A writer from Lew Rockwell’s stable finally (!) breaks ranks. Gene Callahan has had enough:
The final straw: “Last week, a statement was prepared by Ron Paulâ€™s press secretary Jesse Benton, and approved by Ron Paul, acknowledging Lew Rockwell as having a role in the newsletters. The statement was squashed by campaign chairman Kent Snyder.”
Man, Paul’s behavior regarding these newsletters has been awful. His “I don’t know who wrote these” is about as slippery as a politician can get. Everyone who was around libertarianism in the early 90s knows Lew was in charge of these and knows Rothbard and his crew were into race-baiting back then. (By the way, notice that the longer Lew has been away from Rothbard’s influence, the more decent he’s become? I personally have found him very affable, and I can’t imagine him putting out material like this today. Just shows what hanging around Rothbard can do to you.)
Paul’s got a decent message, but he’s the wrong vehicle for delivering it.
In comments there, co-blogger Bob Murphy farvors a more traditional (*) approach, one that he likens to a blue wall of silence:
I think you are overreacting in the opposite way here, Gene. I.e. yes, I totally agree that (a) certain things in those newsletters were inexcusable, (b) RP is clearly lying about it now when he says he has no idea who wrote it, and (c) it is silly to just dismiss the inquiries as smears.
Having said all that, I do kinda wonder why Sanchez and his co-author decided to write that particular article, when the damage had already been done by the TNR one. If next week some anti-Irish magazine came out with a story that you did a bunch of drugs when you were younger (outlandish, I know), and this was getting you in trouble with your PhD committee, I wouldn’t comment to any reporter who called me up about it. And I sure as heck wouldn’t spend a few days doing research on it because “Callahan won’t come clean on this!”
Does that sound so crazy? If I were to do that, don’t you think some of your buddies would think, “Jeez, I thought Bob was Gene’s friend!” ?
I realize this sounds like cops and their blue wall of silence whenever one of them beats up a suspect, and maybe my view is just that wrong / tribal / petty. But I understand why longtime fans of LRC are lashing out at Reason on this, and don’t view Sanchez as Bob Woodward.
(* Traditional among Rockwell’s writers, that is.)