Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ron Paul's Storm Troopers

Ron Paul's in the news again this week, following his big fundraising haul on November 5. The Chicago Tribune discusses the Paul campaign liftoff:

No more Department of Education. No more Federal Reserve Bank. No more Medicare or Medicaid. No more membership in the United Nations or NATO. No more federal drug laws. And, no more U.S. troops in Iraq -- or anywhere else on foreign soil.

The Internal Revenue Service would be history in the first week that Ron Paul sits behind the desk in the Oval Office. And the dismantling of the above-mentioned entities and relationships -- plus a long list of others -- soon would commence.

Think that sounds eccentric, strange, even crazy? Many of the libertarian-minded, 10-term congressman's rivals for the GOP presidential nomination think so and have said so.

But, to a growing, Internet-based pool of supporters, the silver-haired obstetrician turned politician is the sanest man at the Republican debates and perhaps in all of Congress. Paul attracts an unusual political potpourri of people of all ages and viewpoints, including a sprinkling of conspiracy theorists and other extremists whose views Paul's campaign disavows. While most supporters ardently oppose the Iraq war, what they all share is a deep disenchantment and distrust of the federal government in its present form and a fervent belief in Paul's plans to change it.

On Nov. 5, they demonstrated their passion for Paul in spectacular fashion, raising $4.2 million, mostly online, in 24 hours, rocketing him close to his $12 million goal for the fourth quarter. In terms of 2008 GOP presidential candidates, Paul's take broke the previous one-day record of $3.1million set by Mitt Romney Jan. 8.

Hammering home a singular message of freedom, free markets, smaller federal government and greater personal responsibility, Paul, at 72, is nothing if not consistent. Personally, he seems very much the same in a one-on-one conversation as he does on the stump: earnest, serious and slightly stunned. Although pleasant, he, unlike most politicians, makes no effort to charm. He leaves an impression that he is out to sell ideas, not himself.
Andrew Walden over at the American Thinker penetrates deep into the Paul internet contributor base to unearth the group remants of the shady side of American politics:

When some in a crowd of anti-war activists meeting at Democrat National Committee HQ in June, 2005 suggested Israel was behind the 9-11 attacks, DNC Chair Howard Dean was quick to get behind the microphones and denounce them saying: "such statements are nothing but vile, anti-Semitic rhetoric."

When KKK leader David Duke switched parties to run for Louisiana governor as a Republican in 1991, then-President George H W Bush responded sharply, saying, "When someone asserts the Holocaust never took place, then I don't believe that person ever deserves one iota of public trust. When someone has so recently endorsed Nazism, it is inconceivable that someone can reasonably aspire to a leadership role in a free society."

Ron Paul is different.

Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) is the only Republican candidate to demand immediate withdrawal from Iraq and blame US policy for creating Islamic terrorism. He has risen from obscurity and is beginning to raise millions of dollars in campaign contributions. Paul has no traction in the polls -- 7% of the vote in New Hampshire -- but he at one point had more cash on hand than John McCain. And now he is planning a $1.1 million New Hampshire media blitz just in time for the primary.

Ron Paul set an internet campaigning record raising more than $4 million in small on-line donations in one day, on November 5, 2007. But there are many questions about Paul's apparent unwillingness to reject extremist groups' public participation in his campaign and financial support of his November 5 "patriot money-bomb plot."

On October 26 nationally syndicated radio talk show host Michael Medved posted an "Open Letter to Rep. Ron Paul" on It reads:

Dear Congressman Paul:

Your Presidential campaign has drawn the enthusiastic support of an imposing collection of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 "Truthers" and other paranoid and discredited conspiracists.

Do you welcome- or repudiate - the support of such factions?

More specifically, your columns have been featured for several years in the American Free Press -a publication of the nation's leading Holocaust Denier and anti-Semitic agitator, Willis Carto. His book club even recommends works that glorify the Nazi SS, and glowingly describe the "comforts and amenities" provided for inmates of Auschwitz.

Have your columns appeared in the American Free Press with your knowledge and approval?

As a Presidential candidate, will you now disassociate yourself, clearly and publicly, from the poisonous propaganda promoted in such publications?

As a guest on my syndicated radio show, you answered my questions directly and fearlessly.

Will you now answer these pressing questions, and eliminate all associations between your campaign and some of the most loathsome fringe groups in American society?

Along with my listeners (and many of your own supporters), I eagerly await your response.

Respectfully, Michael Medved
Medved has received no official response from the Paul campaign.

There is more. The Texas-based Lone Star Times October 25 publicly requested a response to questions about whether the Paul campaign would repudiate and reject a $500 donation from white supremacist founder Don Black and end the Stormfront website fundraising for Paul. The Times article lit up the conservative blogosphere for the next week. Paul supporters packed internet comment boards alternately denouncing or excusing the charges. Most politicians are quick to distance themselves from such disreputable donations when they are discovered. Not Paul.

Daniel Siederaski of the Jewish Telegraph Agency tried to get an interview with Paul, calling him repeatedly but not receiving any return calls. Wrote Siederaski November 9: "Ron Paul will take money from Nazis. But he won’t take telephone calls from Jews." [Update] Finally on November 13 the Paul campaign responded. In a short interview JTA quotes Jim Perry, head of Jews for Paul describing his work on the Paul campaign along side a self-described white supremacist which Perry says he has reformed.

Racist ties exposed in the Times article go far beyond a single donation. Just below links to information about the "BOK KKK Ohio State Meeting", and the "BOK KKK Pennsylvania State Meeting", website announced: "Ron Paul for President" and "Countdown to the 5th of November". The links take readers directly to a Ron Paul fundraising site from which they can click into the official Ron Paul 2008 donation page on the official campaign site. Like many white supremacists, Stormfront has ties to white prison gangs.
Paul's fringe element support's not only among far right strom troopers:

Other Paul donations and activists come from leftists and Muslims. Singer and Democrat contributor Barry Manilow is also a Ron Paul contributor and possibly a fundraiser. There are close ties (but no endorsements) between Ron Paul's San Francisco Bay Area campaign and Cindy Sheehan's long-shot Congressional campaign.

An Austin, TX MeetUp site shows Paul supporters also involved in leftist groups such as Howard Dean's "Democracy for America." MeetUp lists other sites popular with members of the Ron Paul national MeetUp group. The number one choice is "9/11 questions" another leading choice is "conspiracy"....

The ugly mishmash of hate groups backing Paul has a Sheehan connection as well. David Duke is a big Cindy Sheehan supporter eagerly proclaiming "Cindy Sheehan is right" after Sheehan said, "My son joined the Army to protect America, not Israel." members joined Sheehan at her protest campout in Crawford, TX and posed with her for photos. Sheehan is also intimately associated with the Lew Rockwell libertarian website which has posted over 200 articles by Ron Paul as well as some "scholarly" 9-11 conspiracy theories.

The white supremacist American Nationalist Union also backed Sheehan's Crawford protests and endorsed David Duke for president of the United States in 1988. Now they are backing Ron Paul-linking to numerous Pro-Paul articles posted on

Medved's questions surprise many, but they shouldn't. Paul's links the anti-Semites and white supremacists continue a trend which has been developing since the 9-11 attacks. Barely six weeks after 9-11, Paul was already busy blaming America. On October 27, 2001 Paul wrote on, "Some sincere Americans have suggested that our modern interventionist policy set the stage for the attacks of 9-11". Paul complained: "often the ones who suggest how our policies may have played a role in evoking the attacks are demonized as unpatriotic."
See my earlier posts on the Paul campaign, here, here, here, and here.

Paul is endlessly fascinating, from a political science perspective in particular. His campaign is like a real-world laboratory on extremist ideology. We sometimes forget all the nasty strangeness lurking in the subterranean fringe of the American electorate. Paul's candidacy brings out the loons, demonstrating the weird power of internet advocacy in a time of political dealignment and policy discontent.


UPDATE: Be sure to check this Buzztracker link, which has an aggregation of some top blog posts on American Thinker's, "The Ron Paul Campaign and its Neo-Nazi Supporters."


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