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24 December 2011

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Will Reks

Ron Paul is both a radical and a reactionary and yet we are better off with some of his ideas becoming prominent in the mainstream of political thought. On the whole, however, it's quite clear that he is unfit to be President.

Sean McBride

A few factors to keep in mind:

1. An Iran War would probably collapse the US and global economy -- Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate standing up against an Iran War.

2. Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who got it right on the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

3. Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who is standing up against neocon attacks on the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and basic American civil liberties.

4. Ron Paul has renounced and denounced the outrageous hate speech in his earlier newsletters and now strongly condemns all forms of racism.

5. Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum have not renounced and denounced their current Islamophobic hate speech.

6. The mainstream media have made a big issue of the old newsletters, since renounced and denounced, but are giving Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum and other Republicans a pass on their current aggressive and unapologetic Islamophobic hate speech.

I can understand why reasonable people would find Ron Paul to be an unacceptable presidential candidate in light of the repulsive sentiments expressed in some of those newsletters. But I also wonder about the alternatives: will they succeed in causing the economic and political collapse of the United States by pursuing the same neoconservative policies that resulted in the Iraq and Afghan Wars and the 2008 financial crash?

Lars

The biggest problem with Ron Paul is that he is too old to become President. As long as he does not tell us who wrote all that garbage in the past, he still owns it.

He has a much better position on many foreign policy matters than the rest of the GOP candidates. But I venture to say that a true libertarian will never become POTUS. Many of their positions are just not workable in the modern world.

Stu

Unless you are privy to some info that has not been disclosed about Congressman Paul, I am quite surprised by this post.

Is it disappointing to read that he was associated with those newsletters, yes. He has disavowed and accepted moral responsibility.

Based on what is known of Congressman Paul's OVERALL record, he is not a racist and I support him. He is what this country needs. What confirmed my belief is Paul's courage in the debates. Name me a candidate of either party who had the balls to state unequivocal truths in a presidential debate.

@Will Reks, how the establishment has treated Paul has opened the eyes of the politically active youth. Radical and reactionary is coming if we don't change the direction this country is going.

Sean McBride

A thoughtful essay by Andrew Sullivan today:

"Re-Thinking The Paul Endorsement"

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/12/re-thinking-the-paul-endorsement.html

The newsletters are still a big problem. Ron Paul hasn't managed yet to put this issue behind him in the way that Obama put the Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers' controversies to rest.

If Ron Paul is taken off the board, there will be no strong voice to challenge neoconservative policies in either the Republican or Democratic Parties. Game over. America will be irrevocably on the path towards becoming a bankrupt neocon dictatorship.

swampy

"On the whole, however, it's quite clear that he is unfit to be President."

Hmmm, when was the last time we had someone who was "fit" to be president?

graywolf

See, what happens when you even mention Ron Paul?
the Paulites come out of the woodwork spewing their "purity."

Will Reks

I think you're nitpicking here. I meant to agree with the last line of Pat's post.

PeterHug

The only currently announced candidate for the Republican nomination who is at all qualified for the office (IMO) is Jon Huntsman. I certainly don't agree with several of his policy positions, but he nevertheless would be a perfectly competent President...I would love to see a contest between him and President Obama.

Of course, I am apparently a voice in the wilderness on this one...

Jane

Thought you would get there. The best record of Paul's relationship to the newsletters that I have seen is Reason magazine. They appear to be another sect of Libertarian and they have been tracking him for a long time. This is from 2008:

Financial records from 1985 and 2001 show that Rockwell, Paul's congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982, was a vice president of Ron Paul & Associates, the corporation that published the Ron Paul Political Report and the Ron Paul Survival Report. The company was dissolved in 2001. During the period when the most incendiary items appeared—roughly 1989 to 1994—Rockwell and the prominent libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard championed an open strategy of exploiting racial and class resentment to build a coalition with populist "paleoconservatives," producing a flurry of articles and manifestos whose racially charged talking points and vocabulary mirrored the controversial Paul newsletters recently unearthed by The New Republic. To this day Rockwell remains a friend and advisor to Paul—accompanying him to major media appearances; promoting his candidacy on the LewRockwell.com blog; publishing his books; and peddling an array of the avuncular Texas congressman's recent writings and audio recordings.

Jake

We are so screwed its not funny... Newt is to damn dangerous to be President...Romney is a joke... Perry needs to go back home...Bachmann is an idiot...Santorum is a waste of time...Ron Paul is running and setting the stage for Rand Paul.. Huntsman? This is the Republican wild card...

If its not Huntsman Obama will get four more. With Huntsman? Its a squeaker and can go either way...

But here is my Virginia prediction... Ron Paul will take the VA Primary...

Fred

Newt? Perry? They don't even take actual elections seriously:
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/23/rick-perry-fails-to-qualify-for-virginia-primary-ballot/?hp

Apparently TV debates and book tours are what is really important to these two.

eakens

He can still take enough republican votes away to assure Obama victory in the election. Newsletter vs the actions of those in power who have done so much to destroy the foundation of te country

gaw

"but the record of his past publications is such that he should not have run for president. "


honesly, why not vs palin or romnEy or whomever, he has the right to run, just as others have the right not to vote for him. In the aggreagate, never have a poorer bunch run in a worse time.

Personally, I find him tedious,takes too long to make a point, though he may have good ones. In other words, an ineffictive leader. Much like Obama cough, though at least Paul has some principles. I cant call him a cretin at least, though the words "old fart" come to mind. At least I think he means well, unlike many of his opponents.

Phil Giraldi

I actually know Paul somewhat and think the newsletter business does not reflect the man and his views. But I also think the best we can hope for is that the foreign policy/genuine small government ideas that come from Paul might get out into the mainstream and actually be debated for 2012. Of the other candidates, only Huntsman seems to believe that candor rather than political posturing is the way to go and even with him it is only occasional. We might well have to vote next year on the basis of who is least likely to start a new, major war and that judgment might well favor Obama.

fanto

I admit that I do not know anything about the 'newsletters' - why are they a big issue now, and where can I find a link to read them myself, and not rely on second, third, n-th source - in order to know about it "first hand"?

Sean McBride

Phil,

One gets that impression that even though Huntsman and Obama often say reasonable things to soothe the souls and calm the nerves of foreign policy realists, they lack the backbone to stand up to fierce pressure from messianic neoconservatives and Christian Zionists. Ron Paul has the proven strength to stand up to this lobby without flinching or blinking -- which is why one can expect the mainstream media to do everything in their power to take him down during the coming weeks and months by any means available.

In his confrontations to date with Benjamin Netanyahu over Israeli settlements, Obama retreated with his tail between his legs -- in part because some leading members of his own party sided with the Israeli government against a sitting American president and the head of their own party.

Sidney O. Smith III

Don't know if I will vote for R. Paul, but the following info (unverified) from the Austin NAACP corroborates P. Giraldi's view.

The president of the Austin NAACP, Nelson Linder, states unequivocally that R. Paul is not a racist. Here's the quote from Linder:

"...Knowing Ron Paul’s intent, I think he is trying to improve this country but I think also, when you talk about the Constitution and you constantly criticize the federal government versus state I think a lot of folks are going to misconstrue that….so I think it’s very easy for folks who want to to take his position out of context and that’s what I’m hearing,” said Linder.

“Knowing Ron Paul and having talked to him, I think he’s a very fair guy I just think that a lot of folks do not understand the Libertarian platform,” he added.

Asked directly if Ron Paul was a racist, Linder responded “No I don’t,” adding that he had heard Ron Paul speak out about police repression of black communities and mandatory minimum sentences on many occasions.

Dr. Paul has also publicly praised Martin Luther King as his hero on many occasions spanning back 20 years."

http://runronpaul.com/mainstream-media/naacp-president-ron-paul-is-not-a-racist/
-----
There is no doubt, in my mind, that there are racists who would vote for Paul. But, imo, the percentage of followers of Paul who are racist is less than the percentage of followers of Likud Zionism who are racist.

And it is all but guaranteed that those who will falsely accuse Paul will be those who profit from our current financial system as well as our foreign policy.

So it is no wonder that Dorothy Rabinowitz of the WSJ is leading the charge on a character assassination hit against Paul

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204552304577112761003972028.html

Andrew Sullivan picked up on the hit piece and pointed out recently that it is the regular suspects -- the neocons -- who have accused Paul of treason. Sullivan calls it the treason card, and it tells you much about those who are attacking Paul.

http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/12/the-treason-card.html

I suggest that it is critically important to look at the motivations of those who try to character assassinate Paul and divert attention from the issues that he discusses.

If for no other reason, Paul's voice is needed to pull back the veil and reveal the corruption in the Democratic and Republican Parties that has led us into unnecessary wars and near financial ruin.

Jane

Ron Paul cannot put the newsletter issue behind him because it is not about who, precisely, wrote which items. It is about the fact that these newsletters were used to earn money by spewing racist trash across the country. If Ron Paul was so inept as to not know what his close associates and family were publishing under his name he is so inept and such a poor judge of character that he belongs no where near the Oval Office. If he endorsed the sentiments -- as appears possible from his refusal to reject support from Stormfront -- he is utterly disqualified on moral grounds.

Sean McBride

Jane,

Are the many prominent Islamophobes in the neoconservative and Christian Zionist communities, few of whom have renounced and denounced their bigotry and hate speech, also disqualified from participating in American politics and running for president? If not, why not?

Sidney O. Smith III

Just discovered that Ron Paul was on the Travis Smiley show. Hardly Stormfront material:

http://www.campaignforliberty.com/blog.php?view=26746

Notice how respectful Smiley -- a black man -- is of Ron Paul. Nothing hateful. No false accusations.

Jane, arguably, could learn a lesson in civility and manners from this black man who seems to have a Southern accent.

But don't count on it.

Once again, I don't know if I am going to vote for Paul as I have always leaned Demo in prez elections, except for one ill fated time that I would rather not discuss. But, good Lord, who can vote for a frat boy from TN?

dan of steele

the newsletters that are easy to find are here
http://www.ronpaularchive.com/by-date/

the ones you find excerpted everywhere were collected by Jamie Kirchick for the New Republic back in 2008 and I have not been able to find any of them.

It is not difficult to believe the neocons would have reason to smear Mr Paul.

Sean McBride

Sidney,

A note on my own political agenda: voted for Barack Obama enthusiastically last election, regret it now, define myself as a progressive libertarian, anti-racist, anti-Judeophobic and didn't start paying attention to Ron Paul until a few months ago. The main issue on my agenda: avoiding an Iran War and neocon Clash of Civilizations that would probably create the worst economic crisis in American history. Second most important issue: protecting the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and American civil liberties. Ron Paul is the only candidate in either party who is taking a strong stand on these issues.

On Israeli issues: I think the current Likud regime is a disaster for Israel. Many leading Israelis and pro-Israel activists agree with me. I think Netanyahu and Lieberman are quite capable of wrecking the entire Zionist experiment and taking down Israel with them.

The newsletter controversy still hasn't been sorted out to my satisfaction. If Ron Paul doesn't act aggressively on the issue now to put it to rest, his candidacy may be dead in the water. It may or may not be fixable. We will know within the next few weeks if it is. His opponents -- many of them neocons and Likudniks -- are on fire to take him down. The newsletters have given them a big opening to focus on that single issue and to ignore issues of much greater importance.

Adam L Silverman

Its Tavis Smiley, not Travis, and he's no stranger to scandal either:
http://washingtonindependent.com/59633/suit-alleges-trusted-black-figures-drew-minorities-to-high-rate-loans
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/20/tavis-smiley-says-hes-cut_n_292861.html

Jane

Repentance is one thing but claiming you should not be held responsible simply because you were a poor administrator is ridiculous. And it is an order of magnitude more ridiculous when you seek the most difficult administrative job in the world.

I am not s neoconservative, nor a Christian Zionist nor an Islamaphobe. Nor do I have much patience for the Palestinians who are suffering far more severely under self inflicted wounds that any thing the Israelis ever did to them.

Yes, anybody seeking to vote in the Republican primary has a severe problem. Romney and Huntsman are the best remaining choices. Each has shown they can administer a state without destroying it.

No politician likes to insult a potential supporter to his face although some have been known to reject donations and support from unsavory quarters. Not so Paul who kept the Stormfront donation. So that Ron Paul was courtly in his approach to Ron Travis does not automatically expunge what he purveyed across the country in the privacy of his newsletters.

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