I just noticed that ED Kain responded to my post about Ron Paul’s racist newsletters. After distilling out the “liberals are bad” and “I’m less tribal than you” rhetoric, as well as his notion that I was trying to attack him personally as a bigot, which I wasn’t, I think what’s left is this: Paul’s conservatism about involving us in foreign wars is more likely to do more good than the bad that could be engendered from some racist stuff published in his newsletter in the 90’s.
Fair enough, but not good enough. Because the difference between endorsing someone for President and endorsing that person’s positions is the difference between trusting his character and agreeing with his ideas. This is an elementary and common-sense distinction: there are a lot of untrustworthy people who have good ideas. Even if you agree with some of Paul’s positions, it’s clear that he’s one of those people. He showed poor judgment by hiring some racist yahoo to edit his newsletter, and just saying “it wasn’t me writing it” doesn’t work when he made money from its publication.
I’m no expert on the history of the Ron Paul political machine, but from what I can tell, this isn’t the only time Paul has trusted a shady character. But even if it is, if you’re going to endorse Paul, you need to explain how his presidency won’t be co-opted by a racist at the DOJ, or a goldbug at Treasury, when he can’t even control what goes out in his name in a goddam penny-ante newsletter. Where does the buck stop in Ron Paul land? When you endorse someone for Presidency, if you’re serious, you need to address that head-on.