But here’s the problem, which Andrew grasps as well. If this all had come from a single newsletter, then one could accept the “loose cannon among the staff” explanation, along with an apology. However, these went on for years, according to both the Chronicle and TNR. It stretches credulity to the breaking point that his staff produced these newsletters for that long without anyone in the office, including Ron Paul himself, noticing the objectionable material in them.
Even if one accepts that as the truth, it serves as a damning indictment of Paul. How can he be so out of touch that he doesn’t notice the hateful writings published in his own newsletter for so long? Doesn’t anyone on his staff read their own publications? Either Paul is a complete incompetent, or the truth is in another, more unpleasant explanation.
Just publishing this post will generate a fury of hate mail and obloquy in the comments section, but this is too important to let people intimidate bloggers into silence on this issue. Sullivan is right to insist that Paul has to give a better explanation that what’s been forthcoming from his campaign on these publications and their despicable rhetoric — and it’s time we heard it from the candidate himself.
UPDATE: TNR includes links to the PDFs of the newsletters. The date spread goes from 1995, when Paul’s newsletter instructed survivalist militias, “Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here,” to a 1978 newsletter that references the Trilateral Commission and a 1986 edition that names Jeane Kirkpatrick and George Will as two of its members.
Here’s what I wonder – Ron Paul says he has accepted responsibility for these non-personally written, but also not edited writings, AND that he has repudiated them for years, seeing MLK as a hero, and praising Rosa Parks. It is understandible that if the accusations have run for years, that the rejection of the ideas and writings has been proclaimed for years. What to make of this?