The neo-Nazis at Stormfront are backing the senatorial candidacy of Ron Paul's son Rand. Jamie Kelso, who goes by the screen name "Charles A. Lindbergh", has posted video of a Rand Paul fundraising speech on the Nazi website.
It looks like Stormfront has been pretty active in supporting Rand Paul. It wasn't just a single post. A google search of the Stormfront website for the term "Rand Paul" gets 367 hits, which can be viewed here. A search of the terms "Rand Paul" + senate yields 64 hits, which can be viewed here. Some of these hits are posts supporting Rand Paul's candidacy or actually organizing on his behalf.
This piece has received a lot of traffic, largely from Ron and Rand Paul supporters. Although some of the comments from Paul supporters disavow racism, a majority of comments have expressed the view that racist organizing on behalf of Rand Paul is unimportant. It is not enough, however, to state that, because Rand Paul does not endorse racism, he can wash his hands of what his supporters do. Racists have a history of using campaigns such as those of Pat Buchanan and Ron Paul as opportunities to recruit new followers. They participate in these campaign precisely because a connection to mainstream politics confers an undeserved air of legitimacy. It seems very clear to me both why it is important for candidates to clearly disavow such support and why it is difficult for some to do so. In spite of what his base of supporters say, I hope that Rand Paul does the right thing and explicitly condemns Stormfront and other racist organizations, disavows their support and returns their contributions. I am not at all optimistic that he will do this; his father did not, when faced with the same situation.
I would also like to address a message to those of his supporters who have posted on the Ron Paul Forum (which is working as a major part of the Rand Paul campaign) comments to the effect that, because my blog's recommended websites area has links to the ADL and SPLC, my motives are somehow suspect. (Read here.) Your form of advocacy on behalf of your candidate tends to create the very fears about his candidacy that you intend to counter.
Regarding an unpleasant aspect of the response this post has received: I have a message for those who think that posting obscene or threatening comments is clever. It isn't. Those comments won't be published here. Neither will any comments that refer in any way to my family. Don't bother trying. The fact that you post these comments anonymously leads me to believe that even you understand that your behavior is shameful. Why not act on that feeling?
UPDATE August 6, 2009 11:00 am
Following up on Roland Dodds' comment that racists support Ron and Rand Paul because their version of federalism would allow local governments the freedom to be racist:
Ron Paul opposes all federal civil rights legislation. He opposes the Civil Rights Act. His advocacy of states' rights is so extreme it includes the right of states to secede from the union. He has testified in court on behalf of secessionists who believe that they aren't legally bound to pay federal tax. He expressed support for New Hampshire militia types who refused to pay a huge tax bill and holed themselves up in their house armed to the teeth.
Ron Paul also pushes the sort of isolationist conpiracy theories the racists do concerning a purported plan for a North American Union, international bankers, Israel lobby, one-world government, etc. -- a sort of post-Cold War version of the old John Birch Society paranoia. He recently reveled that he would support an investigation of the 9/11 truth conspiracy theories but didn't have the time to do it or the stomach for the controversy.
You wonder why these racist groups would support someone like Ron Paul even though he's stopped publishing his racist newsletter columns? Maybe because, in so many other areas, they're in complete agreement.
With repsect to Rand Paul, he seems to be running as a Ron Paul clone. I don't know where he stands on these issues -- maybe you can tell me. It would appear that, at least for Stormfront, they're happy enough with Rand to support his fundraising efforts and offer him a platform to campaign. That seems to me at least to be a warning sign that Rand Paul's views on these issues require close scrutiny.