Ron Paul's former aide Eric Dondero blogged over the holiday weekend that his former boss was anti-Israel, isolationist on foreign policy, uncomfortable around homosexuals and out of touch with black and Hispanic cultures. Naturally, that kicked up a shitstorm as Paul continues to poll well in early primary states for the GOP presidential nomination. It also might have caused a smirk to cross the face of a former Orange County Register op-ed writer who often found himself in Dondero's cross-hairs.
Indeed, the resulting media tsunami (and Paul campaign denials) prompted Dondero to clarify in TV news interviews and on the Right Wing News blog that Paul is not racist, homophobic nor anti-Semitic.
Dondero was just on CNN minutes ago trying to shift the focus away from what he blogged about Paul and gays, blacks, Hispanics and Israelis in favor of what the critic framed as his over-arching point: that the candidate is a flip-flopper, having run in a conservative Texas congressional district as pro-military and a true Libertarian Republican, which is the name of Dondero's website.
He got an up close look at the man, myth and legend as the Texas congressman's travel aide and personal assistant in 1987-88, national organizer of Draft Ron Paul for President in 1991-92, congressional campaign coordination in 1995-95 and senior aide from 1997-2003. Libertarian Republican still includes this endorsement of the publisher from Paul:
Eric, your enthusiasm for liberty is infectious. Stay that way. Your
help is deeply appreciated.
— US Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
At first, while espousing Libertarian beliefs, Paul was also a good Republican soldier, campaigning for the first President Bush, Dondero notes. But, by the time the run up to the Afghanistan War came, “Ron was 'under the spell' of left-anarchist and Lew Rockwell associate
Joe Becker at the time, who was our legislative director. Norm
Singleton, another Lew Rockwell fanatic agreed with Joe,” Dondero writes. Becker, Singleton and Paul leaned toward a no vote on the war resolution, something everyone else in the congressional office believed would put them out of work, according to Dondero.
At the last moment, Paul voted yes but he had tainted his reputation with his aide Dondero, who ultimately cut his ties with the politician after he voted against the Iraq War. The ex-aide then went on to expose readers to various sins of Paul, including his newsletter giving credence to “nutty” 9/11 conspiracy theories and the notion the U.S. should not have entered World War II.
Dondero does not write solely about Paul, taking on several others who the author sees as either rightly/wrongly embracing/shitting on libertarian dogma. Orange County Libertarian Party chairman Bruce Cohen once remarked, “Love him or hate him, you gotta admit, Eric Dondero is the Matt Drudge
of Libertarian Politics.”
The Libertarian Republican's virtual poison pen has frequently been used against Steven Greenhut, the former Register editorial writer and op-ed columnist who, along with the late Alan Bock, served as a libertarian voice for the newspaper that was libertarian before there even was a Libertarian Party. Dondero bashes Greenhut–who still contributes pieces to the Santa Ana daily although his full-time job is directing the Sacramento and San Francisco-based Pacific Research Institute's Journalism Center (www.calwatchdog.com)–for being what he considers a libertarian poser.
When blogger Lady Fingers over at Red County suggesting Greenhut run for Berkeley City Council after the writer called Private Bradley Manning a hero for leaking secret Army cables to Wikileaks, Dondero posted this comment:
Sir, you made an error. Greenhut is no Libertarian. He claims to be one. But that's only because “Libertarian” sounds cooler than America-hating Leftist.
We real Libertarians constantly have to correct on-line publications about the use of our label. We've been infiltrated by a gang of pacifist leftwingers. Greenhut is one of the worst offenders. We wish he wouldn't use our label. But he does.
Again, Steve Greenhut of the Orange County Register is NO LIBERTARIAN.
Doug Bandow posted on The American Spectator blog about the entire Eritrea soccer team defecting, prompting Dondero to again go to the comments section to go after the author and Greenhut (who had nothing to do with the Bandow post):
Notice everyone, how Bandow has completely ignored one of the
biggest stories of the decade on the African continent: the
current bill in Uganda to allow for the execution of homosexuals,
and jailing of anyone who knows a homosexual and doesn't turn
them in. Similar bills have been filed in Nigeria and Ruwanda.
Who is behind this? Radical Muslim clerics, surprise, surprise.
This is why the Leftwing Libertarian like Bandow (Lew Rockwell, Justin Raimondo, Steve Greenhut, Anthony Gregory, et.al.) can't
touch the story with a ten foot pole.
Dondero even roasted Greenhut for something the Register's Mark Landsbaum wrote on Orange Punch during the 2008 presidential campaign. (Of course, you can't blame Dondero because all the Reg op-ed scribes at the time–Bock, Greenhut, Landsbaum, Cathy Taylor–looked alike.) After Landsbaum argued that, based on the general election's national security debate, Barack Obama came across as more libertarian than U.S. Senator and hawkish interventionist John McCain, Dondero responded via the comments:
To Readers of Orange Crush:
Please note what Greenhut is describing here is Leftwing libertarian foreign policy. His surrender to Islamo-Fascism views in no way represent the broader libertarian movement.
Libertarian Defense Caucus
Dondero quickly followed-up with a correction, although the mea culpa had nothing to do with having cited the wrong author:
Apoligies, obviously, I meant to say “Readers of Orange Punch”
Eric – part-time resident of La Quinta/Indio, CA & full-time reader of Steve Greenhut's non-sensical views on libertarianism.