Tuesday, January 8, 2008
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Hey, I'm just the publisher, don't look at me!
The New Republic's Jaime Kirchick looks at the newsletters Ron Paul used to send out to subscribers back in the day. The results are not pretty:
[W]hoever 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. What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing--but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.Read the whole thing -- it's pretty devastating. Ron Paul's response is here, and includes this passage:
When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.Note to self: reconsider outsourcing blog to nice man from Nigeria who promises to transfer 1 million pounds to my bank account.
UPDATE: At one point, Kirchick writes that Paul's supporters are "are nothing like the urbane libertarians who staff the Cato Institute or the libertines at Reason magazine." Does this mean there are no libertines at Catoand no urbane libertarians at Reason?
Of course, Kirchick also forgot the final clause in his sentence: "or the complete geeks at the Institute for Humane Studies."posted by Dan on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM
She may be right about Paul, but she's wrong to call his supporters idiots. See:posted by: Diodotus on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
No one has ever doubted that Ron Paul is insane. that's basically common knowledge. But I will just point out that Huckabee openly advocates ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians and John McCain is all for the endless controling of Iraq:
"Republican Senator John McCain admitted he would be fine if the United States military stayed in Iraq for a hundred years."
I agree wholeheartedly with your concerned assessment of Hillary's weeping: It unintentionally revealed an incredible personal arrogance; if anyone other than her is elected president, the entire country is going to go "backwards."
Confidence is attractive and mentally healthy; believing oneself to be the sole saviour is not.posted by: a Duoist on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
Its hardly surprising that the pro-war New Republic should publish a hit piece on Ron Paul. The author of the piece himself seems to be a sexual-identity activist of sorts. Not that there's anything wrong with that (tm), but obviously the guy has an ax to grind.
Should Paul have let some of these things go out under his name ... or write them? No. Of course its hard to tell as many of the most damning quotes have little or no context -- indeed some are just fragments of sentences. Indeed, you'd think with a decade plus of material Kirchick might have come up with more. Moreover, some reflect underlying realities but do so in an needlessly antagonistic way. Today it may be impolitic to criticize, say, 'black' juries. But I'm old enough to remember that a lot of white folks privately felt that way after the OJ verdict.
So is this really going to hurt Paul? Probably not. He wasn't going to win anyway, and its not going to count for much with his 'movement'. America probably isn't ready for a return to small government and true federalism, but I think that Paul has created activists and activism which will only grow stronger in the decades to come.posted by: Mitchell Young on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
he favored the establishment of a Palestinian state - in Egypt or Saudi Arabia
Joe, can you really blame them? I think I would sleep just fine at night openly supporting the relocation of a group of people that openly supports the genocide of my people.
Maybe that's just me, though... I guess volunteering to be killed or accepting the Jizya (if that's really an option) is good to.posted by: Justin (NC) on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
The McCain comment is completely out of context. What he said was that he was willing to leave troops in Iraq for a long time providing there was not extensive casualties (including even 100 years) and analogized to Korea. He never advocated nor promoted on Meet the Press the position that troops should be in Iraq for 100 years.
As for the CATO Institute, there are lot of analysts there who are quite nuts and have an unrealistic viewpoint of what government can and cannot do. Reason is a fairly good magazine. But in general a lot of self-identified libertarians are just looney on foreign policy these days and on issues like the gold standard.posted by: Ian on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
Dan, when are you going to issue a mea culpa for your critique of Mark Penn? It appears he was right and other polls were incorrect.posted by: Ian on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
Not to interrupt the food fight here, but Matt Welch (now at Reason) is urbanity itself.posted by: Doug on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
Joe, where did I say I supported genocide? I said the Palestinians do. Since you imply that those supporting genocide should be relocated, you either deny that the Palestinians support the eradication of Israel and the Jews, or agree that the Palestinians should be relocated along with me, "the German, Polish, Russian and other Jewish people who support genocide against the Palestinians."
Which is it?
Even if I had suggested committing genocide against the Palestinians, what good would relocating me do? Where would you like me to go?posted by: Justin (NC) on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
Complaints about the author and context that the Paulists have been flinging around are a little annoying. The New Republic put the newsletter articles quoted on line in all their mimeographed glory. Look at the source material (particularly the articles that SURROUND the controversial articles) and draw your own conclusions. The scandal isn't out of context quoting -- it's how in context the quotes seem to be. (I wonder if the phone number to call to find out the TRUTH ABOUT WACO still works?)
As for Paul not paying attention to a newsletter under his name that is written in the first person, he is either (i) more slack than Dubya or (ii) lying. Neither a practicing politician or a physician trying to develop a practice is that careless with their reputation.
Ron Paul is the preferred candidate of people who are not serious about the Republican Party. If they were the slightest bit serious, the wackaloon blather on his website should have told them to wander on to someone a little saner. Like Dennis Kucinich. I kind of think a revelation like this could not have happened to a more deserving bunch of would be cult members.posted by: Appalled Moderate on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
Additionally, you say "can you really blame" the Jews for wanting to ethnically cleanse the Palestinians. And yes, I can blame them. But it seems that you can not. And if you can not blame the Jews, i would ask, can you blame the Palestinians for the same thing?
Now, just to clarify, you said that the Palestinians are "a group of people that openly supports the genocide" and then you say that they support "the eradication of Israel and the Jews". Well, I dispute this totally. First, They are two entirely different things (to want to eradicate Jews v. to eradicate Israel). I prefer Israel to be a democracy. You probably consider democracy to be an "existential threat". in fact, you probably consider that democracy will cause the "eradication of Israel". I can't speak well for you, but if this is your view, it is amazingly radical arrogance and racism. Even more so than that of the white South Africans during Apartheid, because Israel fancies itself a religious duty, not just a country for Jews.
Democracy is very very different than "the eradication of Israel and the Jews". I assure you that the vast, vast majority of Palestinians would be perfectly happy to live in peace with Jews if the Jews gave Palestinians basic human rights. This can be proved empirically as 20% of Israel's citizens are Palestinian and they are living "side by side" with Jews already. So why the hostility from the other Palestinians? Well, BECAUSE THEY ARE UNDER MILITARY OCCUPATION IN THEIR OWN HOMES. A foreign people has come from Europe and stolen their land and homes and kicked out half their population (who are still in refugee camps). This is a matter of rights, not inherent hatred or inherent anger. Israel has all the power in the conflict and it has all the weapons and it makes all the decisions. If there is not peace, it is the fault of Israel.
Now, you ask where I would like you to go. And recognizing that I am not speaking specifically because I don't know any details about you (even where you are), but before the birth of Zionism there were approximately 2% Jews in Palestine. Therefore, I have no problem with those people who have a continuous legacy in Palestine. But for all the European Jews who fled WWII, they have no right to call for the Palestinians to go anywhere. And if they have a problem with the Palestinians, they should go back to Europe. 50% of Israeli Jews currently have an alternative citizenship already. The Palestinians have no place to go. So, it is a complete perversion when a foreign settler population calls for the indigenous people to be ethnically cleansed. and especially so when half of them already have foreign citizenship. You, Justin (NC), can go where you want. But it is sickening if you have the gall to call for ethnic cleansing the Palestinians, when you are most likely a foreigner yourself.posted by: Joe M. on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
The irony is that the Jews (for the most part) are a settler population and the Palestinians are the indigenous people.
Even if this were true at one time, it most certainly is not, now, unless one counts all the Jews expelled from Arab countries as "settlers." The majority of Israeli Jews were born in the Middle East, not Europe.posted by: David Nieporent on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
Most Americans were born in the United States; are they "indigenous"?posted by: K on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
Now, just to clarify, you said that the Palestinians are "a group of people that openly supports the genocide" and then you say that they support "the eradication of Israel and the Jews". Well, I dispute this totally.
In that case, there is no point discussing the issue further. I don't know what else could convince you, when their elected government readily admits such intentions. Check out the Hamas charter if you want to know why Israel can't just accept the Palestinians as citizens.posted by: Justin (NC) on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
HAHAHAHA. You are talking about a document that is 20 years old and is not reflective of what Hamas is or does. And the reason they will not change is because they are under so much pressure to change it. They don't believe that stuff.
But, just to point out the ridiculousness of your claim, would you like me to show you a list of extensive quotes from the more prominent Israelis who dehumanize and call for genocide against the Palestinians? And, despite the endless crimes of these people and the cancerous state, there was never an act of genocide against the Palestinians. Needless to say, Palestinians may talk tough, but they have not even committed a fraction of the crimes of Zionists...
"Zionist colonization must either be terminated or carried out against the wishes of the native population. This colonization can, therefore, be continued and make progress only under the protection of a power independent of the native population - an iron wall, which will be in a position to resist the pressure to the native population. This is, in toto, our policy towards the Arabs..." Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Iron Wall, 1923.
"If we thought that instead of 200 Palestinian fatalities, 2,000 dead would put an end to the fighting at a stroke, we would use much more force...." Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, quoted in Associated Press, November 16, 2000.
"There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed." Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969.
"We have to kill all the Palestinians unless they are resigned to live here as slaves." Chairman Heilbrun of the Committee for the Re-election of General Shlomo Lahat, the mayor of Tel Aviv, October 1983.
That is just a tiny sample. And i will end on a realistic note:
David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister): " If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp. 121-122.posted by: Joe M. on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
David Ben Gurion (the first Israeli Prime Minister): " If I were an Arab leader, I would never sign an agreement with Israel. It is normal; we have taken their country. It is true God promised it to us, but how could that interest them? Our God is not theirs. There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?" Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp. 121-122.
Indeed. I appreciate that the land was taken to form Israel. But, the time to debate the decision to do so was 40 years ago.
That said, based on what I continue to see in the news, the Charter is very much indicative of what Hamas is and does. To this day they maintain that their purpose is the eradication of Israel. Therefore, one must choose a side between Israel and the Palestinians. I choose the side of people that don't want to kill me, that share similar values and views on life in general, and that didn't celebrate 9/11.
I suppose you are free to side with the Palestinians. However, you should accept that the Palestinians want Israel gone, not to become part of its democracy. So, by extension, you also support the eradication of Israel.posted by: Justin (NC) on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
Most Americans were born in the United States; are they "indigenous"?Yes. posted by: David Nieporent on 01.08.08 at 07:26 PM [permalink]
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