It’s James Kirchick, who earned the wrath of the blogosphere’s resident Conservative of Doubt a few months ago by daring to criticize Paul for pocketing campaign cash donated by known Nazis. Curious as to how Paul assembled such a jolly constituency of white supremacists, Truthers, et al., Kirchick went hunting for Paul’s old newsletters and found copies in a pair of university libraries. Or so he says — supposedly they’re being published on TNR sometime today. Reserve judgment until you can read them for yourself, as they simply can’t be as brutally bad as Kirchick makes them out to be. For one thing, if they were, Paul could never have gotten elected to Congress; for another thing, it is, after all, TNR. And yet Kirchick’s obviously confident enough in what he found to go on the air here with Gibby and make accusations. It’s nine minutes plus but bear with it. Devastating.
Update: Lest there be any confusion, Kirchick isn’t the editor of TNR. (We know who that is.) He’s the assistant to the editor.
Update: Here’s Kirchick’s report. Transcripts of the newsletters should be available on the site soon.
[W]hoever 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. 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. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing–but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics…
Paul’s campaign wants to depict its candidate as a naïve, absentee overseer, with minimal knowledge of what his underlings were doing on his behalf. This portrayal might be more believable if extremist views had cropped up in the newsletters only sporadically–or if the newsletters had just been published for a short time. But it is difficult to imagine how Paul could allow material consistently saturated in racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy-mongering to be printed under his name for so long if he did not share these views. In that respect, whether or not Paul personally wrote the most offensive passages is almost beside the point. If he disagreed with what was being written under his name, you would think that at some point–over the course of decades–he would have done something about it.
Lots of anti-black, anti-Israel, pro-militia nuttiness at the link. This guy’s been in Congress for 31 years. No one in his district was able to beat him with this on his record?
Update: Excerpts galore at Pajamas Media.
Update (bp): Here’s Kirchick’s interview with Tucker Carlson, who has been supporting Paul and traveling with him. Note Carlson’s reluctance to believe that this garbage came from Paul even though it was printed by Paul under his name. Tucker will probably come around in a day or two, but will most of Paul’s supporters? Not without some ugliness, imho.
Update: Here’s Paul’s response. No denials that this material appeared in his newsletter; only a denial that he agrees with it. He says he takes “moral responsibility” for the content, though. In which case, how about dropping out?