The right way for Ron Paul to talk about the newsletters

This might mean that Paul would have to give a major speech—a la Obama’s Jeremiah Wright address—taking head on all the questions swirling around him. Such a speech must begin with a mea culpa that goes beyond “I disavow them (the newsletters).” Paul has to take responsibility for them. He has to admit that he and his organization took a seriously misguided intellectual/political turn two decades ago. However, in his heart or hearts, he remained uncomfortable with the figures and forces that he allowed himself to become allied with. Both in their substance and spirit they were, are and will always remain counter to everything he—and libertarianism— stands for. He needs to argue how his philosophy of the dignity and rights of every individual informs his pro-liberty and anti-war agenda, which, at its core, rejects every form of soft or hard racism and other ugly collectivisms.

No doubt such a speech initially will raise more questions about Paul’s character and convictions than it answers—which is why his loyalists want all of this to just go away without him having to face the inconvenience of saying anything more. There is absolutely no guarantee that the speech will save Paul’s candidacy. However, there is some reason to hope that it would. Paul loyalists might not buy this, but what’s surprising about the timing of the controversy is not that it occurred at all, but that it took so long in this election cycle to flare up. After all, most Paul watchers in MSM knew about the existence of these statements from the last time around. Yet it seems no one wanted to bring them up again until Paul gained so much traction that ignoring them would have been a serious dereliction of duty. Observe, for example, CNN’s poor Gloria Borger’s apologetic tone when Paul terminated the interview with her. “It’s [the questioning] legitimate, it’s legitimate” she pleaded plaintively, even deferentially thanking Paul for his time as he removed his wire somewhat huffily.