Mr. Paul, Meet Mr. Barkley
"Why don't you go back and look at what I said yesterday on CNN . . . " -Ron Paul, 12/28/11
"Sometimes they write what I say and not what I mean." - Pedro Guerrero
GOP Presidential hopeful Ron Paul is drawing some much deserved heat over hate-filled racist comments made in his newsletter back in the 1980s and 1990s. This was a newsletter issued in his name, with comments claiming to be from his own "perspective," comparing Afro-Americans to zoo animals, slandering Jews, calling for a race war on American soil and promoting right wing fringe-group militias.
Those newsletters were in his name, which means he owned them then and he owns them now. Still he's trying to distance himself from the message, by saying he didn't write them. Why, he didn't even read them before they went out in his name. Of course not but, still, he can't name the handful of other individuals who he now claims actually wrote the newsletters issued in his name which he didn't read.
Even more interesting is the fact that when confronted earlier about this issue, in 1996, he told the Dallas Morning News that he in fact had read at least some of the newsletters and went on to expand on one passage, issued in his first-person voice, saying that 95 percent of black males in Washington, DC, were "semi-criminal or entirely criminal." Back then, he defended that comment as being based on "outside research". Now, though, he says never even read it, telling Gloria Borger on CNN that "I never read that stuff."
Mr. Paul should definitely sit down with Charles Barkley for an interesting discussion. He can try to convince Mr. Barkley, an Afro-American athlete, that he didn't say the hateful racist things that appeared in his own neswletter. Mr. Barkley, in turn, can tell Mr. Paul all about how he was "misquoted" in his autobiography, Outrageous, which trashed 76ers' owner Harold Katz and said his grandmother could score more points than his teammate Manute Bol.
Perhaps they'll believe each other's denials, Paul didn't write or even read the first-person passages in his own newsletter and Barkley was "misquoted" in his autobiography as he told the media. It's clear, however, that nobody else with a functioning brain can believe either one of them. It's like former All-Star first baseman Pedro Guererro complaining about sportswriters who wrote what he said and not what he meant.
The difference, though, is that Barkley's denial was merely laughable because his statements were directed at the competence of specific individuals who he knew personally in the relatively trivial world of professional sports. Meanwhile, in stark contrast, Paul's racist, anti-semitic generalizations were a blatantly hate-filled appeal to the very worst elements in American society. While Barkley was worried about repercussions in the trivial arena of professional sports, Paul is clearly worried about his past appeals to white supremacists and anti-semitics coming back up to bite his behind in the far more critical arena of Presidential politics -and they damned well should, big time.
There are only two conclusions to draw about Ron Paul in light of the undeniable fact of his newsletter's blatant racism and his present denials. He is either a Gingrich class liar or, if you believe his denials, he is so grossly incompetent he couldn't be trusted with the presidency of a redneck gun club, never mind the United States of America. Those two conclusions, by the way, are not mutually exclusive.