Friday, January 18, 2008

Just sayin' ...


As I've previously noted, I passed the point some time ago of writing "the authorship question" off as not especially relevant: It's not so much about whether Ron Paul actually sat down with a legal pad or at a typewriter and wrote those newsletter passages himself, as it is about the fact that they were published -- over a period of years -- under his name, by a company in which he was a principal, and therefore presumably with his knowledge and consent.

And let's face it: We don't, and can't, know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the authorship. Paul has already lied about it. He admitted to writing the stuff, and defended it, in 1996; in 2001, he reversed himself on both authorship and sentiment. Barring the possibility that he possesses a time machine and is unaffected by paradox issues in its use, he couldn't have been telling the truth both times.

However, Paul's defenders continue to rally primarily to one flag: "Paul did not write those newsletter articles and is therefore not responsible for them." So, okay. Let me stipulate to that for the sake of argument, and ask his defenders a couple of questions about it:

Is Paul responsible for the legislation he has sponsored? How about the votes he has cast for legislation sponsored by others?

Odds are that Paul didn't write any of "his" legislation. That's what congressional staff is for. All he likely did with it was lend his good name to it and tout it, which is exactly what he did with the newsletters. Ditto and even more so for legislation proposed by others that he just supported and which didn't even have his name on it per se.

If Paul is not responsible for those newsletters because he didn't personally write their content, then neither is he responsible for much, maybe even any, of his own congressional record -- and with responsibility goes credit or discredit. If the newsletters don't tend to discredit him as a presidential candidate, neither does his record in Congress tend to credit him as one. So, I'll zip my yap about the former when Paul's supporters stop running their sucks about the latter.

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