Ron Paul’s Shaggy Defense

Atlantic blogger Ta-Nehisi Coates weighs in on Ron Paul's weak claim that he didn't write eponymous racist newsletters.

Ron Paul, GOP presidential candidate (Jewel Samad)
Ron Paul, GOP presidential candidate (Jewel Samad)

In a blog entry at Atlantic magazine, Ta-Nehisi Coates examines the debate surrounding racist letters allegedly written by GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul. Coates says that is hard to believe that Paul didn’t write them because he defended them when he was initially asked about them.

The Times notes that Ron Paul’s racism newsletters are, again, becoming an issue. The standard defense has generally been Paul didn’t write the newsletters. I think an honest reckoning with that defense would have someone question the faculties of an adult who would allow a newsletter filled — by Paul’s own admission — with bigotry to be published under one’s name. Had I spent a decade stewarding an eponymous publication steeped in homophobia and anti-Semitism, I would not expect my friends and colleagues to accept an “I didn’t write it” excuse. And I have no (present) designs on the launch codes. It is a peculiar thing when the basic standards of honesty and decency are lowered in direct proportion to the power one seeks to wield. This is especially true of our friends. One has a hard time imagining a President Barack Obama who had done a stint writing for, say, for The Final Call lambasting gays and Jews. 

Be that as it may, I think it’s extremely important that the discerning consumer understand that the problem isn’t merely that Ron Paul claims that the newsletters are a bizarre forgery, but that when initially asked about them Paul actually defended the letters. 

Read Ta-Nehisi Coates’ entire blog entry at the Atlantic.