Ron Paul

Smear, Smear Again

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Little Green Footballs has moved, over the space of a few weeks, from mercilessly mocking Ron Paul and banning him from its straw polls to putting him at the center of a conspiracy for worldwide Nazi domination. Sitemaster Charles Johnson has hammered the tired Don Black donation story and is now promoting photos, taken from the Value Voters Debate in Florida, of Paul, Black, and Black's son Derek. It's a "photo-op," Johnson says!

I'll give Johnson some credit: He's consistent, and he has a zero-tolerance policy for the white pride/European pride crowd. His fellow travellers have attacked him for blogging against the Belgian right-wing party Vlaams Belang. [UPDATE: In the comments, Robert Spencer complains about being linked. He misunderstands me: I'm not saying he was one of the attackers, I'm referring to the attacks that he defended Johnson from.] The attack on Paul for having his picture taken in the scrum outside a debate, though, is a smear. Paul's never had an entourage or secret service protection. When Don Black eased in for a photo with Paul, the candidate had no idea what Black looked like. (Did anyone? Black looks a little thinner and greyer than the photos of him that come up on image searches or the photo on Stormfront's banner.) Unless Black came up to Paul and said "I am the blandly-named fuhrer of a white pride site. You share the goals of my revolution," I don't see what Paul was supposed to do.

Here, for some context, is footage of Paul milling around before the Values Voters Summit (no relation to the debate) in October. He's being buttonholed by a crazy person who's obsessed with the devil, by Nation reporter Max Blumenthal, and by nutbar businessman/fringe candidate Daniel Imperato. He doesn't know who they are, but he talks to them and gets in frame for their cameras and camcorders anyway.

Lee of Right-Thinking on the Left Coast has a good take on this.

I'm irritated that Ron Paul was photographed with an asshole like Don Black. But these guys shake hands and pose for photos with thousands of people. It's called campaigning. They don't have time to check everyone's background. This was not a Stormfront event, this was a Values Voters debate.

I'm having trouble finding it on Google, but I remember back in '96, Ross Perot making a big deal about a photo of Bill Clinton shaking hands with a drug dealer at a campaign event. I remember people making a big deal out of Rosalyn Carter shaking hands with John Wayne Gacy. I thought it was bullshit then and it's bullshit now.

I haven't tried to cover up the fringe right's love for Ron Paul. When I saw Jamie Kelso blogging from the Ron Paul tent at the Ames Straw Poll, I noted it in my article on that event. But in the shape of things, it's so… irrelevent. Does anyone think Stormfront posters are *this close* to white revolution and all they need now is a presidential trojan horse? For the record, Black's donation makes up 0.002 percent of Paul's 2007 campaign haul.