Captain's Quarters observations, that many blog owners are noticing:
A funny thing happened on my way to the predictable onslaught of Ron Paul supporters in my comments section after yesterday's post about his newsletters. The onslaught never arrived -- and neither did the supposed Revolution from New Hampshire. Could the two be related?
Almost like clockwork, any time a blogger posts anything remotely critical about Ron Paul, it attracts hundreds of comments, most of them refusing to deal with the substance of the criticism.
Both points are true, first, the comments never materialized (make no mistake, we do not miss the off- topic-refusing to deal with any specific issue- type comments) and the fact that any post any blogger writes that observes anything critical about Ron Paul has swarms attacking, usually.
I have proven, and shown, on a few posts, using the IP's listed from sitemeter and haloscan in conjunction with the haloscan refferal tab, that Ron Paul supporters generally do tons of searches on technorati, google, yahoo, AOL and every other type of search engine, to see who is talking about Ron Paul and then they proceed to click all the results and copy and paste the same "shill" answers into each and every blog that mentions him.
Not so with yesterdays post.
Like the people of the ancient civilizations that just disappeared with no logical and provable explanation, the supporters of Ron Paul seemed to have simply disappeared also.
Captain Ed said "The green curtain has been pulled back, I think, and rational minds have taken control. The comment sections will never be the same."
It is a reasonable conclusion, but I wasn't quite sure that was the explanationbecause although a few Ron Paul supporters, in the past, were capable of addressing the actual issues of previous posts, the majority that commented were not, which for me says loud and clear that the "rational" people and their lack of comments can beexplained as Ed does, the others could not have that same logic applied.
So, curiosity won out and the hunt began as I took my life (or sanity) in my hands and started clicking over to Ron Paul sites and forums and blogs that generally supported Ron Paul.
What I found can be divided upinto groups, "Rational Minds", "Spinners", "Hold your nose and vote because he is OUR candidate", "Deniers" and "Ignorance is bliss".
I might add, on a personal note, that as a libertarian with significant sympathy for Paul’s platform, I initially viewed claims of his past history of racism skeptically. But the evidence is so overwhelming that the defense of Paul is now, itself, indefensible.
The End of Ron Paul?
For me, it is. Not the principles, but the man. Sure, Paul has experienced tremendous grassroots support and I’ve been very sympathetic to a lot of his strong Constitution-based rhetoric. But if even a slither of the quotes in this New Republic article by James Kirchick are accurate, I’m not sure how mainstream libertarians can absolve him.
First: Many of the vile pull quotes here, no matter what context they may have been in originally, have nothing to do libertarianism or freedom or some principled Constitutional stand on secession. They’re just racist and homophobic. Two: even if Paul didn’t know of their existence, he should have made it his business to know. It’s exceedingly difficult for me to believable that Paul was unaware of the content in a newsletter bearing his name. Judging from what I’ve read and heard from the man, I do not believe he wrote these things. But I’m not sure it matters. If George Bush or Hillary Clinton or any mainstream politician were even remotely associated with the sort of rambling anti-Semitic, homophobic, racist and paranoid text, they would be finished as legitimate voices. Paul should be finished, as well.
I don't think that Ron Paul wrote this stuff but that really doesn't matter--the newsletters carried his name after all--and his non-response to Dave Weigel below is unsatisfying on about a thousand different levels. It is hugely disappointing that he produced a cache of such garbage.
I don't know, to be honest. But the cosmopolitan libertarians can and should do what they can, either individually or collectively, to reclaim the name of freedom from the racists, hatemongers, and die-hard conspiracy theorists.
The next group I am going to call "Spinners", those that hate that these newsletters were brought to light...not just the knowledge of them which has been around, but that the actual letters themselves are out there to quote from and show what Paul has written and allowed to be written under his name for so many years.
I don't know enough about the arrangements behind these pamphlets to tell if this is a plausible defense or not. But there is a simple way to address this: Paul needs to say not only that he did not pen these excrescences, he needs to explain how his name was on them and disown them completely. I've supported Paul for what I believe are honorable reasons: his brave resistance to the enforced uniformity of opinion on the Iraq war, his defense of limited constitutional government, his libertarianism, his sincerity. If there is some other agenda lurking beneath all this, we deserve to know. It's up to Ron Paul now to clearly explain and disown these ugly, vile, despicable tracts from the past.
I'm disappointed in Paul and in his campaign.
First, a few caveats. I think Paul's prone to nutty conspiracy theories, but I don't think he's a racist, at least not today. Perhaps there was a time when he held views that I and many people reading this site would find repugnant. But I certainly don't think that's the case now. Paul's temperament and demeanor in public does not suggest he's the kind of person capable of writing the bile Kirchick quotes in his article. Paul's position on the drug war alone—which he has acknowledged disproportionately affects minorities—would do more for blacks in America than any proposal any of the other candidates currently has on the table. Paul has also recently rescinded his support for the federal death penalty, also due to its disproportionate impact on blacks. Those two positions alone certainly don't indicate a candidate who fears "animal" blacks from the urban jungle are coming to kill all the white people.
That one is under spin because he decides to spin Paul's ideas now pretending that he doesn't really believe Paul is all that his newslteers show him to be, before he takes to "scolding him" just to make himself feel better.
Then we have the "Hold Your Nose and vote because he is OUR candidate" group.
Breaking up always sucks. It's even worse when your suspicions were confirmed by a pimply Guiliani supporter, who calls himself libertarian, rather than the neo-con he is , in the futile hope this might someday get him a date with a gay dude.
Jamie Kirchick is a wanker of the highest degree, who writes for the neoliberal prowar New Republic. On the eve of the New Hampshire primary he did a hit piece on Ron Paul.
Unfortunately he has the goods.
However, any true libertarian should, at the very least. denounce and disavow any association with the agenda of these kooks and haters.
And when any purported libertarian knowingly gives this scum a forum to promote their offensive views, they are a traitor to the libertarian cause.
Ron Paul has disingenuously suggested he did not write the pieces or know what was being printed in newsletters which bore his name in their banner.
And besides, don't insult my intelligence, and I will not insult yours, by suggesting you were so clueless that you had no idea about the type of stuff that was being published under your name.
One of the basic principles of libertarianism is personal responsibility. Dr. Paul is responsible for all the stuff printed over several years under various banners prominently displaying his name.
And even if he has reached a moral epiphany and renounced all this crap, knowing of all this, he never should have run for the presidency.
Is there any particular reason I should give Dr. Paul any more leeway than I am willing to give the flip flopping Mitt Romney?
He has done a disservice to libertarianism, conservatism, the Republican Party and America. Not to mention all the people he inspired, who now go away with shattered dreams.
Dr. Paul had to know this would all come out, and fatally stain his uplifting message and the Revolution it spawned.
He owes his supporters, all libertarians, all Republicans, indeed all of America an apology.
After all that you are probably thinking, hey Susan, you put her in the wrong group...she belongs in the "Rational Mind" group above...right?
WRONG because right after she writes that, taking Paul to task and ripping him a new one, she says this:
I'll probably vote for him in the primary. There is no one else I would even consider voting for. But my excitement about his candidacy is gone.
I suppose on November 4, I will, once again, vote for whoever the Libertarian Party nominates.
And then go shopping
Wirkman: (This one would also fit into the "Spinners" category but considering he is denying that this "sounds" like Paul, he fits here better.
I was embarrassed by the implied racial hatred, rather disgusted by the general level of hate regardlesss of race. I was also a bit shocked by the writing because the style was so obviously not Ron’s, and so obviously the product of the actual writers, with whom I had tangential relations — is my editor’s* writer my writer?
I'm glad that Paul has repudiated the racist and anti-gay comments that appeared in the Report. But the issue he still has to address, and which his official response only dances around, is what exactly his relationship to that publication was. If Paul didn't write those articles, who did? If he didn't know what had appeared in his newsletter, when did he find out and how did he deal with it? If the candidate is vague on these points, it will only fuel suspicions that he held those beliefs after all (or that he was willing to stay silent despite his disagreements because the newsletters brought in some cash).
While some of the newsletters were written by others, a couple actually speak in the first person talking about him being a doctor and some referred to his personal live by talking about the grandkids and phrases such as "my wife Carol", go to the links above, read them all for yourself, there is ample evidence that Paul did write quite a few newsletters himself so that is flat out denial on Walker's part....self delusional denial.
Last but not least the "Ignorance is Bliss" group, that just figures if they close their eyes, ignore this forestorm totally, it will just disappear and won't affect Paul at all.
Daily Paul and there are no quotes that I found, as of yet, I am still looking. Here is their main page and they are just not discussing the publishing of these letters at all.
Whether it is because they just don't want their supporters to see them, or they just refuse to look themselves, is anyones guess.
Although i suspect that they are so busy with this "voter fraud" conspiracy theory, they may just not have the time to attack comment sections right now.
I have taken this little foray into the Pualites homefront one step further at considerable risk to my sanity, all for the readers, and am going through the Ron Paul Forums and will be adding to this thread as I come across anything about the newsletters or just general insanity and if anyone wants to help with this project, here is one of those forums and here is a page listing other Ron Paul dedicated websites.
Leave anything of interest in comment section with a URL and I will add it to the updates with a thank you.
Happy hunting and tune back in for further updates as the day progresses....
[Update] Having spent quite a bit of time on the "Paul" forums, I cannot even bring you the lunacy because it is dozens of pages long, so I recommend going to the links to those forums and check out the conspiracy theories for yourself, the ignorance is bliss moments, the lack of any rational thinking in some of them (quite a few actually) and leave anything you want people to take notice of in the comment section.