I'll start out this post by pointing out TNR's credibility problems, which must be taken into account when going over what's proliferating throughout the blogosphere as I write.
I am not a Paul fan, yet I'm not ready to believe this wholesale, nevertheless I will pass on this information that could very well be damning for Dr. Paul. As many of you know, I don't like Ron Paul, I think he's crazy when it comes to foreign policy, and I question his tacit acceptance of many of his supporters, which to put it lightly, are acting unAmerican. While I'm not ready to accept this as fact, I'm not ready to dismiss it either.
With that said, listen to the audio of TNR on John Gibson's radio show:
Audio from Johny Dollar.
It all started with this TNR report by James Kirchick:
...the Texan has been active in politics for decades. And long before he was the darling of antiwar activists on the left and right, Paul was in the newsletter business. In the age before blogs, newsletters occupied a prominent place in right-wing political discourse. With the pages of mainstream political magazines typically off-limits to their views (National Review editor William F. Buckley having famously denounced the John Birch Society), hardline conservatives resorted to putting out their own, less glossy publications. These were often paranoid and rambling--dominated by talk of international banking conspiracies, the Trilateral Commission's plans for world government, and warnings about coming Armageddon--but some of them had wide and devoted audiences. And a few of the most prominent bore the name of Ron Paul...Daniel Koffler at PJM has made up his mind, adding a few choice quotes allegedly from Paul, and/or his newsletter:
But, whoever actually wrote them, the newsletters I saw all had one thing in common: They were published under a banner containing Paul's name, and the articles (except for one special edition of a newsletter that contained the byline of another writer) seem designed to create the impression that they were written by him--and reflected his views. What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing--but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics. [emphasis added]
I might add, on a personal note, that as a libertarian with significant sympathy for Paul’s platform, I initially viewed claims of his past history of racism skeptically. But the evidence is so overwhelming that the defense of Paul is now, itself, indefensible.The consensus as of now in the blogosphere, is that it seems to be true, and that while Paul may not have personally said these things, he put his name on it, expressing at the least, approval. But there are questions, such as why have controversial ideas expressed by a Congressman of 31 years gone by unnoticed until now (at least I haven't noticed)? Something doesn't smell right.
Racist Pull Quotes:
“[O]ur country is being destroyed by a group of actual and potential terrorists—and they can be identified by the color of their skin.”
“I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in that city [Washington, D.C.] are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
Update: Paul's campaign responds:
Paul had granted "various levels of approval" to what appeared in his publications--ranging from "no approval" to instances where he "actually wrote it himself." After I read Benton some of the more offensive passages, he said, "A lot of [the newsletters] he did not see. Most of the incendiary stuff, no." He added that he was surprised to hear about the insults hurled at Martin Luther King, because "Ron thinks Martin Luther King is a hero." -via Andrew SullivanAnd from RonPaul2008.com:
In response to an article published by The New Republic, Ron Paul issued the following statement:Update: I am leaning toward believing Paul, but this is truly a mess. I've read through several of the Ron Paul's Freedom Report's newsletter archives (those available online), and they are either from words given by Paul himself on the floor of Congress, or opinion pieces without the author's name, meaning it was attributed to and authored by Ron Paul, and if not, they might as well have been. Maybe it is old news, but it's new to many.
“The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.
“In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person's character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: ‘I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.’
“This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It's once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.
“When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically [sic] taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.”
Whether or not Paul is a racist conspiracy theorist, by virtue of his lack of oversight, these racist and fanatical articles in question are more or less his. He has "taken moral responsibility" for it. So, at best, what this means is Dr. Ron Paul is a man who cant keep track of what goes out under his name. At worst, Paul himself is a lying racist who believes in conspiracy theories.
Update: From Bryan at HotAir in the comments:
So his best defense is that he failed to manage a newsletter. Nice. Let’s put him in charge of the executive branch post haste.