The Orange Line: anatomy of a smear campaign

Here is an anatomy of the spread of the smear campaign against Ron Paul just prior to and on the crucial “king-making” New Hampshire primary day, January 8th (all times are EDT; the polls closed at 8 pm EDT):

January 7th, 7:33 pm — Matt Welch (Reason Magazine) discusses the plan to smear Ron Paul on New Hampshire primary day. In a later edit, Welch strikes out the actual TNR/Reason plan (to post the piece at midnight, the exact time the New Hampshire polls opened, and not post the actual newsletters until the afternoon of the primary) and substitutes “tommorrow afternoon”. But he failed to strike out Reason’s part in the plan: “More to come from here after the gong strikes midnight.”

January 8th, 12:01 AMJamie Kirchick’s anti-Paul hit piece, many weeks in preparation at the request of his boss Marty Peretz at The New Republic, and featuring featuring many out-of-context quotes from Paul’s old newsletter (which have long been public knowledge and which Paul long ago denied writing) and descriptions of Paul and his associates as “bigoted”, “racist”, “homophobic”, and “anti-Semitic”, etc. is posted at The New Republic.

11:03 AM — Daniel Koffler (Pajamas Media, formerly at Reason)
“A damning New Republic expose on Ron Paul shows the “libertarian” Republican candidate to be a racist, a homophobe and an anti-Semite. Will his diehard supporters continue to defend a man who called Martin Luther King a gay pedophile? Daniel Koffler, a former Paul sympathizer, has a compendium of the Texas congressman’s creepiest hits, pulled straight from his decades-old newsletter.”

3:30 pm — Andrew Sullivan (The Atlantic, formerly editor of The New Republic) — “They are a repellent series of tracts, full of truly appalling bigotry.”

3:46 pm — David Wiegel (Reason) Wiegel praises Kirchick’s piece as “explosive” and after a brief converstation with a harried Paul, grossly mischaracterizes Ron Paul’s position as “Paul’s position is basically that he wrote the newsletters he stands by and someone else wrote the stuff he has disowned.”

3:48 pm — Nick Gillespie (Reason) “I’ve got to say that The New Republic article detailing tons of racist and homophobic comments from Paul newsletters is really stunning. As former reason intern Dan Koffler documents here, there is no shortage of truly odious material that is simply jaw-dropping.”

4:43 pm — David Bernstein (Volokh Conspiracy/George Mason University) “’s disturbing in and of itself that the kind of people who write such things would want to associate themselves with Paul’s name, and the kind of people who enjoy reading such things would subscribe to these newsletters because they admire Paul.” Here’s David’s web page at GMU.

(before 5 pm) — Arnold Kling (Econglog/George Mason University) — Repeats the worst quotes out of context and without explanation.

5:17 pm — Dale Carpenter (Volokh Conspiracy/University of Minnesota) — “A damning indictment of Ron Paul.”

Oddly enough, all these people with the exception of the tardiest, Dale Carpenter, live or work near the Orange Line subway (Metro) west of the capitol building in Washington, D.C. On the Orange Line, with occasional short side trips on some other lines, you can get to The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly, Reason Magazine, George Mason University, The Federal Triangle, Cato Institute, Foggy Bottom, Dupont Circle (Red Line), and a number of other homes and work sites of beltway media, politicians, bureaucrats, and “libertarians.” I don’t know how many of these people actually ride the D.C. Metro, but for fun and convenience let’s call this group of smear artists the “Orange Line Mafia”. This group of media pundits and bloggers has developed a large following among actual libertarians because they are an integral part of D.C. social circles and darlings of the mainstream media, who often “link” to the blogs of these “libertarians” from their various media formats. Libertarians who watch or read MSM thus often first discover “libertarianism” on the net in the writings of The Atlantic, Reason, Cato, Volokh Conspiracy, and other Orange Line Mafia outlets, and think that they are representative of people who actually value liberty.

If a person cared about liberty, why would they be eager to mindlessly repeat smears about the most popular libertarian candidate in decades on the very day of the most crucial “king-making” primary in the United States? Yet that is exactly what a number of popular “libertarian” bloggers did that day. The Ron Paul Newsletters are voluminous and even a small fraction of them could not possibly be read in the very few hours that passed between the posting of the actual newsletters (the afternoon of the 8th) and the smear campaigners’ posts (also the afternoon of the 8th). All of these “hit and run” blog posts, except Kirchick’s original, must then be based on Kirchik’s piece rather than on actual reading and analysis of the newsletters. Clearly the purpose of these posts was not to initiate a thoughtful discussion of the newsletters, it was to spin libertarian voters on the most crucial election day short of the November general elections.

Read here for more analysis of why beltway “libertarians” engage in anti-libertarian activism.

N.B. I’ve tested all these links; they point to the referenced smear propagations as of the time I posted. If any later go missing, try looking for them in the Internet archive and let me know in the comments, thanks.


76 Responses to “The Orange Line: anatomy of a smear campaign”

  1. Ron Paul » The Orange Line: anatomy of a smear campaign Says:

    […] Formerbeltwaywonk’s Weblog wrote an interesting post today on The Orange Line: anatomy of a smear campaignHere’s a quick excerptHere is an anatomy of the spread of the smear campaign against Ron Paul just prior to and on the crucial “k…January 7th, 7:33 pm — Matt Welch (Reason Magazine) discusses the plan to smear Ron Paul on New Hampshire primary day….The Ron Paul Newsletters are voluminous and even a small fraction of them could not possibly be read in the very few hours that passed between the posting of the a…11:03 AM – Daniel Koffler (Pajamas Media, formerly at Reason) “A damning New Republic expose on Ron Paul shows the “l… […]

  2. teageegeepea Says:

    A great many people at Reason were very supportive of Ron Paul before that, and I don’t think they’ve completely dropped him. Beltway types aren’t monolithic in their attitudes either. The Unqualified Offerings blog has a Beltway Bloggers sticker on its side, but one of its contributors is still voting Paul today though many of the contributors of quite critical of his behavior with regard to the newsletters.

  3. mtraven Says:

    How does reprinting Ron Paul’s own newsletters constitute a “smear campaign”? If his reputation is besmirched, he did it himself.

  4. formerbeltwaywonk Says:

    It’s not the reprinting, it’s the repeating the worst of the quotes out of context, the extreme language used to describe the contents, and the very rapid spread of these around the Orange Line blogosphere on New Hampshire primary day.

    Clearly recognizable to those experienced in electoral politics as a well-timed smear campaign.

  5. mpolzkill Says:

    It’s a smear campaign because it’s news that’s over a decade old, he took responsibility for the mistake and displayed regret over a decade ago. The “journalists” pretended that this was all just discovered, planned and timed it, as a group to hurt him in the maximum way, they branded him a “racist”, a serious and hurtful charge, when his “crime” was actually negligence of his name. They also took the offensive items out of context, blew them out of proportion and spoke and wrote in sophisticated ways so as to give the impression that he actually wrote the items in question.

  6. Sue the Libertarian Says:

    Two ways to get your candidate elected. Raise positives or raise opponents negatives.

    They did a number on Paul. These newsletters are ‘old news’ to everyone except those attempting to raise negatives and its working, sadly, as the empire is crumbling around the edges and we need to bring our troops home. Let Korea unify. Let Europe protect themselves. We can ‘t afford it.

  7. Very interesting analysis of the Ron Paul smear campaign :: Liberty Maven Says:

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  8. JD Says:

    This went beyond a smear campaign. It was an attempt, by a group of spoiled, privileged, aging children of questionable morals to injure an honest and decent man. It’s right up there with Lord of the Flies.

  9. Paul Says:

    Earlier I ran into another of these kinds of smears, printed on dailykos IIRC. I was disturbed. Did Ron Paul have a disreputable past? I took the trouble to read the whole (very lengthy) article from which the quotes in dailykos were taken. Reading the entire article, including taking the events in context (which was the LA riots) gave a completely different impression of Ron Paul than the out-of-context quotes (along with their helpfully derogatory commentary) did. The quotes used ellipsis of course. Ellipsis is justified to eliminate verbiage irrelevant to the original writer’s points. In this case it was used instead to create an impression contrary to what the original writer was trying to make.

    Now, what percentage of voters would take the trouble to chase down these smears on their own and find the whole truth? 2%?

    Only when people understand that 95% of what is written is bullshit, will we ever have a chance to be free.

  10. ben tillman Says:

    Of course, it’s a smear. They falsely painted Paul as a bad guy while ignoring the fact that all the other major candidates are genuine monsters.

  11. KG Says:

    mtraven, obviously you have not had something like this happen to you or to someone you know very well, or you would immediately recognize this deliberate smear for what it is.

    These dmears are done by taking a tiny “sound bite” of something a person said or wrote-or not-removing it from its context, introducing a different meaning to it, and then submitting the twisted, lying characature to the public. Anyone who does not know the person who is being attacked would likely be fooled. I have seen this happen time and time again to various people in my little town.

    The first thing you must do is compare the charges to the long known character of the man who is being attacked. If the charges don’t fit the known character, then they are probably not true. If the writing style and spirit as a whole, and in context, doesn’t fit the known large body of a man’s pen, then it is probably not his.

    Before believing any charge ever about any man, always do a thorough investigation. Always do unto others what you would have others do unto you.

    If you immediately believe any accusation that appears on the internet, or MSM and help spread it around, it is a tell-tale sign of your own lack of character.

    The world is a messy place. If any man had a perfect, pure as the driven snow, 20 years in Congress, with all that that entails, he would be God. If some newsletters written by a trusted employee were found later to contain elements that could be twisted by dishonest enemy opportunists, and if that is all the attacker has in his arsenal, then the attacker is of all men most shameful.

  12. Joe Allen Says:

    I traded several emails with Matt Welch after the story broke and asked him if he was aligned with CATO and if so, how it affected his coverage of the story.

    His response was an indignant “I don’t have to answer that!” He claimed I was living in “Fantasy Land.”

    What a douche bag. I saved the emails for posterity.

  13. glassy steve Says:

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  15. veteransforpaul Says:

    Thank you for this piece. I have never trusted the beltway Libertarians. I owe a lot to my understanding of things to the writings of Murray Rothbard, but a lot is just due to reasoned analysis vs. emotionalism. When you actually take time to think issues through, you can see the disguises for what they are.

    Arnold Kling, for example, represents the Chicago School of Economics. He peddles people like Brian Westbury, who is nothing but a GOP apologist and will attempt to disguise statism as “libertarianism.” I will never forget Brian Westbury writing that spending crowds out investment, but then continued by saying that deficit spending is fine.

  16. shit hit the fans… « Rusz Sumieniem! Says:

    […] Ale czy tak znowu? Blogger, który nazywa siebie “Former Beltway Wonk” (były insider) twierdzi, że to wszystko jest jedna wielka konspiracja przeciw Paulowi; ale nie zdziwiłbym się, gdyby to […]

  17. Scott Frost Says:

    Regardless of the outcome of this election, the process has been quite enlightening. The people who chose to smear Ron Paul have now utterly exposed THEMSELVES for what they are. Those of us who truly value liberty now have a better idea of who we can trust and where we should put our money. I have suspected for some time that Reason, Cato and other “cosmopolitan/beltway libertarians” simply like to criticize big government but do not really want it to go away because then they would have nothing to whine about and no way to get their sponsors — a few billionaires and a bunch of far less wealthy, unsuspecting and trusting libertarians — to continue funding their beltway lifestyles and ego trips. The events of the past few weeks have confirmed my suspicions.

    In the past, Reason magazine could get away with diminishing the Libertarian Party’s candidates for president, putting their “see how very realistic we are” spin to it. But now, when a Republican libertarian with tens of millions of dollars who is rising in the polls comes along, they lash out like cornered, rabid animals.

    The Cato Institute and other beltway libertarians talk about liberty, but when push comes to shove, it appears that they have to prove to their masters that they don’t really mean it. These “libertarians” have shown themselves to be every bit as hyprocritical as the neocon chickenhawks like Sean Hannity, Jonah Goldberg, and many, many others who eagerly advocate more war and the spending that goes with it, but then refuse to join the military themselves. It is much easier to spend other people’s lives and money than your own.

    This country is apparently in much worse shape than I thought it was six months ago. But the Ron Paul campaign has done a lot of good. Ron Paul has educated people about monetary policy and foreign policy while exposing myriad hypocrites and phonies along the way.

  18. magma2 Says:

    There is no question this was a calculated smear campaign, but, let’s face it, Paul’s response to this attack was pathetic. There is a way to put the race issue behind him . . .

    Please see this open letter to Lew Rockwell from former Paul Chief of Staff (1981-1985), John Robbins, Ph.D. :

  19. Simple Simon Says:

    This “discussion” is laughable. Coordinated “smear campaign?” Conspiracies by “beltway libertarians?” Come now. Are we Ron Paul supporters or Lyndon LaRouche supporters? Absurd.

  20. Scott Frost Says:

    If this smear campaign was a sincere effort to inform the public, it would have occurred months ago, not on the eve of the New Hampshire primary. It is getting difficult to see where legitimate criticism ends and petty personal vendettas begin. It is looking like Ron Paul’s “sin” is lack of oversight of his newsletter at a time when he was out of politics and practicing medicine. It is my understanding that he did not edit or read this newsletter. Somebody should have taken responsibility for the writings in question years ago.

    I read elsewhere that James Kirchik found copies of the newsletters at the University of Kansas (if I remember correctly) and this same university has a benefactor named Koch who also funds Cato. I could not find the article. I cannot be certain of the accuracy of this, but it sounds extremely plausible as the anti-Ron Paul attacks seem to be coordinated from Cato.

    Here are some frustrating facts: Ron Paul is the ONLY noninterventionist running for president. He is the only one with an understanding of economics, especially monetary policy. He is the only one I trust to actually reduce the size, scope and cost of government. These things cannot wait four or eight years or more.

    Am I to vote for a big government Democrat or a big government neocon Republican warmonger because Ron Paul did not adequately oversee a newsletter twenty years ago?!

    The Declaration of Independence was written by a man who had slaves. Should we toss out the ideals espoused therein because the man that wrote them was severely flawed? If Thomas Jefferson was a candidate for president today, would he be treated as the man worthy of appearing on our money and having a memorial in Washington, D.C. or would he be Ron Paul-ed?

    The only candidate who has a platform of sound money, reducing government, eliminating the income tax, and a foreign policy of nonintervention is Ron Paul. The other candidates are immensely more flawed than Ron Paul and in ways which directly affect the future of this country.

    As the Chinese proverb says, “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without one.”

  21. MikeT Says:

    I got my first taste of this beltway libertarian behavior when Cathy Young linked to a tongue-in-cheek blog post on my blog and then proceeded to roast me as though I were a Republican partisan nutjob. I think it was really that incident that opened my eyes to them. These people are way, way too down with the establishment for libertarians. Reason’s writers in particular often make a disturbing common cause with the left, and see traditional conservatism as a very serious enemy to liberty. Ironic in light of the fact that it wasn’t conservatives who gave the world the misery that left-wing politics have brought.

    7 years ago, Reason used to be a kick ass publication. Then it picked up a lot of wishy washy writers, who seriously argue bogus ideas like “illegal immigration is good for women’s rights” (tell that to American women who live near large populations of working class Mexican men…) If they ever had a basis in libertarianism, they lost it a long time ago due to their love affair with D.C. life and culture.

  22. David K. Meller Says:

    Citing a few derelict statements from 20-year-old newsletters attempting to smear the only decent and upright candidate (of either party) in this Presidential campaign is hardly journalism, and reflect no credit on the purveyers of such filth!fd

    Far from being a bigot, Ron Paul is the only candidate, and one of the very few public figures, who, by recognising that rights belong to individuals–NOT GROUPS–and that the smallest and most defenceless minority on Earth is by definition, the individual human being, who can redirect the idealism and honor of the civil rights movement away from where it has gone horribly wrong since the passage of the unconstitutional 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    The Civil Rights movement must be reconsecrated to individuals, not groups, to rights, not “entitlements”, and to equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes! Only Ron Paul and his followers can begin to do this. Anybody else, even Barack Obama, focuses on groups rather than individuals, and so-called “entitlements’ rather than rights, and must aggravate bigotry and hate polluting our society, rather than healing it!

    David K. Meller

  23. Anonymous For Paul Says:

    Hey Beltway Libertarians, Anonymous says prepare for a royal ass-fucking. (invest in firewalls)

  24. Anonymous For Paul Says:

    LOL, he calls himself “James” now. Cereal, he’s a gay boy right?

  25. Tex MacRae Says:

    You missed one. Here’s Brian Doherty pursuing Ron Paul at his Tonight Show with Jay Leno appearance the night before the New Hampshire primary:

    I failed, alas, to nab Paul in the scrum outside as he was getting in his car (surrounded by mostly young fans vying for photo ops) to fly back to New Hampshire. I was unable, then, to get any personal reactions to the Kirchick New Republic piece criticizing him (apparently–it’s not publicly available yet, so I haven’t read it) for anti-MLK and anti-gay slurs from years back. For more on which, see Matt Welch’s post below (with loads of other reason Ron Paul links.)

    So, if Doherty had been successful, he would’ve been able to sandbag Ron Paul with a hit piece that hadn’t even been published yet.

  26. Tex MacRae Says:

    And another one, timed to discredit Ron Paul’s CNN Wolf Blitzer appearance:

    A Tentacle of Kochtopus

    This dirt on The Economist was written by Julian Sanchez, by the way. So, the whole Ron Paul newsletter shitstorm is about Ron Paul and the newsletters that bear his name, however, the airhead Sanchez writes a non-byline piece entitled “The Rockwell Files.” I wonder how much Kochtopus paid him to do this? Does anyone wonder why he did not publish this for Reason, but instead got a gig through Kochtopus to get the story in The Economist?

    Who is Julian Sanchez? A nobody at Reason – yes, where there are several good writers – who used to work for CATO before he came to Reason. So the paid Kochtopusite is trying to get this dirt spread throughout the mainstream media in order to unseat Lew Rockwell’s character and credibility – via The Economist nonetheless.

    A deed well done for this “yes sir” lad who wishes to remain barely-employed enough to pay his bills.

    Nice gig on The Economist, Julian!

  27. Anonymous For Paul Says:

    “apparently–it’s not publicly available yet, so I haven’t read it”


  28. Tex MacRae Says:

    Sanchez and Weigel do a lateral to the Atlantic!

    Take it away Matt Yglesias!!

  29. Tom Biggs Says:

    I dropped my subscription to the dead tree edition of “Reason” in the
    year after 9/11. Cathy Young and a significant percentage of the
    editors came out in support of the war. I was disgusted. I am
    certainly no ideological purist, but their definition of “libertarian”
    is so watered-down it doesn’t actually stand for any principles.

    Now, when there’s an actual libertarian candidate running, they fling
    s**t at him. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  30. Jason West Says:

    Here is something to make it even more interesting, Eric Loredo wrote those damning Ron Paul articles and was fired for it. He declared that he is running for Ron Paul’s congressional seat and is spouting pro Giuliani info on his blog. He had access to those newsletters and gave them to the New Republic to further his personal ambitions. What a tangled web we weave when at first we try to deceive….
    Notice especially the Reason magazine quotes on the site….

  31. tvfoh Says:

    I’m all for small government. I’m for the government obtaining taxes from tarrifs on imports only (which is the way the Constitution said we should) screw the income tax. all trade inside the US should be free.

    with these things i agree.

    But I can not support the acceptance of Racism and antisemitism.All he needs to do is say “I accept all people and you bigots stop supporting me!”

    I can not support running away from people who want to kill us. because they WILL come for us. Disengagement has never worked and appeasement has never worked. don’t be a fool.

    If he would straighten out i would be on the bandwagon.

    Libertarians, as a generalization, think that morals have no affect on the government.

    A good moral people is the bedrock of a good republic.

    In other words, To live like there is no God only makes you a fool!


    The View From Out Here

  32. Chris Brunner .com » Blog Archive » Regarding The Newsletter War Says:

    […] this post to learn of the anatomy of the Orange Line smear campaign and this post to learn by beltway “libertarians” engage in anti-libertarian […]

  33. Why the Orange Line fears libertarians « Formerbeltwaywonk’s Weblog Says:

    […] Formerbeltwaywonk’s Weblog Exposing the narrow monoculture of D.C. and the traditional mass media « The Orange Line: anatomy of a smear campaign […]

  34. Rimfax Says:

    You are engaging here in what is called an assumption of bad faith. You have concocted a reality in which anything that happens that you don’t like is part of a conspiracy against you. Your evidence is not even as strong as the weakest Michael Moore propaganda piece. You’ve even using classic propaganda techniques like using an unrelated feature, the DC Metro Orange Line, to tie it all together, even though it really ties nothing together.

    You are also engaging in all-or-nothing thinking. You think that criticism of Ron Paul must come from those who are against him. After all, why else would they note that racist shit was spewed in his name 20 years ago? Did it ever occur to you that the things printed in Ron Paul’s newsletter might actually bother those who supported him? That they might actually want something more than a weak dismissal of those statements? That they might wonder why racist shit continued to be printed in his newsletter for year after year?

    I think that Ron Paul actively courted the support of racists and abetted their efforts to raise campaign funds for him and causes that he supported. I think that he was very wrong to do so and I think that his response to these revelations in ’96 and recently have been notably underwhelming. I would still vote for him, given the chance, and I will still support him, but I won’t pretend that he has never had a soft spot for racists.

  35. Ron Paul Revolution (XV): Show Me The Money « BRIAN’S BRAIN: A Forum for Discussion and Debate Says:

    […] having to talk over Giuliani and McCain giggling during his debate answers, being pilloried by drive-by commenters who don’t know what Wikipedia is, being asked about whack-job supporters while others were […]

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  37. teageegeepea Says:

    When are you going to moderate my comment?

  38. formerbeltwaywonk Says:

    teageegeepea, moderation is off; if something happened try again. Sorry for the problem.

  39. formerbeltwaywonk Says:

    teageepea, found the problem, your comment has been posted.

  40. ben tillman Says:

    “If this smear campaign was a sincere effort to inform the public, it would have occurred months ago, not on the eve of the New Hampshire primary.”

    If it were a sincere effort to inform the public it would be accompanied by other articles explaining how much WORSE the other candidates are.

  41. teageegeepea Says:

    Thanks, fmb. When I started my blog on wordpress it acted up a bit, but it works better now.

  42. billy bob tweed Says:

    I came here via Justin Raimondo’s new post at Takimag (via blog). If you haven’t read his takedown of the slime-machine, check it out, he mutilates the Orange Line Mafia.

  43. Toronto Ex Pat Says:

    maybe it’s old news, if Paul were running for Congress. for those of us just meeting him in his presidential run, these comments show a new side to the “kindly, old eccentric” he was putting out a newsletter that used race-baiting, class resentment and shock to generate a small subscription base.

    notice that Ron Paul never refuted these writings in 1996; his campaign advisers supposedly suggested this. then he bashfully admitted to a “ghostwriter” in an interview and denounced the racism and bigotry. when this adds up to two decades of this garbage, though, Ron Paul needs to do a little better, because his newsletters were not only sympathetic to David Duke but similar in aim and scope. it is such a strike against Ron Paul’s character, that you cannot trust his other libertarian views. whether he wrote this or if it was negligence is a moot point.

  44. Inalienable Blog Archive » On the Ron Paul smears Says:

    […] for some newsletters that were sent out in his name. For an excellent dissection of the attack see this blog entry by a former beltway […]

  45. Anomaly News Syndicate » Blog Archive » Takis Top Drawer: Why the Beltway Libertarians Are Trying to Smear Ron Paul Says:

    […] before they broke into a chorus of denunciations. A former beltway wonk has published an excellent chronology of the various postings by the Reason/Cato/neocon crowd after the Kirchick piece was published and […]

  46. Kevin Houston Says:

    This is a smear because major portions of the charges are totally (and knowingly) misrepresented by TNR.

    It is a campaign, because certain journalists in other publications had advanced notice of the article, and wrote about it, in some cases prior to it’s actual publication.

    This ought to make the blood boil for every Ron Paul supporter out there.

    But rather than do as anonymous (coward) suggests, and attacking TNR or Reason electronically, please channel the energy into positive activity, such as donating to the next money bomb, or walking your precinct for Dr. Paul. If you must strike back at reason, please do so economically.

    Reason – I am done with your magazine. You have not only lost *my* subscription, but also the one I usually give as a gift.

    I hope it was worth it.

    If we Paulunteers can tank NWS for 10%, we oughta be able to out-right sink reason.

    BTW, Let this stand as another example of the scandal that would not be a scandal, if the principles involved had not lied about it in the first instance. If Dr. Paul had told the truth the first time, that he didn’t write it, this would not be half the story that it is today.

    Also FormerBeltwayWonk, look out – Dondero was shooting his mouth off that TNR (or others) were going to do the same thing to Dr. Paul’s books. Probably to paint him as a kook, but perhaps again to paint him as racist. He wasn’t very specific, but I gather it will come out right before the Feb 5th primaries.


  47. fling93 Says:

    “Oddly enough, all these people with the exception of the tardiest, Dale Carpenter, live or work near the Orange Line subway (Metro) west of the capitol building in Washington, D.C.”

    How about Steve Horwitz?

    “…those of us who have been paying attention to the libertarian movement for the last 15 years knew that the paleo element was growing and was associated with all kinds of unsavory views from the ugly segment of the hard right. Did all of these supposed observers of the libertarian scene not pay attention to the appearances that Paul has made at all kinds of fringe events? Did they not pay attention to the links between people associated with Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute (Paul’s intellectual home) and racists, anti-Semites, Holocaust skeptics, homophobes, Confederacy praisers, and conspiracy theorists of all types, all of which have been ably discussed and documented by Right Watch and Tom Palmer among others? Perhaps the under 35 crowd doesn’t have the longer-run history that those of us in our 40s do.

    “Those of us who have been paying attention knew of Ron Paul’s first or second-hand association with all of these groups and we knew their odious ideas. We knew that people like Lew Rockwell were long-time associates of Ron Paul’s and thus the recent speculation that his pen is prominent in those nasty newsletters comes as no surprise as well. (And, if true, explains why Ron Paul isn’t naming names, as Rockwell is not just a “former aide” but a current advisor.) In my much commented-upon posts from last month, I tried to raise this warning flag in a more subtle way. My closing comment suggesting that the Paul campaign was not clearly a net benefit to libertarianism was my way of expressing precisely the fear that has now come home to roost and is so nicely captured by Balko: libertarians are going to have to spend more energy than ever explaining why we’re not racists, etc. as we get linked to the nastiness in those newsletters.”

  48. scraped Says:

    Perhaps the under 35 crowd isn’t quite so dogmatic and able to see past the BS smears that dismiss “conspiracy theorists.”

  49. formerbeltwaywonk Says:

    fling93, Horwtiz’ post is dated Jan. 10. I was linking to people who were spreading the smears specifically on New Hampshire primary day (Jan. 8th) well before the polls closed. My problem is not with thoughtful discussion on the newsletters — that is definitely needed and would have been nice to have had weeks, at least, before the Iowa caucus — but with deliberately spreading the out-of-context quotes and extreme language about Paul on the primary day without thoughtful reflection much less before having read any of the original newsletters. That to me indicates strongly that the person is either extremely naive about politics or is no friend of liberty. That they live or work along the Orange Line suggests the latter.

    BTW, to repeat myself, I don’t think this was all a grand conspiracy coordinated in advance between all of the above. Rather, I am claiming that the above chronology and the geographic location of the propagation in the D.C. area are explained by the Orange Line monoculture. Despite calling themselves “libertarians” they react to the news like the pro-federal-government cosmopolitan natives of the beltway that they are, not like anti-government libertarians would react.

    Excepting the initial coordination that seems to have occurred between Reason and TNR, the best metaphor I’ve heard is from Mencius Moldbug who described the subsequent propagation of the smear campaign as “sharks smelling blood.” It’s habitual in statist Orange Line culture to react with passion once their very sensitive notions of political correctness have been violated.

  50. fling93 Says:

    Sorry to have misunderstood. The language you used — “smear campaign” and “Orange Line Mafia” — made it sound a lot like you thought it was a grand conspiracy. Also, I’ve seen other people spinning damage control by claiming that it’s only the beltway cosmopolitan types who are being critical of the newsletters and the Mises Institute’s ties. This is clearly not the case.

    Really, if I was running “the conspiracy,” I would have released the newsletters earlier, before Iowa, as Paul’s campaign depended upon a lot upon footsoldiers and Internet supporters. A scandal with the potential to split the movement would antagonize some of those supporters and at the very least keep a lot more of them sitting on the sidelines, giving Giuliani or whatnot better poll numbers earlier and thus a chance to build momentum.

    Not to mention that Reason’s coverage of Paul wouldn’t have been positive for nearly as long.

    Had Paul been a front-runner, of course, then my approach would’ve been different, as a front-runner with deep pockets and broader support is much more able to survive and counterattack. Furthermore, the front-runners really want to focus on each other as early as possible and deal as little as possible with candidates that nobody expects to win. After all, you don’t see Clinton or Obama expending valuable resources on Kucinich. Those resources are much better used against each other. So for Giuliani to be worrying about Paul this late in the game means McCain, Romney, and Huckabee will be smelling blood.

    But eh, I’m no political strategist.

  51. formerbeltwaywonk Says:

    fling93, I clearly labelled “Mafia” as just meant to be taken in fun, not literally. And “Orange Line” is obviously a label for a geographically based culture, like “beltway”. As for “campaign”, the use is partially metaphorical — “emergent phenomenon” or Mencius Moldbugs’ “sharks smelling blood in the water” wouldn’t fit on a headline. If you can come up with a single better word to describe this highly simultaneous and very well timed, but not centrally planned, spread of anti-Paul smears I’d love to hear it.

  52. fling93 Says:

    Well, I’d call it either great minds thinking alike or a non-conspiracy “conspiracy” hardly worth commenting on. You might prefer to label it groupthink, but that means admitting that social pressures affect individuals, which I think opens up a can of worms for the Austrian Economists (not to mention that the groupthink charge could equally be applied to Paul supporters).

  53. Cathy Cathbert Says:

    Would like to comment on Paul’s avoidance of blaming his writer when this first came out years ago. Calling this a lie is, I think, not looking at the big picture. Seems he was caught between a rock and a hard place in that if he takes full responsibility and doesn’t mention a writer, he’s called a liar by some. But if he blames the writer, he could have been accuse of passing the buck. He also, since he apparently fired the guy, had to be careful of a lawsuit. Not good either way.

    I think his sins are lack of attention at the time and lack of planning in advance of any “revelation” now. Venal at most, n’ext pas?

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  57. Craig Goodrich Says:

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  59. jim Says:

    It is irrelevant whether it is a smear campaign, what matters is the truth. I would like to believe all of the quotes were taken out of context, but if that is the case, then show them to everyone IN context and explain them. I do not believe Ron Paul to be a racist person, but that does not explain how this happened, who wrote what, and what relationship Ron Paul has with them today. Any relevant candidate in the same boat would be expected to fully disclose, explain, and refute such a pointed accusation and damning evidence.

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