the story (and even that is still pretty damning). It suggests at the very least a certain obliviousness to the resonance and impact of racism and bigotry.

Of course, Paul was never going to win. So the real concern here is what happens to the momentum for the ideas his campaign has revived. The danger is that the ignorance in those newsletters becomes inextricably tethered to the ideas that have drawn people to Paul's campaign, and soils those ideas for years to come. You needn't be a gold bug or buy into conspiracies about Jewish bankers, for example, to see the merit in allowing for private, competing currencies (what PayPal once aspired to become). You needn't believe blacks are animals or savages or genetically inferior to believe that the welfare state's perverse incentives have done immeasurable damage to black families. You needn't be a confederate sympathizer to appreciate the wisdom of federalism. You needn't be an anti-Semite to wonder about the implications of the U.S.'s broad support for Israel.

Some of these ideas have always faced a certain hurdle in the national debate. To argue against welfare, hate crimes laws, and affirmative action, libertarians (and conservatives) always have to clear the racism card first. To argue for ending the drug war or knocking out huge federal agencies, we always have to clear the "'I'm not a kook" card. Today's news, combined with Paul's high profile, I think carries the potential to make all of that a little more difficult.

I also fear that newly-minted Paulites on sites like Reddit, Digg, Slashdot and the like—whose first exposure to libertarianism was Ron Paul—are going to click over to the New Republic piece in the coming days, become disillusioned, and assume that this is really what libertarianism is all about.

Paul's candidacy attracted broad support because he unabashedly embraced what the GOP claims to be on fiscal issues—low tax, limited government, pro-federalist—and what the Democrats claim to be on social issues—pro individual freedom and pro-privacy. Paul's campaign has essentially called both parties on their bullshit, and made them explain the gap between their stated principles and the way they've governed. Both sides I think were surprised at how strong he came on. So both sides dismissed him as a nut, and cited the kookiest fringes of libertarianism and dug up the most whacked-out Paul supporters to prove their point. Unfortunately, the quotes pulled from these newsletters will for many only confirm those worst stereotypes of what he represents. The good ideas Paul represents then get sullied by association. The Ann Althouses of the world, for example, are now only more certain that opponents of federal anti-discrimination laws should have to prove that they aren't racist before being taken seriously.

There have always been issues where I disagree pretty profoundly with Paul—immigration and the Fourteenth Amendment, to name two.  Still, I've been encouraged by his campaign because it's been heartening to not only watch a candidate talk about limited government, humble foreign policy, and individual liberty over the last several months, but to see his support actually grow as he does.

Paul's success and media coverage have exposed a large portion of the country to libertarian ideas for the first time. Before yesterday, that was a good thing. But now I'm not so sure. If this new audience's first exposure to libertarianism now comes with all of this decidedly unlibertarian baggage—that many may now wrongly associate with libertarian ideas—maybe it would have been better if Paul's campaign had sputtered out months ago, and we waited a cycle or two for someone else to come along to tap the sentiment.

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  • Fluffy||

    I agree with everything Balko says here, except for the part about David Duke.

    I just don't read that quote as sympathy for Duke. I read that quote as saying that the author hoped to take the "political outsider" parts of Duke's message, strip them of their racism, and apply them to antigovernment causes.

  • SIV||

    When and where have Democrats ever professed a belief in individual liberty?

  • shecky||

    Amen to Balko and the rest of you H&R writers.

    Paul always has, and still does, set off my crank radar. While I can believe that Paul isn't the crank he's being made out to be, it's plainly clear that he's handled this ugliness poorly.

    I'm just hoping that Paul just doesn't become a curse to the ideals of limited government.

  • charlie||

    Radley,

    While I too would like to see a more substantial response from the campaign, they have released a statement denying that Paul wrote the material in question. And in all fairness, this did drop on the day of the New Hampshire primary (a bit suspicious if you ask me), so I think we should give the campaign just a bit more time to respond to the allegations in full.

  • Windypundit||

    Amen, Radley. I've never been a huge fan of Paul's, but it was nice to see libertarianism get a little bit of mainstream attention. It would sure suck if this ruins it.

  • ||

    While I can believe that Paul isn't the crank he's being made out to be, it's plainly clear that he's handled this ugliness poorly.

    I'm just hoping that Paul just doesn't become a curse to the ideals of limited government.


    Agreed, i already can't say States Rights to anyone without them assuming i'm in favor of slavery...

  • ||

    Agreed, i already can't say States Rights to anyone without them assuming i'm in favor of slavery...



    Yeah, thanks so much Jeff Davis! /sarcasm

  • stephen the goldberger||

    Great post, but the doomsday scenarios for the libertarian movement are overstated. Paul got lots of people thinking. Anyone who rejects libertarian ideas because of these articles isn't worth having on your side anyway.

    Libertarian thinking will lay dormant until another gov't spending crisis (social security, i'm looking at you) necessitates that it be adhered to.

  • ||

    The problem is to "handle this ugliness" properly, Paul would have to throw somebody under the bus. That's just not the type of guy he is. A typical politician would just name the names of the more hackish contributors to the Ron Paul newsletter and move on. Ron isn't a typical politician. Given his own personal code and high ethical standards, I can't see how he could handle this situation any better than he is. Once you write naming names off the table, all you can really do is say, "I didn't write it, I don't believe it, we've been through this before, let's move on".

  • ||

    The best boss I ever had said "the buck stops here" when the bigwigs were on the warpath. He took the heat, no matter who working for him created the problem.

    Ron Paul has accepted responsibility for the newsletters, and I think the implication is the same: "the buck stops here."

    He won't throw someone under the bus, as Radley Balko suggests he should - which makes me glad I've never worked for Radley Balko.

  • ||

    Yeah, thanks so much Jeff Davis! /sarcasm

    No it's true, do you know how hard it is to explain to my friends that i believe the South DID have a right to secede but didn't have a right to own people? The friends north of the Mason-Dixon anyway...

  • Jonathan Blanks||

    There are plenty of libertarians, in the DC area at least, who saw this coming. We knew about (some of) it, and for the most part people stayed silent.

    We cannot just take a message and forget the messenger that bears it. There are other, smarter, more eloquent, less damaged libertarian federalists around. Yet, so many libertarians put all their chips in this one man, despite the warnings and less-than-ideal packaging.

    And what's more, the TNR article doesn't even tie into the fact that this "libertarian" is as anti-immigration as any candidate still in the race -- perhaps moreso -- which (coincidentally?) disproportionately affects brown people.

    I don't know if he's a bigot or not...and I don't care. As a messenger of liberty, he was a liability and now libertarians are paying the price whether we jumped on the wagon or not.

    All the work Paul has done to spread our ideas has been tainted. His flaccid response to the article certainly didn't help mattes.

    Thanks for nothing, Ron.

  • Issues First||

    Forget about the smoke and mirrors! Stay focused on the ISSUES AT HAND: http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues

  • ||

    Since when is racism the absolute worst thing in the world? Grow up, the campaign handled it properly, the rest of this childish society has the problem. People are dying right now for no good reason and half the internet is on about an obvious slander... Will Ron Paul's message resonate? No, there was never a chance.

  • ||

    Paul's success and media coverage have exposed a large portion of the country to libertarian ideas for the first time. Before yesterday, that was a good thing. But now I'm not so sure.

    i.e Reason is now horrified that they had Ron's mug on their front page. This "story" is blown out of proportion.

  • ||

    In reading down-thread in some of the previous RP posts from this afternoon, I started to understand the "Paultard" epithet that Wonkette uses.

  • GILMORE||

    Oh come on.

    Radley seys
    Of course, Paul was never going to win

    Why would the magazine say a sad thing like this after miking the ron paul Loverolution for traffic all year??

    its too bad that all the fervor is now turning a quick distancing by a magazine that put the guy on the cover this month. Then I havent read the article yet. in fact its the only one i've skipped. Maybe because of the fact that
    Of course, Paul was never going to win

    To argue for ending the drug war or knocking out huge federal agencies, we always have to clear the "'I'm not a kook" card.

    Indeed. And sometimes that requires smacking down the kooks that even *share* these views, as well as things like 9/11 truthers, aryan nation fellas, etc. if you want anyone to take you seriously.

    If i ever say the word 'libertarian' to strangers, i always have to add the caveat, "but not like the ferret owning, bazooka owning, conspiracy theorist, noise rock listening type."

    i hate that

    so whats the deal with the gay pedophile MLK?

  • The Truth||

    Jamie Kirchick (author of the New Republic story):

    "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."

    http://gays-for-ron.blogspot.com/2008/01/jamie-kirchick-i-dont-think-ron-paul-is.html

  • ||

    Yeah the arbitrary equivalence of libertarianism and white supremacy scares me. Are we that unsure of ourselves and our ideas that we have to play the game that has been set out by those aiming to destroy us? That seems to be self defeating. On the other hand, the comprimises of the beltway libertarians makes me wonder what they do stand for. They critisize the Ron Paul movement, yet don't offer any alternatives that wouldn't attract the same exact crowd. Freedom is popular. I may not like what people do with it, but I think they should be allowed to do it.

    I'm sorry if being uncomprimising when your right is wrong. Ask any parent how well they can comprimise with their 4 year old who is being an irrational 4 year old (They do get that way). Even when they do, they lose as they usually raise a selfish brat who thinks that just by being stubborn, the laws of reality will change around them. [Yeah been thinking about my own parenting these days and not happy with what society dictates that I have done. I hope I can reverse any damage done]

    Okay this post went all over, but basically I am proud to be a RP supporter, I think he has done more to get people to wake up to what thier government is doing than anyone has in my lifetime, and if the libertarian movement dies, it will not be due to charges of covert rascism.

    It will be because people are spoiled little brats who think with thier heart and hope the laws of society and economics don't apply to them. Unfortunately.

  • ||

    Since when is racism the absolute worst thing in the world?

    Are you fucking kidding me with this? this is a defense?

  • ||

    Balko wrote:
    "All of that said, let me get to the scolding. Like Nick Gillespie, I think the most disappointing thing about all of this is what Dave Weigel posted this afternoon from New Hampshire: Paul doesn't consider this worthy of a serious reaction. I was hoping for much, much more. If Paul didn't write these screeds, he should tell us who did, or assign someone from the campaign to do some research, and reveal the authors' identity. He should explain his relationship with the authors, and how it is they came to write for a newsletter that went out under his name. He should acknowledge which of these positions he at one time supported but now repudiates, which he has never supported, and which he still supports.

    And while he's at it, he should drop to his knees and apologize to all people that felt offended by comments he did not make, wrote or endorsed, in a manner that strikes your liking, right? And what else would you want, your majesty Balko?


    Like Kirchick, I find the prospect that Paul never read the newsletter implausible.


    Why not? It is not up to him to give evidence of a negative, so why would you find it implausible?

  • ||

    I'd like to see that Dr. Paul be given more time to respond to all this. This is obviously a busy day for him having flown out yesterday for an appearance on Leno and now with the NH primary demanding a lot of attention. Most of this stuff was written more than 15 years ago, it isn't THAT bad, and is probably the worst Kirchick could find in 10 or more years worth of writing. Let's not panic too hastily.

  • Fluffy||

    I think the reason he won't name names is pretty obvious:

    Paul was basically run out of Congress by his own party. His experience running for President with the LPA wasn't so great, either. I imagine he was somewhat embittered and returned to medicine and went into this newsletter venture for the money.

    He was getting paid, and the person doing the paying knows that Paul didn't give a damn what was in the newsletter as long as he got paid. In 1996, Paul saw an opportunity to return to Congress and suddenly had to account for the newsletter.

    On some level, 1990's Paul saw the newsletter subscribers as marks. If hysterical language was what they wanted to keep paying their subscription, hey - give it to them. If survivalist stuff about how the cities would burn was what they wanted, hey - give it to them.

    The only reason I can see why Paul wouldn't out the authors is because the authors could turn around and counter-out him - as a guy who was happy to take money from marks. He was basically a survivalist Len Peikoff or a libertarian L. Ron Hubbard.

    The hysterical language in the financial newsletter Ayn-Randian dug up and linked to makes perfect sense as marketing. "Take the hard money message and make it as scary as possible, to sell books!" Makes sense to me.

    But at this point, if that's the real story, there's no downside to telling it and claiming a road to Damascus conversion at some point in the last ten years. "I was less bitter when I returned to Congress and was able to stand up to history's worst President..." yadda yadda yadda. Anything has less downside than what the campaign is doing now.

  • Jonathan Blanks||

    Forget about the smoke and mirrors! Stay focused on the ISSUES AT HAND = "Don't look at the man behind the curtain!"

  • ||

    Given his own personal code and high ethical standards, I can't see how he could handle this situation any better than he is.

    Sorry, but I call bullshit.

    If he had this incredible sense of personal standards and impeccable ethical credentials, he never would have allowed this stuff to be published under his name in the first place.

    And he wouldn't have signed a letter to subscribers to his newsletter warning them of the "federal-homosexual" plan to give your kids AIDS either.

    Face it, kids. As I've said from the beginning, the man is nuttier than a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and so far to the right he's about to fall off the edge.

    All this posturing by his star-stricken cultists, with their constant excuses and dodges, is less evidence of a "conspiracy to hurt him in the NH primaries," but rather the inability of his supporters to think clearly.

    I've seen it before -- when Ron Paul and "libertarians" who support him threw gays, blacks, Jews, and immigrants under the bus. They exhibit an almost-religious commitment to the man, and very little to the importance of libertarian principles.

  • Bingo||

    Thank you Radley! That was a great piece.

  • ||

    Yes.

  • Brandybuck||

    What the fuck is this? Is it the first anual "Reason Editors Bash Paul Day"? I am appalled that Radley, Matt, Jesse, Nick and David are dancing so willingly to the MSM's strings.

    Libertarianism will never prevail so long as libertarians keep crucifying the good to make way for the perfect.

  • ||

    "so whats the deal with the gay pedophile MLK?"

    Been on a few sites, and someone mentioned that the original charge comes from MLK's own power structure, written in a book by his right hand man around the time of his death.

    Now to actually repeat those charges seems a bit odd and stupid, as I still see most of MLKs influence as a positive one. Then again I was always influenced by his speeches, not the actions of him or his organization.

  • ||

    The only reason I can see why Paul wouldn't out the authors is because the authors could turn around and counter-out him - as a guy who was happy to take money from marks. He was basically a survivalist Len Peikoff or a libertarian L. Ron Hubbard. That's somehow worse than being known as a rascist?

  • ||

    Once again Libertarians eat their own.

    Regards,
    TDL

  • Gretchen||

    The problem is to "handle this ugliness" properly, Paul would have to throw somebody under the bus. That's just not the type of guy he is.

    I don't see how identifying the person who actually did write that racist crap so that he/she can be held responsible constitutes throwing anyone under a bus. If they can write it, they can sure be known for writing it.

  • ||

    Damn People!!
    The first heavy duty smear and distraction attack has been unleashed and you want to crumble.
    This stuff has been knocking about in the blogoshpere for ages and I have read enough to smell the BS

    As I have said before..

    "We're definitely out of the "ignore" and "ridicule" stage….

    …it's pure "attack" mode now baby!!

    Brace yourselves, (Mr Smith has gone to Washington!!)"

    Peace...

  • Fluffy||

    That's somehow worse than being known as a racist?

    Well, the campaign may believe that their understated little denials will get the job done and will absolve Paul of the claim that he's a racist.

    Whereas coming clean that a portion of your electioneering and fundraising has always been partially a con job looks much scarier to them. Because they underestimate the effect the TNR article is having.

    They danced away from the newsletter in 1996 and they think they can do it again now.

  • Fluffy||

    Oh, and then there's the fact that after this campaign is over, they might have to go back to making a living in the "crazy newsletter" business, so they don't want to shut that door too firmly just yet.

  • ||

    In hindsight, maybe this is a good thing.

    As with almost all of his positions, the surface is ugly and unintuitive.

    But if you can get past the surface and start discussing the reality, you can make converts.

    "He's an isolationist. If he were in power in the 1940s, we would still have Hitler". That one works well in long conversations.

    Other than some of the blatent quotes (the MLK one for instance) most of the statements need to be heard by thinking people and thought about. If they can understand the nuance, they can be converted.

  • ||

    anti-smear-

    we're aware it's an attack, what you and the other diehards seem to be unaware of is that attacks of this nature WORK. This will kill the campaign becuase the average voter who turns on CNN or FOX or any other MSM news outlet is not going to do all the research needed to verfiy if it's true or not. a 1/2 truth always works better than a full fledged lie because of that reason. And after that it will not matter how many Blimps you launch, when that average voter hears the name Ron Paul they are going to think "rascist". sad but true.

  • ||

    There are other, smarter, more eloquent, less damaged libertarian federalists around.

    But none of them stepped up to the plate as Dr Paul did. Who were we supposed to put our chips in with? The CATO geeks who put out policy papers as their contribution to the libertarian movement? The friggin LP which acts like they're allergic to winning an election? Yeah, that's worked really well for the past 40 years.

    Without Dr Paul, the movement would be NOWHERE right now. He may have his flaws, and he may have handled this badly, but the fact that so many libertarians seem ready to curse him for this is nearly as sickening as the material in the newsletter.

  • some dude||

    Will the real author please stand up?

  • Bingo||

    Wait... what if it was written by a disaffected staffer...

    Who do we know that is a disaffected Ron Paul staffer?


    DONNDERRROOOOOOOO!!

  • rho||

    Paul is not running as a libertarian.

    Paul is successful today because he brings a disparate group of folks together under the banner of Constitutionalism and small-government federalism. He shorthands this as "freedom and liberty" sometimes, but he's not espousing libertarianism per se.

    A lot of people said Ron Paul should prostrate himself over the Don Black contribution. Now he has to appoint a blue-ribbon commission to reveal the original authors? You people are crazy. At this rate Ron Paul will spend every dollar he's got assuring people he's not a homophobic racist Nazi.

  • ||

    Fluffy writes: He was getting paid, and the person doing the paying knows that Paul didn't give a damn what was in the newsletter as long as he got paid.

    Give me a break! Ron Paul clearly isn't someone motivated by money. This is a guy who doesn't even participate in the Congressional pension system.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Brandy, they gotta throw RP out of the boat because to be tainted as racist in This Man's DC is a death kiss.

    Secondarily, and I saw this on the other thread as well. RP is not anti-immigration he specifically has said that you cannot have open immigration and a welfare state. That isn't the same thing.

    BTW, I disagree with him on immigration. But, what's fruitcake nutty is the idea that without Uncle Sugar meddling around in the Mid-East that the Islamic Nasties wouldn't hate us and would leave us alone. That's laughable.

    Doesn't mean I think we should nuke Iran or that we should be in Iraq.

    All that aside, he's still got my vote.

  • ||

    How quickly so many of you turn your backs when the heat is turned on.

    Paul has publicly denied that he wrote this material. Who DOESN'T have something in their past that any journalist with the motive couldn't use to smear them?

    While these newsletter findings certainly shouldn't be ignored, I think Paul's explanation, combined with his unwavering message of Libertarian ideals says plenty.

    Can't we see past the smear to the ideas of the man we have now? None of his ideas can be said to harm *anyone*, especially from a Libertarian perspective.

  • ||

    Reason's over the top response to this smear reveals them to be little more than fair weather friends.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    Oh, I'm quite certain Donderoo had a hand in this. As I said on the other thread, he's got the motive and he's got (presumably) the mimeographed newsletters in a cardboard box in a storage unit off the I-10 in Houston.

    I doubt the evidence is faked and I don't buy that RP didn't know what was in those newsletters. Maybe not every last sentence, but he knew the gist.

  • vincent gigante||

    "crimethink | January 8, 2008, 6:57pm | #
    There are other, smarter, more eloquent, less damaged libertarian federalists around.

    But none of them stepped up to the plate as Dr Paul did. Who were we supposed to put our chips in with? The CATO geeks who put out policy papers as their contribution to the libertarian movement? The friggin LP which acts like they're allergic to winning an election? Yeah, that's worked really well for the past 40 years.

    Without Dr Paul, the movement would be NOWHERE right now. He may have his flaws, and he may have handled this badly, but the fact that so many libertarians seem ready to curse him for this is nearly as sickening as the material in the newsletter."

    Agree, the libertatians and objectivist are the biggest self defeating groups I can find. I think most of them are more interested in being outsiders and fringe than actually changing the country. They love to go against any candidate that gains notoriety and is closest to their positions they try to find any fault to not vote for them. And we end up with obama vs romney or obama vs mccan (or even worse, huckabee)...

    What has the libertarian party done in 40 years?

  • GILMORE||

    Shane | January 8, 2008, 6:47pm | #
    Since when is racism the absolute worst thing in the world?

    ""Are you fucking kidding me with this? this is a defense?""

    My thoughts exactly. it really doesnt help.

  • Jman||

    "maybe it would have been better if Paul's campaign had sputtered out months ago, and we waited a cycle or two for someone else to come along to tap the sentiment."

    Where was the modern libertarian movement before Ron Paul's campaign? It was confined to maybe 400k adherants without a major electoral/political victory EVER. Besides Reason, Cato and Mises who reached a small dedicated following, without Ron Paul the movement would have sputtered for years to come anyways.

  • ||

    First of all, with ALL of the coverage that Reason has given this guy, aren't these facts something they should have looked into BEFORE throwing all of their weight behind him?
    I've read about these newsletters several times ON THIS SITE, and the writers never went into detail, nor did they seem to think that they should. Now, someone else goes into detail for them, and they go running. Don't get me wrong, it's probably the smart thing to do, but before you start jumping on the bandwagon AGAIN by running the other way from Ron Paul, maybe you should answer some of the questions you have posed, such as who wrote those articles, and how Paul knew them... You are supposed to be journalists, aren't you?

  • VM||

    "and what the Democrats claim to be on social issues-pro individual freedom and pro-privacy."

    he did? where was this? he's pro states' rights, first and foremost. (DOMA, for example)

  • ||

    The problem is to "handle this ugliness" properly, Paul would have to throw somebody under the bus.

    I agree. Radley Balko wants Paul to go against his belief in personal responsibility and rat out a person that should step forward. But if that person does not step forward, why should be Paul's responsibility to snitch on him? What else would Paul have to do in order to satisfy Balko, apart from self-immolation?

  • Jman||

    vincent gigante | January 8, 2008, 7:06pm | #


    But none of them stepped up to the plate as Dr Paul did. Who were we supposed to put our chips in with? The CATO geeks who put out policy papers as their contribution to the libertarian movement? The friggin LP which acts like they're allergic to winning an election? Yeah, that's worked really well for the past 40 years.

    Without Dr Paul, the movement would be NOWHERE right now. He may have his flaws, and he may have handled this badly, but the fact that so many libertarians seem ready to curse him for this is nearly as sickening as the material in the newsletter."

    Agree, the libertatians and objectivist are the biggest self defeating groups I can find. I think most of them are more interested in being outsiders and fringe than actually changing the country. They love to go against any candidate that gains notoriety and is closest to their positions they try to find any fault to not vote for them. And we end up with obama vs romney or obama vs mccan (or even worse, huckabee)...

    What has the libertarian party done in 40 years?

    ******

    Exactly, I agree completely. It makes me sick that people are condemning Paul even if he has flaws. His exposure has been good for libertarians, even WITH these newsletters. What is our other choice? Be content with 20 people a week doing an intellectual circlejerk in academia?

  • ||

    I couldn't agree more with this article. It is very sad that this has sullied the libertarian message. My hope now is that Paul will drop out of the race quietly and this will become a footnote. Better to wait for a candidate without this kind of baggage than to stereotype all libertarians.

  • ||

    Sheep.

    For God's sake, wake up. Do you think Paul is spreading a White Power empire secretly with his coded messages? The makes of the newsletter said Paul most of the time never wrote it. Paul said he didn't write it. Paul speaks against racism and for every person's rights.

    This is a sick ploy by the machine, and the sheep are following.

    I've never been so sick in my life with "Americans". Seriously sick to my stomach. I've never felt this bad, and it's not Ron Paul... it's you.

  • ||

    I really don't think Dondero wrote those things, if for no other reason than he would never have been so bold in pissing in Dr Paul's corn flakes during this campaign if Paul could expose him at any time. It's probably someone whom he still associates with.

  • rho||

    Reason's over the top response to this smear reveals them to be little more than fair weather friends.



    You must be new. The LP is pretty good at kicking people overboard, but not so savvy at getting people elected. Working with libertarians in general is like pushing a wet noodle. There are a handful of folks dedicated to doing stuff and bleachers full of mouthy critics.

    Now, I like libertarians, but their reflexive defeatism really puckers my ass.

  • ||

    And Paul writes so well! The sentences you read in these racist statements are written like slop!

  • VM||

    rhys - like all the gay rights Paul stands up for. Riiiigggghhhhhhht.

  • Fluffy||

    Colby -

    The fact that Paul doesn't want government charity doesn't mean he doesn't care about money.

    Most of the toughest bastards I know - who will freak out if you split a restaurant bill with them improperly - don't want government charity either.

  • ||

    LOL I just read that Ron Paul gets huge gay support, from a gay actavist.

    he says you don't get your righst from your group, but from your life. I don't know what's more anybody's right's than that.

    you're evil.

  • Anti-Wilson||

    "But, what's fruitcake nutty is the idea that without Uncle Sugar meddling around in the Mid-East that the Islamic Nasties wouldn't hate us and would leave us alone."

    I think what he has done is taken very legitimate criticism of Wilson's foreign policy and transposed it to a bunch of religious nutjobs. It is not the same thing. The mess on the Arabian Peninsula began before the United States was even a country.

    I quote from an article by Hitchens that I have linked to my handle:

    Regarding the Barbary War:

    "When they inquired by what right the Barbary states preyed upon American shipping, enslaving both crews and passengers, America's two foremost envoys were informed that "it was written in the Koran, that all Nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon whoever they could find and to make Slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise." (It is worth noting that the United States played no part in the Crusades, or in the Catholic reconquista of Andalusia.)"

  • ||

    he did? where was this? he's pro states' rights, first and foremost. (DOMA, for example)

    What VMoose Said!

    He isn't pro-freedom, he is anti-federal government infringing on freedom, but let the states infringe away. That's a HUGE difference.

    He hedges on many pro-privacy/individual freedom issues. I hardly ever hear him arguing the pro-freedom position, just the "get the feds out of it" position.

  • ||

    While Libertarianism and Classical Liberalism are legitimate ideological movements, they are not legitimate political movements. Over time the ideas espoused by libertarians and classic liberals will permeate and win, but not because of the strength of the people writing about those ideas.
    Politics (and business) is about failure and mistakes and learning from those failures and mistakes. Politics (and business) apparently is no place for writers or academics who clearly can't handle a little controversy. The only people who will end this campaign are the fair weather friends who will want to disassociate themselves from Paul (or any future candidate) because there is something from their past that is not palatable (which of course excludes every person on the planet.) If I recall correctly Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan were repeatedly called bigots. It's part of the game, deal with it.

    Regards,
    TDL

  • PC||

    Yeah those barbary wars were something fierce. Of course what Jefferson should have done is invade Tripoli for a little bit, then divert all our resources to take out and occupy Babylon. They weren't involved in piracy but they are all islamonazis right?

  • ||

    It is worthwhile to note that 90% of teh issues Mr. Kirchick discusses were published between 1990-1992. I think this fact deserves more investigation. Who was employed in this time frame and why did it stop after 1992?

  • ||

    Whatever. You guys are worse than the democrats in 2000 and 2004. You don't want to achieve anything, you just want to bitch and shoot yourselves in the foot.

  • ||

    To nr he was a racist at hello

    "Paul's temperament and demeanor in public does not suggest he's the kind of person capable of writing the bile Kirchick quotes in his article. Paul's position on the drug war alone-which he has acknowledged disproportionately affects minorities-would do more for blacks in America than any proposal any of the other candidates currently has on the table. Paul has also recently rescinded his support for the federal death penalty, also due to its disproportionate impact on blacks."


    That pretty much sums it up right there, dont you think.

    Fight On

  • Martin||

    If Beltway libertarians are unsatisfied with Ron Paul, then where is there super slick Beltway candidate?

    Kirchick is a Giuliani supporter. As far as I'm concerned, that makes him the evil nutjob.

  • ||

    People keep saying, "how could he have let these things be published in his name for so long?"

    This makes no sense. Just because he had his name on newsletters for decades does not even imply these quotes were taken from the entire course of newsletters. Kirchick didn't specify at all (much less give any bibliographical info at all whatsoever).

    Everything I can find on the matter implies this occurred a handful of times in the early 90s and was dealt with quickly when discovered.

  • Jonathan Blanks||

    His exposure has been good for libertarians, even WITH these newsletters.

    Had been.

    If libertarians aspire to be anything but circle-jerking fringe types, aligning ourselves so prominently with someone whose name prominently adorns sometimes wacky and offensive newsletters isn't a step in the right direction.

    Rightly or wrongly, race issues have become a "third rail" of American public life. If we lived in a vacuum where we could rationally defend Paul in spite of his newsletters and be heard, then you would have a point.

    But this is a sound-bite society we live in. How many people are going to say that "well, even though he seems to be a lunatic and bigot, his ideas are good?"

    What is much more likely is that people will associate the good ideas Paul spoke about and lump them with the bad.

    So instead of being those "kooky libertarians," people can now think of us as "kooky racist libertarians."

    As if we didn't have enough to overcome already.

  • rho||

    He isn't pro-freedom, he is anti-federal government infringing on freedom, but let the states infringe away. That's a HUGE difference.



    You don't know what you're talking about. His job as a US Congressman is to deal with the federal government, not the States. Unless the States are infringing on a constitutionally guaranteed civil right.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    Jonathan Blanks is right, the longer a significant number of libertarians continue to support Ron Paul the worse it will be for the long term viability of the libertarian movement.

  • ||

    You guys don't get it. I'm new to Libertarians... you're all cooky if you ask someone.

    You can't find someone better than Paul. But, you want the world to flip a capitol L switch.

    Get real.

    He offers you a chance to get Washington out of your way and this is the thanks he gets from you.

    I don't live in Cali, but I've spent a lot of time there, and from what I can tell, you spend a lot of time fighting Washington. I guess you've learned to like the game.

  • ||

    Okay, so let me get this straight - Ron Paul, the first "Libertarian" to actually get real recognition (basically, ever) is now to be abandoned? We have to go for Obama or Huckabee or Romney or someone, because - what - they're so much better? Because they've never been associated with anything questionable? Obviously that's not the case.

    I guess I almost forgot - when someone cries "racism" everybody panics. I wonder why that is. Why do we ignore a list of GREAT things that someone has explicitly said and acted upon, and MAGNIFY a few cryptic things in some newsletter that no one can even prove Paul BELIEVES.

    How stupid.

  • rho||

    Jonathan Blanks is right, the longer a significant number of libertarians continue to support Ron Paul the worse it will be for the long term viability of the libertarian movement.



    'Cause up 'til now the LP has been doing so well.

  • ||

    Hey above posters

    Don't you get the gist of the article. It isn't about what the author thinks of Ron Paul, or even what libertarians think of Ron Paul, not everyone believes he had anything to do with the newsletter, but your blinded if you can't see that this will affect his campaign negatively and substantially with the rest of the voting public. that's the point. You're attacking Reason.com and libertarians for addressing or discussing what others have written, but the truth is it's something that needs discussed not dismissed. You're missing the bigger picture. i support Paul because his views of governance intersect with my own, not because his Ghandi or something, don't let your cult of personality get in the way of the fact that this is an election and while this isn't a big deal to you, others are going to make it a big deal and other voters will see it as a big deal.

  • Bingo||

    libertarians have these great think-tanks that do fuckall in terms of real world results. An ivory tower full of drunks and miscreants.

  • Paul||

    Let me be clear from the outset .
    I am not a libertarian.
    I do not support Ron Paul.
    Got that?
    Right , well I am exactly the sort of person you should be listening to . I am not part of the choir and I am not an apologist.The uncritical thinking that has been linked to Ron Paul , the refusal to seriously review the many criticisms that were clearly there to begin with , will only serve as poison to those that have maintained a steadfast grip .From my own personal perspective I could say much the same of libertarianism and things I read in your magazine as well as other prominent personalities that are proponents of such a position .In trying to defend all things you will poison the good that remains . It does not show reason , critical analysis with a foot planted in reality ,but smacks more of some of the more cultish behaviour of the many fringe groups that go out there and try to defend all with weasel words ,spin ,slight of hand and sophistry.Those who attempt to dominate and over project the size of a supporting base do themselves no favours at the end of the day , ideology needs true believers , objective evidence on the other hand will always speak for itself . Evidence that is skewed and turned from the objective to the subjective will scream blue murder when found out.

  • ||

    Cause up 'til now the LP has been doing so well.

    I love when the Ron Paul people drag out this slur against the LP as some justification for the Ron Paul disaster.

    Ron Paul won 10% of Iowa's GOP caucus-goers, or 5,000 votes.

    If he wins another 10% of New Hampshire's GOP voters, he'll get an additional 25,000 or so.

    So 30,000. Figure he doubles that total by the end of the primaries.

    A whole 60,000 voters, or about 10% of what a decent recent Libertarian campaign can muster.

    For comparison's sake, in 1980, Ed Clark won over a million votes.

    Barack Obama has been stripping off many of the Libertarian future voters -- much of his support are first-time voters who want change.

    So the "libertarians" rush out and give them a 72-year-old has-been who has links to racist and homophobic articles written under his name that he claims he didn't really write.

    Immigration is changing the makeup of the country. And rather than embrace that change, "libertarians" rush to support a 72-year-old has-been who channeled Tom Tancredo in a ridiculous anti-immigration advertisement in Iowa.

    Attitudes towards gay people are changing towards tolerance and inclusion. So "libertarians" embrace a guy who was an outspoken supporter of Bill Clinton's anti-gay DOMA law and who has made a career in the newsletter business out of bashing gays.

    Then they claim they're doing "better" than the Libertarian Party with their "message of liberty." Some "message," kids.

    Time to move out of mom's basement and join us in the real world.

  • ||

    Once again, the American political system has worked to destroy the worthwhile candidate and empower the status quo. I am really pissed at you for buying into this crap.

  • rho||

    not because his Ghandi or something, don't let your cult of personality get in the way of the fact that this is an election and while this isn't a big deal to you



    It's not a big deal to me because I think it's a smear job. I don't think he's the Savior, I think he's the best thing we've got going right now. Ron Paul isn't Gandi, but if libertarians don't immediately toss him overboard he becomes Typhoid Mary? Everybody seems to agree he's not a secret Nazi, but nobody cares about that, it's about distancing yourself from Ron Paul so you don't get anything on you.

    This becomes a big deal if you make it so. joe was using Tucker Carlson as proof there was fire with this smoke. Now he can say "look, even reason says it looks bad".

    If you honestly believe that Ron Paul is a crypto-racist, then say so. If not, then say so. Don't kowtow to this retard smear-job, because the network and beltway boys have been doing it a lot longer and are very good at it. They will win if you play their game.

  • VM||

    "An ivory tower full of drunks and miscreants."

    their think tank is at Mos Eisley Space Port?

  • SIV||

    But, what's fruitcake nutty is the idea that without Uncle Sugar meddling around in the Mid-East that the Islamic Nasties wouldn't hate us and would leave us alone.

    TWC,

    Agreed. I weigh this against the positives, such as the dismantling of all non-Constitutionally mandated functions of the Federal Government( and a few of the mandated ones too)

  • rho||

    For comparison's sake, in 1980, Ed Clark won over a million votes.



    That's more or less my point. Ed Clark, 28 years ago was the LP highwater mark. The only other campaigns that bucked the whacky losers trend were Harry Browne and Ron Paul.

    I like your mathematics. Ron Paul gets 30,000 votes in two states, and he can only double it in the remaining 48. You're crazy.

  • Wade Hampton||

    Too bad TNR didn't hype this on the eve of the South Carolina Republican Primary.

  • ||

    "They will win if you play their game."

    Dude, i hate to break it to you, but they're going to win because it's their game. and the majority of the electorate(you know those guys who showed up to vote for everybody else) are not going to look past this. The movement is more important that the man for me, he needs to do more to distance himself from this because you telling others that it's not that big a deal or a smear job isn't going to be enough. they'll see it as denial, hell if you are not asking questions then i'm seeing it as denial. they are not going to ignore it because you asked nicely and claimed conspiracy. Paul is going to have to deal with this in a substantial way at some point. dismissing it as old news is not enough.

  • ||

    I know that bits of this have been floating around forever, which makes me wonder why somebody at reason didn't dig into this a long time ago. I agree with Radley; this has the potential to do a lot of damage to our cause.

  • rho||

    Dude, i hate to break it to you, but they're going to win because it's their game.



    Yes, they said that the Ron Paul candidacy was doomed from the get-go. He would gain no traction. He will not raise any money. He will be out of the race before Iowa. He doesn't have the backing of the Party apparatus, so he can't get organized and have folks on the ground in the early primary States.

    Screw you, this whole campaign has been astonishing from the start. It has constantly out-performed expectations and predictions. Out-performed to the point where fucktards like Edward think it's telling that Ron Paul hasn't won 98% of the vote and doesn't shit rainbows. Jesus jumped-up Christ, people raised enough money to float a fucking blimp with his name on it.

    Some monkey-looking gimp rehashes an old story and you bail. No, actually, you want Ron Paul to bail. You haven't done anything.

  • ||

    as i said, i believe in the movement more than the man, we've done great things(and i do mean we, i've spent time and money and miles on this campaign as well) but i'm starting to getting the feeling it's despite Paul not because of Paul. And Paul is just as human as you and i and clinton and obama and huckabee and romney, i wouldn't ignore this if it was anyone else, i'm not going to ignore this because it's Paul. that's part of being a freethinker, not blind faith in one candidate and a lot of angry populism.

  • Plant Immigration Rights Suppo||

    "'Cause up 'til now the LP has been doing so well."

    For me, this is not about the LP or any political party. This is about the spread of ideas. I want the actual ideas to spread. Freedom is not going to come about by a president or a congress being nice and giving us our freedom back. Freedom is going to come from the bottom up. By people DEMANDING liberty and by peacefully disobeying laws that take away their freedoms. We need to focus more on educating and less on pinning our hope on this or that candidate.

  • rho||

    And Paul is just as human as you and i and clinton and obama and huckabee and romney



    Was I unclear when I said I don't think Ron Paul is the Savior? Paul is popular because of his message. He's certainly not a great orator, nor does he make infallible decisions.

    Everybody's pulling long faces and saying, "but, but, but it sounds so bad," yet nobody (or few enough) come out and say that Dr. Paul is a racist.

    This is not a complicated problem. If you think he wrote those things, and that he means them--if not now, then at least then--say so. Say he's a dirty Jew-hating racist. If you don't think he is, then say so. Say that you don't think he's a racist, and therefore you accept his explanation as to where these things come from.

    But don't go wishy-washy and run crying because you're scared somebody's going to call you names. And definitely don't agonize over the fate of libertarianism because of this, since libertarianism has not been more than a fringe me-too political philosophy. Ron Paul's popularity owes nothing, or little enough, to libertarianism, and indeed downplays it in interviews.

    Besides, as some folks here are so fond of noting, Ron Paul cuts a poor figure of a libertarian because he doesn't sufficiently support abortion, or free immigration, or whatever personal bugaboo the poster harbors as his Pure Libertarian Codeword. Libertarians are "those folks who want to sell meth to fifth graders"--a closet racist is not what's keeping libertarianism from sweeping the nation.

  • ||

    Who's running away? I'm standing and asking the questions. You and the other knee-jerk apologists are the ones burying your head in sand. i never said anything about "pure libertarianism"(there is no such thing by the way) i said i'm not going to be afraid to hold him to the same standards as any other candidate. I can sympathize with your "with us or against us" approach to political conversion, but i think it's ass fucking backwards and will backfire more than it helps. Jeebus, i hope this isn't how you approach people on the street about Paul, i'd be surprised you hadn't gotten the shit beat out of you yet. think for yourself.

    i'm out.

  • ||

    "Wade Hampton:
    Too bad TNR didn't hype this on the eve of the South Carolina Republican Primary."

    LOL!

    But I was waiting for this to come out. I was dreading the day, especially as a black libertarian. My "conversations" with friends and family will now become much more difficult, thanks to these dumb newsletters that had absolutely nothing to do with individual liberty or the Constitution. What a damn shame.

  • ||

    El Segundo,

    Don't you think it might become an opportunity to delve deeper into the ideas with them? Failures and mistakes lead to knowledge and opportunity. Too many people got caught up in the cult of personality (myself included,) but the ideas are what are driving all this.

    Regards,
    TDL

  • LevStrauss||

    When the cash started rolling in he could have come clean, what else do they got on him or why is he keeping mum? People giving him 2300 dollars, he breaks fundraising records, and he didn't know this was going to happen? I agree with him on almost all the issues, but he isn't explaining this as well as he explains his political positions, this shows hesitation to explain the situation.

    What's worse? The blind supporters will get slaughtered all over the internets and it will make everyone look crazy as they fall on the sword for someone that wouldn't even shoot straight when its out in the open. Yes this is one of the few times the MSM ever bothers to do investigative reporting, even with something as easy as going to a library is foreign to these bums, but Ron had a responsibility to properly deal with this situation or prepare contingency plans for its release to clear the air and he didn't.

    We need to operate on these premises.

  • ||

    As an outsider, I have a couple of observations:

    1. Ron Paul is not a libertarian. He is opposed to extraconstitutional federal power. If he were running for Governor he would surely advocate outlawing abortion and same-sex marriage at the state level.

    2. The fact that Ron Paul let this crap be published under his name for a very long period of time, and now fails to explain how it happened, does not inspire confidence in the man's leadership abilities. A leader has to take command when a crisis occurs, not brush it under the rug. Imagine if in the 1990s the "Hillary Clinton Report" had advocated abolition of private property, and she and her supporters gave the same lame excuses we've seen here. She would rightly be widely denounced.

    3. This sorry episode has exposed a lot of ugliness in many of Ron Paul's supporters, who have smeared the author of the article and the journal in which it appeared, questioned what's so bad about race- and gay-baiting, and generally acted in a juvenile and unprofessional manner. I for one would not look forward to having this crew in the West Wing for the next four years.

    4. The tone and content of the Balko column gives me hope that at least some libertarians will continue to advocate their position while understanding that Ron Paul is a liability rather than an asset to the cause.

  • LevStrauss||

    On the bright side it looks like Ron will now win South Carolina in a landslide.

  • LevStrauss||

    On the not so bright side it looks like the rEVOLution is now the REVOlution.

  • JB||

    This stuff was big news months ago. Who are all you people that didn't know about this???

  • ||

    Ron Paul clearly had thoughts of a future career in politics after he left Congress, which is why he lent his name to a political newsletter. A man who lends his name to a political newsletter, and has thoughts of continuing his political career in the future, and does not monitor the content of the newsletter, and thus allows such material to be published over many months, if not years, in his name, is, in the professional political sense, a complete and total fuck up. A 72 year old complete and total fuck up is not going to advance the ideals of limited government in a way that is measurably lasting.

    Geeze, if the person behind the newsletter was some babe who was rocking Paul's world on a nightly basis, I might be more forgiving. It appears, however, that he was just too fucking inattentive, or too fucking stupid to grasp the implications. To paraphrase DeGaulle, this is far worse than a crime. It is a blunder, and no, it matters not that the blunder took place 15 or 16 years ago. Not when you have Paul's ambitions.

  • Xrlq||

    Well said, Radley.

  • ||

    Assuming Paul is being honest when he states that he did not write those controversial statements himself, I have some theories that I would like to propose for discussion.

    Paul is by no means a stupid individual, and he must certainly know what his unwillingness to be more forthcoming is doing to his campaign, so he must have thought through the pros and cons very carefully before responding. Here are the theories that came to mind:

    1) Paul is downplaying the accusations in hopes they will just go away, the same thing he was advised to do when they came up in years past. In other words, the more time he publicly deals with the accusations, the more likely they are to linger and continue to harm his campaign.

    It is a bit like when well-meaning people picket a controversial movie; their goal is dissuade others from watching the movie, but the attention they bring to the movie through their picketing actually makes more people want to go see it. It would have been far more effective for them to NOT make a to-do about the movie in question.

    2) Paul is trying to be "honorable" to a fault by not exposing the actual author or authors of those articles. It is like when a captain of a ship (or starship for those sci-fi fans out there) states, "I take full responsibility for the actions of my entire crew. I am their leader, so any consequences for their wrongful actions fall on me and me alone."

    Although he is probably irritated at the writer who got him into this situation, he knows it was his name on that title page, after all; I would not be surprised if he has beating himself up mentally for not being more careful with that newsletter years ago.

    3) This is actual a variation of #2 above. I am not sure if I have seen anyone suggest this, but could it be possible that the person (or persons) who authored those articles are actually someone quite close to Paul, someone whom he would not want to throw under the bus? Could it have even been a relative or a lifelong friend whom he had originally trusted completely to not write anything foolish in the newsletter bearing his name, only to find that trust betrayed? In the name of loyalty to that person (whom he probably forgave years ago, being the nice guy he is), he is taking all the heat on himself.

    I hate to even suggest that third option, because we have all let down people close to us at one time or another, but that is the only scenario in which I could see Paul being willing to have all of the positive momentum of his national, presidential campaign killed by his refusal to name names.

    Anyway, I will be interested to see what people have to say about the above theories.

  • ||

    Oh, and if a talented writer wants to make a name for themselves online, I suggest that someone track down who those original authors were one way or another and expose them to the world, even if Ron Paul will not. (Here's a chance for YOUR 15 minutes of online fame!)

    Even if it turns out that my Theory #3 above is true, and someone close to Paul suffers public humiliation for it, at least it will put the blame where the blame is actually due. Paul might still be guilty of not exercising proper editiorial duties on a newsletter that bore his name, but that is not nearly as bad (morally or politically) as him being the originating author of those statements himself.

  • Alex Cacioppo||

    Hear, hear, Mr. Balko. On one hand we cannot let publications like TNR just go about smearing him with allegations or insinuations by association, and on the other as sympathizers and supporters of Ron Paul it is vital that we keep him to task to dissociate himself from the garbage that was (somehow) attributed to him. I think Radley, you hit the nail on the head with this:

    "The danger is that the ignorance in those newsletters becomes inextricably tethered to the ideas that have drawn people to Paul's campaign, and soils those ideas for years to come. You needn't be a gold bug or buy into conspiracies about Jewish bankers, for example, to see the merit in allowing for private, competing currencies (what PayPal once aspired to become). You needn't believe blacks are animals or savages or genetically inferior to believe that the welfare state's perverse incentives have done immeasurable damage to black families. You needn't be a confederate sympathizer to appreciate the wisdom of federalism. You needn't be an anti-Semite to wonder about the implications of the U.S.'s broad support for Israel."

    Exactly. The nutty hangers-on who claim that libertarianism means whatever crazy idea they want it to mean does not libertarianism make. The kooks have their own reasons for attaching themselves to the movement, and are all too keen on taking undue credit for it.

  • ||

    Radley:

    I think Paul's prone to nutty conspiracy theories,

    Please be specific. What conspiracy theories?
    Political conspiracies do happen. We need to engage in conspiracy analysis to understand political power. We need to ask the question; who benefits? It may be revealing. I like Rothbard's extension of common sense volitional analysis from smaller political situations like the collusion of labor and management to enact tariffs, to larger things like entry into war, the creation of the Fed. etc.

    When we debase conspiracy analysis, we're throwing out an invaluable tool for understanding real politic. Political power is often transmitted via the machinations of hidden collusion and miss-direction. Often, conspiracy theorizing is the only way to apprehend political reality.

  • ||

    OVERlution.

  • ||

    Well, the Paulbots have had their say.

    Let me largely line up with Radley - I think Paul is a flawed candidate for libertarian ideas, and I've thought so, even as he seem so appealing. He _has_ courted the lunatic fringe, consistently, for years. That fringe is racist as hell, and interested in libertarian ideas only for reasons that roll into a greater vision of an apartheid state. He panders to them. I doubt he actually believes in their vision, but promoting a presidential candidate that leverages a base like that... damn, bad news.

    I'd love to see a real libertarian do as well as he has, but he isn't one. He's dangerous, and riding supporters who are more so.

    Alternately, if he allowed a newsletter to go out under his own name for years spewing that filth, there are two options: (1) he's not a careful executive, or (2) he's an opportunist.

    I really wanted to like him.

  • ||

    OK, look, it's really not that hard to find Paul's rebuttal.

    It's here:

    http://www.ronpaul2008.com/press-releases/125/ron-paul-statement-on-the-new-republic-article-regarding-old-newsletters

    Happily you don't have to try and parse for significance a brief to-and-fro while he tried to get into a car anymore.

    As far as I can tell, even many new Paul supporters have known about this issue for months, so it's not surprising he calls it "rehashing", since he's already dealt with the issue (to the satisfaction of many new supporters) during this campaign.

  • Sheldon Richman||

    Hear, hear!

  • Jim Treacher||

    "It wasn't me" is dealing with the issue?

  • ||

    "It wasn't me" is dealing with the issue?

    No it's denial and dismissal, which unfortunately seems to be enough for some of his supporters. not me. i'll need to hear a more clear response and explaination from him if i'm going to continue to support him, otherwise i'm moving on.

  • ||

    It's amazing, the same people who are into those conspiracy theories about somebody who went to school with somebody who's father was in business with somebody who once was seen at a hotel owned by somebody who said something at a CFR meeting, are so quick to apologize for Paul about his own newsletter and whine about "guilt by association". hypocrites.

  • ||

    What Shane @ 8:57 a.m. said. Denial and dismissal of this type of scandal is not what I want from a president ("rehash" = Ari Fleischer speak). Based on his handling of this, I wouldn't trust RP to take in my mail when I was on vacation, let alone run the country as serve as commander-in-chief.

  • ||

    Cowards in the face of a war of aggression, quitters in the face of a Commie smear.

    But hey, can't we all agree to legalize pot?

    Reason Magazine circa 21st Century

  • Shawn Levasseur||

    I wish RP would deal with this matter better. The manner in which RP did handle it treating it as if it was old news long forgotten was wrong. It felt like he was trying to just sweep it under the rug instead of dealing with it.

    The quotes that he has given in response to this, allow his response to be characterized as non-denial denials.

    For so many people, Ron Paul is entirely new to them, and even old news about him in new news, and must be treated as such. The fact that they ARE old news to Ron himself means that he should have been better prepared for this moment, and have a better, more confident response ready to go.

    I know the prime mover of the RP Revolution was ideas. But you can't escape the fact that elections are also about the character of the people running for office.

    Ideas are the core of any good political movement. That's why one should never get caught up in any cults of personality. For the most part, Ron's campaign has been about ideas. But blind or over forgiving defenses of Ron make the whole enterprise look like a cult of personality, and not of ideals.

    To say that people who's vote would be swayed by such matters were never truly

    As time goes by, the more I appreciate the professional image that Harry Browne put out as the LP's public face in the 1996 and 2000 races.

    I don't know if Browne could have achieved what Ron Paul has done. But in a political environment where anti-war voters were looking for someone who they could trust not to flip flop, I'd think he'd have done as well as Ron, and been a better communicator in the process. But that's all speculation of what-ifs.

  • RNC||

    Brian Doherty's fair and circumspect post notwithstanding, I think Balko and Gillespie are doing this not because they agree with Kirchik but because they're in the same racket - that of Kingmaker. If they were to attack Kirchik for his blatant smear and painfully obvious timing - in other words, his methods - they would be attacking themselves. And that just won't do.

  • Paul||

    You defenders and those with fingers in the ears really need to read the article again and again. Here is an example of what is said elsewhere....

    (I didn't write any of this it was ghost-written)



    Oh ........ it's even better than that . He was not aware of them as it was a business venture he lent his name to . A Business he failed to look at for years and years . If that is true it is not a lapse as some say . A lapse is a day , few weeks , maybe the sign of bad political wits for a few months . This would be gross incompetence . But let's play along shall we? He was angry about when he found out and has disavowed it . Well he was obviously aware in 1996 when a spokesman said the comments reflected Jesse Jackson . No denial , no outrage , no ghostwriters . If he finds the matters referred to then as things to disown ( and he was very quick to do that , it only took him 5 YEARS) , he surely would have looked at the other things written in his name . Of course the articles have no name attributed , apart from the publication title and the company , and a selection of personal references to his family and past , all written in the first person. Of course he did not write these things , just selected someone to run matters who obviously held the same views . No , wait , that doesn't wash .They do not come close his libertarian views now , apart from the Lincoln and the slaves thing , immigrants , abortions , gay rights , civil rights.... No I am sure it is not him , if he reads something he carefully weighs it up , like the understanding of the nature of theories in science .You know , the evolution question , which he made clear he disagreed with at the debate when he raised his hand like the other deleg.....are you sure?Surely he made a clean and frank admission there?. A biology based degree would teach him this and make him understand evolution is not to be understood as a theological questi.....he said what? No no , he reads carefully and is a man of principle. He has disavowed these things he must have been aware of for over a decade now . That's why he returned a racists money as he knew these writings would show a need politically to distance himsel.....oh...oh I see . Yes that argument is plausible in isolation too.But he is a man of principle , a constitutionalist who only follows the written consti.....14th what?.....he slips benefits for Texas into laws knowing he can vote against it and it will still pass? No , we have to accept he is totally clean in this . The Bart Simpson defence of " I didn't do it " is totally appropriate and satisfying.....

    .... and RP is not a crazy conspiratorial type either . He just likes to hang around with them hating the UN and only wears the tin foil hat because it matches his eyes. He did not make the hat . It was ghostmade.Honest......

    ......... his legislative history does match the comments . He didn't vote to reaffirm the rights gained in the sixties etc . Keep looking it matches . Hell , the man can't even stay within his own philosophy of individual liberty and the constitution . Far be it for me to say that his religion affects his political stands . Don't think so? What about his weaselling over the separation of church and state and his constitutionalist position .He isn't even a good libertarian (and they are bad enough) , he wants free trade but not a free movement of dirty filthy foreigners ( that's sarcasm there before you say I am racist). Hell , the non-interventionist not a isolationist is more weaselling . If this guy was just currying favour ,trying to get cash or giving a free pass to minions , that sure as hell is not someone I would hitch my name to . All these ronbots spamming trying to make out the movement is massive when it's a fraction ( you need to turn to more conspiracy now to explain the lack of success you kept saying would happen for Mr 5th in a libertarian leaning state) have to do what they are doing as otherwise they know they are going to look damn silly having forked out so much cash,time and devotion to the ,hah,revolution. I think that scientologists and Heaven's Gater's look more credible , though it's certainly talking about the same fold .When in a hole , stop digging. Just walk away , walk away man. "I didn't do it" - Ron Paul/Bart Simpson. PS ..For those furiously trying to bury the story on social sites like Digg and Reddit, keep going , it's out there and will only be all the more delicious as it slowly leaks the further in the hole you are while the rains come down.

  • ||

    Have faith in the young people of America who are supporting Ron Paul. They are smart enough, and think independently enough, to sort out the good from the bad and grasp the fundamental justice of libertarian ideals.

    But don't fall for the single weakest smear in an article filled with smears -- the guilt by associations with "neo-confederates." Ron Paul didn't speak at a conference by a "neo-confederate" organization -- he spoke at a conference on secession held by the Mises Institute, an educational organization focused on Austrian economics.

    Secession -- the fundamental human right of self-government -- as promoted by Mises, has no connection to racism at all. People who discuss or advocate secession are not necessarily racist, even if some of them are.

  • Paul||

    Secessionists....watering down rights in the name of libertysince 1865

  • ||

    Disappointing Reason. You guys like to ride his coattails, until the road gets rocky.

    And people wonder why 15% of the population might have libertarian sentiments, and yet the movement can't pull 1% of the vote.

    Nick should have, and probably did know exactly what was out there, and that it might surface. He took a free market risk, putting Paul on the cover. Of course, no one likes to actually be accountable for their risks, when it comes down to it, a lot of Libertarians are principled as long as it doesn't come at a personal cost.

    Personally, I hope the campaign thrives and survives. We'll be sure to differentiate Ron Paul from your movement, as you now seem to be scrambling to do. Because we're non-interventionists, we wouldn't want tenacity, progress or loyalty diluting your gene pool.

  • Paul||

    You know it just gets better and better . Reason has captain hate on the cover , but would they if they had researched?Would they support this great fighter of liberty if they were aware of this ( and this is from someone defending Captain KKK against the TNR author)

    "State Supreme Court in Lawrence vs. Texas was wrong(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas) that sodomy laws were unconstitutional. Ron Paul wrote "Consider the Lawrence case decided by the Supreme Court in June. The Court determined that Texas had no right to establish its own standards for private sexual conduct, because gay sodomy is somehow protected under the 14th amendment "right to privacy." Ridiculous as sodomy laws may be, there clearly is no right to privacy nor sodomy found anywhere in the Constitution. There are, however, states' rights - rights plainly affirmed in the Ninth and Tenth amendments. Under those amendments, the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards." on the Lew Rockwell web site."

    Reason , your powers of research and background checking match your ability to formulate a sensible political ideology .

    This was ghost written by Bart"I didn't do it" Simpson.

  • ||

    What a silly and sad apologia!

    The Ron Paul newsletter ran for years and years under his name and he claims he had no idea what was in it. There are only explanations:

    1. He is a liar.

    2. He is a moron who is easily used and mislead by those around him.

    I would put the probability of the first explanation being the correct one as somewhere north of 99.99% and the probability of the second explanation as approaching 0%.

    Either explanation however, is manifest proof this man is not qualified to hold any public office, let alone that of the presidency.

  • ||

    "Have faith in the young people of America who are supporting Ron Paul."


    Actually, I have faith in the young women of America never to mate with the young men who support Ron Paul.

    And if you boys will look around, you'll see my faith is pretty well-founded!

  • ||

    Hitler just called from Hell. Turns out he doesn't even read German and had no idea what was in Mein Kampf. As for the death camps...he thought those ovens were for toasting bagels.

  • ||

    Anyone who supported the invasion of Iraq who has not committed suicde or resigned from public office and/or public life to help poor folks in Apalachia is not fit to rule let alone vote.

  • Sovereign||

    Hey, Kasper, couldn't you have just put all that in one post? Attention-whore much?

    And, face it, you froth at the mouth against Paul not because of whatever is in his past but because you, and all your collectivist compatriots, think the government owns it citizens. I encounter this reaction over and over again on boards all over the 'net. Mention individual liberty and the collectivists' assholes pucker up tighter than a banjo string. Give a socialist the idea that he can't tell you what to do and he comes utterly unglued.

  • Bradley J. Fikes||

    Ron Paul is not worth defending. Doing so causes damage to the libertarian movement. The longer you continue, the worse it gets. I tried to defend Paul, but concluded even before the New Republic article he was bad news. My take on the Lew Rockwell people is identical to the author's.

    Renouncing Paul will hurt your pride at first. It hurt mine. But I then felt great relief at not having to twist my mind into ideological contortions making excuses for stuff I had no sympathy with, and finding reasons for giving Paul the benefit of the doubt at every single turn. It is just too much baggage.

    Yes, you can still be a committed libertarian, small or large l, and not support Ron Paul.

  • ||

    "Hey, Kasper, couldn't you have just put all that in one post? Attention-whore much?"


    What the hell gave you the idea those three posts labelled "Kasper Hauser" were written by me? I have been very busy lately and have not been able to oversea properly all post made by my staff. I do take moral responsibility for them even if I do not approve of their content.

    And I am assuming that "collectivist compatriots" is some sort of Ron Paul code for people who've actually had sex with someone of the opposite sex?

  • Anonymous||

    http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?item.1297.1

  • ||

    Wendy McElroy

    You need to understand something Wendy--IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THE AUTHOR OF THESE POSTS WAS AN AIDE (and I don't believe it was).

    THIS WENT ON FOR 20 YEARS IN RON PAUL'S NEWSLETTER. HE CAN TRY AND PRETEND THESE WERE NOT HIS BELIEFS, BUT IT'S BULL!

    The whole idea of Libertarianism is based on the idea that individuals can think for themselves. but it is overwhelmingly clear that you little Ronbots can't think your way out of a paper bag!

    I am sorry your dreams are crushed and that you have to look elsewhere for whatever pyschosexual satisfaction you got from being a Ron Paul cultist! How about Scientology? Yeah, you'll have to hate Lord Xenu instead of the Jews, but it's all good! Plus, you've got Tom Cruise and John Travolta to cream your oversized jeans over.

    Whatever just do me one small favor--Please leave the Republican Party to the real Republicans and let us forget you ever darkened out door? Please?

    Go on. You've Thetian souls to save out there. Go!

  • Old news attacking Kasper||

    These attacks on Kasper are disgusting . He has given an explanation and that is good enough for me . I bet you drag this up again and again , and even though there is an unsatisfactory explanation to what is written , it will be old news . Well until the rest comes out backing up original criticisms. But that will be new old news .

    Now no more distractions people .

    LOOK! A BLIMP!

  • ||

    You all know that Ron Paul did not condone those writings. He disowned them back then, and he's disowning them now.

    Grow a backbone and say F*CK YOU, KIRCHICK, YOU STATIST FRAUDSTER!

    GOOD RIDDANCE TO YOU SPINELESS "LIBERTARIANS" WHO ARE DESERTING HIM AND HIS MESSAGE NOW OVER KIRCHICK'S SLIMY FRAUD OF A SOPHOMORIC SMEAR.

  • ||

    Everyone knows Dr. Paul is no racist.
    He delivered many minority babies for free.
    He denounced those who said they would not vote for a candidate based on his religion.

    Hillary and Obama openly support racism. Here is proof. They both pander to this organization. A Hillary or Obama presidency would mean more of your tax dollars going to -- racism!


    Hillary Picks La Raza Leader As Campaign Co Chair
    Thu, 04/12/2007
    The former president of an extremist group that organized many of the country's disruptive pro illegal immigration marches and advocates the return of the American Southwest to Mexico will co-chair Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
    Best known for his radical pro Chicano work during 30 years as president of the National Council of La Raza, Raul Yzaguirre is being promoted by the Clinton campaign as a prominent Hispanic activist who will lead the New York senator's outreach to Hispanic voters.
    The reality is that Yzaguirre alienates many American citizens of Hispanic descent (in other words, those qualified to vote) with his so-called La Raza rhetoric, which has been repeatedly labeled racist.
    The National Council of La Raza describes itself as the largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, but it caters to the radical Chicano movement that says California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas belong to Aztlan.
    The takeover plan is referred to as the "reconquista" of the Western U.S. and it features ethnic cleansing of Americans, Europeans, Africans and Asians once the area is taken back and converted to Aztlan.
    While this may all sound a bit crazy, this organization is quite powerful (thanks to Hillary's new campaign co-chair) and annually receives millions of dollars in federal grants. Its leaders also managed to get included in congressional hearings regarding immigration. Last year alone, the National Council of La Raza received $15.2 million in federal grants and one senator gave the group an extra $4 million in earmarked American taxpayer dollars.
    The organization uses the money to support projects like a Southern California elementary school with a curriculum that specializes in bashing America and promoting the Chicano movement. The school's founder and principal, a Calexico-educated activist named Marcos Aguilar, opposes racial integration and says Mexicans in the U.S. don't want to go to white schools or drink from white water fountains.

  • ||

    Kirchick is a scummy Yalie Bonesman working for the Olin Foundation.
    Need we say more about for whom he is working?

  • RNC||

    Kasper, you can hide behind your feigned snarky indifference all you want but you wouldn't go to the effort of blessing us with such wonderfully delightful and original humor if the idea of individual liberty didn't tweak you where it smells bad. Face it: You view Paul and libertarians with such a condescending view because you're afraid of the movement. Your humor is a way of attempting to get others to downplay its importance. Your disguise is your undoing.

  • ||

    Reason Magazine had a known racist on its cover---> It is just another racist, secessionist, libertarian publication

    Saying now that they don't spouse those views is just dishonest. They obviously did, or wouldn't have agreed to give a racist so much space.

  • ||

    Or then again, maybe guilt by association should be dismissed out of hand as intellectually dishonest ad-hominem...

  • ||

    I'm sorry, I'm a bit late arriving to all this newsletter thing, could you please help me get something cleared up:

    - Nobodody is saying Ron Paul is a racist?

    - They are acusing him of associating, without holding racist views himself, with one racist 20 years ago?

    - This is news?!!

  • ||

    If a puny smear by association from 20 years ago is the most they can come up with, this man must be a saint!

    I wouldn't like to see what would happen to RP if he had Giuliani's personal life, or MacCains's political connections, or Hillary's financial backers, or Huck's death sentence record, or....

    Never mind, however much you want to make this a big deal, it is obviously contrived and artificial. nuff said.

  • SC&A||

    Mr Paul might find a warmer audience in Idaho.

    I'm sure some of Richard Butler's property is for sale.

  • ||

    Man I wish I was getting paid to post too!

  • formerbeltwaywonk||

    How can one not think of conspiracy theories having just observed an improbably simultaneous media attack on Ron Paul the day of the New Hampshire campaign? A remarkably successful attack that made him plunge from 14% in the polls to an 8% actual vote? After weeks where we heard very little about Paul from the mass media and beltway "libertarian" bloggers? 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. Your eyes did not deceive you, all this happened. It is not the result of a criminal conspiracy, but if one uses "conspiracy" as a metaphor for social networks of vast complexity, there is a strong sense in which conspiracy theories accurately, if metaphorically, explain what happened.

    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 think tank and university scholars at the Cato Institute, George Mason University, and so on. 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.

  • ||

    Radley Balko wants Paul to go against his belief in personal responsibility and rat out a person that should step forward.

    If Paul has personal responsibility for those newsletters then Paul is personally responsible for promoting racism, homophobia, anti-semitism, and bizarre conspiracy theories. If this is the case then I applaud his willingness to admit his responsibility, but it doesn't change the fact that he's unfit for decent society -- let alone for the Presidency.

    If, on the other hand, Paul is NOT personally responsible for promoting racism, homophobia, anti-semitism, and bizarre conspiracy theories -- if, in fact, someone ELSE promoted those things under his name, without his knowledge -- then he has a duty to either identify who that person was, or explain why he considers it important to help racist homophobes conceal their true natures from the public.

  • Ben Kalafut||

    What hasn't been emphasized enough is that the problem is not merely with something that happened in the past, but with stances Ron Paul takes to this very day, on immigration, gay rights, and even the establishment of religion! The most prominent of his anti-liberal measures half-concealed by libertarian rhetoric is the We The People Act, but an hour's seraching turns up quite a few more. He's also a notorious earmarker.

    One surprise has been that the New Republic and others took care to distinguish downmarket libertarianism from the more respectable sort. If the Paulites, too, come to figure it out, they might not bolt and there might not be any need for active housecleaning. Hans Hermann Hoppe, Lew Rockwell, and the like wrote themselves out of libertarianism a long time ago when they started valuing half-baked ideology more than liberty itself. It's merely taken some people a long time to notice.

  • Ron Paul||

    This is all a Zionist plot to discredit my campaign.

  • Jason||

    Bingo:

    Bingo?

    It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out Dondero was in charge of the newsletter, and wouldn't surprise me to find out that's why Paul let him go. :P

    But hey, who knows.

    All I know is, the reasons I love Ron Paul have nothing to do with the things contained therein in the newsletter. I just watched the Wolf Blitzer interview. Paul handled himself well in repudiating those comments. We can all read them and we can know for certain it was NOT Paul who wrote them, and Paul has never written anything like that.

    That's enough for me. Radley, you're one of my biggest heroes...please don't let me down.

  • Red Phillips||

    Do you really think it helps the cause of limited government to carry water for the PC thought police? How do you think the PC Gestapo wants to enforce its rigid right think? By big government and the suppression of free thought. The Kirchick smear is straight from the Cultural Marxist playbook. Militant Cultural Marxism is a much worse problem these days than is the boogie man of closeted racists and anti-Semites.

  • SW||

    Someone upthread wrote in defense of RP:

    "Paul has publicly denied that he wrote this material."

    ??? oh, and a denial makes it automatically true, just because it's Ron Paul?

    Reminds me of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman!" or "I have a wide stance" or "I don't recall"...

  • SR||

    Beltway Libertarian: Anyone with a ten year plan to privatize 3% of social security.

    I'll take Ron Paul and "his" ostensibly racist comments (and I'm not even white!) any day over the DC libertarians.

    Thanks for reminding me why I cancelled my subscription to "Reason" long ago.

  • Lester Hunt||

    RB, I agree with everything you say, except I don't think this (logically) is as damaging as you do. Associating with people who have squirrelly views and failing to adequately oversee a newsletter at a time when you are out of politics and practicing medicine full time -- these are not good traits, but they are not exactly great nefarious either. I guess I need to comment on this at my blog.

  • ||

    I've said it before, I'll say it again.

    I met the man. Personally. In a Non-Political setting. Before he announced his candidacy.

    I thought then he, at best, had a screw loose. Those were his newsletters, from top to bottom. Those are his pals, first to last.

    He was, he is, and probably will remain, a racist, homophobic, anti-Semite. Sorry guys, sometimes when the cameras ain't rolling, the mask comes off.

  • ||

    Out of intellectual curiosity, lets take everything to an extreme.

    Say, Ron goes on to win tons more money, and win the nomination. Or at the very least continues to do better and better.

    But lets just say for the sake of argument he wins the nomination. Would all Libertarians who dismissed Paul from these historical letters come back and say,:
    "Well, his ideas were always good and I knew that. I know the letters were bad but the Idea is what counts. I support Paul"

    I would bet everyone in here who wants to distance themselves now would completely jump back on the wagon if he started to win.

  • ||

    Paul didn't necessarily read the newsletters, but he is a fool if he didn't read them. After $800 in donations and a lot of toil on his behalf, he has lost my support.

  • ||

    This stuff has been around for years. No disrespect to the author but I live in Australia and I knew about it and the response from Ron Paul 2 months ago when I researched him. I think it was poor judgement for him not to pay attention to the newsletters but it is not a hanging offense. I still think the ideas are worthwhile and I am still glad that ideas I agree with are getting an airing.

  • Libertarian Girl||

    You're wrong on this matter, Balko.

    Lysander above-- you're no Spooner. I've met Ron Paul as well, along with his wife, and he is not racist or anything of the sort. He enjoyed meeting everyone who came to his rallies, of all races.

    Ron Paul is the candidate who has gone up against some of the most powerful forces in our society-- the military industrial complex, medical industrial complex, corporations who consider government handouts a part of their business plan. Imagine all the money that they would lose if he was elected. No wonder these rumors/lies come out about him. The writings in question are not his style at all.

    Libertarians: Are you with us or against us? It seems that many of the commenters above are good at the Libertarian Party tactic of shooting libertarianism in the foot.

  • ||

    If we're going to talk about disgraceful L/libertarian nutjobs, why not mention Michael Badnarik?

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  • sathi2000||

    I warned these dumbass Bush acolytes that they were going to be unhappy with the precedents they set while the retarded son was POTUS. Now they expect to convince an overwhelmingly Democratic congress to take the power away from the golden boy president (after the executive semen is wiped from congress's collective chin, of course)?
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  • sathi2000||

    This movement is about ideas. There's a vocal, enthusiastic minority of people out there, skewing young, that is excited about "the Constitution," limited government, and personal freedom.
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    I was hoping for much, much more. If Paul didn't write these screeds, he should tell us who did, or assign someone from the campaign to do some research, and reveal the authors' identity. He should explain his relationship with the authors, and how it is they came to write
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    I think were surprised at how strong he came on. So both sides dismissed him as a nut, and cited the kookiest fringes of libertarianism and dug up the most whacked-out Paul supporters to prove their point
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  • ||

    the quotes pulled from these newsletters will for many only confirm those worst stereotypes of what he represents. The good ideas Paul represents then get sullied by association. The Ann Althouses of the world, for example, are now only more certain
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  • David Singhiser||

    Another example of coming away from a Reason articled disappointed and disillusioned. Do you guys really care about freedom and liberty or do you just want to be respected by the statists?

    Better to sip some wine with the DC crowd than drink beer with Bubba who has just woken up and loves liberty.

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