Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Ron Paul, Hatemonger?

The big story in the blogosphere today concerns GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul.

James Kirchick in the left leaning New Republic has a story entitled "Angry White Man: The Bigoted Past Of Ron Paul".

The core of the story is a purported expose of Ron Paul as a bigot racist and homophobe, and uses as source material Paul's association with the Von Mises Institute, a Liberatarian think tank that Kirchick alleges has `pro-Confederate' leanings and material released in political newsletters in the 1990's under a banner with Ron Paul's name on it that's a virtual catalog of typical anti-gay, racist and anti-semitic smears.

Dr. Paul officially disavowed these sentiments and claimed that they were not written by him, but assumed what he termed as `moral responsibility' for things written under his name.

So, what are we to think here?

I should mention,just for the sake of full disclosure that I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, although I concede that he has some valid points when he talks about the overweening size of the fedral government. That would also explain his association with the Von Mises Institute. While it doesn't necessarily make one pro-slavery, a number of historians have cited the American Civil War as the beginning of the metasizing of the federal government.

It also should be noted that Ron Paul's campaign has attracted a high number of questionable supporters, many of whom I have no problem labeling as having anti-Semitic and racist views.

But I think we need to take a good look at this before deciding that some decades old writing ( to the extent that it wasn't written by Ron Paul) brands someone as a racist.

First of all, let's consider the source. Like several other dinosaur media outlets, the New Republic has a reputation now for being...oh, let's be polite and call it factually challenged.
Remember Scott Beauchamp? Yet I find it interesting that the same blogs that busted the New Republic for this exercise in fantasy disguised as journalism are now citing it as a beacon of truth and veracity. For my part, I'd need further proof.

Second, it's also interesting that only Ron Paul, correctly or incorrectly should be thus singled out for `racism' among the candidates.

Virtually every Democrat running for president, including Hillary Clinton made a special effort to bend over and kiss racist and anti-Semite Al Sharpton's ring, thus legitimizing the only man who ever led a violent pogrom against Jews here in America. Barack Obama has been particularly close to him.

In the Maryland senatorial election, a black Republican candidate named Michael Steele was pelted with Oreo cookies by Democrats, and not one of the Democrats running for high office have ever condemned it.

Nor were Donna Brazile or Howard Dean labeled as racists nor did any of the major candidates distance themselves from their remarks equating Republicans as `the old white boys club' or `White and Christian'.

Ron Paul may indeed be a racist...but I'd say that if he is, he has lots of company on the campaign trail, and they're getting a pass by the media.

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