Tagronpaul

Ron Paul responds on CNN

Paul manages to most duck questions about how the hell he let this stuff come out under his name, saying only that he was too busy to read it.

He also makes the claim that he’s getting the most support from blacks. Even assuming he means only out of the Republican field, it’s still a suspect claim:

Paul wins the biggest chunk of the black vote, 22.2 percent, topping Mitt Romney’s 18.5 percent. One problem: There aren’t very many black New Hampshire Republicans. Only 27 were sampled in this poll, and Paul won six of them. Hey, he gets bragging rights.

(From Hit and Run).

Paul’s opposition to the drug war and the death penalty are commendable and he’s one of only 3 candidates (the other two are Kucinich and Gravel) to support those positions. Drug peace and abolition of the death penalty would vastly improve life in America for minorities. Looking at the rest of the Republican field you’ve got Giuliani’s racist campaigns, Huckabee consorting with Gary North (a former Ron Paul aide, btw), and a member of a church that wouldn’t allow black priests until 1978. It’s little wonder that Paul would attract comparable support to his competitors.

But it’s still hard to let Paul off the hook. Obviously, a guy who can’t deal with publishing an 8 page newsletter can’t handle running a country – no matter how commendable some of his ideals area. He also says the newsletters from the 1990s are “ancient history.” Here are a few things that aren’t ancient history:

In an interview on Meet the Press Ron Paul said he wouldn’t vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 if it were introduced today (discussed on Technoccult here).

Paul voted against An amendment to the Voter’s Rights Act that would have served to reduce voter suppression tactics.

In a rare “yes” vote, Ron Paul voted for H.R.4844, dubbed “a 21st Century Poll Tax” by opponents.

These are specific, policy related positions Paul has taken recently. His rhetoric on immigration has also always bothered me, which is what made me start thinking he had a few race issues before I even found out about his newsletters.

To return briefly to the newsletters, Here’s Right Watch on the origin of the newsletters. Paul’s excuse that the he didn’t know about the content and doesn’t know who wrote them sounds less and less plausible, but until someone comes forward, it’s impossible to know.

Why are the newsletters important at all? The answer is that they contained more than just racially insensitive or politically incorrect rants. The author refers to black people as “animals” and talks about a coming race war. If you don’t understand why this is scary, read about The Turner Diaries and the beliefs of Charles Manson.

These also weren’t limited to personal opinions and paranoias – at least one policy prescription was made, and this was known before the TNR story: the author suggested that black youth, but not white youth, who commit violent crimes should be tried as adults.

TNR uncovers more of Ron Paul’s racist newsletters (corrected)

The New Republic and Tucker Carlson are making themselves useful for a change. TNR has uncovered a number of Ron Paul’s old newsletters and they’re to be posted on their site on Friday tomorrow afternoon. Above, Carson interviews TNR’s Jamie Kirchick who says the newsletters refer to Martin Luthor King as a gay pedophile, calls black people “animals,” and encourages readers to stock up on guns and flee to the country to escape black people.

Previous Ron Paul coverage.

(via Hit and Run, where the general response is “media conspiracy!”).

Update: TNR posted Kirchick’s article, but their server crashed minutes later. I pasted the article into the comments. Still haven’t seen scans of the newsletter.

Late update: Newsletters are available here. Ron Paul responds to questions from Reason Magazine here. Reason’s editor-in-chief expresses disappointment.

Later update: Paul’s official response.

Ron Paul: Quackery enabler

OK I swear I’m going to lay off RP after this one last post:

Yes, Ron Paul is very popular among the quack-friendly set, particularly those tending to see a conspiracy between the FDA, FTC, and big pharma to keep them from selling their favorite nostrums. There’s good reason for that, given how staunch a supporter of “health freedom” he’s been over the years. What a wonderfully Orwellian term! After all, who could be against “health freedom”? If you are, you’re against freedom! It’s like being against free speech, mom, the flag, and apple pie. In actuality, “health freedom” is nothing more than a clever catch phrase that in effect describes measures that allow quacks the freedom to hawk their wares unfettered by pesky interference from the FDA or FTC.

[…]

The distribution of scientific articles is not prohibited. What is prohibited is cherry picking the literature for articles to use in advertisements to support unfounded claims that supplements can cure or prevent disease. But, his apparently dull facade notwithstanding, Dr. Paul is a master of spin, if nothing else. He’s quick to wrap his support for quackery in the mantle of the First Amendmen.

[…]

Right. Because the FTC and FDA are so effective in prosecuting manufacturers and supplement sellers for making exaggerated claims. That must be why Kevin Trudeau, after having been convicted of just such behavior, is now out there, happy as a pig in mud, hauling in money hand over fist selling books that make all sorts of exaggerated or false claims for dietary supplements and various “alternative” therapies. It’s probably why woo-meisters like Dr. Mercola and Mike Adams run popular and profitable websites hawking supplements and various other unscientific remedies with apparently no interference from the FDA.

Now, I support any adults freedom to eat whatever herbs, chemicals, or whatever they choose. And I support their right to sell whatever supplements, drugs, etc. they want. But I don’t think they should be able to make untrue claims – this isn’t “free speech” issue any more than telling someone you’ll sell them a working car and then selling them a car that won’t start is a “free speech” issue. That doesn’t mean there can’t be a fine print “gotcha” (“these claims not supported by the FDA”), which is the status quo.

Full Story: Respectful Insolence.

Ron Paul says he rejects the theory of evolution

Via Wendy McElroy, who also passes along some info regarding Paul’s flip flops on immigration.

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