10 January 2008

Ron Paul: Never Really Had Me, Lost Me, Got Me Back

Not that I need a qualifier (I'm the one running this show) but I love politics. I'm following Campaign '08 with nearly obsessive fervor. This race is unlike any other -- and not just because of the Democrats' woman or the black guy. The Democrats also have the pretty former senator, who got snubbed by his former running mate.

The Republicans have their menagerie as well. There's the Mormon, the weight loss success story, the former mayor whose only experience is tragedy, the POW, and the Libertarian. It reads like a bad reality show but it's making for great politics.

Take Ron Paul (the Libertarian) for example. The GOP can't stand him. He's not even a real Republican. But there he is, taking their donations, swaying their supporters, and giving people another viable option. Paul is infectious. He has conviction and mass appeal. Even the most liberal of Democrats has to wonder about voting for a Ron Paul Future. That's made him into a threat and proof of that came today.

CNN dug up newsletters from Ron Paul's office after reading about them in the New Republic. They date back to the 80's and 90's and make offensive statements about black people. Paul says he didn't write it and doesn't know who did. Of course, he couldn't say much else. Nonetheless, after watching his interview with Wolf Blitzer, I have to say I believe him. No only that, Paul did a good job of taking the question (of his potential racism) and using it to raise an issue (racism & the war on drugs).

What I liked most about Paul repudiation (aside from the word repudiation) is that he explained why a Civil Libertarian couldn't possibly be a racist. Paul said racism takes a group-think, the likes of which are not Libertarian in nature. It's the kind of argument that is final. If the world can agree that Ron Paul is a Libertarian, then the world must agree Ron Paul is not a racist.

Paul also brought up the timing of these documents, and the fact that he's willing to pardon people (black or white) imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses. The whole interview is worth watching. I applaud CNN for giving him the time to clear his name. And I applaud Ron Paul for turning bad press back toward his competitors.