It is not an easy time for the supporters of Ron Paul, and for Andrew Sullivan, this problem is a bit more high profile than for others since Sullivan endorsed Ron Paul for President. Let us start with the fact that Sullivan is kind of upset with his friend Joe Klein who wrote about the 1990′s newsletters that “They disqualify him from the presidency. The idea that someone else wrote them and Paul didn’t read them is utter nonsense–even if true, it would be a devastating commentary on Paul’s executive abilities. How could he hire whomever wrote this crap?”
The newsletters do raise disturbing questions about Ron Paul, and his reaction to them paints him as either being very much a racist and bigot or lazy and disingenuous. Either way, for a supporter of Paul like Sullivan, this could be problematic. In fact, Sullivan wrote that:
I sat down and re-read some of the Ron Paul newsletters last night. I don’t think he wrote them; I don’t think they represent who he is; I do not believe the man is a racist, although seeing into men’s souls is not something any of us is very good at. But you have railed and railed and railed at me these past few days – and it’s my duty to sit down and re-think. It’s happened before and will happen again. I write and think in real time.
Sullivan goes on to say that he does believe that Paul “used these newsletters as fundraising tools without full oversight.” Still, Sullivan writes that “a fringe protest candidate need not fully address issues two decades ago that do not in any way reflect the campaign he has run or the issues on which he has made an appeal.” Still, he notes that Paul is now running pretty high in the polls, and that means that he has to grapple openly with what he once did or what was once done in his name.
The rest of the piece is worth reading, but it should be noted that Sullivan writes that “And so, until Paul fully explains this incident, in the kind of way Michael Tomasky recommends, I have to say there is an alternative, as I described at length in the endorsement: Jon Huntsman. He’s what my super-ego tells me is the right choice. My id remains with Ron. But I write with the rational part of my brain, or at least I try to.”
While this is something of a distraction from the real issues that effects the United States right now, it does get to the heart of Ron Paul’s executive style, and he really needs to address these very soon because, if he does not, it may not only hurt his Presidential campaign, but his Congressional career, and potentially the career of his son Rand Paul.