Who Wrote Ron Paul's Newsletters?:

For those interested in such inside-baseball, here is a post by Wirkman saying it was widely known in libertarian circles that the newsletters were ghostwritten, and another by former (and disgruntled) Ron Paul staffer Eric Dondero claiming that Paul wrote half the content, and a prominent friend of Ron's 80% of the rest.

More Ron Paul Fallout:

Sensible comments, with which I largely agree, from David Boaz of Cato, former VC contributor Jacob Levy, Prof. Steven Horwitz, Prof. Glen Whitman, "Rightwatch", and Tim Sandefur.

The consensus is, basically, that libertarianism needs to more aggressively disassociate itself from right-wing fringe loonies who use libertarianism as a mask to disguise other agendas, or who support libertarianism only because they adhere to some bizarre conspiracy theory or other involving the federal government. Those of us who long ago (as I did) made a decision not to associate with the creepy-paleocons-disguising themselves-as-libertarians in the Lew Rockwell circle--Rockwell being, among other things, the primary suspect as the author of the offensive passages in Ron Paul's newsletters, though he denied it to the New Republic's James Kirchik--need to exert peer pressure on our libertarian friends to follow suit.

Speaking of which, why would otherwise respectable libertarians such as Doug Bandow and Alan Bock write for, and allow themselves to be listed as columnists for, Justin Raimondo's Antiwar.com? Raimondo, one might recall, is best-known for such illuminating commentary as, "If we observe how we were lied into war with Iraq, and by whom, the whole affair looks more like an Israeli covert operation by the day" (and read the whole thing, not to mention his bizarre book, to get the full flavor). Perhaps it's not just elements of the Left that became unhinged by the Iraq War.

UPDATE: The Economist's Democracy in America blog reports:

according to numerous veterans of the libertarian movement, it was an open secret during the late-80s and early-90s who was ghostwriting the portions of Mr Paul's newsletters not penned by the congressman himself: Lew Rockwell, founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and members of his staff, among them Jeffrey Tucker, now editorial vice president of the Institute. Mr Rockwell denied authorship to Jamie Kirchick, the reporter whose New Republic article published earlier this week reignited controversy over the newsletters. But both Mr Rockwell (who attacked the New Republic article on his site) and Mr Tucker refused to discuss the matter with Democracy in America.

A New Conspiracy Theory from the Mises Institute Crowd:

Prof. Thomas DiLorenzo at LewRockwell.com argues that the Ron Paul newsletter scandal was the result of a plot by "beltway libertarians" headquartered at the Cato Institute (where, full disclosure, I am an adjunct fellow, and which is co-publishing my next book), and encouraged by the Kansas-based Koch family (major donors to libertarian causes) to discredit Ron Paul. Here's the kicker: "The author [of the New Republic piece detailing the newsletters' outrageous statements] claims to have retrieved the newsletters from the University of Kansas library, the university where Charles Koch, CATO funder, is a major patron. How on earth would a kid just out of college know to go to a library in Kansas, of all places, to dig up such stuff?"

Well, one theory is that Charles Koch and the leaders of the Cato Institute forwarded the newsletters, or at least the information on where to find them, to the New Republic at the precise right moment to discredit Ron Paul. A rather simpler theory is that James Kirchick, author of the TNR piece, simply went to a well-known Internet database called Worldcat, which tells you which libraries hold which books and periodicals. When I type "Ron Paul" into Worldcat's "Title" tab, I find that the University of Kansas is the only library reported to hold Dr. Ron Paul's Special Report (see for yourself) and one of five libraries to hold Ron Paul's Freedom Report. Several other Ron Paul newsletters are held only by the Wisconsin Historical Society. Even "kids just out of college" often know how to use the Internet, I believe.

Lo and behold, James Kirchick, author of the TNR piece, reported that "finding the pre-1999 newsletters was no easy task, but I was able to track many of them down at the libraries of the University of Kansas and the Wisconsin Historical Society."

Funny? Pathetic? Both?

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. A New Conspiracy Theory from the Mises Institute Crowd:
  2. More Ron Paul Fallout:
  3. Who Wrote Ron Paul's Newsletters?: