Friday, January 11, 2008

Ron Paul inflicted with political alzheimer's.

Pathetic. In one word that sums up Ron Paul’s response on CNN to the newsletter scandal. What Paul is asking people to believe is utterly absurd. Here is the scenario and Paul’s response:

1. His newsletter published horribly bigoted statements along with absurd conspiracy theories for a period of years -- please remember this is not a once off situation but years worth of diatribes. Paul does not refute the accuracy of the statements attributed to his newsletter. That is not in the debate.

2. Paul claims he did not write it.

3. Not only didn’t he write it, he says, but he never read it either, except maybe periodically. This also implies that no one ever mentioned the content to him either.

4. Paul previously said a “former aide” wrote it. Now he says he can’t remember who wrote it. So some faceless, nameless entity inflicted all these opinions on Paul’s newsletter and he never noticed.

5. Paul’s campaign also told CNN that they will not investigate to determine who did write it.

This is beyond belief. I put this in Loch Ness monster, Easter Bunny territory myself.

Paul says that the reason he doesn’t know who wrote these pieces is that the newsletter was going through transitions “about that time”. The problem is that this transition wasn’t a few weeks, or a few months but years. When the publication runs pieces like this for years on end that is not transition -- that is policy.

These remarks went on for well over a decade. The time frame alone repudiates Paul’s counter-claims -- not that facts will have any effect on the Paulists, they are immune to facts.

Paul used the typical politician’s tactic to avoid answering on CNN. He spent most of the time trying to discuss other things including what he called a campaign to keep him from speaking out. He went on about how the war on drugs is racist, which it is, and that he opposes that war, which he does. But he means to imply that means he couldn’t be racist. That is faulty logic at best. One can oppose the war on drug and still be a racist because one can oppose the war for reasons other than the impact it has on black people.

Paul also stated that it is impossible for a libertarian to be a racist. I wish he’d stop calling his populist/social conservative viewpoint libertarian. He has libertarian elements for sure but who doesn’t. While I think any racist is disgusting that they are disgusting doesn’t mean they can’t be libertarian.

Libertarianism means you don’t wish to initiate force or fraud against another person. It is a political viewpoint but that doesn’t preclude racism. One can hate certain people without wanting to engage in force against them. Now if Paul knows anything about libertarianism he would know this. His argument is false. Worse yet by invoking it he associates all libertarians with himself and considering the stench from his newsletters that argument, while not necessarily helping Paul, just manages to pass the stink on to all libertarians by implication.

Unfortunately there are bigots in libertarianism: as there are in any political philosophy.

Paul is refusing to name the author and the reason isn’t memory failure. After all “Ron Paul and Associates”, which published this trash, was a relatively small outfit. And if he truly can’t remember he could find out relatively easily but he is refusing to do that as well. He can’t name his ghost writer for these comments because to name him will reveal that Paul is still associated with him. The “former aide” wasn’t fired as people think. He moved up in his association with Paul not out. All the evidence points to a confidant and adviser to Paul, someone who remains a close friend and who is still closely connected to racist groups.

To reveal the author for Paul means revealing an ongoing connection which will actually compound the problem not answer it. Paul’s refusal to answer is damage control.

It is sad to see Paul reverting to the old, tired claim of politicians that they “can’t remember.”

Is Paul a racist and a bigot? I suspect that he is to one degree or another but I don’t know how much. He clearly wasn’t disgusted by the newsletter at least not enough to stop it from happening again, and again and again and again. It went on from the 70s into the 90s. In 1988 when he was running for the Libertarian nomination for the presidency some of these issues were brought up by his opponents. If he truly never read his own publication then the content was made aware to him on numerous occasions. At best Paul enabled a racist to promote hate in Paul’s name and never took action to stop it. He is still refusing to take action and refusing to name the author.

Paul’s final defense is to ask us to believe that he doesn’t pay attention to his own affairs or what is done in his name. He doesn’t read the publications he sends out. In fact, he doesn’t even write his own material. He doesn’t investigate it when problems are brought to his attention. In other words his defense is that he isn’t a bigot but that he is totally inept in such matters. And he wants us to put him the White House -- well we had enough of that kind of presidency already.