Ron Paul's latest flap over a series of racist newsletters has won him the support of a group no politician wants on their side: White supremacists. And it's not the first time, either. The Republican presidential candidate is a perennial favorite among those on the white supremacist message board Stormfront, where he's getting all kinds of unabashed support for his campaign, his newsletters, and his political persona in general. Paul has already said he doesn't want white supremacists' support. But like it or not, he's got it. And stories like the newsletter thing really seem to lock that support down even tighter.
For the sake of your browsing history, we're going to put a * next to links that will take you to Stormfront or sites like it. We could have used one of those from Slate's Dave Wiegel when he tweeted today: "Shockingly, Stormfront commenters believe that Paul's newsletters are right and awesome," with a link that led to a very white-power themed discussion* of how great Paul was when he walked off a CNN interview Wednesday. Take this for example, from a commenter named OneMan:
I don't think many white Americans are falling for that "racist" canard much these days. They've worn it out and people are more awake to that red herring. Still, let them wear themselves out throwing it around. I'd love to see him win the presidency and make them all eat s--t.
Another was even more to the point: "Too bad he can't just embrace the newsletters, " wrote Iceman85. Plenty more comments supported Paul in language we'd prefer not to repeat here.
Elsewhere on the Stormfront message board, a number of threads rave about Paul. In one, a member asked about it:* "I see his name mentioned more favorably than any other politician," wrote a commenter going by the name whitenationalismforme. "I understand he wins many fans because his monetary policy would hurt jews; but he does not appear to share key white nationalist views about immigration for example." Then followed a link to an anti-immigration group that rated Paul with an F* for his efforts to stop immigration. "He's the best possible option for Americans... not ideal, but given the other candidates he's leagues ahead," reads the immediate response from Transilvanian. Many on the thread (there were 212 replies when we last looked) were much warmer, like this person applauding him after the Dec. 11 debate: "He was sincere, clear, honest, and trustworthy. He is my hero." That is the kind of thing every politician wants said about themselves. Though perhaps not from a Stormfront member named Wargasm.
Paul's no stranger to this kind of uncomfortable love. And he hasn't always spurned it. In 2007, he kept a donation from Don Black, Stormfront's founder and a former Klu Klux Klan grandmaster who was convicted of trying to overthrow the Dominican government back in 1981. Black endorsed Paul for Congress, and the Stormfronters have been on board with the Paul campaign ever since. The same year, he told PBS's Now that he didn't want white supremacists' support, but that their donations "were a good thing because I got their money away from them." But he was also photographed with a man widely reported to be Don Black in 2007.
It's true that politicians can't explicitly choose who votes for them. But they can certainly reject support. As American Thinker pointed out, that's what President George H.W. Bush did when former Klan leader David Duke ran for governor of Louisiana as a Republican in 1991. Paul's been silent on his Stormfront support this time around.
Earlier on Thursday, Newt Gingrich called out Paul's support base as being dominated by people who want to legalize drugs. Whether or not that's true, it sure gives his opponents ammunition. But being a champion of the "legalize it" crowd seems like small potatoes compared to having such a fan base in avowed white supremacists.