Ron Paul’s money problem

When Ron Paul had his fantastic fund raising day, I decided to take a look at his campaign positions as relayed on his website. In other words, I looked at the best Paul had to offer about himself — the carefully considered distillation of his big ideas — and blogged about my reaction to those ideas. Based purely on his lean, mean, campaign-friendly assertions, I concluded that some of his ideas were consistent with mainstream conservatism, some of them were wrong, some of them were wacky, and all of them put together were unlikely to make a package that would sell to the majority of American voters. I was a bit worried when I posted that I’d come in for an avalanche of unfriendly comments, or even attempts to attack my blog, and was most grateful when that didn’t happen.

What did happen was much more insidious. I started getting visits from people who would begin by leaving one ordinary, sympathetic comment to a post. Then, they’d leave another comment to another post that sounded more bizarre, expressing “fact based” antisemitism or racism against ethnic groups. By the third or fourth comment, the comments would bloom into approving statements for Ron Paul, coupled with out-out-out White Supremacist style material. (The ones I deleted yesterday went from “scientific” analyses of IQ tests to statements about blacks being an inferior race. Horrible stuff.) I systematically deleted every one of these comments, since my blog is not a public, government owned forum, and I don’t need to cling to a freedom of speech doctrine that requires my blog to host that kind of thinking.

All of the above happened on a micro scale. It’s now playing out on a macro scale at American Thinker. Yesterday, American Thinker published an article Andrew Walden wrote detailing all the White Supremacists and fellow travelers who have hitched their wagon to the Ron Paul star. What’s worrisome isn’t that they find him interesting, but that he seems to find them interesting — or, at least, their money. That is, sometimes bad people are drawn to good ideas and good causes, so I’m not going to conflate their attraction with Paul into any conclusion that Paul is himself a White Supremacist or something like that, or even that he’s targeting that political market. However, dirty money is dirty money, and Walden details the one-way flow of that money in Paul’s coffers:

The Texas-based Lone Star Times October 25 publicly requested a response to questions about whether the Paul campaign would repudiate and reject a $500 donation from white supremacist founder Don Black and end the Stormfront website fundraising for Paul. The Times article lit up the conservative blogosphere for the next week. Paul supporters packed internet comment boards alternately denouncing or excusing the charges. Most politicians are quick to distance themselves from such disreputable donations when they are discovered. Not Paul.

Daniel Siederaski of the Jewish Telegraph Agency tried to get an interview with Paul, calling him repeatedly but not receiving any return calls. Wrote Siederaski November 9: “Ron Paul will take money from Nazis. But he won’t taketelephone calls from Jews.” [Update] Finally on November 13 the Paul campaign responded. In a short interview JTA quotes Jim Perry, head of Jews for Paul describing his work on the Paul campaign along side a self-described white supremacist which Perry says he has reformed.

Racist ties exposed in the Times article go far beyond a single donation. Just below links to information about the “BOK KKK Ohio State Meeting“, and the “BOK KKK Pennsylvania State Meeting“, website announced: “Ron Paul for President” and “Countdown to the 5th of November”. The links take readers directly to a Ron Paul fundraising site from which they can click into the official Ron Paul 2008 donation page on the official campaign site. Like many white supremacists, Stormfront has ties to white prison gangs.

Walden also explains that, with respect to this money, Paul and his campaign people make no effort to stops it flow, no effort to repudiate it, and no effort to return it. It’s one thing to have bad people follow you around; it’s quite another thing to encourage them to do so.

The article’s publication triggered a storm of something else we are learning to associate with the Ron Paul campaign: attacks on anyone who speaks against him, whether direct or indirect. I’ve described above the indirect attacks that have been trickling into my blog. American Thinker has now come in for the same attacks, on a much larger scale, including surprising ones from people who are taking extreme positions to defend the questions that must inevitably rise about the money trail Paul’s campaign is creating. (Incidentally, I have it on good authority that, while American Thinker has only written about the most significant responses to the article, the site has been inundated by emails, most of which are unfriendly and demanding in tone.)

I should be clear here that I am not making a blanket accusation that Ron Paul supporters are neo-Nazis or that they advocate vile racialist positions. Nor am I trying to say that Paul’s campaign positions, many of which are innocuous (although sometimes silly) on their face, are the type of things that would set White Supremacist warning bells ringing in the average person. I am saying, however, that it is disturbing when an increasingly visible presidential candidate willing accepts money from organizations that represent the worst America has to offer and that, instead of rejecting the money and speaking out against these people, keeps the money and attacks those who point out that there’s something rotten going on.

UPDATE: Incidentally, I’m taking with more than a grain of salt any pro-Ron Paul comments here that purport to come from Jews who have no problem with Paul’s refusal to disavow the White Supremacists who are currently pumping up his candidacy. At least one Ron Paul front organization called “Jews for Ron Paul,” is almost certainly a fraud. (h/t LGF.) If Ron Paul doesn’t want to get pulled down into this kind of muck and mire, he needs to take a stand against this stuff. His positions, for better or worse, are going to get lost in the mud that’s starting to stick.

UPDATE II:  I figured out a way to look at this:  If something is attracting flies, you need to investigate to discover whether they’re drawn because the object is sweet or rotten.  Unless Paul begins to explain why those flies are drawn to him, and begins to take steps to brush them off, the idea that his campaign is a neo-Nazi fly magnet because it’s rotten is going to take hold.  And because most Americans are repulsed by neo-Nazis, it will inevitably jettison any chance he has of success.  Since I’m not a Paul fan, I don’t care if the doesn’t succeed, but you’d think that his supporters would care.

12 Responses

  1. As a Christian married to a Jew, and a person with major ties to the Jewish community in the Chicago area (I work with many synagogues), I see no problem with a politician accepting contributions from ANY individual. That is Paul’s stance on contributions — individuals only.

    He did this to distance himself from any preferential treatment of groups, corporations, or other entities.

    Yes, I do believe that Storm Front and the other racist organizations are wildly inappropriate groups, but I see no problem with Paul, or anyone else, taking donations from any individual, no matter how ridiculous their views are. Paul can’t be bought. Just because some oddballs like some of Paul’s stances doesn’t mean that Paul has those same views — he doesn’t. Of the 20 or so Jewish friends I have that are close to me, ALL of them support Paul, mostly on his desire to leave Israel alone to return to their own sovereign policies.

    If someone put a gun to my head, and forced me to choose between two candidates just based on their worst supporters, I would still pick Paul. My Jewish wife would as well.

    Look at it this way:

    Paul has some pseudo-Nazi supporters, who have up to this point committed no acts of violence towards anyone, nor have even advocated violence according to the articles people have linked to. They’re using their freedom to speak, which any American would defend as an inherent right to all.

    Giuliani, Hillary, McCain, Romney, Huckabee, Obama and the rest have supporters who want to use the force of a gun to take my money through more taxes. They have supporters who want to use the force of the gun and jail to tell me what chemicals I can put in my body. They want to all attack more innocents around the world to spread their variety of tyrannical “democracy.”

    In my mind, the worst non-violent racist is more peaceful than the best pro-government supporter. Our own government has jailed (and let die) more blacks and hispanics for non-violent offenses than all the racists in history. That, to me, is the real problem. If someone talks something I disagree with, I’ll first let them know why I disagree. If they continue to speak about their beliefs, I’ll stop being friends with them.

    But I can’t stop you, the pro-government advocate, from coming into my home and forcing me to act how you want me to act.

    Who is worse?

  2. I am sooo tired of restating that I am an antifascist Paul supporter. I battled nazi skinheads i Seattle in the 80’s and 90’s. I have never met any of these white supremecist Ron Paul supporters. Even the ones who voted for Bush in 04 share the same antifascist antirascist sentiment as me. Peace.

  3. I am a Jew with relatives actually living in Israel and I have no problem with Ron Paul taking money from anyone.

    If people think he’s a fascist or an anti-semite they’re drooling at the mouth retards who don’t deserve their money anyways.

  4. Accepting forms of payment to write articles that smear another’s character is a sign of emotional immaturity. You’re character is weak and you are not a mature adult who gives back to society. You are the emotional equivalent of a child. Please refrain from writing until you mature enough to write something that gives back to society.

    It is my sincere hope that you one day realize the importance of giving back to society in a positive way. Please use your writing talent in a positive way. Life is short. Make the most of it.

  5. Wow, I’m really surprised to learn that I’ve been accepting money to write this advertisement-free blog. And here I always thought that I was doing it as a labor of intellectual love. I guess it just goes to show that Paul attracts people who are, in addition to whatever other virtues they possess, psychic about alternative realities.

    And yes, I am trying to make a joke about that last bloggers nom de cyber, which is presumably a play on Uri Geller’s name. The serious point, of course, is that there are some breathtaking and completely wrong assumptions powering a substance free chiding for having dared criticize someone who has thrown himself into American politics but, apparently like Hillary, is supposed to be free from the healthy criticism and airing of information that is meat and drink to American politics. Scary.

  6. Bookworm,

    It is interesting to note that your description of the process is occurring as predicted. I suppose the outright ant-semitic and racist statements are forthcoming.

  7. Bookworm,

    You actually sound like a reasonable person. You have been used in a very elaborate smear campaign. If you are fine with that, that is your business. If you are in on it yourself, well that’s still your business, but I say shame on you.

    Thankfully they were stupid enough to attach Eric Dondero to this. Watch it go down in flames now. Thank you, Eric!

  8. An organization is only as good as the people in it, Book. Such a truism, when not followed, will simply lead a good leader to ruin. In the case of Hitler, attracting fanatics was actually a plus. Paul will have to make a decision eventually on whom he will purge. The loyalists or the fanatics?

  9. Bookworm,

    As you are no doubt finding out, the fanaticism of the Paulestinians knows no bounds. Once the location of your blog that dares to slander their savior is transmitted throughout the organism you will be inundated and the racist and anti-semitic attacks will get much worse. Good luck and thanks for helping expose them.

  10. “on November 13 the Paul campaign responded. In a short interview JTA quotes Jim Perry, head of Jews for Paul ”

    You may wish to check this site to see whether “Jews for Paul” is legit:

  11. Ron Paul is the Zionists’ choice. He values the national sovereignty of the US & Israel & his policies will benefit both Israel and the United States.

    Check out this interview Shmuel Ben-Gad’s interview with Israel National Radio.

    It presents a candid discussion of the current relationship between Israel & the US, the misguided “support” of Israel from Jews in exile, questions about dual loyalty, and misguided canards that justify support for Israel because it is a democracy, or bogus arguments that Ron Paul is pushing a Nazi agenda.

    You can read up on Shmuel Ben-Gad’s well reasoned arguments here: http://www%5Bdot%5Dfreerepublic%5Bdot%5Dcom/focus/f-news/1926402/posts

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