Video chosen, because like Ron Paul, I hope we can all day be Austrians.
Even though he took back his endorsement of Ron Paul, I think it's safe to say that Andrew Sullivan is still deeply in love with George Wallance-cum-Dale Gribble. After all, the general tone of his retraction was, "Wah, I'm right that the man is like Mr. Totally Not A Racist, just like my 'Bell Curve'-loving self, but pouty pout the readers are making me." Seriously, he said things like, "It seems to me that even though I don't believe these old screeds reflect Paul's own beliefs....", despite the heavy of the first person in those screeds. It's clear Sullivan would be denying that Paul wrote them himself if someone dug up a picture of Paul writing them. But he continues to blog about the awesomeness that is the resident black helicopter crank in the race, and so I thought it would be a fun time to grab one of the more fun "NUH-UH RON PAUL IS TOTALLY NOT A RACIST" quotes, by way of this link from LGM.
Chuck Todd notes that Ron Paul voted for the MLK national holiday. Gingrich voted against. I find the notion that Ron Paul is a racist to be preposterous.
Ta-Nehisi Coates pushes back, pointing out that Paul explained his reasons for disliking the King holiday in his newsletter, and guess what! It's not because he's Mr. Peace, Love and Understanding. Here is Paul, in his own words, on the MLK holiday:
Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.
Cue the chorus of people claiming that we can't actually believe that someone using the first person and signing his name to a document could have possibly written it. Next you'll be saying Duncan Black is Atrios. Can we be sure that it's Andrew Sullivan writing the preposterous claim that it's preposterous to believe Ron Paul wrote some stuff that he said he wrote? Why not suggest no one ever be treated like the author of that which they authored, since fundamentally, we can never know for sure.
It's worth pointing out at this point that supporting Ron Paul, even just a little, appears to infect the supporter with Crank's Disease, where they're making conspiratorial claims that we can't assume that someone writing, "I, _____, am totally writing this," actually wrote it. The longer you chew on that belief, the more likely you are to find yourself, a year from now, wearing camo and shooting up beer cans while complaining about a one world currency, which is of course, a totally different thing than your desire that the entire world trade in gold.
I digress, however. (See, it's infecting me!) My point in writing this blog post is to point out that Sullivan, in his desperation, appears to have used Newt Gingrich as his standard-bearer for not-racism. He did this two days ago, in fact, which puts this comment after the blogosphere erupted with this comment made by Newt Gingrich:
And so I’m prepared if the NAACP invites me, I’ll go to their convention and talk about why the African American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.
Rick Santorum has been having fun implying both that all black people are on food stamps, and that all food stamp recipients are black, as well. In fact, the single largest racial group in the SNAP program is.....wait for it......white people.
According to 2010 census numbers, about 26 percent of food stamp recipients are African-American, while 49 percent are white and 20 percent are Hispanic.
I also want to digress a moment and denounce the very notion that there's something shameful about using SNAP. There's something shameful in the fact that our society has so many people living in poverty that we need to offer so much food assistance, but there's no shame in taking it. In fact, food stamps are the best form of economic stimulus our government is currently engaging in, generating $1.73 worth of stimulus for every dollar spent. The worst problem with food stamps is that the shame and hassle of applying discourages many eligible people---imagine the boost the economy would get if everyone eligible was using food stamps. Just sayin'.
Digression over. The point is that I think it's perfectly sensible and evidence-based to say that Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich both rejected the MLK holiday out of racial prejudice, which both men have routinely displayed and which has helped both men in gathering large numbers of supporters. Any other conclusion is basically throwing red herrings and trying to confuse the situation. The racial resentment boat is a big one, and there's lots of room on board, especially for those catering favor with the Republican base.
It is possible that Sullivan was merely complaining that Gingrich isn't getting the same attention for his no vote on the MLK holiday. To which I say, well, he probably should, but the "he's guilty, too!" thing is no defense, especially if your man is polling much better than the equally guilty.