(Note: As I write this the RNC has announced that due to "Isaac," they are juggling and rescheduling many speeches and time-slots at their national convention in Tampa. At this point, no one knows for certain what's going to happen to the Ron Paul tribute . . .)
Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place:
Romney, Ryan and the Republicans, who are doing everything in their power to convince Jewish voters that they -- unlike President Obama and the Democrats -- are the best friends Israel's got, have scheduled a video tribute to Ron Paul at the convention in Tampa. Ron Paul! The mind simply reels.
"Why on earth," anyone with even an ounce of political savvy might well ask, "Why would the Republicans stage a tribute to Ron Paul? Isn't he the most anti-Israel, anti-Semitic member of Congress? Isn't he the guy who opposes all aid to Israel; dismisses Iran's nuclear program; wants to tear down the Federal Reserve and return America to the gold standard; has a penchant for making homophobic and racist comments, and has, over the years, given countless shout-outs to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories?"
Yes, it's that Ron Paul. And the answer to the question of Why? is really quite simple: Romney's handlers have moved their man so far to the right that now they have no choice but to keep him there. As such, he has to do such seemingly distasteful, counter-intuitive things as appeasing Representative Paul's adoring supporters, thus highlighting his -- Romney's -- supposedly warm relationship with the Texas libertarian. Once again, it would seem that Mitt's advisers are secretly working for the reelection of Barack Obama. Either that or they are just dumber than a bag of hair . . .
And yet, to date there has been nary a peep about this obvious act of political charlatanism coming out of the Obama camp. If I were permitted my two cents, I would strongly urge the Obama campaign to shine a high-intensity spotlight on Romney's tribute to Ron Paul; to demand that the "real" Mitt Romney stand up and explain how he can claim to be stronger for Israel (and against Iran) and better for the economy when he is paying tribute to a man who has written such hateful tripe as:
- "Whether [the 1993 World Trade Center bombing] was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little." ('The New York Bombing,' April '93)
- "If you look at the history, you will find that Hamas was encouraged and actually started by Israel because they wanted Hamas to counteract Yasir Arafat." (Speech on House Floor, Jan. 9, 2009)
- "Israel's supporters in this country were the most blood thirsty for war against Iraq . . . and why, would someone please explain to me, are we supposed to be so grateful to Israel because it lets us fight its war?" (Ron Paul's 'Political Report,' Feb. 1991)
- "Major Jewish organizations are complaining that Zionists did not get enough jobs in the Clinton administration. Plenty of Jews were appointed but just being Jewish doesn't count. These lobbyists want people 100% dedicated to Israel." ('The Ron Paul Survival Report,' Feb. 15, 1992)
- "Order was only restored in LA when it came time for the blacks to collect their welfare checks. The "poor' lined up at the Post Office to get their handouts (since there were no deliveries) -- and then complained about slow service." ('Report on L.A. Riots,' June '92)
I can hear the arguments of Romney/Paul supporters: "Hey, these statements are upwards of two decades old; they're ancient history and have nothing to do with the Ron Paul of 2012 . . . you're beating a dead horse. Besides, people do change!" By way of response, I would remind my Republican friends that in his final "expose'" the late cyber provocateur Andrew Breitbart released a 22-year old video of then Harvard Law Review president Barack Obama speaking at a peaceful racial equality rally led by the now deceased Professor Derrick Bell. The rally was in support of Professor Bell, who was angry over Harvard's failure to offer tenure to black professors. In the hands of Andrew Breitbart, the long-forgotten video offered positive proof that Barack Obama was, is, and always shall be an angry black man and, like his "mentor," a Communist (which, to the best of my knowledge Professor Bell never was.) In the case of Paul . . . well, folks can change. In the case of Obama . . . once a radical, always a radical.
Like many of Breitbart's "scoops," this one turned out to be a non-starter . . . at least for mature adults.
Kurt Stone is a rabbi, writer, lecturer, political activist, professor, actor, and medical ethicist. A true "Hollywood brat" (born and raised in the film industry), Kurt was educated at the University of California, the Eagleton Institute of (more...)
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