Let the investigation begin

In all the stink about the stuff The New Republic reported on recently from the Ron Paul newsletter, there are (and should be) quite a few hard questions asked about the guilty parties. However, the Rough Ol' Boy has a pretty good defense of Ron Paul that I recommend you read.

Here's the meat:

Finally, Ron Paul has never been afraid to take unpopular positions, so if he believed any of this stuff, why hasn’t he ever said it, especially back when he first ran for Congress in 1976 in Texas–a time and place when it was still at least semi-acceptable to take such abhorrent positions? Hell, a lot of the stuff about gays would still fly in a number of conservative circles. Given that Paul has never shown a willingness to compromise his politics to win an election, it stands to reason that if he were a bigot, he’d be an unabashed bigot.

The Hit and Run blog has a few interesting connections in one of its comments threads, but I expect this will be investigated a lot more in libertarian circles, and soon.

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Who Dunnit?

So does anyone have any ideas, either sourced or not, about Who Dunnit? I heard a rumor somewhere that it was Lew, but I don't remember seeing any actual evidence when the claim was made.

Also, Payne is spot on

Also, Payne is spot on here:

All that being said, Paul needs to explain this whole business more thoroughly. Who did write the articles? When did Paul discover the contents of this newsletter? (Four years is a longtime not to know what’s going on in a newsletter with your name on it.) What happened to the writer then? Paul has brought a great deal of attention to libertarian ideas, and he needs to give a full explanation for these newsletters so that the ideas of liberty are not tainted by association with bigoted invective.

While it's true that some of Paul's critics have unfairly used the newsletter in question to tarnish Ron Paul as a racist/bigot himself, it's also true that Paul's defenders have unfairly dismissed its importance. The existence of and history behind the newsletter doesn't alone indicate that Paul is a bigot (and I don't think he is, for the reasons Payne mentions), but it does indicate what kinds of friends he keeps, and his late reaction in rejecting the newsletters' content speaks badly of Paul both on a personal, ethical level, and on his strategic wisdom and foresight.

This is similar to the controversy surrounding the "Southern strategy": while the use of euphemisms such as "busing", "law and order", and "states' rights" provided enough plausible deniability, in turn, for Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan, and Bush #1 to (allegedly) appeal to the white racist vote while not coming out as explicitly racist themselves, in the long run, framing an appeal in such couched terms for political gain (without a concurrent explicit rejection of the racist implications) is both unethical from a principled perspective and unwise for the long term health of one's ideological movement.

That this all happened during an interim period when Paul wasn't even running for or serving in Congress is a point in his favor, but if he had any plans at all to return to politics in the future, he made a big mistake by not publicly and explicity responding to the issue at the time, and instead waiting over a decade for it to come back and bite him in the ass, as it inevitably would.

How boring

I will be happy when the obsession with one man and his imperfections is over. Actually, the more I learn about him, the more I like him. Of course, that's pretty normal for me. I like everybody. Even Micha and Scott.

Nahh. Although I think the

Nahh.

Although I think the accusation of racism are overblown (most of the offending passage use "blacks" to refer to a specific group of person in a specific situation, while tactless it does not constitute racism), the more I read about him, the less I like Ron Paul. 

I had this intuitive strong rejection of the person, but until the infamous immigration ad, I didn't have much to support it. Now I do. 

Changing subject, I saw a screenshot of a hilarious poll on strike-the-root

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