Alex Blaze

Thus spake Ron Paul

Filed By Alex Blaze | January 08, 2008 3:49 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics
Tags: anti-Semitism, homophobic behavior, racism, Ron Paul, Ron Paul's Freedom Report

Or so it seems.

The National Review The New Republic has hunted down some of Ron Paul's old newsletters (blogs before there were blogs... and some are still being published to this day). One, entitled Ron Paul's Freedom Report, was written without bylines and signed by Ron Paul on the back, implying that he wrote the articles and directly saying that he endorsed them.

And they're not friendly to the gays, Black, or the Jews. Here's a start:

Like blacks, gays earn plenty of animus in Paul's newsletters. They frequently quoted Paul's "old colleague," Representative William Dannemeyer--who advocated quarantining people with AIDS--praising him for "speak[ing] out fearlessly despite the organized power of the gay lobby." In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine "who certainly had an axe to grind, and that's not easy with a limp wrist." In an item titled, "The Pink House?" the author of a newsletter--again, presumably Paul--complained about President George H.W. Bush's decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite "the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony," adding, "I miss the closet."

"Homosexuals," it said, "not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities." When Marvin Liebman, a founder of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom and a longtime political activist, announced that he was gay in the pages of National Review, a Paul newsletter implored, "Bring Back the Closet!" Surprisingly, one item expressed ambivalence about the contentious issue of gays in the military, but ultimately concluded, "Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals."

The newsletters were particularly obsessed with AIDS, "a politically protected disease thanks to payola and the influence of the homosexual lobby," and used it as a rhetorical club to beat gay people in general. In 1990, one newsletter approvingly quoted "a well-known Libertarian editor" as saying, "The ACT-UP slogan, on stickers plastered all over Manhattan, is 'Silence = Death.' But shouldn't it be 'Sodomy = Death'?" Readers were warned to avoid blood transfusions because gays were trying to "poison the blood supply." "Am I the only one sick of hearing about the 'rights' of AIDS carriers?" a newsletter asked in 1990. That same year, citing a Christian-right fringe publication, an item suggested that "the AIDS patient" should not be allowed to eat in restaurants and that "AIDS can be transmitted by saliva," which is false. Paul's newsletters advertised a book, Surviving the AIDS Plague--also based upon the casual-transmission thesis--and defended "parents who worry about sending their healthy kids to school with AIDS victims." Commenting on a rise in AIDS infections, one newsletter said that "gays in San Francisco do not obey the dictates of good sense," adding: "[T]hese men don't really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners." Also, "they enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick."

The full article has a lot more, but that's all I'm going to quote here.

No one is claiming credit for writing this garbage:

Of course, with few bylines, it is difficult to know whether any particular article was written by Paul himself. Some of the earlier newsletters are signed by him, though the vast majority of the editions I saw contain no bylines at all. Complicating matters, many of the unbylined newsletters were written in the first person, implying that Paul was the author.

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.

The Paul campaign, when he was running for Congress back in 1996, said that he didn't write what was in those newsletters. And the campaign is still saying that he didn't write everything, and might not have even known what was going in them:

When I asked Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign spokesman, about the newsletters, he said that, over the years, 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."

That's the best that they could do - pretend that Paul is so irresponsible that he'd publish a newsletter without even glancing at what's inside? Working here at The Bilerico Project, while I'll tell you that I don't agree with everything that gets posted on this site, I do at least read it, and there's nothing here that reaches that level of rhetoric.

If the Paul campaign wants to play dumb and say that he didn't know what he was publishing, then I'll just raise an eyebrow to that and leave it at that. But I think this country's had enough of that brand of "leadership" for 8 years not to need another 4.

To his credit, Paul has been consistent with his response that he didn't write those newsletters. The NY Times said back in July:

Paul survived these revelations. He later explained that he had not written the passages himself — quite believably, since the style diverges widely from his own. But his response to the accusations was not transparent. When Morris called on him to release the rest of his newsletters, he would not. He remains touchy about it.

And an unnamed source told the Free Market News Network in May:

Ron Paul didn’t know about those comments, or know they were written under his name until much later when they were brought to his attention. There were several issues that went out with comments that he would not ordinarily make. He was angry when he saw them.

It's believable that Ron Paul isn't a raving, lunatic, racist and anti-semitic homophobe and that he's just lazy and irresponsible (considering his interpretation of the Constitution and the way he advocates it, I think we already knew that he was intellectually lazy).

But still, laziness isn't a good quality in a president. If he didn't have time to edit a newsletter with his name in huge letters across the top, or at least read it before it went out and make sure that the "Ron Paul column" was something he'd agree with, then he should have stopped publishing.

But he didn't, and now it's time for him to take some of that personal responsibility we always hear conservatives talk about and fully disclose what happened at that newsletter.

Or we'll just be happy to have a bit more information as to why white supremacists are for Ron Paul.

(h/t Jim Burroway)

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Yes, Alex, I am amazed that this former capital-L Libertarian is being seen by many in the GLBT community as a new darling, considering that even in his Libertarian days he said and did much to attack our right to government access and our participation in the public debate that surrounds it.

Ron Paul makes Rev Mike look good and im not voting for either of them! As I have said before Ron Paul will say and do anything to get votes.Then deny he ever said it.

You also know this is election season and as was discussed on the radio this morning the articles in question were not written by Dr Paul and a retraction was printed in the next news letter.

You just have to consider the source....

Take care

I think this is at its best laziness and at its worst, blatant hate. Either way, Ron Paul is no darling of mine.

Great post, Alex!

This is ridiculous.

If Ron Paul is not the author of these newsletters then it's clear that he was at least close enough with the author that he trusted them with the task of writing newsletters in his name. And the only people crazy enough to trust and employ racist queerphobic assholes to write in their name are… the racist queerphobic assholes with the same beliefs.

So there you go.

This was actually from The New Republic, not the National Review; I know it's increasingly hard to tell the difference sometimes, but I'm not quite ready to equivocate them yet. ;-)

Mel~ OMG, you're right! I was just thinking "Center-right mainstream politics mag abbreviated "TNR"".... and forgot that there were two!


Nick~ That's what I'm thinking. But any other explanation that's been advanced doesn't really benefit him either.

AJ~ Worried too, but then again, I don't think that any identity outside of "straight" really gets benefited from libertarianism - big or little "l".

Waymon~ Yeppers. I doubt we'll be hearing much on this from Mr. Paul himself. Hopes it'll go away, I guess.

Sue~ Yes, I did consider the source. It's in The New Republic, a pro-war neo-con rag, written by Jamie Kirchick, a chicken-hawkish, gay, gay-assimilationist Rudy fan waiting in the wings to replace Andrew Sullivan should he ever want to retire.

The timing is transparent - on the eve of the primary in the most small-l libertarian state in the country. (Although two or three days before would have been my choice - more chance to sink in).

Still, I don't think that there's really any denying that these were published. They have pdf's and everything, and while TNR's good at editorializing deceptively, I don't think that they'd actually make the newsletters up completely. And the Paul campaign isn't accusing them of doing that.

He hasn't produced that retraction, nor has he produced the name of the person who actually wrote them. Either that's major secrecy, there's something he doesn't want that other person to be talking to the press about, or, well, he's just lying.

And since he's running for president, I put anything he says in the same category as Obama's call for a change, Edwards' promise to fix the "two Americas" problem, Mitt Romney's anything... a presumed lie until proven otherwise.

Maybe I'm just too cynical.

it's all fake Alex...

you might want to take a moment to watch

There is a well sourced article
Just taking some story that is not well
referenced and linked is not doing anybody a service. But then again that is a big problem
with the people of this country they just believe
anything they are told and don't want to really
inform themselves.

Take Care

Alex, this item bothers me a great deal, as usual. :-)

Paul has issued multiple apologies and retractions. The most recent was posted several hours prior to your post, and can be found on the front page of Paul's campaign site. Permalink:

I wish he hadn't said these things at all, or allowed them to be published under his byline at all. He has, and has apologized and issued his retraction. Can you forgive him?

You bring up an interesting and useful point about laziness, and how it is not a good quality in a president, as it relates to examining and inherently endorsing viewpoints.

I do hope you, and your readers who agree that this is of great importance, will be very consistent in excluding all candidates who do this from consideration of their vote.

Please be sure to exclude all candidates who are lawmakers, whether US Senators or US Reps, who have voted *for* any legislation without having read the law they are voting on. The most notorious recent examples are the Patriot Act, war funding bills, and spending bills. Likewise, please exclude all ex-governors running, should they have lazily signed items into law without having fully read the text.

I am certainly NOT justifying Paul's laziness. I'm merely pointing out that there's a whole lot of laziness in this field, and it deserves mention- especially if one can commit a 20" column to the topic.

At the end of the day, it is still disappointing that Paul allowed these to go under his name.

Please be sure to exclude all candidates who are lawmakers, whether US Senators or US Reps, who have voted *for* any legislation without having read the law they are voting on.

What an age we live in where we have to pretty much beg politicians to read legislation they're voting for.

I'll update with a link to the Ron Paul statement.

Actually, I wrote too much and just made it another post. It'll be up later today.

Mention Ron Paul and a posting goes wild.Now I will never vote for Ron Paul for dog catcher let alone President so you neend't worry about my vote going to him.

Yes I am Center Right in my political belives unlike many of you here so don't go doing the great lets bash them all thing like so many of the more liberal minded of the people here love to do.See even the GLBT can and should be of varied political belevies.

After yesterdays vote in New Hampshire go take a look at the final vote and delegate counts for Congressman Paul. If he continues at his current standings he's history and it goes to prove he never realy was a player other than to get everyone all worked up over him.

The socalled neo-cons are not new they always were around since the days before Nixon just that the current bacth of socialist conservatives which is what they realy are have never been in the front bench they were just the back benchers or jr staffers till now.

So remember this the name of the game now is Delegates so look at those numbers and you can tell how a candidate in either party realy stands. Eeven Duncan Hunter had as of yesterday before the vote a grand total of 1 delegate.

CNN's count is off the mark they are using DNC rules for counting Republican deleagats and that is why eveyone elses count is different from theres.

Love ya

Working here at The Bilerico Project, while I'll tell you that I don't agree with everything that gets posted on this site, I do at least read it, and there's nothing here that reaches that level of rhetoric.

If the Paul campaign wants to play dumb and say that he didn't know what he was publishing, then I'll just raise an eyebrow to that and leave it at that.

That's really funny, Alex. That was my original thought too. Exactly. And if someone was posting under my name? Well then, hell yeah I'd be watching closely!

Bil- Not to be impertinent here, but I've always assumed that the BILerico project was yours and with your name on it. For the sake of perspective, how do you deal with a post from a contirbutor when you completely disagree with it?

I know this is apples and oranges in most ways, especially since your contributors have their own byline, while everything on the Paul newsletters was on his. Just curious really.

You're not being impertinent, Mike.

I agree that it's apples and oranges. Here at the Project, the contributors are responsible for the tone and timbre of their posts. Just like with a newspaper or magazine contribution, they need to be able to stand behind something that they've submitted and if it comes back to bite them in the butt later, that's their problem.

As for when we get a post that we completely disagree with? There have been several. I've engaged in the comments section with my own opinion. As with the newspaper op/ed page, I don't have to endorse any of the posts to print them. My job on a blog isn't so much to approve every post as to start a conversation around the posts.

If a post were full of the racist and homophobic remarks like Mr. Paul's report's articles, I'd yank them right away. Our Terms of Service for contributors very specifically states that hate speech is unacceptable. Best of all, it's never been an issue here re: racism, etc. When it has happened in the comments section, we've deleted the comment and left a TOS violation notice in its place.