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December 23, 2011

#Hacked!: Ron Paul's Claims About His Newsletters Are Less Plausible Than Anthony Weiner's

There is a defense of Paul that is getting little scrutiny from the right. It is pushed by the lads at Reason, amplified by the MSM (which adores him), and finally accepted by the right as plausible, simply because these other people keep repeating it.

But is it plausible?

Ron Paul claims he didn't write the newsletters. I do not believe that.

He also claims he didn't even read the newsletters until years after they were brought to his attention by a hostile liberal media. I also do not believe this.

Both of these claims have to be true for him to skate on this question.

Even if it were true (which I doubt) that he did not write the newsletters, then only complete ignorance of the contents of the newsletters would spare him from the charge of "racism" and "conspiracy nut" (and also "homophobe," and "general crank").

The owner of the Stormfront neo-Nazi site, for example, doesn't write all the articles there. But of course he knows the general editorial stance of his own damned website.

Is it plausible that these newsletters went out for a pair of decades and Ron Paul never once inquired into the basic political line they were advancing?

No, it's not.

First of all, let's talk about a situation in which this sort of "I had no idea about the details of my product" defense would be somewhat plausible. When a celebrity simply endorses a product he or she did not create -- like when the Kardashian sisters claimed they had little idea about the details of the credit card they were hawking -- it is somewhat plausible they wouldn't know too much.

That doesn't let them off the hook morally -- they still should have done due diligence -- but one could believe that the dummy, money-grubbing Kardashian dope-sisters were probably not super-briefed on the details of revolving debt.

Ron Paul's defenders wish us to categorize the newsletters as if he was merely Khloe Kardashian lending his name to a product, taking a cut, but otherwise having nothing at all to do with it.

But unlike the Kardashian sisters -- who have no background in finance or banking, except on the presenting-your-credit-card-at-Versaci end of it -- Ron Paul has always been an ideologue. I don't mean that in the negative sense; I mean it neutrally. Just an accurate description -- he has always been intensely interested in theories about government and currency.

So Ron Paul, unlike the Kardahsian sisters, did actually have an interest and background in the product he was peddling.

These newsletters were not long -- 8 pages per issue, and they were generously double-spaced with lots of headers and sub-heds. These were not dense academic journals, for crying out loud. This was 8 measly pages of newsletter screed. Sort of a blog on paper.

He didn't even read them?

Ron Paul was intensely interested in the subject matter the newsletters were discussing. Why wouldn't he read them? Even if he did not have a direct financial stake in them, these letters were specifically designed to appeal to a mind like Ron Paul's. (Hint: They're called the "Ron Paul Political Report" or variations thereof.)

Ron Paul is intensely interested in government meddling with the money supply, government conspiracies against citizens, and global conspiracies to subvert America's sovereignty (Trilateral Commission, Rothchilds, Bildersbergers, whatever euphemism for "Jew Banker" we're using this week).

I would suggest that even if Ron Paul didn't write the newsletters, he'd be a fan. They're right up his alley. Pitched right to his interest. And they have his bloody name at the top and his signature at the bottom.

He's not going to give them a cursory look-see?

I'm a RPG dork. I don't even play these games. But I have this dorky interest in RPG rules. God I hate admitting that. But anyway, I have an interest.

Suppose I started the Ace of Spades Role-Playing Game Review. Suppose I got a couple of other dorks, like Moe Lane or AllenG., to do most of the work in producing this dorktacular webzine.

Why would I not read this? Even if I didn't write it, why wouldn't I at least read what Moe Lane and AllenG had put together? I'm interested in the topic -- so much so that I started a magazine -- and I've got my web-handle on it.

And I'm not going to at least read it? Why not? I read other dork stuff about role-playing games. Why in holy hell would I not even read my own dorkzine?

The whole reason I (hypothetically) created this dorkzine is because I'm dorkilly interested in the dorky subject. Why wouldn't I read a magazine that appeals to my dork interests, especially given that it's free, by virtue of the fact I actually own it and have thirty copies of each issue in a box?

But we're supposed to believe that Ron Paul, with his interest in Conspiracies Against The Currency, doesn't read one of the pre-eminent newsletters largely about Conspiracies Against The Currency?

Again, even if it were the Joe Schlobotnik Investment Bulletin, rather than the Ron Paul Investment Bulletin, why wouldn't he be reading it?

Think about it. Think about whatever you're interested in -- fishing. Hunting. Science. Model Trains. Spanish cooking. The Bass guitar. Busty Lesbian Pron. Now think about creating your own magazine on that subject.

Why would the one magazine on that topic you choose to never read be the one that you own, and profit from, and which has your name at the top? Nah, I'll read all this other Busty Lesbian Pron material, but not the one I actually put out this month. Other Busty Lesbian Pron mags, sure. But my own? Bah. I'm sure it sucks. (And I don't care to determine conclusively if it sucks or not by opening the cover).

Add into that he made about one million dollars per year on these various newsletters. One. Million. Dollars. Back in 1993, when one million dollars was still worth about twenty silver dimes, too.

In 1993, he made $940,000 in income off the newsletters.

Now he claims that he was "busy with medicine" and so couldn't be bothered to check in on his own one-million-dollars-per-year operation.

Many doctors own property or other ventures. Maybe a doctor wouldn't be concerned about small ventures in which he has $5000 invested in.

But when he's making one million dollars per year in his property investment portfolio, I'm thinking that he bothers to check in with partners from time to time.

As ArthurK. said on Twitter, Ron Paul would like you to believe that what he thought was happening was that some other people were writing a newsletter for him, without his involvement, and then periodically giving him million dollar checks.

And that's all he knew. He just didn't bother to ask about the details.

Million dollars per year? Personally, I think I could manage to rouse myself into some level of interest at that level of compensation.

Did he at least check the Headlines in bold print on his newsletters? What did he think a newsletter titled "The Coming Race War" was about? A new competitor to the hegemony of NASCAR?

So yes, he knew and approved of and directed -- he's the owner, mind you, with his name at the top, and not just some figurehead -- the content of the newsletters.

To maintain otherwise is simply to lie, and in a very dumb, crude manner.

Further, he probably wrote them, too. Look, this guy, as I said, is intensely ideological. For years he was out of Congress. He had served three terms, retired back to private life, and then ran again later.

So during this period, the newsletter was the only vehicle of political expression and influence from a guy who really cared about political expression and influence.

Why wouldn't he write them? I didn't start blogging because I wanted to get rich. I started blogging because I was, get this, interested in politics and had a bee in my bonnet to express myself.

Why would Ron Paul, who during his years of private sector temporary retirement, not write his own newsletters? He's a man who has something to say about government, and money (and Negros, and Homos); why would he pass up the opportunity to do say something about topics of interest to him?

He's a reasonably intelligent guy. He writes his own speeches. He writes lots of columns. This is certainly not outside his skill-set.

Although I do believe it's possible that Lew Rockwell contributed stuff when Paul was lazy or busy, it's simply absurd to claim that even in this situation Ron Paul "didn't know" what was going on.

Ghostwriters do not just make up stuff on their own. Every politician's book is ghostwritten, but the ghostwriter doesn't just pursue his own agenda and push political messages of his own fancy. The ghostwriter sits down with the putative author and asks, "So what are we writing about? What's on your mind? What excites you? What do you want this book to be?"

Ghostwriters may assemble the sentences themselves, but they do not decide, on behalf of the author whose name is on the cover, what the book will be about. They do the "writer" type stuff -- grammar, structure, pacing, fact-checking -- but not the thinker type stuff.

So while it's possible that some material in the newsletters was mostly written by Lew Rockwell, in terms of actually doing the trivial work of stringing some words together with some other words, I don't believe Ron Paul is anything less than the actual author of each piece.

Sarah Palin had a ghostwriter (they all do, this is no knock, so don't get defensive). But Sarah Palin's books are not about faith, family, freedom, defiance, and media bias by happenstance. It's not as if she hired a ghostwriter at random and that ghostwriter just happened to write something that by coincidence fit into the Sarah Palin worldview. Her ghostwriter did not just make up a visit to an Alaskan state fair -- no, that detail was actually written by Sarah Palin, whether on paper or just "talked out" in a book meeting.

Her ghostwriter wrote a Sarah-Palin-like book because Sarah Palin was the producer of the venture and instructed the ghostwriter to write a Sarah-Palin-like book.

But in Ron Paul's case, we're to believe that ghostwriters and collaborators just go off on their own personal bugaboos, pursuing their own hateful agendas, before singing your name at the bottom of an article.

And then they keep doing it, and doing it, and doing it some more; and then they do it some more; and some more, and more. And you never notice, because you don't even bother to read the headlines of your own first-person magazine.

One article I read this past week had a Ron Paul associate saying something like, "if you think the newsletters were bad, wait 'till you see the solicitation letters."

And indeed they are fire-breathing crazy, seeing conspiracies under every bed. Panic, fear, apocalypse, conspiracy: the whole toxic stew of unhinged fringe thought is on display.

They are also signed Ron Paul.

And we are also expected to believe that Ron Paul doesn't bother to check the advertising/solicitation material for his million dollar a year venture.

The man who thinks we ought to be suspicious of everyone in government and investment and the media wants us to be rather un-suspicious of one single man in the government, and investment, and yes, the fringe media.

We ought to believe the fed is going to burst into our rooms brandishing AK-47s (AK-47s! A Russian make!) to take away our precious Classic Dollars and exchange them for "ominous" "New Money," but we're supposed to take his word for it that he didn't write this toxic crap.

Oh, and one more thing: We're also supposed to believe he doesn't know who did. And that also, in the last 20-30 years, he hasn't bothered to find out the name of this serial miscreant who so besmirched his reputation.



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posted by Ace at 03:56 PM

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