Free & Queer

September 12, 2008

Ron Paul Gets His Bigot-Hooks In McKinney & Nader

Filed under: Uncategorized — freeandqueer @ 2:09 am
The backbone of Ron Paul's campaign.

The backbone of "the rEVOLution"

Warning: Some links from this article lead to web sites with disturbing content. Follow at your own risk.

The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank snarks about the latest Ron Paul press non-event:

Ron Paul, the libertarian gadfly who launched a mass movement in his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, convened a third-party unity event at the National Press Club yesterday to bring Bob Barr, Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney and Chuck Baldwin together into one big, happy family of independent presidential candidates.

But as soon as Paul reached out to apply the Revlon to the snout, Barr went hog-wild, turning the gathering into a barnyard brawl.

Turns out that Bob Barr skipped the event. Milbank says:

“I’m not interested in third parties getting the most possible votes,” Barr told the cameras. “I’m interested in Bob Barr as the nominee for the Libertarian Party getting the most possible votes.” In a further insult, Barr said he would permit the vastly more popular Paul to be his vice presidential running mate.

Perhaps Ron Paul is vastly more popular, perhaps not. But one thing is for sure. For a change, Bob Barr got it right the first time by skipping the Paultard event (albeit for the wrong reasons).

The real question is, who is his Ron Paul’s “vastly” larger base?

One cannot be surprised that the press didn’t do its job. It never does, unless a story is spoonfed to it. But Ralph Nader and the Greens’ Cynthia McKinney should have known better than to hang out with this pseudo-“libertarian” bigot, let alone accept an endorsement from him.

Paul has long profited from an unhealthy affiliation with the racist, homophobic and xenophobic far right. For example, during his stint out of Congress in the 1990s, he wrote this of African Americans (such as McKinney):

“our rotten liberal culture… admonishes whites faced by raging blacks to lie back and think of England”

Nice. But wait, there’s more!

Liberals “want to keep white America from taking action against black crime and welfare”

Martin Luther King was “a world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours”

Dr. King was “a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”

Paul’s writings also praised notorious white supremacist David Duke, claiming:

“Duke lost the election, but he scared the blazes out of the Establishment.”

Paul’s bigoted rage isn’t only directed against African Americans, however. The New Republic article linked above notes that:

In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine “who certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.” In an item titled, “The Pink House?” the author of a newsletter–again, presumably Paul–complained about President George H.W. Bush’s decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite “the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,” adding, “I miss the closet.” “Homosexuals,” it said, “not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.” When Marvin Liebman, a founder of the conservative Young Americans for Freedom and a longtime political activist, announced that he was gay in the pages of National Review, a Paul newsletter implored, “Bring Back the Closet!” Surprisingly, one item expressed ambivalence about the contentious issue of gays in the military, but ultimately concluded, “Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals.”

Paul has lamely claimed that when he wrote those passages, they were “taken out of context.” Yet later he claimed he’d never written them at all and had no knowledge of any of the content of his newsletters.

No knowledge whatsoever of their content, despite the fact that he made close to $1 million in 1993 alone by publishing this bilge.

Hmmm.  Dr. Paul’s got a bridge in Manhattan to sell you, cheap.

For someone who sometimes claims he doesn’t embrace the bigoted writings that helped make him a millionaire, he’s got a funny way of demonstrating that commitment to diversity in his political life.

For example, the “libertarian” Republican thunders like a good old fashioned right-wing bigot while trumpeting his support for the anti-gay federal Defense of Marriage Act.  (In contrast, the Libertarian Party platform, a rather decent summary of libertarian positions, rejects DOMA entirely and calls for same-sex marriages to be treated equally).

In a speech to the House of Representatives, Paul blusters that there is “no right to sodomy,” and makes the incredible assertion that the Constitution does not have an implied or actual right to privacy.  (We guess he missed that whole “secure in their persons” and “no unreasonable searches and seizures” bit).  He calls for the restoration of sodomy laws and also declares that “the State of Texas has the right to decide for itself how to regulate social matters like sex, using its own local standards.”

A “libertarian” would reject the concept of state sex police without too much thought.  A right wing lunatic, however…

Stormfront's man is full of hot air

Why, he's Stormfront's boy, that's who!

He also made an effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s landmark Lawrence vs. Texas ruling by introducing what he called the “Marriage Protection Act.”  One wonders what sex has to do with marriage law, and Paul didn’t disappoint — in fact, he pontificated at length about it on the floor of the House.

In fact, throughout his two decade career, well into the 21st century, Ron Paul has consistently been one of the worst anti-gay legislators in the House of Representatives, proposing draconian laws and supporting staggering intrusions into the family and private lives of gay Americans that would have made Jesse Helms blush at the sheer audacity.

More recently, Paul and his movement have cultivated and profited from a wholly unhealthy relationship with the vilest of bigots inhabiting the darkest corners of American political life.

During his abortive campaign for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2007 and 2008, Ron Paul’s early campaign netroots were largely driven by Neo-Nazi group Stormfront.  Paul himself was caught  accepting a sizable donation from a Stormfront official, but refused to return the cash even after being caught red-handed. (Bob Barr, for all his flaws, at least had the character to tell those creeps to get lost).

Paul’s ties to Stormfront continued to deepen during the 2007 and 2008 campaign. The group showcased its affiliation with his candidacy, and soon, the racist right-wing fringe was scrambling to join the “Ron Paul Revolution.”  The Ron Paul campaign played wink-wink with the group the entire time, never posting any meaningful invitations to get lost or find someone else to bother — even after the massive amount of neo-Nazi support attracted media attention.  (Bob Barr’s much-maligned campaign, in contrast, slammed Stormfront in the earliest stages of its run).

As the Paul campaign continued to grow its neo-Nazi base, the situation grew ever more surreal.  When a senior official for the Paul campaign was outed as a KKK organizer, the Paul campaign responded with a good old-fashioned cover-up — simply deleting the offending information while retaining the official.  Even conservatives in the GOP couldn’t stomach this, and quickly dug up archives of the revised web site providing the organizer’s contact information and position.

Still, the race to the edges of insanity continued.  The racist lunatic fringe recorded free radio advertising for his campaign, without a peep of protest from the Paul campaign (despite the ad getting thousands of hits on YouTube and notice from across the Internet). Buzz in fringe-right racist groups clamoring for his campaign reached fever pitch, and that appeared to be just fine with Ron Paul.

During this time, Ron Paul refused to denounce Stormfront and the KKK by name, claiming that he would “accept any donation” despite claiming he “doesn’t want support from white supremacists.”

He claimed that he couldn’t monitor who was donating to his campaign and return every neo-Nazi donation — even after prominent media commentators repeatedly pointed out neo-Nazi leaders who had contributed.  In fact, whenever he was called to decisively act to banish bigots from his campaign, Ron Paul didn’t just blink.  He virtually winked at the neo-Nazis.

With a record like that, you’ve really got to begin to wonder who all those “legions of supporters” are, don’t you?

Both McKinney and Nader are well-known opponents of this vile racism and advocates of LGBT rights. Neither of them would knowingly accept and keep neo-Nazi money even after the donations were pointed out to them, nor would they advocate for quarantining of AIDS patients, nor would they happily continue to employ KKK officials in senior campaign roles.

Clearly, they weren’t aware of Paul’s history before deciding to attend this event.  Given that his abusive supporters paint him as a kindly eccentric old man, and that even the dullest in-denial elements of the Libertarian Party hail him as a hero, that’s hardly surprising.

But evil thrives when good men and women do nothing.

Third party politicking is difficult, and often, any media attention is often welcome. But third parties are also about principles.

Ron Paul’s bigoted support base goes against the principles that Nader and McKinney stand for. They should have followed the example of their Libertarian Party counterpart and skipped Paul’s press event.

Snubbing” Ron Paul wasn’t merely the right thing to do. It was the ONLY thing to do.

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