Ron Paul's 2012 Bid Wilts Under Newsletter Scrutiny

National scrutiny finally threatens Ron Paul's presidential campaign.

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John Gotti, the infamous Mafia Boss in 1980s New York earned the nickname "Teflon Don" for his ability to evade conviction for his crimes. Rep. Ron Paul's ability to remain a contender for the GOP nomination is as amazing as John Gotti's knack for frustrating prosecutors.

Teflon Ron doesn't have a problem with a nuclear Iran, claimed that Israel wants to end its close relationship with the United States, and repeatedly calls for the federal government to have less power than it did under the Articles of Confederation (which did not work out so well by the way). If any other candidate for national political office had the same positions they would be finished. Done. They would not only lose the national election, but every election they took part in.

[Vote: Can Ron Paul Win the 2012 Republican Nomination?]

Teflon Ron has, until now, been able to sustain himself on the national stage due to a radical libertarian message that appeals to a limited sector of the population.

Nevertheless, just as John Gotti's streak ended (the Teflon Don was finally convicted and spent the rest of his life in jail), Teflon Ron's run may be coming to an end as well.

[Check out 2011: The Year in Cartoons.]

The Ron Paul newsletters published in the late '80s and early '90s are now national news. These writings contain everything from standard anti–Semitic conspiracy theories about the "Israeli lobby" controlling Congress to racist statements about "race warfare" that would make David Duke proud. The newsletters were published on Ron Paul letterhead and under Ron Paul's signature, neither of which Ron Paul denies. They are so incendiary and disgusting that it should be impossible for Mr. Paul to remain a serious candidate.

Ron Paul is definitely riding a wave of support, and he may even win the Iowa caucuses. However, it is the increased public scrutiny that comes with success in the polls that should be enough to make Ron Paul "Teflon" no more.

  • See pictures of the GOP candidates heading to the Iowa Caucus.
  • See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 GOP hopefuls.
  • Read Scott Galupo on how Ron Paul should address the newsletter controversy.