Wednesday, January 09, 2008

So I did end up cutting my hair. After firmly deciding I was not going to, I abruptly went into the bathroom and did yesterday. I did it myself, which means I saved money. I'm not sure how right it looks, though. My hair has a lot of body, I cut it about an hour after a shower, and I put gel in it so it's pretty limp to-day. I haven't seen the hair in full bloom, if you will. But it looks okay right now.

I'm kind of amused by Hillary Clinton's victory in New Hampshire as everyone had apparently been fully prepared for her to lose, including Senator Clinton, who actually teared up about it a couple days ago. Though, as Jon Stewart pointed out, it wasn't the meltdown everyone was making it out to be.

The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have certainly been strange without the writers, though the two hosts do seem to have decent enough improvisational skills to carry thirty minutes. Mostly I was just disturbed that I found myself agreeing with something David Frum said on The Daily Show last night--that the closer you look at Ron Paul, the more disturbing the guy is.

Sure, as one of Rudy Giuliani's advisors, Frum has reason to paint Ron Paul as a disturbing nutjob since Paul is now looking like a serious opponent of Giuliani. Plus, there's a general dismissiveness of Paul from the right, as evidenced by Paul's recent exclusion from a FOX Noise debate. They don't want the right wing pool to digest someone who's against the Iraq war while being on the same side of the fence as they are.

But in this case, the right wing establishment has plenty of ammunition as apparently Paul is a disturbing nutjob--even more of a nutjob than I thought, I found out yesterday. See, I'd known about a newsletter where Paul revealed himself to be a racist by claiming that black people were more inclined to commit crime. Paul had denied taking the stance, even though the newsletter was in his name--I'd heard Paul was blaming a ghost writer who published the piece without Paul seeing it. Paul didn't come up with this excuse until seven years after the fact and I didn't buy it for a moment. But I could sort of see how some people would believe this one newsletter had escaped Paul's notice.

Yesterday, though, I discovered it wasn't just one issue of a newsletter, but decades worth of newsletters. This article from The New Republic reveals, with direct quotes, a long running, vehemently racist, homophobic, anti-government paranoid publication apparently written by Paul himself. Paul's campaign claims that all of the particularly nasty issues were written by ghost writers that somehow continually managed to fly under Paul's radar while continuing to bear his endorsement.

The New Republic article makes this rather valid point;

Paul's campaign wants to depict its candidate as a naïve, absentee overseer, with minimal knowledge of what his underlings were doing on his behalf. This portrayal might be more believable if extremist views had cropped up in the newsletters only sporadically--or if the newsletters had just been published for a short time. But it is difficult to imagine how Paul could allow material consistently saturated in racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy-mongering to be printed under his name for so long if he did not share these views. In that respect, whether or not Paul personally wrote the most offensive passages is almost beside the point. If he disagreed with what was being written under his name, you would think that at some point--over the course of decades--he would have done something about it.

There are really only two choices. Either Paul's an enormous bigot or he's phenomenally stupid.

Which makes the devotion this guy's inspired all the more sad. I found the New Republic article through a link on The Huffington Post, where there are now 1,352 reader comments regarding the article, mostly consisting of ridiculously simple-minded arguments from Ron Paul supporters, which seem to be variations of, "Ron Paul is good so he would never lie, he's not a racist!" That's a lot of incredibly naïve people. Suddenly I'm reminded of that skeevy hypnotist I saw on the cruise.

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