The season of repeats that is the 2012 Ron Paul presidential campaign just put up another golden oldie in the form of disgruntled former Paul staffer Eric Dondero.
The ex-Paul congressional aide and presidential campaign staffer in Paul’s Libertarian days lit up the blogosphere on the (slow news) day after Christmas with a post describing Paul’s private distaste for the state of Israel and a pretty textbook case of homophobia.
Here’s what that sounded like:
In 1988, Ron had a hardcore Libertarian supporter, Jim Peron, Owner of Laissez Faire Books in San Francisco. Jim set up a magnificent 3-day campaign swing for us in the SF Bay Area. Jim was what you would call very openly Gay. But Ron thought the world of him. For 3 days we had a great time trouncing from one campaign event to another with Jim’s Gay lover. The atmosphere was simply jovial between the four of us. (As an aside we also met former Cong. Pete McCloskey during this campaign trip.) We used Jim’s home/office as a “base.” Ron pulled me aside the first time we went there, and specifically instructed me to find an excuse to excuse him to a local fast food restaurant so that he could use the bathroom. He told me very clearly, that although he liked Jim, he did not wish to use his bathroom facilities. I chided him a bit, but he sternly reacted, as he often did to me, Eric, just do what I say. Perhaps “sternly” is an understatement. Ron looked at me directly, and with a very angry look in his eye, and shouted under his breath: “Just do what I say NOW.”
Other parts of the long post purport to push back on suggestions that Paul is racist thanks to his newsletters (which Paul has denied having any knowledge of content-wise) and accusations that he’s anti-Semitic.
He makes that last point by damning Paul with faint praise:
Is Ron Paul an Anti-Semite? Absolutely No. As a Jew, (half on my mother’s side), I can categorically say that I never heard anything out of his mouth, in hundreds of speeches I listened too over the years, or in my personal presence that could be called, “Anti-Semite.” No slurs. No derogatory remarks.
He is however, most certainly Anti-Israel, and Anti-Israeli in general. He wishes the Israeli state did not exist at all. He expressed this to me numerous times in our private conversations. His view is that Israel is more trouble than it is worth, specifically to the America taxpayer. He sides with the Palestinians, and supports their calls for the abolishment of the Jewish state, and the return of Israel, all of it, to the Arabs.
The whole thing is basically like that, and if it sounds like it’s written by guy who has held a grudge against Paul for a long time, that’s because it is. Back in 2007, Dondero pledged to primary Paul because of his anti-war rhetoric.
“Otherwise Congressional District 14 voters from Victoria to Galveston will appear to be endorsing his treachorous, and near treasonous views on foreign policy,” Dondero wrote on RedState at the time, explaining his reasons for taking on his former boss.
Paul responded to the Dondero challenge in a 2007 interview with Dave Weigel, then at Reason.
“He’s a disgruntled former employee who was fired,” Paul said. “[I]f Eric Dondero is the only thing I have to worry about, then I don’t have a lot to worry about.”
Dondero did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TPM Monday.
Of course, the fact that Dondero has had a bone to pick with Paul for years doesn’t mean that what he’s saying about Paul’s past behavior isn’t true. But it’s another example of why this stuff doesn’t stick when it comes to Paul: people who like him have probably already heard of Dondero, and have probably already dismissed him.