Please note that I'm not saying that Ron Paul is some kind of racist. I think he's in his own little world, and that world isn't in reliable communication with the rest of the country's leaders and value-formers.
But I do think this is an example of how many folks -- some frustrated, some opportunistic -- see whatever they want to see in Paul, simply because he is so far out there. His principled outlandishness attracts all those who feel marginalized. Many of them are among my friends, who see Paul as the last man of principle running for President.
So why doesn't he wave the bad supporters off? Why does a principled man suck up to the Legions of Awful? Is it because he likes the attention, because he thinks they're surely couldn't be as bad as others say, or because he thinks they genuinely see things as he does? In the end, it doesn't matter. When the Stormfront and CAIR types flock to your banner, you have become either a public danger or a public laughingstock.
We are, indeed, known by the company we keep.