Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The clearing view of Ron Paul

-- by Dave

Well, we've been saying all along that Ron Paul's presidential campaign -- which is charged up enough with very public xenophobia as it is -- is attracting white supremacists and other extremists in large droves because, largely, that's who Ron Paul is.

Clearly, more people are coming to realize this, thanks in no small part to Jamie Kirchick's superb reporting in The New Republic last week on Paul's long history of publishing newletters riddled with racism, homophobia, and conspiracy-mongering. Kirchick has a follow-up this week with even more newsletters, and as he observes at the TNR blog:
At this point, it seems that the only people still defending Ron Paul are the openly bigoted or the comically credulous. For the former, the revelation that Paul had (at best, negligent at worst, complicit) involvement in the publishing of and profiting from paranoid and bigoted newsletters for over two decades neatly confirms the reasons why they had chosen to support the Texas Congressman presidential campaign in the first place. For the latter, no amount of evidence will ever convince them that “Dr. No” is anything less than some saintly, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” caricature.

Now comes the revelation that one of Paul's organizers in Michigan -- a man he's seen posing with in the photo below, located on the site -- is also a notorious neo-Nazi and Klan organizer in that neck of the woods.

Phenry at DailyKos (who has been doing a bang-up job tracking Paul all along) has the details:
As voters in Michigan go to the polls to vote in today's primary, volunteer coordinators for the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates are working hard across the state. One of these is Randy Gray, a 29-year-old resident of Midland, Michigan whom the Ron Paul 2008 Michigan Campaign Web site lists as the Midland County coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign. Gray's campaign profile page, a cached version of which can be seen here, doesn't go into much detail; there's a picture of Gray with the candidate, along with Gray's statement that "I support Ron Paul because he is in the fight for freedom." The page contains no mention of one of Gray's other roles: organizer with the Knight's Party faction of the Ku Klux Klan.

Modest Mouse goes on to detail this:
Randy Gray is referenced in our Far Right in West Michigan Database due to a speech he delivered at the fiftieth anniversary of the Knight's Party faction of the Ku Klux Klan.... Since 2005, Gray has filed the paperwork necessary to air the program "This is the Klan" on Midland Community Television. The program, hosted by Thomas Robb and Rachel Pendergraft, is a thirty minute program designed primarily for viewing on the Internet....

Gray has attended various racist events with and without the Ku Klux Klan in recent years as well. He is quoted in a May 2004 article in the Tennessean in which the Ku Klux Klan planned a rally against a "Gay Day" event at the "Dollywood" theme park.... Gray was twice (1, 2) kicked out of city council meetings for protesting the city's permitting process in relation to a Klan protest against the Martin Luther King holiday.

There's also a video of Gray speaking at that white-power rally in Tennessee:

... [S]o many of these savages, according to our statistics, they're murdering our people, on a daily basis, and there's nobody in our legal system that would dare say, "Bring back the rope! Bring back the electric chair!" Instead, they take our tax dollars and they feed these animals at the cost of our race!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you have been lied to about diversity and multiculturalism. The immigration crisis that's being pushed upon us by the race traitors of Washington, D.C. -- they don't care about our people, they're too concerned about the homosexual rights! They're too worred about protecting the rights of the Highlander communist school in New Market, Tennessee, that pushes this immigration, this race problem in our nation today -- comes right out of the communist school. It was closed down originally in 1960 by the state of Tennessee, but they are in New Market, Tennessee, and we were up there yesterday taking photo pictures.

One of the interesting aspects of Kirchick's follow-up is that it makes clear how much Paul's newsletters were relying on the work of the "academic" white supremacist Jared Taylor of American Renaissance,, something we had pointed out earlier in relation to the newsletters.

Even more revealing, perhaps, is the reportage from Julian Sanchez and David Weigel of Reason regarding the chief authorship of the newsletters. as was hinted at earlier, it was none other than Lew Rockwell:
[I]n interviews with Reason, a half-dozen longtime libertarian activists—including some still close to Paul—all named the same man as Paul's chief ghostwriter: Ludwig von Mises Institute founder Llewellyn Rockwell, Jr.

Financial records from 1985 and 2001 show that Rockwell, Paul's congressional chief of staff from 1978 to 1982, was a vice president of Ron Paul & Associates, the corporation that published the Ron Paul Political Report and the Ron Paul Survival Report. The company was dissolved in 2001. During the period when the most incendiary items appeared—roughly 1989 to 1994—Rockwell and the prominent libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard championed an open strategy of exploiting racial and class resentment to build a coalition with populist "paleoconservatives," producing a flurry of articles and manifestos whose racially charged talking points and vocabulary mirrored the controversial Paul newsletters recently unearthed by The New Republic. To this day Rockwell remains a friend and advisor to Paul—accompanying him to major media appearances; promoting his candidacy on the blog; publishing his books; and peddling an array of the avuncular Texas congressman's recent writings and audio recordings.

Rockwell has denied responsibility for the newsletters' contents to The New Republic's Jamie Kirchick. Rockwell twice declined to discuss the matter with reason, maintaining this week that he had "nothing to say." He has characterized discussion of the newsletters as "hysterical smears aimed at political enemies" of The New Republic. Paul himself called the controversy "old news" and "ancient history" when we reached him last week, and he has not responded to further request for comment.

But a source close to the Paul presidential campaign told reason that Rockwell authored much of the content of the Political Report and Survival Report. "If Rockwell had any honor he'd come out and I say, ‘I wrote this stuff,'" said the source, who asked not to be named because Paul remains friendly with Rockwell and is reluctant to assign responsibility for the letters. "He should have done it 10 years ago."

Rockwell was publicly named as Paul's ghostwriter as far back as a 1988 issue of the now-defunct movement monthly American Libertarian. "This was based on my understanding at the time that Lew would write things that appeared in Ron's various newsletters," former AL editor Mike Holmes told reason. "Neither Ron nor Lew ever told me that, but other people close to them such as Murray Rothbard suggested that Lew was involved, and it was a common belief in libertarian circles."

And they also uncover the point that this was not a penny-ante operation:
The publishing operation was lucrative. A tax document from June 1993—wrapping up the year in which the Political Report had published the "welfare checks" comment on the L.A. riots—reported an annual income of $940,000 for Ron Paul & Associates, listing four employees in Texas (Paul's family and Rockwell) and seven more employees around the country. If Paul didn't know who was writing his newsletters, he knew they were a crucial source of income and a successful tool for building his fundraising base for a political comeback.

As Kirchick observes:
To believe that Ron Paul had no knowledge of what was being written in his own name, in his own office, for 20 years -- and that he didn't even read his own monthly publication -- not only “stretches credulity to the breaking point,” it actually requires believing bald-faced lies.

Moreover, the whole picture is now emerging into public view of Ron Paul, not just regarding his integrity and honesty on these matters, but of what his politics really are.

He has successfully sold himself to many people -- including many thoughtful, smart people who believe in his decency -- as a libertarian.

But what he really always has been is a far-right Bircherite who has successfully adapted the language of libertarianism to fit an extremist agenda -- which is why he has so many neo-Nazis hanging out in his woodshed.

And now people can see that clearly -- if they can find it within themselves to shed their emotional attachments.

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