Those Newsletters


For what it's worth, I believe Ron Paul when he says he didn't write those newsletters. I've been active in libertarian circles for many years now, and I can remember hearing occasionally that someone or another had a gig ghostwriting for Ron Paul. This was after the newsletters in question had appeared, but I assume the congressman had made such arrangements in the past as well. The race- and gay-baiting quotes in the New Republic piece—and, even more so, the documents' general gestalt of an impending apocalypse—sound like the sort of material that often appeared in far-right direct-mail packages in that era. My suspicion is that someone who wrote such packages also picked up a job writing the Ron Paul Survival Report.

I'm glad that Paul has repudiated the racist and anti-gay comments that appeared in the Report. But the issue he still has to address, and which his official response only dances around, is what exactly his relationship to that publication was. If Paul didn't write those articles, who did? If he didn't know what had appeared in his newsletter, when did he find out and how did he deal with it? If the candidate is vague on these points, it will only fuel suspicions that he held those beliefs after all (or that he was willing to stay silent despite his disagreements because the newsletters brought in some cash).

The story isn't going to go away on its own. By releasing its article the day of the New Hampshire primary, The New Republic pretty much guaranteed that if Paul does well at the polls today any reports about his success will include this much-less-flattering information as well. Transparency, please.