Did Ron Paul Write It, Or Didn’t He?

Seize That Car! It Could Be Evidence!

Seize That Car! It Could Be Evidence!

Amidst the political and rhetorical (if not yet electoral) triumph of Ron Paul at the Rally For The Republic last week, an article designed to steal a hard-earned moment of success creeped its way across the pages of a major periodical (where have we seen this before?)It seems some ‘sore winners’ in the press have taken a very ordinary occurrance, that of an author taking someone’s notes and quotes, and editing it into a very successful book under the second person’s name, and tried to portray it as something sinister.

In this case, it is a particularly puzzling bit of scruple being fretted about here, since the credited author and the alleged ghostwriter are both closely associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and Dr. Woods spoke at Dr. Paul’s valedictory (a good speech it was too).  While the alleged ghostwriter is an accomplished writer in his own right, the words in the book are, er, MANIFESTLY Dr. Paul’s, reflecting his campaign rhetoric, and his lifelong obsession with liberty and free markets.

Indeed, this is standard operating procedure for campaign books, and it is naieve in the extreme to expect a politician in the middle of the race of his life to spend the time and effort necessary to self-edit a manuscript along with the million and a half other things he has to do, particularly if said candidate is a current officeholder who takes those duties seriously. Who in that situation would turn down help to do it? (Barack Obama, if you believe some people, that’s who, and what’s it to ya?)

But to the writer of the piece, this is evidence of a soul so perfidious that he feels duty-bound to report on this fact as if it were the freaking Rosetta Stone. Clearly, authorship to some members of the press means taking pencil to hand and writing a complete edited manuscript longhand, or perhaps tapping it out on sheets of bond paper with a trusty old Smith-Corona. Anything less doesn’t count, in their estimation.

Except, of course, when it fits a particular agenda, such as smearing a candidate the day before the biggest electoral test in an early primary season. Then it doesn’t matter whether the person wore down a pack of #2 Ticonderogas, or simply gave permission for a pitbull or pitbulls to write intemperate (but widely accepted in conservative – to – centrist circles at the time) words critical of certain public figures and of certain classes of people under his name.

It doesn’t matter under what circumstances, for what purpose, to what audience, or how long ago the words were written, nor does it matter that the candidate had disavowed the words decades prior, nor how many times the candidate had apologized (culminating in a bobbled, dissembling disavowal with apology, true), they are HIS WORDS.

Well, which is it?

You can’t have it both ways.

Well, unless you are a hypocrite.


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