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)