About those Ron Paul newsletters

If you’re at all interested in the Ron Paul newsletter saga and are looking for an analytical slant, you can’t do much better than Dave Weigel, who originally co-reported this story with Julian Sanchez back in 2008. Yesterday he picked up on a local Iowa radio interview with a friendly host, and the inevitable newsletters came up from a caller. Paul’s response from the transcript (my emphasis in bold):

Well, the newsletters were written, you know, a long time ago. And I wrote a certain portion of them. I would write the economics. So a lot of what you just mentioned… his would be material that I would turn in, and it would become part of the letter. But there were many times when I didn’t edit the whole letter, and things got put in. And I didn’t even really become aware of the details of that until many years later when somebody else called and said, you know what was in it? But these were sentences that were put in, a total of eight or ten sentences, and it was bad stuff. It wasn’t a reflection of my views at all. So it got in the letter, I thought it was terrible, it was tragic, you know and I had some responsibility for it, because name went on the letter. But I was not an editor. I’m like a publisher. And if you think of publishers of newspapers, once in a while they get pretty junky stuff in newspapers. And they have to say that this is not the position of that newspaper, and this is certainly the case. But I actually put a type of a newsletter out, it was a freedom report, investment, survival report — every month since 1976. So this is probably ten sentences out of 10,000 pages, for all I know. I think it’s bad that happened but I disavowed all these views, and people who know me best, people of my district, have heard these stories for years and years, and they know they weren’t a reflection of anything I believed in, and it never hurt me politically. Right now, I think it’s the same case, too. People are desperate to find something.

This is certainly news to me. I was of the understanding that he didn’t write them at all. Perhaps I’m wrong.

Yet this is really the shorter version of Paul: I wrote in those newsletters, you know, the one that had my name on it. But I only wrote the non-controversial stuff. There were many times I didn’t even edit the thing, but I was not an an editor – more like a partial editor – but never for the stuff that was racist and homophobic. Definitely not.

C’mon, man. Really, though, what kind of functional adult – let alone a man aspiring to President of the United States – publishes and profits from a newsletter where he didn’t even read the parts he didn’t write. I don’t even know what to believe any more. Because despite his inherent crank nature, I generally perceived him to be an honest person. This all strikes me as, well, oily. Kind of like a stereotypical politician.

*Edited for clarity.

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