This was an article in the National Review Online magazine. What Paul Is Running For The kooky doctor. By Mona Charen Memo to: Ron Paul supporters Subject: Your e-mails Okay, enough is enough. Like every other journalist in America, and who knows, maybe the world or even the universe, I’ve been deluged with your letters and e-mails. So I’ve done as you asked and taken a closer look at your candidate. Here is what I’ve found: 1. Ron Paul is inconsistent. Though he calls himself a man of principle and is apparently admired as such by his ardent fans, his principles seem somewhat elastic. He rails against the Bush administration for its supposed assault on civil liberties, yet when he was asked at one of the debates whether Scooter Libby deserved a pardon, he said no. "He doesn’t deserve one because he was instrumental in leading the Congress and the people to support a war that we didn’t need to be in." Notice that he didn’t say it was because Libby was guilty of committing a crime. No, because Libby argued for a policy with which Paul disagreed, he deserved to serve time in prison. Ron Paul, the libertarian, who presumably values liberty above all, is willing to deprive someone else of his because of a policy disagreement? 2. Ron Paul is historically challenged. He argues that by embracing isolationism, he fits within a Republican tradition stretching back to Eisenhower "who stopped the Korean War" and including Nixon "who stopped the war in Vietnam." Let’s recap. Eisenhower threatened to use nuclear weapons against China. It was the Eisenhower administration that had a hand in toppling Iran’s Mohammad Mossedegh (an intervention that Paul has elsewhere cited as causing the U.S. grief 25 years later when the Islamists took power). Eisenhower also intervened in Guatemala, Cuba (planning for the Bay of Pigs began during his tenure) and Lebanon. Nixon, an isolationist? Most observers, whatever they may make of detente with the USSR and the opening to China, agree that Nixon was an emphatic internationalist. For the record, he intervened in many countries including Chili, Peru and Cambodia. And he saved Israel by resupplying her during the Yom Kippur war. Neither his successes nor failures grew out of a Paulesque policy of "minding our own business." 3. Ron Paul is unserious. Suggesting that you will eliminate the IRS, the CIA, the FBI and other government agencies within weeks of taking office is ridiculous. These are bumper stickers, not serious reform proposals. 4. Ron Paul is too cozy with kooks and conspiracy theorists. As syndicated radio host Michael Medved has pointed out, Ron Paul’s newspaper column was carried by the American Free Press (a parent publication of the Hitler-praising Barnes Review). Paul may not have been aware of this. But though invited by Medved to disavow any connection, Paul has so far failed to respond. Paul has appeared on the Alex Jones radio program not once, not twice, but three times. Jones is the sort who believes that black helicopters are coming to impose a police state on America. He is quite concerned about the Bohemian Grove, the Bilderbergers, the federal election system (it’s rigged, of course) and so on. Naturally, he believes that 9/11 was an inside job. Ron Paul has even appeared in a Jones film, Endgame, the point of which is apparently that the Bilderbergers are plotting to control the world. They’ve already got Europe (through the European Union) and now are on the verge of securing America by means of a North American union that would unite Mexico, the United States and Canada. Even if Paul says nothing insane in this film, his appearance alone calls his judgment into question. I have not seen Endgame, but I have heard a tape of Paul on the Jones program just after the 2006 election. Jones asked the congressman whether the victory for the Democrats wasn’t a "rejection of neo-fascist imperialism." Paul replied, "Yeah . . . This was a healthy election as far as I’m concerned." Ron Paul is the favorite candidate of a number of racist, neo-Nazi and conspiracist websites. While Paul cannot be held accountable for the views of cranks and kooks, he can disavow their support and return their checks. He received $500 from Don Black, the proprietor of Stormfront.org and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. He has not yet returned it. Moreover, Paul seems to be playing a sly game with his conspiracy-minded fans. He does not explicitly endorse the crazier theories out there, but he hints at dark forces in the U.S. government threatening our liberties, he inveighs against the "neo-cons" (shorthand for Jews in some circles) and he gives aid and comfort to the paranoid by appearing on their favorite radio shows. No, Ron Paul is not my candidate. Not for president. He might make a dandy new leader for the Branch Davidians. And here is Jesse Benton's response. I love seeing these Paul bashers called to task. A great Job by Mr. Benton. Ron Paul To the Editor I read Mona Charen’s column on Friday and I had to clear a few things up. Outside of the name-calling ("kook," as I’m sure you remember, was the attack word of choice used by critics of Barry Goldwater), Charen was way off base. 1. Dr. Paul’s commitment to principle is second to none, so to attack him, Charen twists the understanding of what a presidential pardon really is. A pardon is a constitutional check by the executive branch on the judiciary to protect against cruel or unusual punishment. When considering a pardon, a president examines extenuating circumstances to decide whether a punishment for a conviction under the law was unjust. Scooter Libby was convicted of a crime; that is not the issue here. Dr. Paul is not sympathetic to issuing him a pardon because he finds Libby an unsympathetic character. There is nothing inconsistent here. President Bush, who has issued the fewest pardons of any president since World War II, hasn’t pardoned Libby either, by the way. 2. If Charen paid much attention to the campaign, she would know that Dr. Paul never utters the word "isolationist" except to explain why he is not one. He believes in the foreign policy of the founders: peace, commerce, and open friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none. When he references Nixon and Eisenhower, he is clearly talking about past successful Republican campaign strategies, not what they did in office. Eisenhower campaigned to end the Korean War, Nixon to get us out of Vietnam. Dr. Paul argues that the GOP can only win in 2008 with a candidate who will bring hope troops form Iraq. Last I checked, many National Review readers cared a thing or two about Republicans winning elections. 3. Ron Paul is dead serious and very sober about what it will take to reform things like our oppressive tax system. Clearly, a Paul administration cannot end the IRS on January 29, 2009. Ending the income tax, a goal all real conservatives should share, would take major cooperation with the Congress. But, with honest communication and a lot of hard work, Dr. Paul knows that we can end the end the income tax over the course of just a few years. Over half of federal government revenue presently comes from sources other than the income tax. The United States could end the IRS and still fund the same level of big government we had less than ten years ago. There is nothing "unserious" about that. 4. Dr. Paul is a modest man with a sparkling record and unimpeachable personal integrity. I understand why you need to attack him by linking him to less-than-savory individuals (there is simply nothing else to use), but it is just not going to work. Some of your charges are silly. Dr. Paul’s "Texas Straight Talk Column," for example, is public record and anyone, from the American Free Press to Cat Fancy, has the right to reprint it. Yes, Ron appears on the Alex Jones radio program. But you know who else talks to Alex Jones? People like Judge Anthony Napolitano. Guess who hosts Alex Jones? FOX’s John Gibson and National Public Radio. Dr. Paul has said time and again that he does not believe 9/11 was an inside job. He does, however, think we should always question authority. When, by the way, were conservatives supposed to become trusting of big government? Dr. Paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity, and the protection of inalienable individual rights. He knows that liberty is the antidote for racism, anti-Semitism, and other small minded ideologies. Dr. Paul has focused all of his energy on winning the presidency so he can cut the size of government and protect the freedom of every American. Neither he nor his staff is going to waste time screening donors. If a handful of individuals with views anathema to Dr. Paul’s send in checks, then they have wasted their money. I cannot profess to understand the motivations of Don Black as neither Dr. Paul nor I know who he is, but a simple Google search shows that his $500 contribution has netted him at least 88 news hits, including Charen’s column. Perhaps a better explanation for his "contribution" is not support for Ron, but the attention he knew he would receive. Mona, I can not expect everyone to support Dr. Paul, especially those who have sunk so much of their own credibility into supporting the Iraq war. In fact, Dr. Paul welcomes open and spirited discussions, and even legitimate criticism. But, I had to get a few things off my chest. Jesse Benton Communications Director Ron Paul 2008 PCC Arlington, Va.