Hello, Hatemail

CRESTON, Iowa – As I wait for Newt Gingrich’s bus to arrive at a town hall here, why not address some angry blog posts? Doghouse Riley asks the important question:

Are There Really People In America Whose Political Outlook Is Informed By David Weigel?

Let’s hope so. Otherwise, I’m filing a lot of expense reports for no great cause. The complaint here is that I’m not covering Ron Paul’s old newsletters as proof of the GOP’s outreach to, and support from, racists.

Somehow the story–possibly the major one of our times–of how the Reagan party gets away with pandering to racists while maintaining the support of hundreds of pundits who abhor racism is perpetually lost under the noses of the Press. But Weigel compounds this–or obscures it–by letting the polls decide whether the “old news” of Paul’s newsletters is important. Republicans say noLiberals being joined by conservatives! Gay liberal bellwether Dan Savage doesn’t care!

I didn’t have an answer in mind I when I asked Dan Savage if the anti-gay stuff Paul’s newsletters bothered him. He might have said that they did. He said that they didn’t. The last offensive letters in the pile are 16 years old, and Savage, among others, has decided that some personal prejudice (which may still exist, may not) doesn’t matter as much as the candidate’s total disinterest in legislating it. Also: I don’t know if Paul’s old newsletters say much about the Republican Party. It says a lot about the strain of the conservative movement that Paul comes out of.

Weigel decides… to get miffed that theTimes story on those newsletters–written, of course, after the Paul surge–ignored the contribution he and Julian Sanchez made to the story four years ago at Reason.

Eh, I’m not that miffed. My first blog post on the topic was a reminder that I had written about the subject, that I hadn’t fallen asleep on the job and ignored Paul’s newsletters. My second was about why it mattered that Reason covered the story, at a time when plenty of libertarians said it was bad for the movement to do so. Libertarians like Justin Raimondo, who weighs in on the affair again, saying the 2008 article left out too much context.

What was it about that period – roughly 1989 to 1994 – that stands out in one’s mind? If you’re a foreign policy analyst, or even if you’re just an ordinary educated person, what it recalls is the downing of the Berlin Wall and the implosion of the Soviet empire. This, and not some mythical appeal to the followers of David Duke, was the impetus for the “right-wing populist” strategy. Weigel and Sanchez cite as their source Rothbard’s 1992 speech to the John Randolph Club, but fail to provide a link – leaving their readers to the interpretive mercies of these two mendacious authors. These two turncoats are liars plain and simple, for the speech, delivered before a group of writers and activists who represented both the libertarian and conservative strains of the emerging “paleo” coalition, was a passionate appeal for unity now that the greatest cause of their previous separation – the cold war – was over. It was a cal lfor the conservative movement to return to its anti-imperialist Old Right roots.

Do follow the link and read the essay, with the full-bore defense of Joe McCarthy and the scorn towards the media for its coverage of Pat Buchanan, so full of scorn of “a designated oppressor group (White Male Irish Catholic).”