Ron Paul and Gay Republicans, Part One

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 27 2011 4:14 PM

Ron Paul and Gay Republicans, Part One

Ron Paul might have lucked out on the newsletter story. You can never tell, but given how disinterested Republicans have been in attacking him over it, and given that the story has now been aired three times in 15 years, Paul might be getting past it. If so, Paul's benefitting from random-yet-predictable luck: He surges just as reporters and other campaigns take a couple of holiday days off. Some possible narratives about the newsletters, like the anachronistically crude stuff about gay politics, get put aside.

Or not. I've got a longer story coming about the gay politics aspect of the Paul story. On the cutting room floor, for now: This response to the newsletters from the gay Republican group GOPRoud. Chris Barron, chief strategist and co-founder, spoke for the group.

These newsletters are certainly troubling.  Even if we are to believe Congressman Paul - that he didn't author them or know about them - the fact that they went out under his name does not speak well of his ability to serve as Chief Executive.
Congressman Paul has a mixed record when it comes to supporting policies that improve the lives of gay Americans.  We have praised Congressman Paul for his opposition to efforts to federalize marriage, for his support for ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and for his call to dramatically shrink the size of government during this campaign.  At the same time we are extremely troubled by Paul's refusal to take seriously the spread of barbaric anti-gay extremist Islam.
Congressman Paul should distance himself immediately from anyone associated with the writing and publication of these newsletters, or risk having his campaign become even further marginalized among gay and straight conservatives.

All this for a guy whose newsletters reminisced about the glory days of the closet, and analyzed whether or not older gays got sloppy about contracting AIDS because they didn't want to live without constant sex anyway. On this issue, more than almost anything else in the newsletters, you see Paul get a pass because his voting record is so libertarian. Why do I say "almost anything else"? Read Ryan Grim.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 


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