The New Republic’s James Kirchik reads the political newsletters that Ron Paul was busy putting out in the decades before he became a national political figure. In the future presidential candidate’s newsletters Kirchik finds crazy conspiracy theories, hostility to blacks in general (and Martin Luther King Jr. in particular), anti-gay remarks and some unkind words about Israel:
…The newsletters display an obsession with Israel; no other country is mentioned more often in the editions I saw, or with more vitriol. A 1987 issue of Paul’s Investment Letter called Israel “an aggressive, national socialist state,” and a 1990 newsletter discussed the “tens of thousands of well-placed friends of Israel in all countries who are willing to wok [sic] for the Mossad in their area of expertise.” Of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a newsletter said, “Whether it was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.”
While the authorship of the individual newsletter articles is not always clear, Kirchik argues:
…whoever 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.
Hat tip: NJDC blog.
UPDATE: Ron Paul’s campaign issued the following statement:
In response to an article published by The New Republic, Ron Paul issued the following statement:
“The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts.
“In fact, I have always agreed with Martin Luther King, Jr. that we should only be concerned with the content of a person’s character, not the color of their skin. As I stated on the floor of the U.S. House on April 20, 1999: ‘I rise in great respect for the courage and high ideals of Rosa Parks who stood steadfastly for the rights of individuals against unjust laws and oppressive governmental policies.’
“This story is old news and has been rehashed for over a decade. It’s once again being resurrected for obvious political reasons on the day of the New Hampshire primary.
“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.”
Leftist Dennis Kucinich and libertarian Ron Paul may hail from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but they share a strong antipathy toward the projection of American power abroad and have both garnered cult followings with their respective long-shot presidential bids. They also happen to have developed a strong friendship in Congress, and have been known to speak admiringly of each other on the campaign trail.would consider his Republican colleague from Texas as a potential running mate (apparently in the very unlikely event that he wins the Democratic nomination).
It’s also not surprising that the National Jewish Democratic Council wouldn’t be thrilled by the idea, particularly since Paul isn’t exactly known as a friend of Israel.
“Despite his views on the Iraq War, Rep. Paul no more belongs on a Democratic ticket than Dennis Kucinich on a Republican one,” the NJDC’s executive Director, Ira Forman, said in a statement. “Any Jewish Democrats or independents that are tempted toward Rep. Paul because of his stance on the War should be reminded that this Republican Representative has a terrible record on Middle East politics, is anti-choice, and opposes stem cell research.”
But, as it turns out, Ron Paul’s campaign — which has had much more traction than Kucinich’s — doesn’t seem thrilled by the idea either.
“Dr. Paul and Rep. Kucinich are friends and there is a lot of mutual respect,” Paul communications director Jesse Benton wrote in an e-mail to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “They have worked, and will continue to work, together on ending the war and protecting civil liberties.
“However, Ron wants to substantially cut the size and scope of the federal government. There are too many differences on issues such as taxes and spending to think a joint ticket would be possible.”