Watch the early returns out of Manchester — it has a big working class contingent. If Clinton-Obama is close there, Obama wins. If Obama’s winning there, the state’s a blowout for him. And if Clinton’s winning big in Manchester, it’ll be close statewide. On the Republican side, Romney needs to do well along the I-93 Corridor where voters have more Massachusetts ties.
Beginning in 1978, Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-TX) name graced newsletters that were released on a seemingly monthly basis: Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report. “The Freedom Report’s online archives only go back to 1999,” but The New Republic’s Jamie Kirchick recently tracked down physical copies of many of the pre-1999 reports.
According to Kirchick, they’re peppered with a “decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays.” Here are a few examples:
On David Duke: “Our priority should be to take the anti-government, anti-tax, anti-crime, anti-welfare loafers, anti-race privilege, anti-foreign meddling message of Duke, and enclose it in a more consistent package of freedom.”
On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “[A] comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”
On African-Americans: “I’ve urged everyone in my family to know how to use a gun in self defense. For the animals are coming.”
On Gays: “Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”
In his article, Kirchick writes that “with few bylines, it is difficult to know whether any particular article was written by Paul himself” and that “the vast majority of the editions” that he “saw contain no bylines at all.” Paul emphasized this point in his response to the article:
The quotations in The New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed. I have never uttered such words and denounce such small-minded thoughts. [...]
Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publically taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.
But as Kirchick — who has been criticizing Paul for months — notes, “[I]t is difficult to imagine how Paul could allow material consistently saturated in racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and conspiracy-mongering to be printed under his name for so long if he did not share these views.”
Some of Paul’s supporters in the blogosphere give him more of the benefit of the doubt, but still admit that the “truly odious material” released under his name is “really stunning.” Andrew Sullivan writes that “it’s up to Ron Paul now to clearly explain and disown these ugly, vile, despicable tracts from the past.”
PDFs of some of the old newsletters can be found here.
UPDATE: A 1992 Ron Paul Political Report said: “I think we can safely assume that 95% of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.”
The polls and what we can tell of turnout all point toward an Obama win. But thanks to the nature of the “expectations game” I don’t expect winning to do him much further good. Note once again that the main impact of the primary system is not so much to empower the voters of New Hampshire as it is to empower the political press. Bill Clinton was dubbed the “comeback kid” based on a number two finish in New Hampshire, and the press could easily spin a Clinton loss by as much as 4-6 percentage points as a comeback moral victory that sets the stage for a Clinton rebound.
Don’t expect that to happen since the press doesn’t like Clinton that much, and Team Clinton wasn’t complaining about this dynamic in 1992 when it worked in their favor.
That said, the press will be bored of Obamamania before February 5, and I bet the reporters tasked to cover Clinton wake up tomorrow morning realizing that it’s no good for their careers if the Democratic primary ends this week, so the fight will continue.
Sen. John McCain commenting on the political lens through which he views the Iraq war.
Brave New Films is doing a collaboration with the Young Turks radio show tonight, and I’ll be on around 7:40 PM eastern time. Webcast is here. I’ll also be on ABC News Now around 9:30 PM eastern time which you can see here.
Mike Huckabee comes out in favor of removing Palestinians from Palestine and establishing a Palestinian state somewhere else. Maybe Egypt or Saudi Arabia. A play to pick up some of Giuliani’s supporters? The sentiments are outrageous on their own terms, and also a stark reminder that Israel’s real friends in the United States shouldn’t be blind to the dangers posed by the irrealism and extremism of the Christian Zionists.
James Kirchick has a long article delving deeper into the archives of Ron Paul’s newsletters and finds a lot of racist and neoconfederate stuff, plus some serious homophobia. Some of this has been seen before, and Chris Hayes’ article on the gap between the Ron Paul / Von Mises Institute school of libertarianism and the urbane cosmopolitans of Cato prefigured the general thrust of the thing, but Kirchick has a lot of the goods.
On the other hand, I think Ron Paul’s responses as given to Dave Weigel and now issued in a press release are reasonably reasonable. If you’re a pro-life, anti-war, anti-immigration, libertarian I don’t really see anything here that would make you suddenly embrace John McCain as a preferable presidential candidate. Meanwhile, it shouldn’t really be surprising to see a link between a libertarian politician and white supremacists. The main constituency for Barry Goldwater’s message was white supremacists, after all.
UPDATE: This, though, is really outrageous.
In a news conference today, President Bush said that he now sees political progress in Iraq that is “matching” the security gains achieved last year:
It was clear from my discussions [with Prime Minister Maliki] that there’s great hope in Iraq, that the Iraqis are beginning to see political progress that is matching the dramatic security gains for the past year.
But Pentagon officials are wary of sounding such an optimistic note, particularly on “political progress.” In fact, they say more difficult times are ahead.
Today at the Heritage Foundation, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle Eastern Affairs Mark Kimmitt said 2008 will be “far more difficult” than 2007 for the U.S. strategy because “it depends far more on the Iraqis themselves to show progress on key legislation, on their economy, and reconciliation.” Kimmitt predicted only a mild chance that “surge” security gains will last:
2008 and beyond will be a success, the surge will be a success, if the gains in security can be translated into gains in stability…if I had to put a number to it, maybe it’s three in 10, maybe it’s 50-50, if we play our cards right.
Kimmitt added that seeing “such significant progress in security with only the foundations of progress in reconciliation is a bit disheartening, not to mention sobering.”
In an interview with Newsweek, Gen. David Petraeus hesitated to be “optimistic” as of yet, saying, “[We] should be realistic at this point, and the reality of Iraq is that it’s very hard.”
The tenuous nature of Iraq’s lull in violence hasn’t stopped hawks like Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) from already declaring success.
UPDATE: Kevin Drum adds that “Kimmitt was reading a prepared statement, so this was presumably a considered and vetted position.”
It’s worth saying that I find Patrick Ruffini’s Hillary Comeback scenario pretty plausible. The Iowa and New Hampshire primaries were really, really, really close together. After tonight, even if she loses, things slow down a bit and give her ample opportunity to mount her comeback.
However, a few caveats.
The widespread assumption seems to be that the path to victory for HRC involves tearing Obama down. That seems a bit doubtful to me. She has a lot of institutional support, endorsements, etc. that were acquired back in the “inevitable” era. Those people will presumably keep standing with her even if it looks like she’ll probably lose. What they won’t want to do is keep standing with her as she smears the front-runner. Lots of Clinton’s supporters were backing her for essentially careerist and opportunistic reasons, and they’re not going to want to be associated with harsh negative campaigning against Obama if it looks probable that Obama will win anyhow.
What she needs to do with her opportunity is do what she didn’t do in the nine months before Iowa: Establish an affirmative rationale for her candidacy. She’s had the advantage for most of the campaign of playing front-runner, parrying attacks, and basically being the default option. That advantage has now become a disadvantage, however, because it means she never really established a core sense of what was supposed to be exciting about a Hillary Clinton administration. She still has time to do that, though, and since most Democrats, unlike most reporters, basically like and respect her, I think people would be very open to her argument. I’ve just never heard what the argument is (and, no, it’s not “experience” ask Bill Richardson and every other “I’m qualified” candidate how that worked out).
Amount President Bush’s visit to Israel will cost the country every hour. Israeli security personnel “will include snipers, bomb-sniffing dogs and bodyguards, including reservists called up especially for the visit.” There will be approximately “8,000 police and security officers coming to Jerusalem to guard the visit and keep order.”