[Posted by Karl]
Only the naive thought stories like this were going away:
Political hacktivist group Anonymous claims to have found emails linking Texas Rep. Ron Paul to an American white supremacist group, a claim the Paul campaign says is completely untrue.
Las Vegas-based group American Third Party Position (AP3) — whose stated goal is “to reach out to Americans of European ancestry and particularly to disenfranchised White workers, farmers and students who have become victims of the discriminatory affirmative action policies” — was allegedly hacked by Anonymous Tuesday, and emails purportedly reveal close ties between Paul and members who are admitted white supremacists.
Last week the story was that Paul was deeply involved in the company that produced racist, anti-gay, conspiracy-mongering newsletters, Ron Paul & Associates, and closely monitored its operations, signing off on articles and speaking to staff members virtually every day.
I am in no position to confirm or deny the Anonymous claims, but Paul is the guy who once bragged about how much money he raised from the mailing list for The Spotlight, the conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic tabloid run by the Holocaust denier Willis Carto. Paul’s columns appeared in in the American Free Press — another Carto publication. His 2008 campaign was, er, unconcerned about donations coming via the Stormfront website. And Paul’s association with Civil War revisionists and the John Birch Society are recent-to-ongoing. Accordingly, the campaign’s denials are going to be met with skepticism in many quarters.
But probably not from all quarters. My interest in the newsletter story has been Paul’s apologists and supporters in the media and libertarian circles. These folks are are spinning for Paul because they see his campaign as their best chance at gaining real-world political influence. That’s interesting insofar as these sorts of libertarians generally look down on supporters of the major parties as grubby and unprincipled. But for all their touting of Ron Paul as the principled candidate in the race, he’s a poseur on entitlements.
Beyond what these stories reveal about supposedly principled libertarians, there is a potential residual effect on the election. Although Paul is downplaying expectations for the Nevada caucus, it appears he plans to stay in the race and amass as many delegates as he can for leverage at the GOP convention. Giving Paul a prime speaking slot or influence over the platform will give the establishment media a chance to drape his dirty laundry all over the eventual nominee, much as they hung Pat Buchanan’s around the neck of George H. W. Bush in 1992.