On Ron Paul’s past

Having written many favorable posts about Ron Paul’s campaign these past few months, I feel obliged to link to the New Republic story unearthing many racist and homophobic quotes from old newsletters bearing Paul’s name. While it’s no secret that there were some unfortunate passages and many of us have feared the dropping of the other shoe when it comes to Paul’s stranger ideas, their extent is truly disappointing.

I have a hard time squaring these statements with the personality and policies Ron Paul currently displays, and based on Paul’s disclaimer and Jesse Walker’s post I do find it believable that he didn’t write them. Even so, the newsletters show at best an inexcusable lack of responsibility, and perhaps, more damningly, a willingness to associate with some of the fringe right’s lowest elements. Unless the campaign acknowledges the seriousness of the situation and thoroughly explains how this happened and how much Paul actively sanctioned, there might not be any way to know. In the meantime I can only hope that the inspiration he has given to proponents of limited government will not be undone by mistakes made in the previous decade.

I have little to add to what’s already been said, so here’s Nick Gillespie, Radley Balko, Brian Doherty, David Bernstein, and Andrew Sullivan.

Update: Wirkman weighs in with some insight on the writing of the letters. H/t Radley.