With Rep. Ron Paul's rise in the Iowa polls, reporters are once again scrutinizing the congressman's old racist and homophobic newsletters.
At various times over the years, Paul has claimed that the newsletters were the product of ghostwriters and hazy oversight, and that some of the writings on race were based on a study by a criminal justice think tank (that no one has heard of). At other times, he offered a spirited defense of the newsletters. Last week, Paul stormed out of a CNN interview after being questioned about the offensive essays.
Paul is lucky that that the most offensive newsletters were published in the pre-Internet era -- from the '70s through the early '90s -- when newsletters existed as a productive and lucrative way for politicians to share their ideas. While these newsletters have resurfaced on the web as photocopied PDFs, they have yet to go viral like Rick Perry's Strong ad or become a Internet meme like the pepper-spraying cop.
The snark may still come. The newsletters have recently spawned a new Twitter feed -- @RP_Newsletter -- which posts quotes directly from the offensive texts. Here's a sampling:
To date, @RP_Newsletter has tweeted more than 1,100 times. And Paul's fans are less than thrilled. One described the page as spam:
Another decried the slant of the tweets:
He also defended Paul's "unorthodox beliefs":