Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


The Haunting of Ron Paul

Newsletters have come back from the dead to doom him

Print Email
Rep. Ron Paul last month.(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

What’s amusing about the controversy this week over Rep. Ron Paul’s past sponsorship of newsletters that were regularly racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic is that it isn’t news at all. Frequent Tablet Magazine contributor James Kirchick broke the story in The New Republic in January 2008. The very blog you now read cited Kirchick’s article seven months ago, when Paul announced his candidacy. But it’s only this week, with Paul actually taking a lead in many polls for the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, that several outlets (including The Scroll) had occasion to rehash this yet again and much larger outlets brought up the fact that, for example, a newsletter published under Paul’s name and reportedly written by a close adviser questioned whether the Mossad was responsible for Al Qaeda’s bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, and that Paul has issued no more than un-credible denials and cursory disavowals.

Yesterday, CNN’s Gloria Borger tried to pin him down, and he got angry and walked away. Watch:

What strikes me as notable about this encounter isn’t Paul’s continued refusal to truly address these allegations. And, tempting as it is, I’m not going to read too much into Paul’s anti-media dismissal that issues like this are incendiary “because,” he told Borger, “of people like you” (yes, of course she’s Jewish). What is most consequential is the body language: he seems defensive; he seems artificial; he seems like a politician. Paul’s great gift has been that he is outside the mainstream of politics: advocating things like drug legalization, opposing things like the Patriot Act, taking a host of positions regularly (and frequently fairly) deemed wacky—and never apologizing. Today, though, Ron Paul seems like just another politician. That’s not why his political career deserves to die, but that’s what is going to kill it.

Related: Angry White Man [TNR]
New Focus on Incendiary Words in Paul’s Newsletters [NYT]
Earlier: Ron Paul’s Ugly Past

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

David B. says:

Oh deary me. Touchy!

Funny how there was no genuine ruffle or fuss made over Jennifer Rubin’s incendiary comments made with regard to Palestinians not so many long months ago by either the Chicken noodle News Network or really at all by any of the other mass media massively blind moral cowards of the pundit peanut gallery. I think Paul is a bit toss pot but clearly some public figures are held to a harsher level of social scrutiny than others.

Bill Pearlman says:

Hey, moron, he is running for president, she isn’t.

rebscott says:

Wow, my own personal Chanukah miracle…I agree with something that Bill Pearlman wrote ;-)

Not only that, but Jules’ comment is simply silly. Jennifer Rubin was taken to task in virtually all quarters of the press – Jewish and secular alike – just as she was after her horrendous gaffe regarding the massacre in Norway.

Vikki S. says:

These newsletters went out under his OWN name and he paid so little attention at the time to what they were saying? What does that say about his leadership ability?

MethanP says:

Wrong. They’ll come back to haunt US! This guy has a small but solid base. If he decides to go third party, as seems more and more likely, then we are all doomed to endure a second Obama term. Our economy can’t take it. Our fall (economic) will in turn doom Israel. We’ve had anti-semites in the White House. LBJ, Nixon, Carter. We can survive that. Another BHO term, NO.

Methan is right. Ron Paul is the kind of guy who just doens’t give up.
Another Ross Perot, but a Republican one.

It will doom us to another administration of Obama, this time he can be unleashed and will ferociously attack Israel without any restrictions.

His court Jews inside and outside the administration won’t be able to contain the fallout. But then it’ll be too late! Four long agonizing years of beating up Israel every day, just as Iran is gearing up for nuclear power status, and the Arab ‘Spring’ has fully degenerated into the Islamic Winter Bibi warned from the beginning, together with most of Israeli media/society.

And in those times.. have a second Obama term when he doesn’t have to care about re-election or political donations.


My only fear–bite your tongue, J–is that the revelations (at least, revelations in the mainstream press)–will actually help this idiot’s candidacy.

David B. says:

are they still following you?
You are the left wing twin of the racist gun nuts.

bullvant says:

my prediction is that paul after Iowa will die a slow death falling below double digits and not taken seriously. the media has to reveal his foreign affairs views,his newsletter and his stupid comments.

David B. says:

The dude is 76!!,
who will he pick as his vice pres ? another freak of Palin’s caliber? He is already off the Richter scale by all accounts. Can’t wait to see the person who will join him….and who he thinks his good enough to lead once he kicks the bucket.
The gift that keeps on giving. At least he is a doctor. So he will always get a hold of some ketamine.

tantelaeh says:

I thoroughly distrust this man based on my feminist values. I never liked Ron Paul although some of his ideas are those whose time has come such as legalizing psychotropic drugs.
Otherwise to me he smells like just another Christian Fascist running for a Republican presidency.

philip mann says:

Harsher level of scrutiny ?? He had a bloody newsletter ,and sent out that crap with his name on the masthead !!

Jules, if he had sex with under-age kids, and kept a secret burial ground in his basement, he would probably be okay in your books ,as long as he was anti- Israel.

David B. says:

Philip Mann,
will you marry me?

ita amazing dont you need security checks on people in govt look obama had friends in acorn was at a racist church i think it about time people start finding out who there voting for

Beatrix says:

What a feisty little group.

Paul belongs to a clique, not a party. He’s an old man who, unlike Reagan, looks old and who doesn’t have the following to form a 3rd party. If Republicans weren’t dissatisfied with their choices, no one would take him seriously. His 20th century homophobic, antisemitic, racism should finish him off, but he was dead in the water anyway.

The problem with Ron Paul is that he thinks this is the 18th century and that America still has a choice of non-involvement in the world. America is the only superpower left, and we’re going to be involved whether we want to be or not.
All we can hope for is leadership that shows more wisdom than the Democrats and Republicans have provided so far.

philip mann says:

David, I`m spoken for. sorry.

David B. says:

I respect that.


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

The Haunting of Ron Paul

Newsletters have come back from the dead to doom him

More on Tablet:

A Grandfather’s Hidden Love Letters From Nazi Germany Reveal a Buried Past

By Vox Tablet — Reporter Sarah Wildman’s grandfather escaped Vienna in 1938. Long after he died, she discovered the life—and lover—he left behind.