Friday, January 27, 2012

Ron Paul (Never) Made Money from and Used Hate

Today, thanks to an article in the Washington Post entitled "Ron Paul signed off on racist newsletters in the 1990s, associates say," people can finally affirm, with confidence, the exact same things most people have been claiming for months:
[People] close to Paul’s operations said he was deeply involved in the company that produced the [racist] newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.

“It was his newsletter, and it was under his name, so he always got to see the final product. . . . He would proof it,’’ said Renae Hathway, a former secretary in Paul’s company and a supporter of the Texas congressman.
The Paulite rationalization has always been that he didn't mean these things published under his own name. And, more importantly, he didn't know.
Yet a review of his enterprises reveals a sharp-eyed businessman who for nearly two decades oversaw the company and a nonprofit foundation, intertwining them with his political career. The newsletters, which were launched in the mid-1980s and bore such names as the Ron Paul Survival Report, were produced by a company Paul dissolved in 2001.

The company shared offices with his campaigns and foundation at various points, according to those familiar with the operation. Public records show Paul’s wife and daughter were officers of the newsletter company and foundation; his daughter also served as his campaign treasurer.
Apparently, the "not knowing" defense, besides eroding under the whole doctrine of personal responsibility and agency that his libertarianism advocates, also falls apart when it turns out that he did know and exploited ethnic hatred and suspicion for a greater circulation:
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 was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,’’ said the person, who supports Paul’s economic policies but is not backing him for president. “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’
And, unsurprisingly, it netted him a payday, which, one supposes, doesn't matter when money is a universal good and the means of its earning irrelevant:
It is unclear precisely how much money Paul made from his newsletters, but during the years he was publishing them, he reduced his debts and substantially increased his net worth, according to his congressional and presidential disclosure reports. In 1984, he reported debt of up to $765,000, most of which was gone by 1995, when he reported a net worth of up to $3.3 million. Last year, he reported a net worth up to $5.2 million.
Who can begrudge a man making a buck? Even after surely losing hundreds of thousands of dollars—if not millions—on his failed 1988 presidential campaign? Unless he specifically markets himself to hate groups.
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.
...
Dondero Rittberg said he witnessed Paul proofing, editing and signing off on his newsletters in the mid-1990s.

“The real big money came from some of that racially tinged stuff, but he also had to keep his libertarian supporters, and they weren’t at all comfortable with that,’’ he said.
If only rational actors actually avoided money tainted by social malice and didn't court it, and if only social malice obeyed rational-actor theory. Or maybe, in the latter case, it did.

For more on Ron Paul:

28 comments:

  1. Typical Media hate. The media is insane with hate because of Dr. Paul. Show me the proof, produce the body if you think he's Racist. Show me the proof that Doctor Ron Paul is not the kingdom made manifest, the glory and the power of the WHITE MAN COME TO EXTRACT HIS HOLY VENGEANCE ON THE LATINOS DOCTOR RON PAUL CONTROLS THE 7 CHAOS EMERALDS

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    1. Is this a textbook example of Poe's Law?

      ***

      Paul is yet another cynical Reichwing WASP whose soul has been replaced by an accountant. He is a "Libertarian In Name Only" who has been able to trick certain segments of the American public into mindless worship.

      On one level, I salute his success. He's played those morons like a fiddle. Bravo, sir!

      On another level he represents everything wrong with the Reichwing over the last century+, and is a horrible presence in our politics...

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    2. Poe's Law, indeed.

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  2. This won't clam up the Paulites, they'll just do more mental gymnastics to somehow twist their way into believing their version of reality. Maybe they'll do a 180 and claim he did sign off on the letters after all, but it's okay because that's what the hand of the free market demanded at the time.

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  3. Ok, he's not a racist. But he has no compunction about playing to the sick souls who are, cheapening himself and his positions. So he's not a racist, then, he's a whored-out, cynical fuck.

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  4. So, just grossly cynical instead of grossly racist? Ahhh, now he's electable!

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  5. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh I get your dumb point. Devastating.

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  6. So Paul is (probably) a racist. And a liar. He won’t be President. Let’s move on to other things.

    Like how (unlike Ron Paul) Barack Obama has continued, and stepped up, the single most racist policy of the government – the “War On Drugs.” Looking forward to that article which will never happen because he has a holy (D) next to his name and that’s all that matters GOP LOL amirite!?

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  7. That would be a really excellent point if this were a (D)emocrat blog or if Paul's opposition to the War on Drugs was total and not only federal. Which means, via states' rights, that he tolerates the 50 individual Wars on Drugs. All of which are currently happening. Now. You idiot.

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    1. Look, none of this changes the fact that if you don't see a moderate Democrat as being just as bad as a guy who wants to restore the Articles of Confederation, you're a mindless O-bot. I mean, you have to be pretty in the tank for Obama not to see that not applying the Bill of Rights to state governments is the kind of principled civil libertarianism this country needs.

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    2. I keep hearing about how bad it is that Paul only wants to leave the war on drugs to the states. I don't know much about the drug war, so I'm genuinely asking:

      Wouldn't that still be an improvement?

      It seems to me it would severely curtail the war on drugs outside the US (Which could be a bad thing, I suppose). And at least a few states allow medical marijuana, which would presumably become fully legal without the feds.

      If you're planning on voting in this, the most depressing presidential election of all time, you're definitely voting for a shitty candidate who has a lot of views you hate but will theoretically be sort of okay on some issue that's important to you. Just to throw out a hypothetical, perhaps you might vote for somebody who supports indefinite detention without charge because his health plan, while not perfect, is somewhat better than the current situation.

      The fact that Paul's nowhere near perfect on the issue isn't much of an argument against him, because voting for a Republican or a Democrat is all about not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      So how does Paul's drug policy leave things worse off?

      Just to be clear, I believe the perfect should be the enemy of the good and I'm not supporting any of these fuckers.

      In all seriousness, I'm not trying to play gotcha, I really would like to know.

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  8. That would be a really excellent point if this were a (D)emocrat blog

    Ha! Nice try. You are a political party operative shill (the worst kind of scum in the American political sphere). If this isn’t a (D) blog, then f*cking prove it. Write something scathing about Mr. President. And not one of those “oh he has no backbone, he doesn’t stand up to the Evil GOP” rebukes, which in reality is just another slam of the GOP.

    Write something about his execrable foreign policy; his atrocious record on civil liberties; his do-nothing approach to gay marriage; Gitmo; the Wall Street elites filling his Cabinet; the continued execution of the War On Drugs; his lack of even beginning to acknowledge the deficit and national debt; the list goes on. F*cking prove it. Oh wait, it’s an election year. Can’t say anything about Your Guy.

    Obama 2012! 4 more years! 4 more years! GFY.

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    1. herpty derpty sat on a wall, herpty derpty loves him some ron paul, paul fell down and lost his crown and derpty went a-execrabling after

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  9. I see you haven't read the website you're mocking. Par for the course. Apart from your spoon-fed idiocy about debts and deficits, nothing you've mentioned is celebrated here, and much of it is castigated. Go beat your tiny stupid fists against some other wall.

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  10. I don't know how you can stand to keep writing Paul articles when you always get these kinds of responses.

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  11. I really dislike Paul for a lot of reasons, and I think as president he would do more harm than good, but I want him to stay in as long as he can. Whatever havoc his actual policies would reap on America, right now he's nothing more than a mouthpiece for ideas. He's the only candidate willing to talk about the things the others won't. Do I want him to be president? Fuck no. But I want him to hang around. As long as he's around, there'll be one voice talking about winding down our military presence overseas as if the idea is actually on the table and not completely out of the question.

    Once he's out, what do we have? The same thing we've always had: a bunch of shitheads fighting over who's going to bomb Iran in the most badass way, or who's the most committed to stomping on the rights of minorities. Then one of them will eventually get the nomination, and he'll spend months once again giving Obama the opportunity to defend against accusations that he's a socialist Muslim. At least with Paul kicking around, there's a chance to change the dialogue. We've already seen his ideas affect the talking points of his GOP running mates. Granted, most, if not all of what they've adopted is shit about auditing the FED, but it's tough to deny he's had an impact on them all.

    It's distressing to hear Obama gloat about how many people his swarms of aerial Hunter Killers have taken out all over the world and draw applause from lines like, "From Pakistan to Yemen, the al-Qaeda operatives who remain are scrambling, knowing that they can't escape the reach of the United States of America." If a Romney or a Gingrich gets the nomination, Obama will have free reign to continue to do so, unchallenged, unopposed. Only with Paul's talking points thrown into the mix will Obama be held accountable for his belligerent foreign policies and relative inaction on the Drug War. Obama has even said before that the War On Drugs has been a failure. We don't hear that from him anymore, because it's political suicide, but also because no one of consequence ever asks him about it.

    I'm considering voting for Paul in the primary for this reason. I know he won't get the nomination, and there's not a chance in hell he'll be elected. That's sort of the point; I'm playing the odds. Either way I'm voting mostly against my own interests anyway, and that's nothing new. Paul's words need to last as long as they can, or he'll bow out clumsily, and we'll forget all about him - like we always do.

    A clash of the boilerplate, ideological talking-points of D vs. R is boring as hell, and we've seen it before. Enough is enough. I want to hear from the Choom Gang, god damnit!

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  12. THERE ARE EIGHT CHAOS EMERALDS FLATHEAD

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  13. Hey, I'm against militarism, too! In fact, I'm against it *so much* that I'd prefer not to have the position discredited by being popularly associated with an unbalanced radical who panders to stormfront types for fun'n'profit, thanks very much.

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  14. If Ron Paul is willing to pander to racists just because they give him money, it stands to reason that his support of drug legalization (nationally) and tacit acceptance of Truthers is also disingenuous. It's not really possible to know what he actually thinks about anything.

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    1. Rishabh Bhandari, Papua New GuineaJanuary 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      Possibly but I feel you're not exactly considering context when you make this statement.

      Ron Paul's pandering to racists HELP him politically and financially - at least in Republican politics. In this case, he's just like every other politician. We don't really know that Mitt Romney is genuinely against 'Obamacare' or that Newt Gingrich doesn't believe in Global Warming anymore or whether they're just taking these stances because its politically expedient to do so.

      With regards to Ron Paul's views on drug legalization or foreign policy, we shouldn't really doubt him. Other than personal conviction what motive does he have? If it wasn't for his warped foreign policy views he might be a leader in the primaries. It hurts him electorally when he talks about legalizing heroin or pulling punches against China or Muslims.

      So I think he's more authentic than most politicians which is why so many politically ignorant youths who were Obama '08 supporters are now Paul '12 fans even though their policies are diametrically opposed in many crucial aspects. Both Obama '08 and Paul '12 seem honest and authentic politicians. In Obama's case, we discovered he's a political pragmatist who just tapped into his base's anger at the status quo yet Paul is going against his base on foreign policy and some social issues.

      I believe Paul is a truly authentic politician albeit one who holds authentically repugnant and racist views.

      As for the above posters who are lamenting this blog's alleged partisanship, a couple of points.

      Firstly (and this is the reason I dislike 3rd party movements like Americans Elect), the Republicans really are to blame for their intransigence. They openly claim they wanted to impede Obama's agenda and many, such as Rush Limbaugh, hoped he fails. Just look at how they're filibustering everything including even long over-due confirmations and leaving many key offices and bureaus undermanned.

      Secondly, unlike your beloved FOX News, this blog never advertises to be 'Fair and Balanced' and then fails to do so. Its a blog by one guy who clearly detests the Yankees and has a interesting and incisive reading of US politics. He has no obligation to write something 'scathing' about Obama for the sake of being scathing.

      If he holds the two parties to different standards then, by all means bitch away, but last time I checked, Obama hasn't published numerous newsletters (which have been published and are clearly available to anyone with a working Internet connection) which are full of vile racism.

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    2. In the novel, Ron Paul would be using the money he gets from hate groups to fund a covert and subtle neo-nazi destabilization program and laughs quietly at the public for doubting his resolve (but not saying anything about it) while undermining the feasibility of the continuing function of said hate group, having taken all their political walking around money as payment for decades of hateful newsletters. He plays upon their hopes for a White Tomorrow while assembling a team of multi-ethnic commandos (one of them is a ninja). He is then elected on the tide of rising and renewed White American xenophobia, giving him untethered power to secretly execute the leaders of the fascist right. After the explosion filled climax, he wordlessly drops the corpses of the freshly killed bigots on Martin Luther King's grave and the National Holocaust Memorial, lighting a cigarette with a gold zippo as he takes Marine One back to the White House (the pilot is Latino). Then everyone hugs and racism is gone forever! (Cut to the scene of blonde and blue eyed scientists shooting electricity into the disinterred corpse of George Lincoln Rockwell. He opens his eyes and a puff of smoke escapes the pipe that was sewn into his lips.) dun Dun DUN!!!!!!!!!

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  15. what kind of booyah did you utter when you first saw that wapo article. was it loud, triumphant, and vindicating or quiet, confident, and poised.

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    1. I was in the middle of an IM chat with Mr. Awesome and said, "Hang on, I should post this link about how Ron Paul is racist," and he replied with something like, "Didn't we figure this out in 2007? Are you going to post an article about how the gravitational constant is the same? Are you going to get on the ball about how McDonald's makes boring shitty food for obese people? Will the next Destructo exposé be that ABC sitcoms are crappy word catastrophes for morons?"

      Or something. It was a lot funnier. I wrote it and went back to talking with him.

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  16. All I know is that I was saying "Boooo-urns".

    I want Paul to stay in the race. I hope he goes full-blown Ross Perot for absolutely no other reason than to fuck up the Romneygrich. I want President Obama to win by more and am actively hoping that he lays a pounding on the GOP as bad as the one Reagan laid on Mondale. If this happens because some gold-standard obsessed crypto-fascist kook from Texas takes away a third of the GOP's base then so much the better. It's not like the evil fucks don't deserve to get bent over and have tits painted on their collective backs by the most centrist non-liberal president since Dwight Eisenhower.

    It's all cheap laffs to me. "Ron Paul"? Like I'd ever be dumb enough to trust someone with a last name that is really a first name.

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  17. Hilarious to me, that nobody in the entire WORLD, can find a reason to dislike Ron Paul other than these newsletters.

    We all know about them, and what was in them. Ron Paul did not write them, did he know about them, did he possibly agree with SOME of the opinions AT THAT TIME? Probably.

    Truth is, he isn't racist now, and he has no weaknesses.

    Ron Paul will save America from the War Hawks and Corporations that run it. IF YOU'RE TRYING TO SLANDER RON PAUL, you are directly involved in and supporting the next world war, as he is the only candidate that is actually for PEACE.

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  18. Hilarious to me, that nobody in the entire WORLD, can find a reason to dislike Ron Paul other than these newsletters.
    Well, apart from his monetary policy, his economic policy, his attitude toward the Civil Rights Act, his attitude toward pretty much any amendment past the tenth (and especially the 14th and 16th), his attitude toward Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid and actually any form of government assistance like Head Start or food stamps, his attitude toward universal healthcare, the fact that he wants to eliminate the FDA and EPA and Department of Education, his loathing of public education and federal student aid of any kind, the fact that his economic policies and contempt for regulation directly empowers the sort of unaccountable oligarchical exploitation of workers' and citizens' rights that many of his followers ostensibly abhor, the fact that he would drag this country back to an eighteenth century dystopian minarchist fucking hellhole — but yeah, apart from all that, nobody can think of a reason to dislike him.

    Except for the paranoid racist homophobic newsletters he deliberately and knowingly profited from.


    IF YOU'RE TRYING TO SLANDER RON PAUL
    Look up slander. I guarantee you'll have a blast.


    you are directly involved in and supporting the next world war, as he is the only candidate that is actually for PEACE.
    RON PAUL 2012: WHY START A NEW WORLD WAR WHEN STARVATION AND FOOD, DRUGS OR WATER POISONED BY A CORPORATION CAN KILL MILLIONS AT HOME IN GLORIOUS NEGATIVE LIBERTY?

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Et tu, Mr. Destructo? is a politics, sports and media blog whose purpose is to tell jokes or be really right about things. All of us have real jobs and don't need the hassle that telling jokes here might occasion, which is why some contributors find it more tasteful to pretend to be dead mass murderers.