Here's Kevin Drum on the subject:
Question: what's the difference between a "racist" and someone who was "complicit in a strategy of pandering to racists"? Nothing, as far as I can tell, except that at least the former is bit more honest about things.
So as damning as everyone thinks this stuff is, I think it's even more damning than that. We're not children here, after all. It's plain that Paul knew what was being published in his newsletters. It's plain that he was familiar with the well-developed strategy that inspired the early-90s turn to racist demagoguery. It's plain that he knew it was a key part of his fundraising appeal. Paul can weasel all he wants, but it's plain that he endorsed a strategy of overt appeals to racist sentiment in order to build support for his political career. If he's given all that up since then, it's only because he no longer needs it.
This whole affair highlights one of the reasons that I wish everyone would stop swooning over minor candidates who play the part of bold truthteller. When you have no chance of winning and therefore nothing to risk, it's cheap and easy to stick to your guns. But as Ron Paul has shown, back when it actually mattered he was willing to do whatever he needed to raise money and rekindle his political career. I don't doubt that he'd do it again if anything serious were on the line.
That's exactly right. It's also worth noting that Paul's steely-eyed libertarianism falters where women's rights are concerned.
The guy's a crackpot.