So here is the first thing Paul can do, which is to provide an answer to a simple question: If he didn’t write those sentences, who did? Why not say? If he genuinely disagrees with the statements and truly disavows them, there could be no good reason not to name names. He acknowledges that he’s been aware of the sentences for a decade. Well, did he look into the authorship question at the time, when he was made aware? It seems to me that if I were a member of the House of Representatives (as Paul was at the time) and not a racist, and I discovered that racist screeds had been issued under my name, I’d want to know who wrote them. I suppose one could argue that they were written by a friend, and Paul is honorably protecting that friend from scrutiny. I might counter by stating that (again) if I were not a racist and discovered that racist screeds had been penned under my name by someone, it’s not very likely that that someone would still be my friend, on grounds of both his dubious integrity and our incompatibility of world views.
The second thing Paul could do is give a speech, or at least an informal talk, about his actual racial views. Paul has said that he doesn’t hold those views, and that “anyone who knows me” can affirm this to be the case. Well, doctor: a) that’s awfully fuzzy and doesn’t fill in much of the canvas, and b) the vast majority of us don’t know you. So how about filling in that canvas? If his views are as advanced as he assures us they are, there can be no downside.
Or can’t there? Paul will of course take neither of these steps. He won’t do the first because—well, the first theory of the case, hardly discredited to this point, is that he is in fact the author, and he’s clearly not going to admit that. But even if it is someone else, he won’t. It could be someone he’s still close to, someone he’s praised recently, or a dozen other things. And he won’t do the second because among his core supporters, there is utterly no reason for him to answer these questions.