NewsOne now brings to light a YouTube video in which Ron Paul gives a "South was Right" speech to an evident gathering of Confederacy nostalgists. No date or place is offered, but this supposed "libertarian" is speaking against the backdrop of a giant Confederate battle flag! The video was apparently first placed on YouTube by a neo-Confederate channel with the slightly ironic name "Patriot Review." In it, Paul regurgitates several of the usual revisionist tropes—he dismisses slavery as an "excuse" and "rabble-rousing issue" that "really wasn't the issue of why the war was fought"; he suggests differences over "protectionism" and the "banking system" were really behind the war; he points out that other countries "got rid of slavery without war" through "legislation" (as if the abolitionists hadn't fought generations for that!) or (of course, the free-market solution) "literally buying slaves' freedom." Et cetera. NewsOne adds:
Big kudos to the African American-oriented NewsOne website for relentlessly calling out Ron Paul's ties to the white supremacist radical right. Now they have dug up an unseemly affair covered by the New York Times in 1981—today disgracefully ignored by the supposed "liberal media"!—that implicates the supposed "libertarian" presidential hopeful in an attempted mercenary invasion and coup d'etat to establish a white separatist homeland in the Black-majority Caribbean nation of Dominica. No, we aren't kidding. It seems that one of Paul's more ugly contemporary supporters, Don Black of the neo-Nazi outfit Stormfront, at that time a Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard, was indicted by US federal authorities in the plot, dubbed "Operation Red Dog." The scheme called for hiring mercenaries to overthrow then-Prime Minister Eugenia Charles and restore the previous prime minister, Patrick John—and then creating an Aryan paradise on the island, funded through casinos, cocaine and brothels. On the day the mercenary force was to set out for Dominica in a small ship on the Louisiana coast, they were busted by BATF agents—who found over thirty automatic weapons, shotguns, rifles, handguns, dynamite, a confederate flag and a Nazi flag. In a brief flurry of coverage, the media dubbed the plan the "Bayou of Pigs." Prosecutors tried to subpoena then-congressman Paul and ex-Texas governor John Connally after mercenary leader Mike Perdue said they were in on the plot. The request was turned down by a federal judge. David Duke—also now an outspoken Paul supporter (check out his website)—was called to testify before a grand jury, but took the Fifth Amendment.
Philip Weiss on his modestly named MondoWeiss blog again gushes shamelessly for far-right zealot Ron Paul, effusing about his supposed "challenge to progressives." What challenge would that be? To abandon every progressive principle at the lure of a little populist rhetoric? Gee, a good thing nobody has ever made that mistake before (cough). Weiss' basic argument is that "Ron Paul's campaign...might politicize the militant American policy in the Middle East. Americans will get to argue this openly. That is why the Washington Post is slamming Paul—it doesn't want that to happen. That is why the New York Times has conflated anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and white supremacism—to marginalize Ron Paul's ideas." As if Ron Paul's "ideas" (like repealing birthright citizenship and selling the national parks to Exxon) don't deserve to be marginalized! As if Ron Paul weren't really in bed with actual white supremacists!
The disgraceful and frighteningly uniform rallying for Ron Paul among bigshot talking heads on the so-called "left" has made further impressive strides towards cynicism, dishonesty and self-defeating idiocy in recent days. Glenn Greenwald uses his Salon column Dec. 31 to gush over Paul—while denying he "supports" or "endorses" him so many times that it smells strongly of methinks-he-doth-protest-too-much. Effuses Greenwald: "Ron Paul is the only major candidate from either party advocating crucial views on vital issues that need to be heard, and so his candidacy generates important benefits." He goes on to dismiss principled progressive criticisms of Paul as "fallacies":
It is a sad day indeed. The most prominent website on what is popularly (if not quite accurately) perceived as the political "left," Counterpunch, on Dec. 27 runs a piece by Dave Lindorff, "Why the Establishment is Terrified of Ron Paul," plugging the far-right populist as "Better Than Obama" (because he opposes the "War on Terror" and will stand up to the Israel Lobby, of course). All Lindorff can say about the ugly racism that repeatedly appeared under Paul's name in his own newsletter is, "The racist bit is funny. After all, if we're honest, the whole political infrastructure of the US is riven with racism." As if the institutionalized racism of the system lets an individual—much less one who is running for president!—off the hook for personal racism. The particular irony is that Paul getting a pass from his supporters for his serial racism is part of the institutionalized racism of the system! This is merely the disgraceful left-wing equivalent of the right cutting a pass for the blatant racism displayed on the Palin-McCain campaign trail in '08. And as the "alternative" media fall for right-wing populism and betray anti-racist principles, it is the dreaded "MSM" that ironically rise to the occasion. The same day Counterpunch ran Lindorff's apologia, the goddam New York Times ran an editorial that said exactly what needs to be said about Ron Paul:
It continues to amaze and demoralize us how many so-called "progressives" are gushing over Ron Paul because he talks a good anti-war game. A case in point is Philip Weiss of the popular anti-Zionist blog Mondoweiss. Weiss starts out by acknowledging the loads of ugly racist garbage that Paul printed in his newsletter over the years—usually under his own by-line. But he still writes:
The paradoxical "progressive" flirtation with right-wing wackjob Ron Paul continues unabated. Mondoweiss is the latest to enthuse that he "opposes another neocon war for Israel." (Remember back when the left used to blame Middle East military adventures on oil companies?) Meanwhile, the sinister nature of the Paulist agenda becomes increasingly blatant. In our last post calling out Paul as a bogus pseudo-libertarian who opposes reproductive freedom and separation of church and state, we noted his enthusiasm for the far-right John Birch Society (whose paranoid fantasies of a UN take-over of the USA fueled the militia movement in the '90s), and facetiously asked if the Oklahoma City bombing was the kind of "revolution" he wants to see. Well, maybe it isn't just a joke. Gawker takes note of a Ron Paul campaign ad in which he pledges to do away with the departments of Education, Interior, Housing and Commerce—with the word "gone" for each one punctuated by an image of mushroom cloud! (We've come a long way from Lyndon Johnson's famous "Daisy ad," no?) Pretty disquieting that someone who is so glib about nuclear explosions could have his finger on The Button. But, more to the point, whose interests would be served by Paul's mania for blowing up federal agencies—such as the Interior Department, which controls some 20% of total US land area, including much resource-rich territory? Let's take a look...
The US Department of Justice on Dec. 15 announced the findings of its three-year civil rights investigation of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO). The investigation concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that MCSO engages in a pattern or practice of violating the Constitution and laws of the US in three areas. First, the DOJ found that the MCSO engages in a pattern or practice of unconstitutional policing, specifically in racial profiling of Latinos and in the unlawful stops, detains and arrests resulting therefrom. Next, the DoJ found that the MCSO unlawfully retaliates against people who criticize its policies and practices. Finally, the DoJ found reasonable cause to believe that the MCSO operates its jails in a manner that discriminates against Latino inmates that are limited-English-proficient, routinely punishing them when they fail to understand commands given in English, and denying critical services that are provided to other inmates. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez made the findings announcement, criticizing the MCSO for failing to cooperate with requests for information, which caused the investigation to to take longer than expected.