image: as the old saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for."
Sometimes, I hate being right. Back on May 27th when TDS was still in its infancy I wrote a Friday Rant about politics called, "Thinking of Making a Presidential Campaign Contribution? If So, You’re an Idiot," in which I stated the following about Ron Paul:
I’ve said before on this very blog that I like the good doctor. He hates America’s war and empire foreign policy every bit as much as I do. But it is precisely BECAUSE he hates it that Ron Paul is NEVER going to be the nominee of the Republican Party let alone President of the United States. The Republicans tolerate Ron Paul the way a family tolerates a slightly deranged senior citizen uncle, mostly because he helps keep many libertarian types within the party fold. But if it ever looked like Ron Paul could actually do anything more than sit at a picnic table during the family reunion holding a deep conversation with the potato salad, the corporate forces who underwrite the party’s national campaigns would conspire with the party leadership to squash him like a stink bug that had gotten into their living room.And lo and behold, as soon as enough of the other Republican contenders had shit the bed, leaving Paul elevated to near the top of the polls, the long knives came out in force. Of course, Paul himself didn't help matters any. Whether he wrote the more incendiary quotes included in his old newsletters or not, they were published under his name and hence it is appropriate to ask him what the hell he was thinking in having them published. In fact, Paul denying he wrote or even knew about them just makes him look like one more full-of-shit politician rather than the straight shooter he claims to be.
Just for the record, from Talking Points Memo, here is a handy list of the worst of the quotes from the newsletter so that any reader who hasn't yet seen them can judge their appropriateness for themselves:
1. “Order was only restored in LA when it came time for the blacks to collect their welfare checks. The ‘poor’ lined up at the Post Office to get their handouts (since there were no deliveries) — and then complained about slow service.” -Report on LA riots, June 1992Yes, it was two decades ago that these quotes were written, but there is no way around the fact that they come off like the ravings of a loon, and a bigoted one at that. The only quote that is even defensible is Number 8, but even in that one the phrase "new money" comes off sounding paranoid rather than a sensible precaution that people should invest in hard assets instead of expecting fiat currency not to be devalued.
2. “I’ve been told not to talk, but these stooges don’t scare me. Threats or no threats, I’ve laid bare the coming race war in our big cities. The federal-homosexual cover-up on AIDS (my training as a physician helps me see through this one.)” -Direct mail ad promoting Paul’s newsletters, written from Paul’s perspective, 1993
3. “It is human nature that like attracts likes. But whites are not allowed to express this same human impulse. Except in a de facto sense, there can be no white schools, white clubs, or white neighborhoods. The political system demands white integration, while allowing black segregation.” -‘The Disappearing White Majority,’ January 1993
4. “I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities. They could also not be as promiscuous. Is it any wonder the AIDS epidemic started after they ‘came out of the closet,’ and started hyper-promiscuous sodomy?” -June 1990
5. “Whether [the 1993 World Trade Center bombing] was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.” -‘The New York Bombing,’ April 1993
6. “An ex-cop I know advises that if you have to use a gun on a youth, you should leave the scene immediately, disposing of the wiped off gun as soon as possible. Such a gun cannot, of course, be registered to you, but one bought privately (through the classifieds, for example).” ‘Blast ‘Em’, October 1992
7. “The opposition will do its best to provoke some precipitous action on on our part to discredit us and our cause. Follow the orders of Captain Parker at Lexington: Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.” -Militia’s 10-point advice to other militias, January 1995.
8. “When the New Money is imposed, every American family must have a Survival Kit of highly liquid, small-denomination silver and gold coins for hand-to-hand use. The Ron Paul Survival Kit — now an industry standard — comes in an official World War II US Army ammo holder.” -Ad for ‘The Original Famous Ron Paul Survival Kit,’ undated
9. “[Martin Luther King, Jr.], the FBI files reveal, was not only a world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys…And we are supposed to honor this ‘Christian minister’ and lying socialist satyr with a holiday that puts him on par with George Washington?” -December 1990
10. “It turns out that the brilliant [Bobby Fischer], who has all the makings of an American hero, is very politically incorrect on Jewish questions, for which he will never be forgiven, even though he is a Jew. Thus we are not supposed to herald him as the world’s greatest chess player.” -November 1992, background on Fischer’s “politically incorrect” views (which include Holocaust denial) here.
But I didn't write this post with the intention to dog pile on Ron Paul. The mainstream media is doing a very fine job on behalf of its corporate masters and using the newsletter quotes to utterly destroy his credibility. They don't need any help from me in that regard.
What I actually find most telling about this controversy is the timing. It's not like these newsletters were a secret or anything. In fact, one mainstream media source has had possession of them for a long time now, as TPM reported:
The New Republic, which first obtained the archives during the 2008 campaign, have recently posted images of several issues of the newsletters.So the New Republic has been in possession of this material since the last time that Paul ran for president, and yet they and the rest of the media essentially sat on it until the Republican Party's disarray got to the point where he actually appeared to have a sporting chance of winning the nomination. That right there tells you all you need to know about how the system works.
You also have to wonder how serious Paul himself has ever been about his presidential campaigns. He has been in politics long enough that he had to know, or should have known, that being associated with such writings would destroy his chances if he ever got too close to the brass ring.
Sadly, I've known some Ron Paul supporters and have read articles and posts by quite a few others who clearly are sincere people who do not subscribe to the radical positions that appeared in the Ron Paul newsletter in the early-1990s. The really depressing part in all of this is that Ron Paul's best policy positions--anti-intervention, anti-militarism, anti-War on Drugs and anti-Federal Reserve--are now going to be tarred in the media by his having been one of their most prominent advocates. In that way he has proven himself to be a perfect stooge to help the elites ensure that those ideas never gain the widespread acceptance they deserve. Yet another political Mission Accomplished.
Update: I wrote this post before I saw the new article quoted below from Talking Points Memo about Newt Gingrich's attack on Paul. I despise Gingrich probably more than any other politician in America. The man is a rank opportunist, a hypocrite, a liar and a fraud. You could say they all are, but Gingrich is particularly skilled at it. But that still doesn't change the fact that he also considered by the media as a respectable politician and a voice of the mainstream.
Newt Gingrich on Tuesday lit into Ron Paul over extremist newsletters he once published, saying that he would not vote for him if he were the Republican nominee.Note the sentence I highlighted in bold. Right there, Gingrich is shrewdly tying Ron Paul's anti-interventionism with his old newsletter quotes as if they are all one in the same. By attacking the messenger, Gingrich discredits the message in the eyes of the average voter. It's one of the oldest political tricks in the book.
Asked by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer about tough attack ads Paul has been running against him, Gingrich slammed his rival, who he said “disowns ten years of his own letter, says he doesn’t really realize what was in it, had no idea that he was making money on, that it was racist, anti-Semitic.”
“He’s attacking me for serial hypocrisy and he spent ten years out of earning money off a newsletter that had his name that he didn’t notice,” he said. “He’s got to come up with some very straight answers to get somebody to take him seriously. Would I be willing to listen to him? Sure. I think the choice of Ron Paul or Barack Obama would be a very bad choice for America.”
Gingrich flatly said “no” when asked if he would vote for Paul himself.
“There will come a morning people won’t take him as a serious person,” Gingrich said, saying he was a “reasonable candidate” as a protest vote.
“As a potential president, a person who thinks the United States was [responsible] for 9/11, a person who believes, who wrote in his newsletter, that the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 might have been a CIA plot, the person who says it doesn’t matter if the Iranians have a nuclear weapon — you look at Ron Paul’s record of systemic avoidance of reality, his ads are about as accurate as his newsletter.”