More bad news for presidential hopeful Ron Paul (R-TX). The newsletter scandal that has plagued the Congressman since his 2008 presidential bid has boiled over into 2012. The issue was brought up in the press weeks ago and explained by Paul’s camp. However, more newsletters surfaced yesterday along with accusations of homophobia and more.
In December, The Weekly Standard rehashed the controversy of 2008 by discussing several stories from the newsletters. The stories were regarding blacks, Israel, militias and more. Back in 2008, the Congressman told CNN “I do repudiate everything that is written along those lines.” He stated that he had “no idea” who wrote them. The general consensus from the Paul camp was that freelance writers did the stories. Does that hold water?
Yesterday, The New Republic published samples of newsletters dating as far back as 1978. One such sample, under what TNR calls “Apocalyptic Rhetoric” reads that new Federal Reserve regulations “should prompt us not only to protect ourselves from the coming inflation, but to guard against the approaching tyranny.” Is that seriously “Apocalyptic Rhetoric” or real concern over possible repercussions of a “borrow and spend” government?
Under “Tax Evasion,” they cite a 1987 comment written in the Political Report newsletter on defending a Congressman who was found guilty of owing back taxes. “I don’t know anything about the details of his case,” it conceded, “but I’m sure the IRS is abusing him (like everyone else).” It seems to be quite a stretch to suggest that by supporting the Congressman, Paul is pro-tax evasion.
In a section called “Militias, Cults, and Anti-Government Militancy,” TNR attempts to make an opinion into something sinister. Writing about the Branch Davidian murders at Waco, the 1993 Survival Report refers to a 911 call made by David Koresh. It says, “Far from revealing a crazy madman, the tapes show him to be a reasonable person, despite his alleged religious views, with a traditional American request: to be left alone.”
There are several things in the newsletters that are questionable and a few things that are downright disturbing. One such statement is from the November 1989 newsletter, Political Report. It claims that the Israel deliberately attacked the U.S.S. Liberty, when it was actually a mistake. Another defends former Cincinnati Reds owner, Marge Schott, saying she was “being crucified” when she called her players “million dollar n*ggers,” said “sneaky goddamn Jews are all alike,” and more.
Talking Points Memo claims that many stories are homophobic. It seems that at least some of those statements are probably based on misinformation about HIV and AIDS due to the dates that they were written and the science available at that time. Other comments demonize dental patients with HIV or AIDS seeking care calling them “deadly customers.” Perhaps the most glaring comment is about gays and lesbians in the military: “Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals.”
It appears that the Republican Party and other political forces want to demonize Ron Paul in any way possible. Even so, it seems that many of the comments are simply truths that aren’t politically correct or facts that make some people or groups uncomfortable. As it stands, Paul is already on a slippery slope and unlikely to gain the nomination. While it’s impossible to ignore the good things Paul has done for the nation, clearly questions need to be answered.