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Ron Paul Excavation Reveals Ugly Artifacts of Candidate's Past

UPDATE: Ron Paul has issued a statement regarding this article. Read it at the end of the post.

James Kirchik of The New Republic has published an article detailing the contents of Republican candidate Ron Paul's newsletters over the years — published under various titles like Ron Paul's Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report, etc. The most recent iteration, the Freedom Report, was archived back only until 1999, but because of Paul's refusal to release earlier copies of the newsletters, Kirchik investigated further and was able to dig up newsletters going back to the 70's. Kirchick reports that "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."

RonpaulThe results of his findings, which perhaps were not all written by Paul but certainly came "under a banner containing Paul's name," can be read in the article, although these couple of paragraphs will probably be of particular interest:

***EXCERPT - Angry White Man***

"Like blacks, gays earn plenty of animus in Paul's newsletters. They frequently quoted Paul's 'old colleague,' Congressman William Dannemeyer--who advocated quarantining people with AIDS--praising him for 'speak[ing] out fearlessly despite the organized power of the gay lobby.' In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine 'who certainly had an axe to grind, and that's not easy with a limp wrist.' In an item titled, 'The Pink House?' the author of a newsletter--again, presumably Paul--complained about President George H.W. Bush's decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite 'the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,' adding, 'I miss the closet.' 'Homosexuals,' it said, 'not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.' When Marvin Liebman, a founder of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom and a longtime political activist, announced that he was gay in the pages of National Review, a Paul newsletter implored, 'Bring Back the Closet!' Surprisingly, one item expressed ambivalence about the contentious issue of gays in the military, but ultimately concluded, 'Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals.'

Continued...AFTER THE JUMP...

The newsletters were particularly obsessed with AIDS, 'a politically protected disease thanks to payola and the influence of the homosexual lobby,' and used it as a rhetorical club to beat gay people in general. In 1990, one newsletter approvingly quoted 'a well-known Libertarian editor' as saying, 'The ACT-UP slogan, on stickers plastered all over Manhattan, is 'Silence = Death.' But shouldn't it be 'Sodomy = Death'?' Readers were warned to avoid blood transfusions because gays were trying to 'poison the blood supply.' 'Am I the only one sick of hearing about the 'rights' of AIDS carriers?' a newsletter asked in 1990. That same year, citing a Christian-right fringe publication, an item suggested that 'the AIDS patient' should not be allowed to eat in restaurants and that 'AIDS can be transmitted by saliva,' which is false. Paul's newsletters advertised a book, Surviving the AIDS Plague--also based upon the casual-transmission thesis--and defended 'parents who worry about sending their healthy kids to school with AIDS victims.' Commenting on a rise in AIDS infections, one newsletter said that 'gays in San Francisco do not obey the dictates of good sense,' adding: '[T]hese men don't really see a reason to live past their fifties. They are not married, they have no children, and their lives are centered on new sexual partners.' Also, 'they enjoy the attention and pity that comes with being sick.'"


Read the entire piece here.

UPDATE: Ron Paul responded to the letters today with 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 publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name."

Angry White Man [the new republic]
(via slog)

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  1. Well, what else is new? I like what he says about the Iraq war, but I always knew the ugly, little dried up munchkin was a nut-case.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 8, 2008 3:24:58 PM

  2. While this could be a hatchet job on him, he should probably explain himself or the press should ask him harder questions. His recent statements are clearly not this paranoid, but Libertarians tend to be somewhat anti-social.

    Posted by: anon ( | Jan 8, 2008 3:37:37 PM

  3. can this be true? ah quel dommage, i too liked rp's stance (wide or not) on the iraq war...

    Posted by: the queen | Jan 8, 2008 3:42:33 PM

  4. so is there anything to back this story up? any way to know its not just a smear the day of the NH primary?

    I dunno, maybe like the name, issue number, article title, etc. that these quotes were taken from?

    call me crazy.


    Posted by: rich | Jan 8, 2008 3:49:04 PM

  5. If you click on the link, you'll see all the proof you need, copies of the many loony Ron Paul memos.

    Posted by: brian | Jan 8, 2008 4:09:03 PM

  6. Screw James Kirchick. He's a neocon assigned to the Gay Desk. Fuhgettaboutim.

    Posted by: George | Jan 8, 2008 4:10:09 PM

  7. What I find especially ridiculous about the insane folks who adocate limited access to schools, restaurants, down to a full on quarantine of those who are HIV positive is that they think it can be easily transmitted to the innocent (through saliva, for example), but yet claim it is the HIV positive person's fault she/he got the disease through romiscuous sex practices, and that the HIV positive deserve no pity.

    Posted by: scientitian | Jan 8, 2008 4:14:40 PM

  8. Brian: actually, not.

    saying things like:
    "In 1990, one newsletter..."
    Does not qualify as a real reference.

    All I am saying is don't fall for spin,
    check your sources, before you believe.

    Posted by: rich | Jan 8, 2008 4:16:24 PM

  9. This comes as a surprise to whom? He has said what the majority of white heterosexual men, and a few gay ones as well with the black issue, in this country said, and are still saying daily, just another fool who wrote it down and its come back to haunt him

    Odd little man that so many love for some strange reason, the GOP candidates must be worse than he is to the faithful of that party that loves fringe loonies.

    Now, I wonder if the so called "main stream" media will run with this story like this site?

    Posted by: Sebastian | Jan 8, 2008 4:19:01 PM

  10. Rich is right... but still crazy.

    Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admit...

    Saying, I read it somewhere is not a very compelling source.

    If accusations like these were adequately sourced this would be in the Times, not the New Republic.

    Posted by: David | Jan 8, 2008 4:48:37 PM

  11. On Ron Paul's website under the Issues tab, he doesn't even talk about GLBT rights or issues. Looks like he's quietly omitting that topic from his site.

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 8, 2008 4:56:44 PM

  12. Well after reading the article, gays get off easy, his hatred of blacks is way creepy.

    Thank goodness one less racist has a chance for the job, although, the GOP frontrunners still must have the same issues, how else will they sweep the South?

    Posted by: Sebastian | Jan 8, 2008 4:59:42 PM

  13. Obviously this is a total smear job.

    However, I don't really buy Ron Paul's defense. If you were hiring people to write for a newsletter appearing under your name, how likely is it that a vicious racist could slip through the cracks and print this kind of shit on your behalf for several months before it came to your attention?

    Posted by: thin mint | Jan 8, 2008 5:15:58 PM

  14. Chris-
    No possible GOP presidential nominee would even consider putting anything about GLBT rights on their website. It is kinda sad that they won't even publicly recognize it as any kind of an issue and choose to ignore us entirely.

    Posted by: Nate | Jan 8, 2008 5:19:58 PM

  15. The "Ron Paul Revolution" is shaping up to be nothing more than a Frat Boy prank. The behavior of his supporters on TV is frankly infantile and it doesn't seem like they they have more than a cursory idea what he has stood for over the years. People seem to vote for Paul for the same reason they votes for Ralph Nader; the perception that they are sticking it to "The Man".

    Posted by: Cal | Jan 8, 2008 5:27:50 PM

  16. Thank the Internet gods for the investigative resources of the Web. This research and dissemination tool has radically altered politics. Using it: (1) Hillary has been exposed as the agent of spin and status quo that she always was and remains; (2) Romney has been exposed as the quintessential flip-flopper willing to say anything; (3) Huckabee has been exposed as a tax and spend fraud with bizarre social views; (4) Giuliani has been exposed as a vindictive lying pandering fraud (Nixon in a dress whereas Hillary is Nixon in a pantsuit); (5) Thompson was shown to have accomplished almost nothing as a Senator; (6) McCain was shown to have lost all credibility as an independent voice by sucking up to the so-called religious right; and now (7) Ron Paul's own words have come back to haunt him. No longer can we be lied to with impunity by political whores.

    Posted by: rudy | Jan 8, 2008 5:32:21 PM

  17. This is a total smear job by someone who is renown for such things and on a day of a primary no less. I like many of Ron Paul's positions and he is a breath of fresh air in the republican debates with other crusty old white men who are clueless about security and the economy (not that the democrats are any better.) Its doubtful that he wrote any of the articles but he did allow those articles to be published under his banner and I do find his explanations unsatisfying.

    (for the record i support obama)

    Posted by: yoshi | Jan 8, 2008 5:38:09 PM

  18. Ron Paul is saying profound things about the current American government's imperial foreign policy and disregard or outright repudiation of the Constitution that need to be said and are not being said by the other candidates or being analyzed or reported by the corporate media. All this hand-wringing about past associations, while relevent to some degree, is also an easy way to avoid necessary and uncomfortable questioning about where the American government has led us for decades now on matters that transcend identity politics. The culture has moved toward greater acceptance of queer people since the 70s thanks to the hard work of queer people, not to anything thing the mommy or daddy state establishment has done. It might make my dear brothers' and sisters' heads explode, but I feel that deep down what Paul is in part advocating for is the spirit of individual liberty, free speech, non-comformism and right to privacy that has been the well-spring of the gay-rights movement for decades.

    Posted by: tim | Jan 8, 2008 6:14:26 PM

  19. You just have to love the response from Ron Paul. Pay attention to the fact that his entire statement contains only responses to archives referring to "a person's skin color", "Rosa Parks", "MLK". Omission can be very telling.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jan 8, 2008 7:24:35 PM

  20. All you Ron Paul defenders need to go read the source documents. They are there for the reading and it isn't pretty.

    While I found the homophobic rants to be offensive (particularly the one that suggests that gay men in San Francisco were deliberately trying to poison the blood supply), they pale in comparison to the racism.

    I lived on HiPoint (Pico/Fairfax) during the Rodney King Riots - which Paul's letters go on and on about. Based on how my black neighbors treated the sole white kids in their neighborhood, I think I can say without hesitation that black folks are not raised to hate all whites. And that they weren't looking for an exuse to steal from the white man.

    I challenge you supporters: go read the newsletters posted online - not just the excerps. If you aren't slighly nauseous after you do, then you have no basic sense of decency.

    Now Paul can claim that he "didn't know" what was going out over a period of years under his name. But if I found out that any of this racism and homophobia was coming out under MY name, the next eight issues would be dedicated to denouncing it and anyone who believed it.

    Posted by: Timothy | Jan 8, 2008 7:29:40 PM

  21. Needless to say Sully the Pooh still supports him.


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jan 8, 2008 8:00:51 PM

  22. Ron Paul is simply stated, "nuts"! No surprises here...

    Posted by: RB | Jan 8, 2008 8:32:46 PM

  23. I don't know what you guys are reading, but there are loads of xeroxed copies of Ron Paul newsletters linked to the article that are all the proof you need. It's not "a newsletter in 1990 said", it's the newsletters themselves.

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 8, 2008 10:03:55 PM

  24. This is a smear campaign just like the swift boat one we all witnessed a few years back.

    Wake up everyone. Paul wants to follow the constitution, end the war, restore habeus corpus, stop spying on citizens, etc. He hasnt ever SAID anything that he is being smeared with.

    Wake up folks. Why would the media have to dig in and tear into a candidate that is supposed to be a non-factor? The motive is to quell discussion of the ideas Paul brings up...

    Posted by: Jason | Jan 9, 2008 12:31:46 AM

  25. One hopes that this ridiculous love affair that otherwise sane, sensible people have with this mean, vile, petty, vindictive, bigoted, mentally-constipated wing-nut named Ron Paul will finally end. This is OLD news for anybody who was paying attention in the late 80s and early 90s.

    Posted by: mike | Jan 9, 2008 6:08:42 AM

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