Ron Paul prepares another long-shot run for the White House

Perennial Presidential candidate Ron Paul (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Twice failed Presidential candidate Ron Paul is planning another long-shot run for the White House.

Paul will announce formation of an exploratory committee during a stop in Des Moines, Iowa, today, joining a crowded field of Republican candidates trying to knock off President Barack Obama in 2012.

The Texas Congressman ran for President as a Libertarian in 1998 and received one-half of one percent of the popular vote. He ran again as a Republican in the 2008 primary and was running fifth when he pulled the plug on his campaign on June 12 — before the GOP nominating convention.

Paul converted $4 million in remaining campaign funds to start a new advocacy group, Ron Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, leading some to question whether his Presidential campaign was a serious effort or just a fundraising scheme.

Paul has long been an enigmatic and controversial political figure. In 2008, James Kirchick, contributing editor for the New Republic magazine, wrote that Paul had an “obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays.”

Kirchick based his conclusions on various newsletters published by Paul and his organizations over several decades. Paul later claimed he didn’t write many of the inflammatory articles in the newsletters published under his name.

In his article, Angry White Man, The bigoted past of Ron Paul,” Kirchick wrote:

Paul’s newsletters have carried different titles over the years–Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report–but they generally seem to have been published on a monthly basis since at least 1978. (Paul, an OB-GYN and former U.S. Air Force surgeon, was first elected to Congress in 1976.) During some periods, the newsletters were published by the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education, a nonprofit Paul founded in 1976; at other times, they were published by Ron Paul & Associates, a now-defunct entity in which Paul owned a minority stake, according to his campaign spokesman. The Freedom Report claimed to have over 100,000 readers in 1984. At one point, Ron Paul & Associates also put out a monthly publication called The Ron Paul Investment Letter.

The Freedom Report’s online archives only go back to 1999, but I was curious to see older editions of Paul’s newsletters, in part because of a controversy dating to 1996, when Charles “Lefty” Morris, a Democrat running against Paul for a House seat, released excerpts stating that “opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions,” that “if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be,” and that black representative Barbara Jordan is “the archetypical half-educated victimologist” whose “race and sex protect her from criticism.” At the time, Paul’s campaign said that Morris had quoted the newsletter out of context. Later, in 2001, Paul would claim that someone else had written the controversial passages. (Few of the newsletters contain actual bylines.) Caldwell, writing in the Times Magazine last year, said he found Paul’s explanation believable, “since the style diverges widely from his own.”

Finding the pre-1999 newsletters was no easy task, but I was able to track many of them down at the libraries of the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society. Of course, with few bylines, it is difficult to know whether any particular article was written by Paul himself. Some of the earlier newsletters are signed by him, though the vast majority of the editions I saw contain no bylines at all. Complicating matters, many of the unbylined newsletters were written in the first person, implying that Paul was the author.

But, whoever actually wrote them, the newsletters I saw all had one thing in common: They were published under a banner containing Paul’s name, and the articles (except for one special edition of a newsletter that contained the byline of another writer) seem designed to create the impression that they were written by him–and reflected his views. What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing–but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.

Paul is a favorite of the extreme right-wing of the GOP and tea party advocates. Polls suggest a campaign for President will be — like his others — a lost cause and a third strike.

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10 Responses to "Ron Paul prepares another long-shot run for the White House"

  1. Michael Griffith aka Griff  April 26, 2011 at 10:31 am

    Always the same racism crap.

    What of policy? The wars? The Fed? The economy?

    Yeah, I know, too much to think about. Too complicated for the average American to comprehend. It’s best to trust the creators of all our problems with the job of reversing them. They’ve proven themselves worthy to this point, as evidenced by widespread unemployment, rampant inflation, soaring energy prices (to his credit, Obama did promise to make energy prices skyrocket), unchecked military expansion, soaring deficits, trillions in unfunded liabilities, soaring food prices (how do those iPads taste?), overcrowded prisons (thanks in most part to the ridiculous drug “war”), and the shredding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights (to keep us safe, mind you, from another problem of our own creation).

    I’m sure George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of our Founding Fathers would appreciate the right-wing extremist label.

    • Keith  April 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      Griff wrote: “I’m sure George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of our Founding Fathers would appreciate the right-wing extremist label.”

      Indeed, throughout our history, these people have been called “Patriots”.

      Unfortunately, today, they would be labeled “Terrorists”.

  2. logtroll  April 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

    “I’m sure George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of our Founding Fathers would appreciate the right-wing extremist label.” (quote)

    How did George Washington, James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and the rest of our Founding Fathers even going to hear about Ron Paul?

    • Michael Griffith aka Griff  April 26, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      Despite the media propaganda, Ron Paul believes in the principles upon which this country was founded. I know, it’s hard to concieve, what with our leaders’ being so philosophically averse to such “extreme” ideals. But they do a masterful job of make-believe.

      Since we just love guilt-by-association these days, I thought it apropos that we view the Founders of this country in the same light as we do all others that still foolishly believe in the concept of freedom, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights – as right-wing extremists. I’m sure King George thought the same thing.

      Frankly I don’t even understand how any one even remotely familiar with Ron Paul’s positions on any number of issues can be convinced as being in-line with right-wing extremists. But I guess that would require too much thinking. And we all know how allergic we Americans are to thinking these days. After all, we continue to elect the same fools and criminals over and over and over, the same two parties over and over and over. Yet nothing really changes. For the better, any way.

      I believe Einstein had a term for that.

  3. GabeNtx  April 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Capital Hill Blue is trying to hang on to a large group of disgruntled democrats who see through their administrations failure to implement some of their most basic demands. How about REAL humanitarianism? How about ACTUALLY being anti-war instead of just talking about it? How about REALLY putting an end to corporatism, which is the driving force in BOTH major parties? How about CHANGE? Well, if the democrats were smart, they would clean house just like the Republicans did this past election? Whether you agree or not with the Tea Party, the democrats could use a little lineup shuffle. Hold your party’s leaders feet to the fire!! If you demand CHANGE then demand something better than what you’re getting. I’ll vote Ron Paul because the country is in need of his economic solutions. If democrats can’t see that Ron Paul is the answer to the neo-cons war lust and the democrats lack of political will to fight for the rest of us, then at least hold your own representatives accountable for their actions!

  4. Sandune  April 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    What if the Republicans don’t want to win? What would they do to fix anything in D.C.? The GOP knows when it is outclassed and they need time to redo their party. That takes leadership. Millions of us ex Republicans want the party to show us some leadership. Pulling the Birther crap out is not even a beginning to prove anything. We have to sit through junk like “The Muslim Gene comes from the father so Obama must be a Muslim. This came from a leader for millions of Christians in America and Rev. Graham, you are full of horse puckey.

    I attended the Convention when the GOP was running Bob Dole. There was not an ounce of energy at that convention and my table would have rather had Elizabeth Dole on that stage than Senator Bob. They passed out the Platform that would be in place had Dole won. Most of the copies were thrown away as people left the center.

    Gab. We tried with Perot who understood the problems of our trade agreements and our uneven tax system. He got 12% but very few voted for his economic policies. Even here at CHB his charts were laughed at. His charts would have saved America from a lot of debt, deficit and costs of wars. I tell people to vote for the candidate they feel will improve our state of events. Many don’t have the brains or balls to do this as “he will never win” is the echo to our cries for votes.

    I’m not certain you read Doug Thompson accurately. He is not a war monger. I’m not certain you have followed Ron Paul’s voting records when it comes to funding the wars. Do some research on your candidate and at least try to make your labels closer to reality.

    Holding our reps feet to the fire is not working and we are now in the “throw the bastards out” mode. You must learn that defeating Corporatism will mean our pay checks. Fixing the tax system will take carr of the corporations if we do it right.

    Doug brings the commentaries to us and allows us to voice our opinions.

    Did you vote for Paul as a write in the last time? If you did not, why not? Many here did as we wanted a candidte we could trust……..

    • GabeNtx  April 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      I hear you. My comment is not directly a response to what the article says but an overall feeling I’ve had lately. It doesn’t seem that Doug Thompson is a war monger (I re-read the article) although I don’t think I implied that in my comment, or meant that to be a point. My frustration is in the way Ron Paul is portrayed as a racist and a man with outlandish ideas. The wording in the article, in my opinion, sways the reader to believe that basically Ron Paul is a good man but not good enough to be pres. I voted for Chuck Baldwin in the last presidential election as a Protest vote. Mostly because I was under the impression that if I wrote in Ron Paul’s name that it would not even be counted, as he needed to be registered in Texas as a write in candidate (?). I donated a few hundred dollars during that cycle to his campaign and continue to do so to this day. I am not sure that the “throw the bastards out” mode is such a bad thing as it is in a way holding politicians accountable, although we must also elect politicians with the character to follow the constitution to our govt along with that.

      Ron Paul has sponsored bills that would completely defund the afghan war and coming home from Iraq is certainly one of his main policy points in his upcoming campaign, as its been said by him numerous times over the years. It seems that you’re implying that Ron Paul votes to fund these wars? I’m open to all facts whether they support my beliefs or not so I’d like to see some information regarding this.

      When I complain about corporatism I mean in the campaign financing of politicians as well as the bailouts of failing companies. I believe in the free market and feel that companies deserve to make as much profits as they can as long as they are following the law. This means prosecuting people who commit fraud and other crimes in the financial world. (I mention this because I believe there are far too many criminals who are given a pass by our govt and the current system.)

      My prior comment was more of a call to democrats to see that both sides of the coin are the same and that there can be politicians who can help us become a better nation.

  5. Almandine  April 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Doug has a grudge against Paul… old time political maneuvering… it won’t come to the fore. No post here will make a difference.

    • Carl Nemo  April 26, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      Aye Almandine…! : )

      Carl Nemo **==

    • Doug Thompson  April 27, 2011 at 4:59 am

      For a longtime reader, you are sadly misinformed. I carry no grudges against anyone. I simply treat all elected officials with equal disrespect. ;)

      Too bad you can’t grasp that simple non-partisan concept.

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