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Ron Paul: Reductio ad Bigotum

If I published an “Alan Bedenko Liberty Newsletter” that contained anti-Semitic, conspiratorial, and racist rantings written in the first person, I’d expect people to question that.

For some reason, Iowa frontrunner Ron Paul believes that he doesn’t deserve similar scrutiny. The copyright was held by “Ron Paul & Associates, Inc.” He’s busy having hissy fits when reporters ask him legitimate questions about the writings done by him, or in his name. He can say he “never read them”, but that can’t be true. He can say he “disavows them” but he didn’t do so then, when it mattered and when he was trying to make money off them.  The press keeps asking him about it (because it’s important), and he’s getting testy about it.

As you might expect, the Paulists’ reaction to reporters asking questions has been perfectly reasonable:

I mean, she’s a woman – so, she’s a whore, AMIRITE?!

Part of believing in a free market is accepting the consequences of using one’s Constitutional liberty to think and write hateful nonsense.

The National Review has a smattering of Paul’s newsletters here, and their content speaks for itself. But every time Paul is asked about them and “disavows” them and denies having written or read them at the time, despite them bearing his name, remember that when these came up in a 1996 campaign, he disavowed no such thing, and did not deny writing or reading them. Indeed, he defended the newsletters and took ownership of them.

This whole fascination with Ron Paul (whose prognostications on the one issue he purports to be expert – monetary policy – have been all wrong) is analogous to if Lyndon LaRouche actually, finally, managed to get the Democratic nomination, or be competitive in Iowa. But LaRouche stays on the fringe of politics where he belongs, a joke and an afterthought. Ron Paul is outpolling the inconsistent Romney, the unhinged Bachmann, the gay-baiting Perry, and the corrupt Gingrich.

The only non-lunatic Republican candidate, Huntsman, may do well in New Hampshire, where he’s been focusing his efforts.

That’s some bench.



  • Jay

    A Ron Paul presidency means that tens of thousands of African American men will be returning to their families, communities and churches. They can begin working and re-building their lives. That is revolutionary! That is precisely what will happen if Ron Paul is serious about ending the Drug War and pardoning non-violent drug offenders.

    A Ron Paul presidency means that the bombs and drone missiles will stop dropping on Arabs, Africans, and Asians.

    A Ron Paul presidency means that the Federal government will no longer threaten the interests of gays who want to pursue marriage in their respective states.

    No Republican or Democrat (not even Obama) is promising these things; they neutralize the “Ron Paul is a racist” charge, and they expose Obama (and the GOP) for the damage they have allowed the War on Drugs to do to African American communities.

    ————

    NAACP Nelson Linder speaks on Ron Paul and racism –

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGhv3paNz6U&feature=player_embedded

    Equal justice under the law –

    Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oWmUtKgtYo

  • grunk

    “If I published an “Alan Bedenko Liberty Newsletter” that contained anti-Semitic, conspiratorial, and racist rantings written in the first person, I’d expect people to question that.”

    So would I.

    But maybe, just maybe, you would first do some research and find that the SAME questions have been asked an answered many times in this election cycle, the 2008 election cycle, and over 10 years ago. But that would be the journalistically proper thing to do.

    It’s like questioning Gloria Borger about her husband’s lobbying firm and how it influences the stories she covers and how she covers them.

  • Jim

    My, that is one dead horse you are beating.

    It’s funny, you don’t mention all the racist things Obama has said…. from his own mouth.

    This is just the same old attack.

    Tell your bosses, you tried, but failed.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Lulz

  • Bbill

    Cult members get quite petulant when their Leaders are questioned.

    What racist things, Jim? Got some examples?

    • Alan Bedenko

      I think he’s saying that something Obama said recently retroactively justifies Paul calling black people “animals”.

  • Michael

    The furor would go quickly go away if Ron Paul could manage to give the same answers to the decades old questions. That is the bigger question. Why can’t he give the same answers???? My Mom always told me to just tell the truth because it was easier than having to remember different answers!!!

  • Mike Chmiel

    If he could have only “loosened up” in the “Bruno” movie, I think people would give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • January 2007 – November 2011: WHY IS THE MEDIA IGNORING RON PAUL?!!!

    December 2011: LEAVE RON PAUL ALONE!!!

  • Bbill

    Still waiting on those examples, Jim.

  • Jim

    Bedenko channeling Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin, are we to be spared NOTHING?!?!

    • Alan Bedenko

      You’re just a statist.

  • “Bedenko channeling Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin, are we to be spared NOTHING?!?!”

    This might be the single best thing I have ever read. Yeah, Jim, that’s what Alan is doing with your ridiculous comparison.

  • Thomas Stanford

    I find it interesting that Artvoice seemingly has the courage to jump on the “Ron Paul is racist” bandwagon with the usual brand of ever-so-clever sarcasm and ignorant rhetoric, undoubtedly because he’s a republican/libertarian first, but also because he’s threatening the way we all think. Even though he’s been answering to this issue for over 2 decades (you’d be sick of it too), is the only true Peace candidate out there, is the only candidate with any economic clout, and is more left on many issues than our current failure of a President. A president whom i enthusiastically voted for with the promise of ending the wars being “the first thing i will do”. Not expanding our bombing into 6+ countries.

    And yet i see NOTHING written about how our locally elected Democrats just voted for the National Defense Authorization Act, which would allow the US Gov and Military to detain any American without charge or trial. An act so viciously destructive to our Bill of Rights. Would it really hurt you guys to write a zing-laden piece on people like Congressmen Higgins or Hochul, who just helped to obliterate Amendments 4-8 in one fell swoop? Or are you still going to put these phonies on a pedestal, simply because they’re Democrats and you can’t possibly take your blinders off.

    very brave.

    • Alan Bedenko

      I posted about the NDAA here.

      Also, the NDAA and whether Higgins or Hochul voted for it in no way obviates the racial, anti-Semitic, and conspiratorial viciousness contained in Ron Paul’s newsletters.

      Have a nice day.

  • Bbill

    Still waiting for examples of “all the racist things Obama has said…. from his own mouth.”

    Hey Jim – if I make an assertion yet refuse to corroborate, I forfeit any credibility. Ron Paul may walk on water, but the same rules apply to you.

  • Thomas Stanford

    I didn’t say you didn’t post about NDAA, i said you failed to call out our elected officials for voting for it. If you notice in the comments, I did. It would’ve served your post doubly to have done so from the beginning, but evidently that wasn’t important? We wouldn’t DARE tarnish Brian Higgins’ godlike stature around here, or newly beloved Kathy Hochul’s rise to the status quo.

    And all your inclusion of the reason.com blog and chron.com article does is muddle the issue, and then drives into nitpicking his character, far off of the initial subject. Assuming he’s telling the truth, which is within his character, he didn’t write any of those statements. Most newsletter publishers don’t. He wasn’t even active in politics at the time, he was a full time OBGYN. Even the rhetoric doesn’t fit Paul’s typical wording. The likely culprit is Lew Rockwell from the MISES Institute, who is nortoriusly unfiltered, and helped run Paul’s 1988 presidential campaign. that by no means excuses Paul’s name from being on the newsletter, but its entirely possible that he put trust in a guy who abused the size of his readership to get his own vicious thoughts out there, without checking up on every single word that was sent out. Paul even claims to have never received any of reported 1Million+ from the subscription.

    I suppose if one wants to go to such conspiratorial lengths to smear the only Peace-loving, fiscally responsible option we have on either side of the aisle, based on foggy evidence and Paul’s annoyed reactions to the questioning, then i would further question where our priorities really are as a whole in this country. Do we want to right the ship with a viable alternative, or just let it keep going down the status quo, bankrupt, murderous drain…

    • Alan Bedenko

      @Thomas Stafford: Oh, so you didn’t like the way in which I wrote about the NDAA. I’ll tell you what, I’m less concerned about whether Brian Higgins and Kathy Hochul have a policy disagreement with me than I am about whether or not they harbor very neanderthal opinions about minorities.

      The long and short of it is that Paul published a newsletter bearing his name. At the time of publishing and in 1996, he originally took ownership of the newsletters’ content, but now he won’t. It’s a legitimate inquiry and one that he has yet to address in an even remotely honest fashion. It’s not foggy evidence, it’s reproducible fact.

  • Seriously?

    The only time Ron Paul ever voted for something unconstitutional was to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. That was in the early 80s – long before these newsletters came out. How could a racist bigot – and avowed constitutionalist – do this in good conscience? Paul will also issue a pardon to non-violent drug offenders. (Let’s face it – most are black. Minorities get screwed most often by our unfair “justice” system. Ron Paul has made mention of this sad fact on several occasions.) He didn’t write the letter. The argument that he is racist is as solid as a wet bag of horseshit.

    Latest polls even show that Paul has the more support from non-whites than all of the other Republican contenders. Many famous rappers have come to his defense. To keep rehashing this tired old attack is typical from the mainstream media and fake-left war mongers.

    • Alan Bedenko

      What does “voting for something unconstitutional” have to do with what’s written in those newsletters that bear Paul’s name?

  • Jim Holstun

    It’s interesting to note that, in a week when the NY Times reveals that Barack Obama’s jets killed forty and perhaps more than seventy civilians in Libya, and when the US admits it killed 25 Pakistani border guards, and as Obama continues to merrily fry Afghani and Pakistani civilians in his drone war, and assassinate Americans without trial (Anwar al-Awlaki and his sixteen-year-old son), the media is all agog over some disgusting statements made by Ron Paul or his flunky-associates twenty years ago.

    Moral: go ahead and murder brown people horribly and no Democrats OR Republicans will object. But be sure not to make racist utterances, or be associated with people who do, or the liberal press (and Ron Paul’s terrified Republican competitors) will jump all over you. Barack Obama is a stone cold killer, but he’s genteel, well-spoken, and dresses well, so he will get a pass.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Well, (1) I don’t think what Obama does in Libya or Pakistan or Afghanistan has anything to do with Ron Paul’s attitudes on race and Judaism.

      (2) I don’t think Obama is “merrily fry[ing]” anyone, but you’re a zealot, and I understand that you’re just attacking Obama because you have no defense to what Ron Paul wrote.

      (3) I’m pretty sure Ron Paul is also genteel, well-spoken, and dresses well. (So would you be if you were a career politician).

  • Thomas Stanford

    Being less concerned about the possible unjust and immoral incarceration of any American with no due process is fairly telling. Its not a mere “policy disagreement”, Alan, its a complete stomping of whats left of our Constitutional rights, as you rightly pointed out. You write up a nice piece, and a timely one, and you LEAVE OUT the people directly responsible that represent us at that level? I guess that’s your option. It’s mine to claim it as curious. *shrugs*

    the most honest way he’s addressed it is in the very quote Reason used from the Texas Monthly article. That he was torn between his aides’ commands, his in-campaign image, and his own wants. it was a political mess. And TM ended it correctly, saying, “that it would have been far, far easier to have told the truth at the time”. That is what is fact.

    Him harboring racist views, when you consider what Seriously? brought up before, his views specifically against the war on drugs and capital punishment, which he claims is directly discriminatory against minorities, and quotes such as this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VLmzvoaGWU), is not.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Actually, the person I’m most disappointed in with respect to the detention law is the President, who is in a position to veto it. I don’t think the issue is who voted for it – the issue is that it’s wrong.

      As for Ron Paul, really? Are you really defending this guy to me? I don’t really care if more minorities support Paul than any other Republican lunatic in the race. The point is that Paul was quite satisfied to publish a newsletter under his name to promote his political, economic, and social agenda, and he wasn’t above race-baiting or Jew-baiting to get his message across. If his excuse is that his aides wrote it, then he’s a poor executive and a poor administrator and has no business being elected to an office that involves a lot of delegation of complicated tasks.

      This is all aside from the fact that he’s a fringe candidate who’s wrong about almost everything.

  • Thomas Stanford

    just watched the 1995 video interview, and his mentioning of “putting out” (aka publishing, not writing) the newsletter does nothing to reinforce the racism argument, it just piles onto the smear. Again, people who publish newsletters usually don’t write them. Even his current campaign emails that are sent out under his name, or Rand Paul’s, or his Wife… they’re written by a staffer. They’re intended to be idealistically parallel to the man who puts his name on it, which is exactly what he explains the intent of the newsletters was to be in the interview. Heck, for all anyone knows now, he may not have even known about the racial/bigotted content in them at the time of that interview, considering he so freely brought it up. The article you linked uses that quote.

  • Thomas Stanford

    “This is all aside from the fact that he’s a fringe candidate who’s wrong about almost everything.” Boy, haven’t heard this before. People still trying to ride this “fringe” tag, when he’s legitimately about to take Iowa? He’s also predicted all of this mess we are in going years back, economically and militarily. So to say he’s “wrong about everything” is extremely false. He predicted the housing bubble, the backlash that turned into 9/11, the expansion of the wars, the collapse of our currency… dead on with this stuff. almost a lone wolf in Washington on it too. that is WELL documented.

    Agree with you on Obama, but it never should’ve gotten to his desk. They’re all in it together, and they’re all subject to scrutiny. I want to know if the guys i vote for are contributing to the ruination of our country, whether its Obama, Higgins, or the mayor of East Aurora, who is putting together a Christmas Decoration Committee.

    You’re almost there, Alan. Yes, it was very poor judgement to not have his newsletters monitored and act sooner, but again, he was a full time practicing OBGYN at the time. He took a piddling of money from it, which tells you how hands off it was from his standpoint. It was a mistake, one that turned into a political spin and now is a cloud of questions. But if you listen to him speak enough and understand his policies, he is far and above those comments, morally. And i would caution the “no business” and “delegation” comment only because he’s been widely written to have by-and-large the most organized and machine-like ground-game campaign running, paralleling Mr. O from 4 yrs ago.

  • Michael

    Bedenko, Ron Paul never called black people animals. Look at what its say and do not make and ass out of you me. ASSUME! I have even taught my children how to use a gun for self defense aginst criminals and hunting animals for food. I do not know how you came to the conclusion that animals are black people unless you are racist yourself? The writing states the animals are coming!

  • Jim Holstun

    “You’re a zealot”: not a very elevated tone for a would-be long-term Artvoice blogger. This is mere name-calling, and it doesn’t become you. In fact, I’m not a Ron Paul supporter, as much as I admire his foreign policy positions. What this has to do with Obama is that these Libyans and Pakistanis and Afghanis and Americans would all be alive if Mr. Paul were President, instead of the the suave little killer beloved of so many Democrats, who usually give him a free ride.

    Right, I have no defense of what Ron Paul (or one of his associates) said because I don’t want to defend it, and in fact condemned it in what I wrote–Mr. Bedenko, do read a little less sloppily. These messages aren’t all that long. Try again–that’s a good boy, you can do it! That’s right–I called the comments “disgusting”–doesn’t sound much like a defense, does it? Now, next time, try reading carefully BEFORE you respond, and you’ll be doing much better.

    Of course Ron Paul isn’t genteel–he’s a geeky Texan with a squeaky voice, not a smoothie murderer like Obama.

  • Eric Saldanha

    I wonder if Dr. Paul mentioned his vote for the MLK holiday, as well as being the #1 friend to blacks, when he spoke at the John Birch Society’s 50th anniversary dinner in 2008 – http://vimeo.com/19602654

  • Of course Ron Paul did not disavow the words “then”. How could he if he didn’t write them or approve them? Cite one instance when Ron Paul has spoken the type of ideas that progressives are trying to lay at his feet?

    • Alan Bedenko

      @Michael Rebmann: In the “Ron Paul Political Newsletter” in the late 80s/early 90s.

  • Bbill
  • Jesse

    This issue came up in the 2008 election. I wonder how long he has to keep saying the same things before people will let it go?

    Probably never.

  • Jesse

    It’s far easier to dismiss a candidate for some moral failing in the past than to consider policy positions and declared public statements.

    If you’re capable of nuance, you might consider reading on:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/12/grappling-with-ron-pauls-racist-newsletters/250206/

  • Jesse

    In the end, the reason the newsletters don’t disqualify him for most of us who support him is that is just doesn’t sound like anything else he’s ever said or done. It’s a strange outlier.

    If he were espousing anything like the sorry-ass statements made back then, do you ArtVoice guys REALLY think he’d be pulling support in the teens around the country?? Really?

  • Yeah, those rancid newsletters are totally out of character for a guy who’s said for decades that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “forced integration” on the country by outlawing racial discrimination in all public accomodations.

  • Bbill

    If you take his denials at face value, he’s essentially acknowledging and admitting incompetence.

  • Jesse

    @Eric Saldanha: I can see philosophy is not your strong suit. Also, proof that he’s said such for “decades”.

    Did he suggest Obama was subhuman in 2008? Did he utter a single racist word after 9/11? Compared to the current anti-gay anti-muslim statements expressed in debates and beyond by other GOP candidates, is his protecting of an old friend (probably Lew Rockwell) better or worse?

    I have read more on and about Dr Paul that you guys ever will. There is history there if you care to discover it, but I expect it’s cheaper and easier for you guys to dismiss him as a bigot based on 3rd party accusations.

    It’s not like you guys were going to vote for him anyway. Better to stick to your liar-in-chief (anti-war, eh?) who was associated with his own racists and bigots.

    • Alan Bedenko

      Jesse, even if he’s not a bigot, he (a) surrounded himself with bigots; (b) retained bigots to write for his newsletter; (c) affixed his name and lent his influence to a newsletter that printed & published bigoted material; and (d) made money and earned political influence therefrom.

      I’d say after-the-fact disavowal after having already taken ownership of it all in 1996 is sorta weak.

  • Jesse

    Alan, I’m not excusing it. It is VERY weak. The entire thing left an horrible taste in my mouth in 2008. When it was a new revelation.

    It’s “new” to a lot more voters this time, which gives him an opportunity to get it better. His current actions are nowhere near enough.

    That said (and it should be said, and repeated until everyone is either satisfied with the answers or moved on to support other candidates), every political calculation is to select the lesser of two evils. And Dr Paul is FAR FAR less evil than any other GOP candidate or Obama, even if you only consider his stance on bringing our military home and stop bombing the shit out of poor brown people.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2011-12-21/us/us_texas-drone-strike-victim_1_shakira-drone-strike-drone-attack?_s=PM:US

    • Alan Bedenko

      Ron Paul is also the guy who wants government basically out of every aspect of people’s lives. I don’t subscribe to that sort of anarcholibertarian ideology, nor do I want to live in that kind of society. Not by a long-shot.

      So, to me, Paul is unelectable for two reasons: one, that he can’t confront the newsletter issue head-on in any meaningful way; and two, that he wants to turn this country into Somalia with better utilities.

      • Alan Bedenko

        Also,

        The eight-page mailer obtained by Reuters via Jamie Kirchick, who unearthed Paul’s newsletter archives in 2008, is mostly focused on a rambling conspiracy theory about changes to the dollar. But Paul tries to bolster his credibility on the issue by noting that his newsletters have also “laid bare the the coming race war in our big cities” as well as the “federal-homosexual coverup on AIDS,” adding that “my training as a physician helps me see through this one.” He also condemns the “demonic fraternity” Skull and Bones, a Yale secret society that “includes George Bush and leftist Senator John Kerry, Congress’s Mr. New Money,” and “the Israeli lobby that plays Congress like a cheap harmonica.”

        Given that the most shocking racist and homophobic content from his actual newsletters is reprinted in the span of just one eight-page mailer, it offers a stark picture of just how focused the publication was on these conspiracy theories. You can read the full letter here.

  • @Eric, forced integration was a prime driver of white flight from the cities. Neighborhood schools, combined with strong parental involvement, is a much better foundation for the education of everyone.

  • @ Jesse – that nutjob son of his, Sen. Rand Paul, parroted that exact same “forced integration” line after his election last November. Where did he get it from…”The Fountainhead”?

    I can see that recognizing obvious dog-whistles to bigots is not your strong suit. So I’m supposed to applaud Ron Paul for not being as blatant and idiotically public a racist and bigot as Rick Perry?

    I personally don’t think Dr. Paul is a racist. I hold him accountable, however, for trolling in the pit of paleoconservative appeals to racial fear, class warfare and Luntz-ian wordplay to show the knuckle-draggers that he’s “one of them”.

    Why is is so hard for Ron Paul to say the following – “I apologize that those awful, hurtful words were published in a newsletter issued in my name. I repudiate Lew Rockwell and the racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic material he has published and continues to publish. He has no connection to my campaign and no person who shares his views will ever have a place in my Cabinet”

  • @ Michael Rebmann – while I am not surprised in the least to see you defending segregation, it is still as breathtakingly disgusting as your desire to see children be put back to hard labor and non-landowners have their right to vote stripped.

    “Forced integration” is how conservative reactionaries term the enforcement of Constitutional protections of civil rights for all Americans. That a generation of Americans ran away rather than interact and live with another group of Americans is their problem and their shame…not mine or anyone else’s

  • Bbill

    Dear Leader Ron Paul’s unfortunate media victimization pales (pun kind of intended) next to “all the racist things Obama has said…. from his own mouth” of which we should have numerous examples soon. Jim?