January 4, 2008

More troubling Ron Paul news

I think people just want to believe that his assertions of constitutional rule and opposition to the war means that he is a reasonable person. But his track record on race is troubling. We discussed that here about his view on the Civil War, but there appear to be more. Like this:
About blacks in Washington, D.C., Paul wrote, "I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal." Paul said Wednesday that his comments came in the context of "current events and statistical reports of the time," and that he opposes racism.
But Orcinus connects him to white supremacists.


Dallas Tim said...

I was originally told about Ron Paul several months ago and proceeded to read his website. It all seemed pretty impressive. Now I keep hearing about his ties to the American-Hitler movement and it's really astounding. How in the name of Abe Lincoln does a candidate running for the most prestigeous political position (arguably) in the world think that this kind of stuff won't come out? It's almost like you have to think it's made up because no sensible person (even most non-sensible ones) are smart enough to realize that it won't be long before you're true colors come out. Hillary Clinton could admit that she strangled Vince Foster with her own hands and not get as much bad press as this guy who has, apparently, goose-stepped his way through his entire political career. It's unbelievable.

leighton said...

CNN wouldn't even report his numbers last night, even though with 11% he was damn close to the inexplicably newsworthy Republican tie for third place, with McCain at 13% and Thompson at 14%. His turnout was just a black space on the pie chart.

He's a dangerous lunatic, but surely it's important to note that people are, in fact, voting for him.

steves said...

Ron Paul says that he didn't write the newsletter that published that statement. I certainly won't defend those statements, but it isn't fair to hold him accountable if he didn't write them or say them. I have heard about him long before this election and his racism has never come up.

He tends to get the support of neo-nazi groups because they both want limited gov't. That doesn't mean he agrees with them. The ACLU is supported by NAMBLA, but I would never say that the ACLU agrees with pedophilia.

What obviously racist policies has he supported in the legislature? What racist legislation has he instroduced? Can anyone name a single one?

How exactly is he any more dangerous than our surrent crop of politicians that are bent on ignoring the Constitution if it suits their vision of what America needs?

Streak said...

Well, according to Orcinus, Ron Paul doesn't just share the belief in limited government--he hangs out with the white supremacists and takes their money. That suggests something more than shared belief in limited government.

steves said...

He accepted one $500 donation from a wacko that admits he doesn't share his beliefs. He also attended some events that were also attended by some other wackos. This is based on a letter from the 'commander' od the National Socialist Workers Party. Do you find him to be credible? Has this been verified by anyone else?

I don't read Orcinus on any regular basis, but if this is representative of their postings, I don't see why I should (I liked the picture of Ron Paul's 'friends'). I am supposed to believe RP is a racist based on a letter from a neo-nazi and an 11 year old article on a 15 year old newsletter.

Streak said...

All I said was that the allegation was more than your analogy to the ACLU and Nambla.

Two points. First, I don't read Orcinus any more, but the main writer has won a lot of awards for writing about right-wing hate groups--he knows something about this.

Second, I am never going to vote for Ron Paul, so I am not sure I even care. I find his basic philosophy ridiculous--that we should privatize everything? Yes, I am glad to hear someone stand up for the Constitution, but if that means electing someone who wants to completely eliminate government from our lives, then I am not interested. Equally as dangerous, I would say, as those who ignore the constitution.

I have heard a rumbling about his views on race and that is why I posted this. I still think his response on the Civil War and Civil Rights were indefensible and it undermines his credibility when it comes to charges like this.

No, I don't find these people credible, but I never said this was a slam dunk.

steves said...

Fair enough. I am not completely sold on Ron Paul either. I agree with him on many things (such as personal liberty, limited federal gov't), but I disagree with him on others (school vouchers, total privitization). I am also happy that there is someone bucking the neo-con party line.

Unfortunately, most of the debate on RP (in other places) has not focused on his policies, but on other stuff, like his "blaming the US for 9-11." He will never get the nomination, but I hope it opens the door to some other conservatives, as opposed to the ones we have running now.

Bootleg Blogger said...

Is it possible that what we need right now is "dangerous lunatic"?

I've had a hard time finding anyone else who will confirm these allegations on Paul. I've searched every way I can figure. Even the anti-Paul publications don't seem to have much on this. Like Steve says, I don't know if any candidate could survive too much scrutiny on the contribution side of things. If they are "hanging out" that's a different story- I'm just not sure about the source. I didn't like the swift boat guys, either.

I've been a little ignorant of Paul but I do have some Libertarian leanings. I like a fair amount of what he says but definitely not all, but nobody makes 100% sense to me. The problem I've had with Paul is his lack of libertarian policy on abortion and stem cell research.

What is it that brands him a lunatic? Like I said, I've just been reading up on him more lately and watching interviews so I don't have a good view of him historically other than his voting records.

I do think some of his more extreme views (e.g privatizine everything) would be checked and balance by congress. The areas where the executive is SUPPOSED to limited (Commander in chief, budgetary, following the law) I think he at least talks some sense.

He and Kucinich did what I think was a good interview last night on Bill Moyers Journal. Watch the whole thing.

Right me off as wacko, too, but I'm at least interested. I'll keep looking for some more evidence on this white supremacy thing.

Later- BB

Streak said...

Fair enough.

Like I said. I am not interested in the man as President. But I will give that Moyers interview a look, BB. Thanks for posting that.

I am getting rather excited about Obama, frankly.

leighton said...

I called Paul a lunatic because of the record of (failed) proposals he's introduced to Congress, and because of some of his political positions.

Shutting down the Department of Education, using Letters of Marque and Reprisal to catch terrorists, and dismantling the dollar (except for federal income taxes), and revoking Civil Rights 1964 strike me as pretty lunatic, beyond the pale of normal libertarian thought.

Maybe I'm just not imaginative enough or something, to see how someone could advocate these positions and still have a grasp on reality. Frankly, I wish we could have this conversation in the media, instead of hearing about irrelevant crap like Hillary's cleavage and Edwards' haircuts and Mitt's makeup consultants.

steves said...

Letters or Marque are an interesting approach. I don't know if they would work, but they have been used in the past. Shutting down the department of education probably wouldn't have that much effect on local schools. Personally, I wouldn't eliminate it, but I would scale it back greatly and mostly use it for a research clearinghouse.

His view on the federal reserve is certainly out there, but I would certainly be interested in a debate on the merits.

I tend to agree with BB in that Paul would be held in check by Congress. Frankly, it would benice to have a person in office with some sense of restraint. Most of the other candidates seem to not share this.

The other Republicans certainly don't and many of the democrats, such as Obama, Edwards, and Clinton seem to have an expansive view of getting our military involved in all sorts of actions around the world. See what they have to say over at Firedoglake.

Streak said...

Reading through his list of legislative proposals makes me a little ill. A complete gutting of regulation. I understand that regulations are not the answer to everything, but he would undermine everything from worker safety to anything helping the elderly, and it sounds like would completely undermine every effort to protect the environment.

Bitebark said...

The only thing I know about Ron Paul is that he's got zero chance of getting the nomination. But he's done a fantastic job of getting the "Don't Tread On Me" wing of the Republican party to coalesce around him. And libertarians usually don't coalesce around anybody. Not really joiners, as far as I can tell.

In another year, Paul would've been gone long ago, but I think because the Reps are as splintered and confused as they are, Paul's voice is much louder. He's also figured out how to bottle a little of the old Howard Dean internet magic (for fundraising, organization, and to magnify his message). But I think, just like Howard Dean, RP's a little more warty, and a little less ready for prime time, than his internet minions really think.

Streak said...

Yeah, it is really interesting. Where Dean was able to grab the attention of the Democratic left (including me), Paul has reached out to some progressives who are looking for someone to be strong on the war.

btw, check out what our friend Jon Swift had to say about paul:

5) Someone named "Ron Paul" got 10% of the vote but was not featured in the pie chart of the vote counts on CNN, and is not listed as a participant in the upcoming Republican debate on Fox. I'm not sure who "Ron Paul" is, but it may be a name Iowans vote for when they want "None of the Above" the way "Alan Smithee" is a name directors use when they want their names taken off a film. Or he may be some sort of joke candidate like Stephen Colbert or Pat Paulsen. If "Ron Paul" is actually a real person, his supporters need to do a better job of publicizing him.


Bootleg Blogger said...

I'm not advocating Paul as president, but I do think his voice in the discussion is productive since he'll actually verbalize some issues others stay away from- American Empire, military build-up, corporate welfare, etc.... I haven't heard anyone commit to reduced US foreign bases, for example, and I don't think it will come up if there's not a candidate in the discussion more concerned about the issues than getting elected. Later- BB

Bitebark said...

I agree with you, BB, about RP's value as another voice in the conversation. To me he represents some important dissent within the Republican party, dissent which was completely invisible to me during the last seven years. In some ways, I'm comforted that RP exists at all, because it means that the whole of Republican Party wasn't totally comfortable with the Bush era.

Streak said...

BB and Bitebark, I understand. I think many of these candidates do broaden the discussion and add important ideas to the campaign. In that mode, I see benefit from Paul's ideas--and am certainly glad to see someone opposing this war and Bush's expansion of executive power.