GAWKER: Ron Paul Knew All About His Beloved Racist Newsletters

The Washington Post is out with an excellent update on the history of the racist, homophobic, survivalist, nutcase newspapers that were published under his name in the 80s and 90s, which comes awfully close to confirming the most likely version of the story: He may not have written every word of them, but he sure signed off on them and wanted them written that way to pick up more subscribers and make more money.

The Post quotes Renae Hathaway, a Paul supporter and former secretary at Ron Paul & Associates, the company that published them, saying, “It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it.” Ouch.

And who could confirm that Paul was behind the editorial decision to make his newsletters so offensive? The head of the most prominent libertarian think tank in Washington D.C. should suffice:

Ed Crane, the longtime president of the libertarian Cato Institute, said he met Paul for lunch during this period, and the two men discussed direct-mail solicitations, which Paul was sending out to interest people in his newsletters. They agreed that “people who have extreme views” are more likely than others to respond.

Crane said Paul reported getting his best response when he used a mailing list from the now-defunct newspaper Spotlight, which was widely considered anti-Semitic and racist.

Let’s throw in one more anonymous source for kicks:

A person involved in Paul’s businesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer, said Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales by making the newsletters more provocative. They discussed adding controversial material, including racial statements, to help the business, the person said.

It’s a welcome reminder that the libertarian movement that’s now headquartered in lush glass, brick, and steel think tanks and research centers, populated by savvy young intellectuals, made its money in the early years by pandering to deep-pocketed extremist lunatics. This history doesn’t set it apart from that of many other proud American institutions, but after years of hearing petulant neener-neeners from all libertarians about how they’re the only group in American politics that lives and dies by profound moral principles and nothing else, let’s send a hearty neener-neener back their way.

But if you’re already dedicated to Ron Paul’s campaign, who cares? The goal here is to use the first viable libertarian candidacy in a major political party in some time to pick up enough delegates in nominating contests to matter, mathematically, and then leverage that into a major convention speech, insertion into the party platform, or role in playing kingmaker to the eventual nominee. The specific nominee’s editorial history from decades back — which wasn’t that different from the mainstream Republican party’s at the time — needn’t derail that. It’s just an icky compromise every supporter will have to make. (Neener neener.)

[Selections from newsletters via The New Republic, image via AP]

JEZEBEL: Ron Paul Actually Thought Those Racist Newsletters Were OK, After All

Even though Ron Paul’s racist newsletters were published with Ron Paul’s name on them and written in the first person, and even though Ron Paul has been filmed discussing his newsletters (which were terribly racist, anti-Semitic, and weird) in an interview, the GOP Presidential hopeful has disavowed knowledge of the its contents. But now, former employees are claiming that he was perfectly fine with what the newsletters said… and not for the reasons you might think.

The Washington Post is reporting that people closely associated with Ron Paul & Associates, the organization that published the infamous newsletters, have said that not only was Paul totally aware of what was being written under his byline, he was far from ignorant to the newsletters’ contents and would actually sign off on every article.

Oopsie-daisy.

His former associates were careful to point out that Paul himself didn’t seem to personally espouse the racism expressed in the newsletters, but he noticed that racist, tin foil hat-y stuff tended to do better with the newsletter-by-mail subscribing set than more libertarian, economy-focused material. He signed off on what he thought would sell best. Attempts to flirt with motifs of white power or rant about a coming race war weren’t done for the love of the game, then, but for profit. Even if Ron Paul does not have a racist bone in his body, he likes money more than he dislikes racism and intolerance, which is a pretty damning character flaw in an elected official. And if what his former associates say is true, not only is Ron Paul okay with signing off on racism, he’s a blatant panderer to the worst base of voters in the country— white supremacists who think Martin Luther King Jr was a pedophile.

For those who haven’t had the pleasure, you can find nice, bite sized hunks of Ron Paul newsletter whackadoodlery at the Ron Paul Newsletters Twitter account, which tweets direct quotes from the publication. The quotes range from innocuous, possibly, depending on the context — “I can now give up my medical practice and dedicate every fiber of my being to saving the country”— to “what about the whites-style racism— “I’m sick of anti-Germanism, which is not— needless to say— a ‘hate crime’”— to full on cuckoo bananas— “MLK was a flagrant plagiarist with a phony doctorate” and “People say the government should do more to stop AIDS. Actually it should do less and thereby help more.”

Despite the fact that Paul’s newsletters spit some pretty racist sounding game, it seems a little hollow now that we know that it was all an act designed to get attention. Ron Paul’s a racist poseur, a mercenary hateboy. The Katy Perry of paranoia. But that doesn’t make the Ron Paul Survival Report, or his association with it, any less fucked up.

http://jezebel.com/5880016/ron-paul-actually-thought-those-racist-newsletters-were-ok-after-all

News One:
In 1981, a lawyer tried to subpoena Ron Paul to  testify in the trial of Don Black, a Grand Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan  who would later go on to found the white supremacist, neo-Nazi website,  Stormfront. Black was charged along with two other Klansmen with  planning to violently overthrow the small Caribbean country of Dominica  in what they called ?Operation Red Dog.? While a judge refused to  subpoena Paul, Don Black would come back to haunt him many years later.
In  1981 a group of American and Canadian white supremacists lead by  Klansman and mercenary, Michael (Mike) Perdue planned on taking over a  small West Indian country called Dominica by overthrowing the government  and Prime Minister Eugenia Charles and restoring its previous prime  minister, Patrick Johns into power. The group planned to create an Aryan  paradise in Dominica and make money through casinos, cocaine and  brothels.
On the day the group of white supremacists were  supposed to travel to Dominica, they were arrested by ATF agents and  were found with over thirty automatic weapons, shotguns, rifles,  handguns, dynamite, ammunition, a confederate flag and a Nazi flag. The  plan would be dubbed ?The Bayou Of Pigs? after the failed invasion of  Cuba.
The leader of the group, Michael Perdue, would plead guilty  to planning the coup and turned state?s evidence. Perdue would testify  that several other people helped organize and fund the coup and that two  Texas politicians were aware of the plan. Among those Perdue implicated  were infamous white supremacist, David Duke, former Texas Governor,  John Connally and Congressman, Ron Paul whom he claimed knew about the  plot. Connally was credited with helping Paul win his first  congressional election.
A judge refused to subpoena Paul and  Connally despite the fact that Perdue had claimed that both of them were  aware of the plot. Don Black?s friend and fellow KKK Grand Wizard,  David Duke was called to testify before a grand jury but claimed that he  would take the Fifth Amendment and never testified. While Duke was  never charged with a crime, several books points to Duke as the  organizer who connected Perdue to the other mercenary Klansmen and the  people who funded their endeavor. (1 2 3) Everyone else implicated by  Perdue was charged with the plot.
Perdue implicated three men as  funders of the plot, L.E. Matthews of Jackson, Mississippi, James C.  White of Houston, and David Duke?s close friend and backer, J.W.  Kirkpatrick. Kirpatrick would kill himself before he could stand trial  and White and Matthews would be acquitted in court. Former Prime  Minister of Dominica, Patrick Johns would be sentenced to 12 years in  prison for his part of the plot. Michael Perdue, Don Black and seven  other Klansmen would be sentenced to only 3 years in prison.
Ron  Paul has never made a statement denying knowledge of the plot despite  the fact that he was implicated by Perdue and almost subpoenaed. Two of  the people involved in the plot, Don Black and David Duke have gone on  to become two of the most prominent white supremacists of the modern  era, and also two of Paul?s most controversial supporters.
Paul  would be once again tied to Don Black 26 years after the Bay Of Pigs.  After it was revealed that Black donated $  500 dollars to the Ron Paul  Presidential campaign, Ron Paul?s campaign refused to give it back. Paul  was photographed with Black and his son by David Duke?s former  assistant, Jamie Kelso who was an organizer for Ron Paul and the owner  of white supremacist sites, WhiteNewsNow.com and TheWhiteRace.com and a  moderator for Black?s neo-Nazi website, Stormfront.
Black would  become one of Paul?s most enthusiastic supporters and helped rally the  white supremacist community around Paul, through Stormfront. Paul would  praise another Operation Red Dog planner, David Duke in his newsletters  and Duke would return the favor calling him ?our king? and endorsing him  for President.
This would not be the first time Paul was tied to  white supremacists. In 80s, Paul claimed that the best source of his  campaign donations came from a list from notorious neo-Nazi, Willis  Carto?s publication, The Spotlight. In the 90s, Paul?s newsletters were  originally discovered from an online neo-Nazi directory. As recently as  2006, Paul was scheduled to appear on David Duke?s white supremacist  protégé, James Edwards? radio show, ?The Political Cesspool.?
Given  the scrutiny given to presidential candidates, shouldn?t Paul?s  connection to an attempted violent invasion of a small island by white  supremacists be re-investigated. If the media investigates every  accusation of affairs or sexual harassment for Herman Cain or Newt  Gingrich, shouldn?t they investigate accusations that Paul knew about a  white supremacist plot to violently overthrow the government of a small  Black island, especially with Ron Paul’s other connections to white  supremacists?
http://newsone.com/nation/casey-gane-mccalla/ron-paul-was-implicated-in-attempted-white-supremacist-island-invasion/

News One:

In 1981, a lawyer tried to subpoena Ron Paul to testify in the trial of Don Black, a Grand Wizard for the Ku Klux Klan who would later go on to found the white supremacist, neo-Nazi website, Stormfront. Black was charged along with two other Klansmen with planning to violently overthrow the small Caribbean country of Dominica in what they called ?Operation Red Dog.? While a judge refused to subpoena Paul, Don Black would come back to haunt him many years later.

In 1981 a group of American and Canadian white supremacists lead by Klansman and mercenary, Michael (Mike) Perdue planned on taking over a small West Indian country called Dominica by overthrowing the government and Prime Minister Eugenia Charles and restoring its previous prime minister, Patrick Johns into power. The group planned to create an Aryan paradise in Dominica and make money through casinos, cocaine and brothels.

On the day the group of white supremacists were supposed to travel to Dominica, they were arrested by ATF agents and were found with over thirty automatic weapons, shotguns, rifles, handguns, dynamite, ammunition, a confederate flag and a Nazi flag. The plan would be dubbed ?The Bayou Of Pigs? after the failed invasion of Cuba.

The leader of the group, Michael Perdue, would plead guilty to planning the coup and turned state?s evidence. Perdue would testify that several other people helped organize and fund the coup and that two Texas politicians were aware of the plan. Among those Perdue implicated were infamous white supremacist, David Duke, former Texas Governor, John Connally and Congressman, Ron Paul whom he claimed knew about the plot. Connally was credited with helping Paul win his first congressional election.

A judge refused to subpoena Paul and Connally despite the fact that Perdue had claimed that both of them were aware of the plot. Don Black?s friend and fellow KKK Grand Wizard, David Duke was called to testify before a grand jury but claimed that he would take the Fifth Amendment and never testified. While Duke was never charged with a crime, several books points to Duke as the organizer who connected Perdue to the other mercenary Klansmen and the people who funded their endeavor. (1 2 3) Everyone else implicated by Perdue was charged with the plot.

Perdue implicated three men as funders of the plot, L.E. Matthews of Jackson, Mississippi, James C. White of Houston, and David Duke?s close friend and backer, J.W. Kirkpatrick. Kirpatrick would kill himself before he could stand trial and White and Matthews would be acquitted in court. Former Prime Minister of Dominica, Patrick Johns would be sentenced to 12 years in prison for his part of the plot. Michael Perdue, Don Black and seven other Klansmen would be sentenced to only 3 years in prison.

Ron Paul has never made a statement denying knowledge of the plot despite the fact that he was implicated by Perdue and almost subpoenaed. Two of the people involved in the plot, Don Black and David Duke have gone on to become two of the most prominent white supremacists of the modern era, and also two of Paul?s most controversial supporters.

Paul would be once again tied to Don Black 26 years after the Bay Of Pigs. After it was revealed that Black donated $ 500 dollars to the Ron Paul Presidential campaign, Ron Paul?s campaign refused to give it back. Paul was photographed with Black and his son by David Duke?s former assistant, Jamie Kelso who was an organizer for Ron Paul and the owner of white supremacist sites, WhiteNewsNow.com and TheWhiteRace.com and a moderator for Black?s neo-Nazi website, Stormfront.

Black would become one of Paul?s most enthusiastic supporters and helped rally the white supremacist community around Paul, through Stormfront. Paul would praise another Operation Red Dog planner, David Duke in his newsletters and Duke would return the favor calling him ?our king? and endorsing him for President.

This would not be the first time Paul was tied to white supremacists. In 80s, Paul claimed that the best source of his campaign donations came from a list from notorious neo-Nazi, Willis Carto?s publication, The Spotlight. In the 90s, Paul?s newsletters were originally discovered from an online neo-Nazi directory. As recently as 2006, Paul was scheduled to appear on David Duke?s white supremacist protégé, James Edwards? radio show, ?The Political Cesspool.?

Given the scrutiny given to presidential candidates, shouldn?t Paul?s connection to an attempted violent invasion of a small island by white supremacists be re-investigated. If the media investigates every accusation of affairs or sexual harassment for Herman Cain or Newt Gingrich, shouldn?t they investigate accusations that Paul knew about a white supremacist plot to violently overthrow the government of a small Black island, especially with Ron Paul’s other connections to white supremacists?

http://newsone.com/nation/casey-gane-mccalla/ron-paul-was-implicated-in-attempted-white-supremacist-island-invasion/

ARTICLE:
Are you kidding me with this guy?

It amuses me to no end when white folks laud the Declaration of  Independence — with all of its lofty rhetoric about life, liberty and  the pursuit of happiness — all the while stoically ignoring that all  that happy-happy-joy-joy talk didn’t apply to the Africans whites  dragged to this country and enslaved.
So when I see the tiny wizened messiah talking about the Civil War  and lamenting all the liberty that was lost as a result of the war, I  laugh bitterly.  When I hear him talking about goooooold! and ending the  Fed, I begin banging my head against the closest wall.
Dude is so out of touch with the 21st century, I’m starting to wonder  if he’s some sort of time traveler who crawled through the Rift and has  managed somehow to amass Paul-lovers and the Paul-curious from each end  of the political spectrum, and everything in between.  Everyone from  Katrina vanden Heuvel and Glenn Greenwald to David Duke and Stormfront  are singing this guy’s praises, in some fashion or another (but not  necessarily endorsing him. *wink wink*)
I find it fascinating and more than a little unsettling.
Here is Ron Paul giving a speech about how the South was right, and  the Civil War was awful because it destroyed “individual choice.”  Never  mind “individual choice” vis-à-vis the enslaved; they weren’t people  and thus could lay no claim to “individuality” or “liberty.”  What Paul  means by “individual choice,” is “white men’s (specifically white property-owning men) individual choice.” 
Just look at this silly little man, standing proudly in front of a  Confederate flag talking about the enslavement of black people in  transactional terms. In the Ron Paul Gospel, adherence to the  quintessential American values of “individual choice and” “liberty”  would have required the Yankees to buy the slaves’ freedom.  A  detestable notion, to be sure, but also historically inaccurate since,  as we all know, the South started it.
Ultimately, when it comes to black people, the world “liberty” seems to disappear from Paul’s vocabulary.  Funny, that.
MORE:
http://www.angryblacklady.com/2012/01/21/shorter-ron-paul-the-south-will-rise-again/

ARTICLE:

Are you kidding me with this guy?

It amuses me to no end when white folks laud the Declaration of Independence — with all of its lofty rhetoric about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — all the while stoically ignoring that all that happy-happy-joy-joy talk didn’t apply to the Africans whites dragged to this country and enslaved.

So when I see the tiny wizened messiah talking about the Civil War and lamenting all the liberty that was lost as a result of the war, I laugh bitterly.  When I hear him talking about goooooold! and ending the Fed, I begin banging my head against the closest wall.

Dude is so out of touch with the 21st century, I’m starting to wonder if he’s some sort of time traveler who crawled through the Rift and has managed somehow to amass Paul-lovers and the Paul-curious from each end of the political spectrum, and everything in between.  Everyone from Katrina vanden Heuvel and Glenn Greenwald to David Duke and Stormfront are singing this guy’s praises, in some fashion or another (but not necessarily endorsing him. *wink wink*)

I find it fascinating and more than a little unsettling.

Here is Ron Paul giving a speech about how the South was right, and the Civil War was awful because it destroyed “individual choice.”  Never mind “individual choice” vis-à-vis the enslaved; they weren’t people and thus could lay no claim to “individuality” or “liberty.”  What Paul means by “individual choice,” is “white men’s (specifically white property-owning men) individual choice.” 

Just look at this silly little man, standing proudly in front of a Confederate flag talking about the enslavement of black people in transactional terms. In the Ron Paul Gospel, adherence to the quintessential American values of “individual choice and” “liberty” would have required the Yankees to buy the slaves’ freedom.  A detestable notion, to be sure, but also historically inaccurate since, as we all know, the South started it.

Ultimately, when it comes to black people, the world “liberty” seems to disappear from Paul’s vocabulary.  Funny, that.

MORE:

http://www.angryblacklady.com/2012/01/21/shorter-ron-paul-the-south-will-rise-again/

http://youtu.be/Bz3PZSLjhmA
The Daily Beast: Ron Paul on MLK

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/15/ron-paul-on-mlk-and-his-newsletters.html

Ron Paul often boasts of his consistency. But there’s one opinion that has evolved substantially over the past two decades, and that is Paul’s position on Martin Luther King, whose birthday is commemorated today. Just one more reminder over what was said then, and what is being said now:

"I was among the first to bring you news, about a year ago, that the Rev. Martin Luther King plagiarized his doctoral dissertation. The January 1991 issue of Chronicles magazine tells the whole sordid story, but to scoop them, the Wall Street Journal ran a ‘sensitive’ story. And now the New Republic reports that it, the WSJ, the Washington Post, and the New York Times knew about the plagiarism long ago but chose to suppress it. So much for our free press.

"We know that King is a Marxist and a world-class adulterer. But there is yet another charge, and this appears in black columnist Carl Rowan’s new book Breaking Barriers (Boston: Little, Brown, 1991).

"While Rowan was head of the U.S. Information Agency under LBJ, he found out about the FBI bugging of King’s multifarious sexual activities. Documented on tape: a sexual relationship between King and his fellow Christian minister, Ralph David Abernathy. See Rowan’s book for the exact words, which I cannot bring myself to quote. Am I glad I voted in Congress against an expensive federal holiday for this man."

"He [King] was also a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.

"King, the FBI files show, was not only a world-class adulterer, he also seduced underage girls and boys. The Rev. Ralph David Abernathy revealed before his death that King had made a pass at him years before.

"And we are supposed to honor this ‘Christian minister’ and lying socialist satyr with a holiday that puts him on par with George Washington?

"Congratulations to Arizona! Who could doubt that the result would be exactly the same if the other 49 states could also vote on a holiday for this affirmative-action saint?"

"Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day."

"[O]ne of my heroes is Martin Luther King."

January 2012.

"I’m officially a Ron Paul local coordinator for his Michigan Campaign.

I’ll be handling Allen Park, Southgate, Wyandotte, and Taylor.”

-I hope he’s nothing like Ron Paul’s old Michigan coordinator..

(the video looks frozen at first but watch it all the way through, it’s not)

More Info:

http://www.bloggernews.net/113194

http://moronpaul.tumblr.com/post/12446560060/randy-gray-is-a-michigan-klan-member-who-organizes

http://www.mediamouse.org/news/2008/01/michigan-klan-m-1.php

Ron Paul published this in his newsletter about his “hero” Dr. Martin Luther King. To this day, he denies knowing who wrote it, and gets very defensive talking about his racist newsletters which earned him millions over the years. Ron Paul was listed as the editor and publisher on many issues of his newsletters and they were published from a company which shared the same address as the home he lived in.
Does it matter if he wrote these letters? Not to me. He earned himself a racist fan base and a lot of $ from publishing them. Disgusting: http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t858523/

Ron Paul published this in his newsletter about his “hero” Dr. Martin Luther King. To this day, he denies knowing who wrote it, and gets very defensive talking about his racist newsletters which earned him millions over the years. Ron Paul was listed as the editor and publisher on many issues of his newsletters and they were published from a company which shared the same address as the home he lived in.

Does it matter if he wrote these letters? Not to me. He earned himself a racist fan base and a lot of $ from publishing them. Disgusting: http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t858523/

Ron Paul and His Son: Civil Rights Optional

NO. THIS IS NOT OK.

Ron Paul Is No Friend to Progressives

Progressives who are considering a move from the Democratic Party in order to support Ron Paul are out of their blessed gourds. Ron Paul is not your friend, progressives, no matter how non-interventionist, plaintive and wide-eyed he appears to be.

For the next several months, Ron Paul will continue to be a spoiler in the Republican primary campaign, lobbing crazy bombs from the fringes of the far right wing of the party without any chance whatsoever of actually winning the nomination, and even less of a shot at winning the White House in November.

But it doesn’t matter because winning isn’t his goal, regardless of the idealistic daydreaming of his most vocal supporters. He has no intention of becoming president, and he never has. His mission, beyond political masturbation, is to continue his sermon about the viability of a completely non-functioning ideology, libertarianism, while paying homage to the L. Ron Hubbard of politics, Ayn Rand.

Along the way, progressives have taken notice of Ron Paul’s positions on civil liberties and foreign policy. He’s a non-interventionist, he’s opposed to indefinite detention, he’s opposed to the use of predator drones, he voted against the PATRIOT Act, he’s against the war in Afghanistan, he’s opposed to wiretaps without warrants, and so forth. All are positions that progressives rightfully hold dear, including me. Therefore, Paul appears to be “to the left” of President Obama in these specific areas, and so, consequently, progressives have been abandoning support for the president (many of them were never supporters in the first place, going back to the chaotic 2008 primaries) and shifting their support to Ron Paul.

Unfortunately, Paul’s progressive supporters might not grasp that Paul’s libertarianism, while informing some of his seemingly progressive views on foreign policy and the like, carries with it a significant load of horrendous and unacceptable baggage. Before I proceed further, let me be clear: I’m not pushing for some kind of ideological purity test, but Paul’s views on a spectrum of other issues are so completely off the rails, especially relative to progressivism, that any progressive who’s supporting Paul is basically forsaking his or her values in lieu of a sliver of overlap on a liberal/libertarian Venn diagram. Paul is a physician, so I’ll employ a medical metaphor to explain. Imagine a surgeon attacking a cancerous tumor by firing a bazooka point-blank at the tumor. The surgeon might nail the tumor, but he’s going to blast away everything around it, killing the patient.

Not to be overly hyperbolic, but, if implemented at the presidential level, Ron Paul’s agenda on everything else besides the war and matters surrounding the treatment of accused terrorists are utterly destructive to progressive values, not to mention the well-being of the nation.

Based on statistics culled from the American Journal of Political Science and Common Space Score calculations from 1937 to 2002, Ron Paul has the most conservative record out of the entire roster of more than 3,000 Congress members from both chambers during that considerably long span of time. Put another way, Ron Paul is the most conservative member of Congress in modern history. Think of the most right-wing legislator you can come up with. Ron Paul is to that person’s right. Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Rick Santorum, Louie Gohmert — Ron Paul has them beat by miles. And it’s really no wonder. So, on that note, what about all of that aforementioned “horrendous libertarian baggage?”

Paul’s libertarianism is manifested in his desire to essentially subvert the functionality of the federal government. He wants to eliminate many cabinet level departments including the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Interstate Commerce Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.

This alone should be a deal breaker for progressives. But there are many, many more.

Paul is opposed to tax increases and government spending. In fact, he wants to roll back federal spending levels to 2000 levels. This would practically destroy the slow economic recovery and slide us into another depression.

Paul, in lockstep with other Republican presidential candidates, “supports new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, supports new tax cuts for corporations, supports ending Medicare as we know it, supports cuts to Social Security, supports the repeal of Dodd-Frank, opposes the Buffett rule, opposes ending tax breaks for Big Oil, and opposes ending tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas,” according to ThinkProgress.

Regarding his posture on foreign policy, while he appears to be sincere in his non-interventionism, it’s important to mention that Paul voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) just after September 11. This is the law that was often referenced by the Bush administration in defense of their most egregious trespasses. While not explicitly authorizing indefinite detention and eavesdropping without a warrant, the AUMF is cited by name in the controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as the basis for codifying indefinite detention and so forth. Ron Paul voted for this Pandora’s Box.

He also introduced a bill, HR 3076, which would have allowed President Bush to issue letters of marque and reprisal — to hire private bounty hunters tasked with apprehending members of al Qaeda “alive or dead.” We can only presume this would have included American-born al Qaeda member Anwar al-Awlaki.

The President of the United States is authorized to place a money bounty, drawn in his discretion from the $40,000,000,000 appropriated on September 14, 2001, in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from and Response to Terrorists Attacks on the United States or from private sources, for the capture, alive or dead, of Osama bin Laden or any other al Qaeda conspirator responsible for the act of air piracy upon the United States on September 11, 2001, under the authority of any letter of marque or reprisal issued under this Act.

The language is pretty clear. But feel free to take him at his word that he’s against this sort of thing — unaccountable private assassinations — even though he introduced legislation that would have done exactly that. Also notice how Paul used the very specific “act of war” language in the bill, putting him clearly on the record acknowledging the war on terrorism as a legitimate war.

In the domestic arena, all of his talk about personal liberty comes to an abrupt halt on the issue of abortion. Paul is staunchly pro-life and supports the criminalization of abortion — calling for the arrest of abortion doctors, presumably for murder.

Paul is quoted on his website: “There has to be a criminal penalty for the person that’s committing that crime. And I think that is the abortionist.”

For a self-proclaimed constitutionalist, Paul obviously doesn’t support privacy rights as guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. And Paul would leave abortion laws and penalties up to the states. We all know how fair state-level crime and punishment can be, especially in death penalty states. Paraphrasing Barney Frank, Ron Paul wants to shrink government small enough to fit into your uterus. And this business of painting all doctors who perform legal and constitutionally-protected abortions as murderers and baby killers unintentionally serves to motivate militant wackaloons like Shelley Shannon and Scott Roeder.

Speaking of which, Ron Paul also interprets the 2nd Amendment to mean an unfettered right to bear arms.

Despite being lauded as a civil liberties hero, he supported the Defense of Marriage Act. He also co-sponsored the Marriage Protection Act, which beefed up DOMA and stopped judges from overturning the rule.

He’s against universal healthcare, which includes such progressive touchstones as single-payer health insurance and the public option.

Like so many other crackpots on the far-right, Ron Paul thinks global warming is a hoax and doesn’t support any regulation of industry to prevent pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

And finally, he has a long record of obvious racism. He voted against affirmative action, opposed the renewal of the Voting Rights Act, and distributed racist newsletters. What about his position against the Civil Rights Act? Again, libertarianism, like some extremist factions of Christianity and Islam, serves as a convenient excuse for bigotry. And that’s exactly what it is: bigotry. According to an item in the Huffington Post:

The Civil Rights Act repealed the notorious Jim Crow laws; forced schools, bathrooms and buses to desegregate; and banned employment discrimination. Although Paul was not around to weigh in on the landmark legislation at the time, he had the chance to cast a symbolic vote against it in 2004, when the House of Representatives took up a resolution “recognizing and honoring the 40th anniversary of congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Paul was the only member who voted “no.”

If this is the price tag for ending indefinite detention and decriminalizing narcotics, I don’t want any part of it.

In the final analysis, not every issue is weighted and prioritized equally. While I strongly disagree with the policy, ending drone strikes is not at the top of my priority list, and neither is indefinite detention or drug policy. Illegal wiretaps are higher, as is the influence of corporate money in politics. (By the way, Ron Paul accepts donations from corporations like all the rest, and many of his top contributors are defense contractors. Odd, since he’s a non-interventionist.) Yet none of these issues are as important to me as women’s rights, civil rights, campaign finance reform, the environment, financial reform, the economy, healthcare and ending the occupation of Iraq.

Therefore, I support the candidate who is most likely to achieve those priorities, move the nation, in general, in a more liberal direction, and I will continue to do so despite the areas where I disagree with President Obama.

To that point, I also understand the reality that no president has ever had a spotless record. How many civilians did FDR kill when firebombing Tokyo, or Truman when nuking Hiroshima/Nagasaki? Why did FDR indefinitely detain Japanese-Americans without charges? Why did Teddy Roosevelt write about the evolutionary superiority of white people? Why did Lincoln suspend habeas corpus when the Constitution explicitly enumerates the suspension of the writ as a congressional power under Article I? Etc, etc, etc.

American politics is about negotiation, compromise and the big picture. If we get too caught up in the sausage-making, everything seems ugly and no one is on our side. But when you’re thinking about which candidate you’d like to support, it’s important to look at the big picture in an almost historical sense, and ask yourself: 1) Who will move the nation closer, in general, to my values? And, 2) Who can actually achieve question #1?

Unlike President Obama, who is, in fact, slowly moving the nation to the left while rolling back Reaganomics despite deeply entrenched partisan attacks against his very American-ness, Ron Paul, if he’s ever elected president, would move the nation in a vastly more paleoconservative direction. His historically right-wing congressional record proves this. He might have a more non-interventionist foreign policy, sure — that is if he’s sincere about his intentions — but will he be able to actually achieve anything without a strong party coalition? Progressives might applaud Paul’s foreign policy, but the clapping would be brief and muted as Paul’s libertarian agenda would be totally indigestible.

In other words, and in the big picture, President Ron Paul would be a far-right conservative nightmare, leaving in his wake irreparable harm and a grotesque Brundlefly hellscape.

President Obama, on the other hand, is a politician who, while flawed like all the rest, has shown an aptitude to at least listen to and understand his opponents on the left. I’m convinced that if we make a strong enough case against administration policies we disagree with, there’s a solid shot at convincing the president to make a change. Ron Paul is completely immovable as evidenced by his continued opposition to the Civil Rights Act decades later. And no one on the left has a shot in hell at convincing him otherwise.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/ron-paul-is-no-friend-to-progressives_b_1185055.html?ref=tw