I'm so confused. I've got Ed telling us that the neo-nazis are claiming them as one of his own, which I would usually dismiss since they're usually just lying about everything. But then I see Ron Paul supporters blame a Jewish Cabal for the allegations? That, and David Duke coming to his defense? I prefer my brother's explanation better, that Ron Paul is really the Drizzle.
I don't have time to piece this together, I've got to drive down to C-ville today. I want a full report on what the hell is going on with all these cranks by the time I get there.
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Ron Paul is a paleoconservative, the most mainstream American political tendency ideologically closest to neofascism. Other paleocons include Pat Buchanan, Lew Rockwell, Joseph Sobran, Justin Raimondo, Samuel Francis. They are not themselves neofascists, but there is a continuum of paleocons with white nationalists. (I want to be very careful with this, because "fascism" often gets thrown around imprecisely and incorrectly as a political weapon.) Paleocons, like neofascists, tend to be anti-Zionist, isolationist, antiglobalization, economically populist, and extremely culturally conservative. They also are prone to conspiracy theorizing. Both paleocons and neofascists identify neocons, as well as "Zionist" Democrats, as their main enemies on the American political landscape. There is a lot of heterogeneity within paleoconservatism, or within neofascism for that matter. Again, I don't mean to imply that Ron Paul himself is a fascist (even less so than some paleocons); rather, several of his policy positions are attractive to fascists.
Paleoconservatives can sound very appealing to many on the left of center when they talk about US foreign policy, US-Israel relations, economic populism, and globalization.
Can someone explain to me why anybody loves Ron Paul?
The neonazis and white nationalists like Ron Paul because he's one of them. David Neiwert at Orcinus has been documenting his relationship to the far right for longer than Paul has been a national player.
The far right is Paul's base from way back. Paul used to publish long, racist screeds in his name way back, although he now claims they were ghost-written and he wasn't responsible, which is Reganesque to the point of pain.
Pierce: It's a broken clock being right twice a day. Paul is dead right about exactly two things: the War in Iraq and domestic abuses of Presidential power. And he's the only Republican even in the ballpark on those issues. Unfortunately, on everything else he's dead wrong. His acolytes tend to play up the two things he's right on, naturally, and ignore random cranky shit like his belief that we should go back to the gold standard.
The connection only just occurred to me, but in a lot of ways Ron Paul is 2008's Lyndon Larouche, complete with the insane cult following. (Who will no doubt be showing up here shortly to go, "IS NOT a crazy right-wing white supremacist!")
Hint: blaming a Jewish cabal for your troubles is probably not the most convincing way to deflect charges of being a closet neoNazi.
Because as Joshua said, his two most famous positions stand in stark contrast to the rest of the field. Other than that he's as bad as the rest of them.
Some comments are hilarious: "Ron Paul is a paleoconservative, the most mainstream American political tendency ideologically closest to neofascism."
For G-D sake, does someone in leftist America knows anything about Austrian Economics School? The LAST THING Ron Paul is is a fascist. Call him Uncle Scrooge (hey, he even has the voice of U. Scr.), call him a crackpot (like Billy Kristol did yesterday), call him a belle-epoquesque romantic, ok, but not "fascist". Fascist (soft fascism) is corporatism a la Bush and Cheney. Even in my (hellhole) country something like the Patriot Act would be unacceptable.
Maybe a few of their supporters may look like crackpots, some may even be connected to this supremacists groups, but that's not the guy's fault, heh. :^)
Cheers from BRAZIL.
Joshua & Rev. BigDumbChimp: Okay, those may be reasons to agree (in part) with Ron Paul, but my question was why so many people seem to love him.
Pat Buchanan, e.g., is another vocal right-winger who also decries Bush's wars, and many of us in the anti-war movement will quote him to show our position is not limited to "leftists" - but there is nothing at all like the undiluted idolatry growing around Rep. Paul.
Are Americans so desperate for somebody different that they don't care what that difference is?
Rico: "Fascist (soft fascism) is corporatism a la Bush and Cheney."
Encyclopedia Britannica concise, "Corporatism."
"Theory and practice of organizing the whole of society into corporate entities subordinate to the state.
According to the theory, employers and employees would be organized into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and largely controlling the people and activities within their jurisdiction. Its chief spokesman was Adam Müller (b. 1779d. 1829), court philosopher to the Fürst (prince) von Metternich, who conceived of a class state in which the classes operated as guilds, or corporations, each controlling a specific function of social life. This idea found favour in central Europe after the French Revolution, but it was not put into practice until Benito Mussolini came to power in Italy; its implementation there had barely begun by the start of World War II, which resulted in his fall. After World War II, the governments of many democratic western European countries (e.g., Austria, Norway, and Sweden) developed strong corporatist elements in an attempt to mediate and reduce conflict between businesses and trade unions and to enhance economic growth."
There have been reams of drivel written about "corporate fascism" due to a commonplace misunderstanding the meaning of "corporatism" and related terms like "corporate state." These terms aren't referring to modern business corporations. (Corporatism and corporation are derived from the Latin corpus - "body".) Corporatist ideas are related to syndicalism and guild socialism. Another way to think of corporatism is representation based on economic sector rather than geographic political unit (federalism).
"Soft fascism" is just a formulation used when someone wants to accuse Republicans or Democrats (see: Jonah Goldberg) of being "fascists."
Ron Paul is not a fascist. I didn't say that he was. But there are ideological links - an ideological continuum - between paleoconservatism and white nationalism (the most important manifestation of neofascism in the United States). It's the affinity of the modern "Old Right" with the Far Right (that refers to groups like American Renaissance, not American Enterprise Institute). Even within the milieu of paleoconservatism, or paleolibertarianism or whatever you want to call him Paul is not on the most extreme end.
In 1992 Ron Paul said that 95% of the black men in D.C. are criminals - here's a link to the full quote :
The weirdest thing here is actually that my liberal academic Canadian girlfriend's adopted black brother is a libertarian Ron Paul supporter.
Colugo: I used the term corporatism as defined by Ayn Rand, meaning: The organization of the State to support big corporations and special interest groups.
The most honest, compassionate and decent people I know are Americans, so I'm not blaming the American people: Bush and his gang duped an entire nation into an unjustifiable war using false motives and plain lies (WMDs, Al-Qaeda ties to Saddam, etc). And I'm not talking about Afghanistan - a very justifiable war - only Iraq. The only people who are profiting by this war are those big guys on the military-industrial complex and the oil companies whose assets skyrocketed this last five years.
Well, this is exactly what Ayn Rand and Hayek advised about (soft or hard) fascism: Special interests and government leading countries to wars, loss of individual liberties, police States.
Even the theory of the WMDs and the "oil will pay the bills" sounds - at least to a foreigner - like the "vital space" groaning which made Germany invade (preemptively) the Südetten and Poland.
And that's exactly what Ron Paul and "libertarians" are against.
I think a big part of why people love him are the things he does that show him to be humble and considerate. When people hear that he gives a portion of his congressional budget back to the treasury each year, it shows that he understands the money is not his and that he is not greedy. When people hear that he wouldn't accept Medicare as a doctor, but would give treatment at free or reduced cost to those who couldn't pay it shows that he lives by his principles, but he won't ignore the suffering of others to do it. These stories make him a role model like the athletes that other people "love". Its why people believe he can end social security without hurting those dependent on it and why people believe he can fix the economy.
I hadn't really been paying much attention to Paul other than to note that my 20 y.o. step-daughter was trying to get me excited about him a month or so ago (she's a nice kid, but not exactly the most knowledgeable analyst of public policy or politics in my social circle). Then I got embroiled with some nitwit comments by the ever-charming Walter E. Williams about education that were posted on a mathematics education list I read, and discovered that Prof. Williams is allegedly Paul's top choice for the V.P. slot. I'm afraid that would preclude any chance that I would take Paul's candidacy seriously as a possible choice for my vote. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The notion that Paul is like a stopped clock resonates. I can see why he would appeal to anyone who is against the Iraq War and disgusted by GWB's butchering of the constitution and obscene abuse of power. But thinking that Paul would improve matters appears to be extremely naive.
As for that blimp ad, I love the analogy to Master Shake, but it also reminds me of "Who Is John Galt? And a few diet schemes. And Saxon Mathematics (not my favorite curriculum, to put it mildly).
These idiots like DR Paul because Dr Paul wants the government off our backsides....
This is also one of the many reasons I like Dr Paul.
Folks such as these run their mouths about hookers and kooks who like Dr Paul for the simple purpose of attempting to give him a bad name....
It won't work however, because it is ridiculous and those who mouth off about it are simply giving themselves the bad name...
I am 56 years of age, educated, and I have followed Dr Paul's message since the mid-seventies and I have never witnessed the type garbage they say he has participated in....
They would most likely say the same thing about Dr Larry McDonald of GA if he were still among the living.......
and for the negative whiners out there,
"Why not work towards promoting a candidate you can appreciate rather than attempting to discredit others of whom you disaprove? Think about it a little....Are there not better ways to spend your day?"
RE: Comment by Joshua: [Ron Paul is like] "a broken clock being right twice a day. Paul is dead right about exactly two things: the War in Iraq and domestic abuses of Presidential power. And he's the only Republican even in the ballpark on those issues. Unfortunately, on everything else he's dead wrong.
I was intrigued after reading a full page ad in today's NY Times urging financial contributions to the Ron Paul campaign. For all it's verbiage, however, I noticed that only two actual issues were discussed: the Iraq War and presidential abuses of power. Oh... and there was an expression of concern and sympathy for economic pressures on "the middle class, retirees and the poor". (Right.)
His views seemed so reasonable! Where was the libertarian oddball I had heard about? I felt flattered (though suspicious) that the ad appeared to have been written just for me; so I had to laugh when I read Joshua's comment. Fortunately, I hadn't yet mailed my check.
Best line about Paulmania I've found so far:
Digby: ... Ron Paul, who mostly seems to be a Rorschach test for the politically disaffected.
Yeah, Pierce, that's probably the most succint explanation I've seen for it.
For his part, his campaign is really working that angle. They've been pretty good at pushing his anti-war stuff and trying to shout down criticisms of his other positions or connections. (See above.)
Why do Neo-Nazi's think he's one of their own. Perhaps it's quotes like this:
"Regardless of what the media tell us, most white Americans are not going to believe that they are at fault for what blacks have done to cities across America. The professional blacks may have cowed the elites, but good sense survives at the grass roots. Many more are going to have difficultly avoiding the belief that our country is being destroyed by a group of actual and potential terrorists -- and they can be identified by the color of their skin. This conclusion may not be entirely fair, but it is, for many, entirely unavoidable.
Indeed, it is shocking to consider the uniformity of opinion among blacks in this country. Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty, and the end of welfare and affirmative action.... Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the "criminal justice system," I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal..." It continues
I first saw this quote at:
and a full version of the Ron Paul text is at:
The dailykos diary and more quotes and links too.
I also assume neo-nazis have no interest in ending things like birthright US citizenship... something Ron Paul sponsored a Constitutional ammendment to change:
(originally linked from: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/13/131540/47 )
(I'm also putting this comment on Rahzib's gene expression blog)
How long before a swarm of devoted Paulites manifests itself on this thread?
Skwee: It might be a while, maybe never. Other than EARL, looks like none of them have noticed this particular blog yet. Probably there are lots and lots of blogs attracting the Paulistas on this topic. And even if they come here, they'll probably follow the links to pick fights with the people Mark linked to (like Ed Brayton) rather than expend their energy here. I've noticed a decided tendency towards troll-clustering in the blogosphere - which is good, because some blogs act like roach motels and allow the average level of conversation to be much higher elsewhere.
G- If you post it, they will come. This happens on every other website that has a commenting function, particularly those which allow users to mark comments as spam. If you use YouTube, then you know what I mean. But since comments can't be marked as spam here, they at least cannot cry censorship.
Because he has avidly courted them for a long time? This posted today at David Neiwert's blog:
(quote from American National Socialist Workers Party leader Bill White)
Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays. This is part of a dinner that was originally organized by Pat Buchanan, Sam Francis and Joe Sobran, and has since been mostly taken over by the Council of Conservative Citizens.
I have attended these dinners, seen Paul and his aides there, and been invited to his offices in Washington to discuss policy.
For his spokesman to call white racialism a "small ideology" and claim white activists are "wasting their money" trying to influence Paul is ridiculous. Paul is a white nationalist of the Stormfront type who has always kept his racial views and his views about world Judaism quiet because of his political position.
Ron Paul is a paleoconservative
A paleolibertarian to be more precise. Paleoconservatives share some Leftist economic viewpoints (Pat Buchanan and Ralph Nader actually share some ideas) and would use the government for protectionism and other economic regulations, while paleolibertarians do not share these viewpoints and would not use the government for this. If I understand correctly, both paleolibertarians and paleoconservatives are also pretty Christian fundamentalist in many of their viewpoints. Both Ron Paul and Buchanan are Creationists. Many in both parties think abortion is murder and homosexuals are sinners, but palecons believe in regulating these things with government, just like Republicans, while paleolibertarians do not.
Paleolibertarians differ from Neolibertarians, such as the folks at Reason Magazine, on issues like immigration and border control. Also on social issues, they may agree on policy, but not on values. Both would agree the government shouldn't regulate sexual behavior or prevent abortions, but paleolibs would still think these are wrong, while Neolibs would not. Same for issues of race. Reason folks probably don't differ much on policy, but you'll find more emphasis in paleo camps. Paleos will stress racially "tainted" issues like 'states rights', that Neolibers are more timid about. These libertarian ideas appeal to white nationalists for one, because it would allow them to form some sort of white state or something that could discriminate economically against nonwhites ("blacks need not apply") in order to keep them out, and the federal government couldn't interfere.
Libertarianism is the opposite of Fascism (one generic brand of totalitarianism). One believes the government should have very limited power over social and economic policy, the other that it should have total power over social and economic policy.
But to American Fascists who see the government as controlled by Jews and wielding its power to serve Jewish interests, I suppose the idea of stripping the government of power has a logic to it: Libertarianism while out of power, totalitarian while in.
This embodies the Jim Crow south doesn't it? "The federal government can't tell us what to do, but we can tell black people which public drinking fountains are off limits."
Jason Malloy: "Libertarianism is the opposite of Fascism (one generic brand of totalitarianism)"
I think that's a little oversimplified. That was truer 50-60 years ago, but since then some white nationalists and other varieties of neofascists have evolved and diversified, and some have dropped the anti-libertarian (especially economic) policies that characterized so much of classical fascism. (Some white nationalists hardly follow any program of classical fascism besides white racism - which was not even a universal CF feature.) As you alluded to, a radical "community/state/national right's" perspective can be quite amenable to local racist and even tyrannical measures, rationalized as embodying local values and "sovereignty." In addition, the paleolib-paleocon nexus has antisemitic and anti-black racist elements (I know, it's more complicated than that...). And there has been a tendency for some libertarians neo and paleo alike to endorse racialist theories that purportedly explain socioeconomic racial disparities, promoted in no small part by Charles Murray. I'm not saying that accepting these views makes one a white nationalist or a neofascist, but "race realism" certainly is compatible with such positions.
It's interesting that this white supremacist guy is being quoted as a credible source on Ron Paul apparently for no other reason than the fact that the media is alarmed by the success of a candidate they know very little about. It's hard to believe Bill White would get headlines if he said 'immigrants are lesser beings' or 'evolution is a myth of Satan' or any one of a number of other things he's likely to say that would alarm the kind of people who post on this and other liberal leaning blogs, so is this just a case of 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'?
It's also worth noting that the New York Times, the original source of the allegations, has retracted them in a lengthy correction here:
Mr. Bernard is seriously in error in claiming that the NYT retracted its story about the claims of Mr. White. It did no such thing. It merely stated that the story erred in not including a rebuttal from the Paul camp. It in no way, shape, form, or regard made a judgment as to the accuracy of Mr. Whites' claims.
It's best just to read the link and note the following sentences:
A post in The Medium that appeared on Monday about the Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and his purported adoption by white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups contained several errors.
The original post should not have been published with these unverified assertions and without any response from Paul.
The acknowledgement of errors along with the statement that the original post should not have been published make it a classic retraction, and I remain surprised that so many on the left are suddenly citing Mr. White as a reliable source on this issue.
I'd be happy to pull up any number of cranks who think that the leading democratic candidates are agents of Satan, but I doubt the New York Times will be printing claims to that effect any time soon.
1. A retraction would consist of a statement along the following lines, "The Times has investigated Mr. Whites allegations and has found them to be false." Since this was not what the linked article said, and in fact it made no assertion as to the truth or falsity of Mr. whites allegations, it can in no way be considered a retraction. Furthermore, as Mr. Brayton over at the Dispatches blog has stated, the fact that there is no credit card receipt signed by Representative Paul for the dinner in question proves absolutely nothing. The cost of his dinner could have been paid for on somebody elses' credit card. A more convincing argument would be a denial by other people who were present at the subject dinner that, in fact, Representative Paul was present. So far, there appears to be only the denial by a spokesman for Representative Paul as to his presence.
2. However, far more serious, in my opinion, is the dalliance of Representative Paul with all manner of medical cranks and quacks as detailed in the attached link from Dr. Oracs' blog. I find Representative Pauls association with cranks like Mike Adams far more troubling then his somewhat more peripheral associations with racist organizations.
I think the answer to my question was addressed by Digby via Pierce on this thread. A Rorschach test for the politically disaffected is right.
Bernard, the retraction doesn't change the wierd anti-ADL behavior of his supporters, or the fact that David Duke is writing positively about him. Nor the fondness of 9/11 CT groups (who are usually on the opposite of the political spectrum).
It seems fair to say at this point that support of Paul indicates severe disaffection or frankly defective thinking.
SLC, you're missing the burden of proof. The NYT retracted their story because they acknowledge that it didn't meet their normal journalistic standards in relying on a single source known to be unreliable.
Newspapers outside the tabloid press very rarely print as fact claims made by people known to be cranks in other areas without either sourcing evidence to confirm or looking to the accused for a statement and I reiterate my surprise that you're one of an apparently large number ignoring the identity of the only source so far available simply because you don't like the accused. Even the link you give in your own post points out that White is an extremely unreilable source, which makes me wonder if you've really read it.
And Mark, it certainly feels like a protest vote of sorts, and he doesn't feel like a candidate who's electable to me but for every comment or soundbite I see from a crank or an extremist I see several from fairly normal people who are surprised at being vilified for supporting him. If it is indeed his anti-war and small government positions that have people supporting him then I expect it to continue regardless of the adverse press coverage until one of the more credible candidates from either side moves toward those positions.
There are many reasons to criticize Ron Paul, but the die-hard Democrats (and you know that's what you are) criticize him for all the wrong things. 1st off, the gold standard thing. Yes, the constitution forbids any money being issued that is not gold or silver, but what Paul want to see is the ability for competing currencies. Private banks and states issuing their own currency to compete with Federal Reserve Notes (the bills in you pocket). To me that's all fine and dandy. What I really hate about Paul is his dressing up of things like "states' rights" and "consent of the governed" in libertarian rhetoric, while all the time you know he's winking to his bigot zealot supporters. Attack him for being a theocratic hypocrite, but attacking him on monetary or tax policy is dumb, because he's right on.
Just to make it perfectly clear so that there can be no misunderstanding, Mr. White is a scumbag of the first order. However, as I stated, so far there has been no refutation of Mr. Whites' claim as to Representative Pauls presence at the dinner in question from anybody else who was at the dinner. We have only heard from a spokesman for Mr. Paul who apparently was not at the dinner and therefore is in no position to know. Furthermore, the New York Times has not made any judgment as to the accuracy of Mr. Whites claim because, so far, there has been no refutation or confirmation of that claim from anybody in a position to know. It is my contention, and apparently Mr. Braytons' contention, that only a statement from the Times that Mr. Whites' claim is false qualifies as a retraction. For all we know, Mr. whites' claim may be true as even a stopped clock is right twice a day. I notice, by the way, that Mr. Bernard has failed to respond to the charges made by Dr Orac on his blog concerning Representative Pauls associations with medical quacks and cranks like Mike Adams. I consider these associations considerably more serious then the, perhaps, somewhat peripheral associations with racists. This is particularly true because Representative Paul is a physician who should know better.
Pierce R. Butler,
I LOVE anyone who even talks like they are going to get the income tax repealed. I know it's a pipedream, but let me have my fantasy of no income tax!
SLC, you're flat wrong on the retraction question. I don't know any other way to explain the reasons than those already given above, and as you appear to be the only one clinging to the idea that the NYT statement is not a retraction I see no further reason to try.
On the other questions posed by Dr. Orac, I have no particular need to address them because a) they're not directly related to the question of whether this NYT article was retracted or not, b) I'm not a Ron Paul supporter (and indeed not eligible to vote in the US, so my opinion on the matter is moot regardless) and c) I have no background on the issues in question, and so would have no way to determine from the bills he apparently supported whether he is indeed engaging in quack politics which means that I'm not the person to address them with.
There are two things I do know, however. The first is that the apparent attempt by some to discredit him on the basis of who his actual and claimed supporters are makes those people look stupid or cynical, and the second is that if indeed his support is a consequence of widespread political disaffection (as I, and most of the commentors so far, suspect) then the more obviously false or unfounded allegations that get thrown at him the less likely his supporters are to pay attention to the informed criticism.
Mr. Brayton over at the Dispatches blog agrees with me that the cited NYT article does not constitute a retraction because it does not claim that Mr. Whites' statements are false. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree on that issue, hopefully not disagreeably. As for unfounded allegations being thrown at candidates, unfortunately that's part of the game as to how politics are played in the US. Don't believe it, just ask Ms. Clinton who is regularly accused of being a lesbian in right wing blogs or Mr. Romney who is regularly accused of being a heretic on dominionist blogs. As they say, politics ain't beanbag. Ever here of clowns like Ann Coulter, and Michael (Weiner) Savage who have talk radio shows where they spew out garbage that makes the Paul critics look like angels (for instance, Mr. Savage has claimed that 90% of the Nobel Prize committee that awarded the peace prize to Al Gore is composed of child molesters).
SLC, it's certainly the case that everyone in the public eye get their share of mud thrown at them, but relative unknowns certainly have it worse. I seriously doubt either the shock jocks or the majority of their listeners really believe the nonsense they spout and I've yet to see the Washington Post give an exclusive about Hilary Clinton's closet lesbianism on the basis of evidence from Ann Coulter.
I don't for a moment believe that Paul has it worse than other fringe candidates who suddenly draw up a support base (and remember something very similar happening to Howard Dean during the last democratic race). My point is simply that it won't work in alienating his supporters. They're only likely to shift support if a more electable candidate moves toward him on the issues that are key to them. If noone does, and he falls out of the race, they may well just stay at home.
Nor the fact that quacks absolutely love Ron Paul.
I have posted links to Dr. Oracs' thread on Ron Paul on a number of blogs and so far, there has been virtually no comment on the subject of Representative Pauls' medical quackery associations. Maybe that tells us something; the Paulbots are ashamed of these associations and would prefer not to discuss them. In particular, Dr. Orac should note the conspicuous absence of comment from Mr. Bernard on this thread, even though the former and I have mentioned it several times.
I don't believe that neo nazis love Ron Paul. It's a myth!
Can anyone tell me why you have such a stupid last name?