Friday, January 27, 2012

Quotable: Dylan Ratigan Quotes A Racist

"As Ron Paul once told me, 'politicians simply go whichever way the wind blows, and it is our job to change the direction of the wind.'"
~ Dylan Ratigan, of MSNBC, closing yesterday's vacation report show.

Really. How forcefully has Dylan tried to change the direction of the evil wind of racism and anti-Semitism in Ron Paul's newsletters? It makes little difference when they were written, as long as Congressman Ron Paul was an adult at the time, having reached the age of reason, consent, and personal responsibility. The capacity for blind rationalization by Ron Paul sympathizers is amazing. It isn't just the meek acceptance of absurd excuses, namely that he did not write the newsletters and was unaware of their content. It's the unquestioning acceptance of Paul's evolving contradictions, that his statements were taken "out of context" or happened too long ago to be relevant today.

That's patently ridiculous, but apparently true believers like Dylan Ratigan continue drinking the Kool-Aid. Even Rachel, who should know better, samples the devil's brew. They choose to believe the excuses. The rest is hidden in a penumbra which cannot be perceived without special truth spectacles as supporters continue writing tortuous justifications for immorality. (Question for Rachel: how many straight non-homophobes that you know refer to gays as "queers"?)

Here's the thing. Some people want so hard to believe Paul's mild-mannered demeanor cannot possibly conceal the ugly bigotry of an authentic paleolibertarian (which is just a fancy word for bigot) that they have totally overlooked the fact Paul has already damned himself with his own words. Ron Paul's protestations, (a) that he was unaware of his newsletter racist eruptions, and (b) he didn't read them, i.e., he only knew of the topics, writ large, are lies. In the May 22, 1996 issue of the Dallas Morning News, Paul, "who is running in Texas' 14th Congressional District, defended his writings in an interview ... He said they were being taken out of context." Really? What "context" is needed for this (emphasis mine):
Dr. Ron Paul, a Republican congressional candidate from Texas, wrote in his political newsletter in 1992 that 95 percent of the black men in Washington, D.C., are "semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

He also wrote that black teenagers can be "unbelievably fleet of foot." [...]

According to a Dallas Morning News review of documents circulating among Texas Democrats, Dr. Paul wrote in a 1992 issue of the Ron Paul Political Report: "If you have ever been robbed by a black teenaged male, you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be."

In the interview, he did not deny he made the statement about the swiftness of black men.

"If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them," Dr. Paul said.

He also said the comment about black men in the nation's capital was made while writing about a 1992 study produced by the National Center on Incarceration and Alternatives, a criminal justice think tank based in Virginia.

Citing statistics from the study, Dr. Paul then concluded in his column: "Given the inefficiencies of what DC laughingly calls the criminal justice system, I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal."

"These aren't my figures," Dr. Paul said Tuesday. "That is the assumption you can gather from" the report.
In subsequent news reports, Paul spokesman Michael Sullivan deflected the racism charges with more rationalizations, also providing the six degrees of separation and "plausible deniability" that have become the crutch of Ron Paul's excuses for his racism today. Here is a typical series of Sullivan rationalizations:
"Dr. Paul is being quoted out of context," [Paul spokesman Michael] Sullivan said. "It's like picking up War and Peace and reading the fourth paragraph on Page 481 and thinking you can understand what's going on." [...]

Also in 1992, Paul wrote, "Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions."

Sullivan said Paul does not consider people who disagree with him to be sensible. And most blacks, Sullivan said, do not share Paul's views. The issue is political philosophy, not race, Sullivan said.

"Polls show that only about 5 percent of people with dark-colored skin support the free market, a laissez faire economy, an end to welfare and to affirmative action," Sullivan said. [...]

"You have to understand what he is writing. Democrats in Texas are trying to stir things up by using half-quotes to impugn his character," Sullivan said. "His writings are intellectual. He assumes people will do their own research, get their own statistics, think for themselves and make informed judgments."
This passage concisely sums up why Paul supporters earnestly split hairs making specious distinctions between racism and the "political philosophy" in Ron Paul's "intellectual" writings. Since "polls show that only about 5 percent of people with dark-colored skin support the free market, a laissez faire economy, an end to welfare and to affirmative action," and "Paul does not consider people who disagree with him to be sensible," therefore, according to Ron Paul, "only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions."

This is typical of Ron Paul's sophistry, his circular logic and arrogant false syllogism whose reasoning depends entirely on the infallibility of Paul's political libertarian philosophy. No wonder Paul's cult of supporters are so, well, characteristically fanatical and cult-ish. Even worse is the inherent racism of such spurious claims.

On the one hand, Paul denies being a racist, suggesting his paleolibertarianism does not distinguish or discriminate by groups or classes of people; yet on the other hand he does precisely that, with generalizations based on polls or studies. It's a convenient way of dismissing 400 years of slavery and racism, a bloody civil war that claimed 600,000 lives, Jim Crow, and the resulting civil rights and voting rights legislation. As long as we follow those constitutional provisions we like and do others no harm, there is no need for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits racism and discrimination based on sex or ethnicity. Ron Paul would have voted against it. How quaint.

Ron Paul's political philosophy isn't centered on reality. The reality is that Ron Paul cannot point to a single solitary historical example of a government that was based on his political philosophical abstractions. His isn't a prescription for "liberty"; it's a roadmap to anarchy and authoritarianism, to exploitation of the weak, the poor, and the elderly — our most vulnerable citizens.

Dylan Ratigan might overlook Ron Paul's hideous and unresolved racist past with a fortune cookie message from this rather pathetic oracle of the misguided and the ignorant. But we should not. (Youth and inexperience are no longer credible excuses for Mr. flip-flops Ratigan ... or is he barefoot?) Quite the contrary. As an MSNBC host with a big megaphone, Ratigan has a responsibility to report the truth and to condemn racism in all its forms.

Meanwhile, back at Dylan's Magical Mystery Jobs Tour, the cocktails with the cherries and little umbrellas (to better protect them from the economy's ill winds) are just off-camera ...  How about that for an envy-causing, midriff-growing gig; Dylan, you bon vivant rascal:


KineticReaction said...

"How forcefully has Dylan tried to change the direction of the evil wind of racism and anti-Semitism in Ron Paul's newsletters? "

There was absolutely no anti-semitism in the newsletters.

That you allege anti-semitism in a newsletter that did not make a single negative generalization about Jews is a major red flag, and suggests you are a fundamentally dishonest person.

nar said...

Investigative report on the Ron Paul newsletters, he didn't write them or approve them and the man who wrote them was fired.

John King on MSNBC on the racist newsletters being published without Ron Paul's knowledge.

Investigative report on the fake "Pimping for Paul" piece that was run in 2012, and 2007. Same whorehouse, same free publicity for the pimp. Same trashing Ron Paul's name.

I'm fine with you disagreeing with Ron Paul, but don't smear his character with lies. In case you didn't watch the video, he didn't write the stories like you said he did in this post. He didn't live in the same town the newsletters were published and didn't approve of the racist newsletters. They guy who wrote the stuff was fired for writing racist shit once it was caught by the editor. Ron Paul apologized for the oversight personally, since it was published in his newsletter. The "Pimping for Paul" story is the same fake story from 2007. Please move on to actually disagreeing with Paul's views instead of perpetuating lies.

nar said...

The article starts off with this important blurb from an interview published in 2001 that puts the rest of the article in context:

They were never my words, but I had some moral responsibility for them ... I actually really wanted to try to explain that it doesn't come from me directly, but they [campaign aides] said that's too confusing. 'It appeared in your letter and your name was on that letter and therefore you have to live with it.'" It is a measure of his stubbornness, determination, and ultimately his contrarian nature that, until this surprising volte-face in our interview, he had never shared this secret. It seems, in retrospect, that it would have been far, far easier to have told the truth at the time.

So he ended up having to face the music for the articles that were written by someone else, this led him to doing strange things in 1996 interviews.

The bits quoted about black being unbelievably fleet of foot and 95% “criminal or semi criminal” were written by someone without his knowing and published under his name, this person was later fired for writing these things and Dr. Paul was never informed. A Ben Swann Investigative report clears this up with good old fashioned investigative journalism. In the 1996 interview

"If you try to catch someone that has stolen a purse from you, there is no chance to catch them," Dr. Paul said.

This is something Dr. Paul said. It's classic deflection by a politician because that's what his adviser told him to do.
May 23, 1996, Houston Chronicle:

Everything that is attributed to Paul in this article snippet was written by that mystery author and not Dr. Paul in the 1992 newsletter. The statement from his "campaign spokesperson" is a statement from 1996, and simply defers the issue to someone else.

This is not written by Paul. Watch: To see the article and it's author.

"Polls show that only about 5 percent of people with dark-colored skin support the free market, a laissez faire economy, an end to welfare and to affirmative action," Sullivan said.

This is his campaign, again trying to spin the issue instead of simply saying "Hey, Dr. Paul didn't write that shit."

May 26, 1996 Washington Post:

This section is Ron Paul trying really hard not to say "I didn't write that shit and someone's lying when they say that I have those views" in a very polite way that won't go against his campaign strategy which was to not dig up the past and go through the trouble of having the articles in question republished because that would make it easier to take out of context. The byline that included the author's name conveniently wasn't on the pages that contained the racist snippets, but Ron Paul's name was at the top of most pages.

The second Sullivan quote is Sullivan saying that Ron Paul knows society and our nation has done horrible things to the black community, and then spinning the "Dr. Paul" message.

nar said...

could continue going on with this, but yes, it actually is just a bunch of rehashing less than 5 actually racist newsletters from 1992, and interviews about those articles during a campaign in 1996, when he was told his best strategy was to simply take responsibility for them. The man is 76. The fact that there's only racist quotes from this guy in 1992 articles that he didn't write, and a couple of interviews in 1996 where he tries to avoid talking about the racist quotes he didn't write simply because he didn't want them republished, tells me the man isn't racist.

TLDR most of the things from the article you linked to (which is a great article for clearing this shit up, by the way, thank you for exposing me to this really excellent resource), are either A) from the racist newsletter articles that were not written by Paul and had someone else's name as the author in the byline (and you can see picture copies of those bylines in the youtube link I included), or B) from the awkward period of time between them being written, and his staff saying "You know what, it's too much trouble to keep avoiding the issue, go ahead and tell people that you didn't write them." Who knows why his dumb political advisers told him to just forget about it and deflect from 1992 and about 2001, maybe it was because that would make it even easier to say shit like "Ron Paul wrote racist shit, look here it's one page without the actual articles name but Ron Paul's name clearly at the top of his newsletter." I guess his staff wasn't familiar with the internet at the time and didn't realize that that was pretty much all anyone had to go on.

I will continue to read your blog with vigor, perhaps you can woo me back to Obama before the upcoming election. I'm still a registered democrat. I'm still a social democrat. I just value my social freedoms more than my economic freedom, and Obama hasn't been delivering for me on the social freedom issue. I'm a very new Ron Paul supporter. I supported Obama up until just a little while ago when he signed the NDAA even though he opposed the bits of it that would allow indefinite detention of American Citizens without a trial if they were deemed to be supportive of Alquaeda, the taliba, or "associated forces" (the latter was undefined and so allows for the detention of pretty much anyone). If he opposed part of the bill, why did he sign it? Because that part was piggybacking on other important legislation, like funding the military and something about veterans families, so it'd be "political suicide" to veto it. He signed ACTA, which had the same internet harming legislation as SOPA/PIPA, legislation that he opposed because it'd fragment the internet. ACTA was wrapped up in "protect the children" paper though, so he couldn't touch it, or it'd be "political suicide." You know who has often cast the only no vote in the house even when it was political suicide to stand up for our rights? Ron Paul. When he voted no to the house awarding Rosa Parks a 30,000 dollar medal, he said that he wouldn't want that shit to come out of taxpayer dollars and invited all the congressmen (300) to chip in a hundred bucks to give the medal instead. No one took him up on his offer. Now people call him racist for that.

I tried to send my comment string as a much longer email, but the one linked at the top of the page doesn't exist. Please fix this. I tried very hard to respond to you.

Anonymous said...

You have more hate in your body than almost everyone that I have met. I feel bad for you.

Carlos said...

To KineticReaction:

Regarding Ron Paul's anti-Semitism: Paul Kirchick's articles, the latest in the Weekly Standard (Google it), are a good starting point. He says:

"If the above were not enough to place Paul beyond the pale for the RJC, what the congressman had to say about Jews and Israel would probably be a deal-breaker. No foreign country was mentioned in the newsletters more often than Israel. A 1987 newsletter termed it “an aggressive, national socialist state,” and another missive, on the subject of the 1993 World Trade Center attack, concluded, “Whether it was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.” In 1990, the newsletter cast aspersions on the “tens of thousands of well-placed friends of Israel in all countries who are willing to wok [sic] for the Mossad in their area of expertise.”

This is just a sample of the hateful and conspiratorial nonsense that Paul promoted for decades under his own name. His response to the revelations was nothing short of unbelievable. “The quotations in the New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed,” he said. “When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.” In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer two days after the article appeared, Paul waved away accusations of racism by saying that he was “gaining ground with the blacks” and “getting more votes right now and more support from the blacks.”

Yet a subsequent report by Reason found that Ron Paul & Associates, the defunct company that published the newsletters and which counted Paul and his wife as officers, reported an income of nearly $1 million in 1993 alone. If this figure is reliable, Paul must have earned multiple millions of dollars over the two decades plus of the newsletters’ existence. It is incredible that he had less than an active interest in what was being printed as part of a subscription newsletter enterprise that earned him and his family millions of dollars. Ed Crane, the president of the Cato Institute, said Paul told him that “his best source of congressional campaign donations was the mailing list for the Spotlight, the conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic tabloid run by the Holocaust denier Willis Carto.”

Besides all this, there's Paul's association with anti-Semitic groups, such as the white supremacist Stormfront and the John Birch Society, despite recent efforts to 'scrub' its history, where he delivered the keynote speech on JBS's recent founding anniversary. In fact, there's been a lot of "scrubbing" going on at Paul website:

Carlos said...

To nar:

Ron Paul is a liar. He read and was very much aware of the content of his newsletters. See latest evidence -- WaPo/TPM. He also did not deny this, nor deny having written the newsletter entries in question in interview to DMN.

Paul was quite involved in the production of his newsletters, which was a profitable business (there's no lack of transport from town to town), and proofed the articles himself -- again, see WaPo.

At best, as TPM and Dave Weigel (a sympathetic Paul reporter for Slate) suggest, Paul is not personally racist but pursued a cynical strategy of appealing to the racist element, because that's where they believed the money was to increase readership. Either way, it doesn't cast Paul in a good light. Personally, I don't believe the Weigel/TPM rationale; I believe Ron Paul is a racist, but that's just me. I do not believe he was unaware of what was written in his name, nor the lame excuse he gave the DMN for what he did admit writing. (I have some personal experience with racism/racists in Texas.)

I appreciate your thoughtful comments, I really do, and would point out that this is not a pro-Obama blog. This is a liberal and progressive blog. Here, we do not apologize for being liberal and progressive. It's a source of pride. As I've said many times before, liberals have a pedigree. We have a long list of accomplishments which are unparalleled in history.

We believe in proactive, transformative government which achieves the common good envisioned by the Constitution, the greatest good for the greatest number of people, with fairness, equality of opportunity, and a dignified, prosperous life for all. We believe in a social safety net and universal healthcare. We believe people are not commodities whose health can be traded or sold. We believe that the true measure of a civilized society is in how we care for our most vulnerable citizens and our elderly.

Ron Paul is the antithesis of the liberal ideal. He believes an unregulated free market cures all society's ills. That has never worked. Quite the contrary. This nation was most prosperous for all citizens, it built the world's strongest middle class under liberal government. That is an empirical fact. After 30 plus years of Reaganomics, with a brief, shining interlude of centrist (not liberal) Democratic government, most of you never experienced a nation not in decline, particularly in the last 10 years.

Paul's anti-government philosophy may sound appealing, but it has not worked in reality. If we'd listened to the isolationists of WWII we'd be living under authoritarianism and giving the Nazi salute today. Blame the Democrats who went along, as Dylan does, broadbrushing all "politicians." But that is sophistry. The onus is on this toxic breed of neo-fascist Republicans and their cult of authoritarianism and warmongering. Truth is truth. We may differ on the facts, but we're not entitled to our own. Or, as Dylan likes to say, ironically I guess, "the truth shall set you free." That goes for Ron Paul and his supporters, too.