Saturday, March 30, 2013


Dr. Benjamin Carson began his current rise to fame after a tendentious National Prayer Breakfast speech in which, among other things, he railed against "the PC police," who, he said, "are out in force at all times." So it's odd to me that, after Carson stirred up controversy earlier this week with an appearance on Sean Hannity's TV show in which he lumped gays and lesbians in with NAMBLA members and people who commit bestiality as people who would improperly redefine marriage, he subsequently went on an apology tour: Andrea Mitchell's show on MSNBC, Wolf Blitzer's show on CNN, an interview with the Baltimore Sun.

Hey, Dr. Carson, I thought you were the crusader against political correctness. I thought you said at the Prayer Breakfast, "And we've reached the point where people are afraid to actually talk about what they want to say because somebody might be offended." You said what you believed. Don't apologize! Give 'em hell!

But there are big plans for Ben Carson. It's not clear who engineered his move into the spotlight -- was it all the doctor's idea, or has he been consulting from the very beginning with Fox News, the Republican Party, or both? Whose idea was it for him to get in the president's face at the Prayer Breakfast, with calls for a flat tax and harsh words for Obamacare?

Whether that speech just happened to go viral or was the result of a right-wing strategists' plan to create a viral event, Carson is clearly very useful to the GOP and the right at this moment. The party is looking to rebrand itself. The party knows it's too white. So it doesn't really matter whether Carson ever runs for president, or another public office, as a Republican -- just the sense that he might seems to Republicans like a useful tool in their rebranding efforts.

But right-wing strategists also worry that the party is perceived as homophobic. So they don't want their new star having a genuinely anti-PC response to the current controversy: Hey, I said what I said. If you don't like it, tough. The party and the right don't want a new provocateur -- a new Ann Coulter or Steve King. They want someone who can thread the needle, delivering the right-wing boilerplate while appealing to swing voters. So he has to deliver nice wingnuttery.

If his apology isn't being orchestrated by either the GOP or Fox (Fox being a possible next employer after his retirement from Johns Hopkins, which is coming up shortly), then, at the very least, he's figured out that he'd better make this embarrassment go away if he wants continued access to the starmaker machinery.

So the great scourge of PC goes all PC and apologizes. Ironic.

The alternate explanation is that he ginned up this week's controversy, or it was plotted out for him, in order to make him a PC martyr. I don't see that -- if that were the case, I'm not sure he'd be making the rounds of non-right-wing media so vigorously. But if that was the plan, it's working: petitioners have called for him to withdraw as a Johns Hopkins commencement speaker, he's offering to withdraw, and he's being treated as the latest victim of liberal fascism (John Fund at National Review: "Dr. Carson Banned from Commencement Speech?"; a right-wing blogger: "The Left Manufactures the Dr. Ben Carson Coke Can Pubic Hair Moment." Hey, maybe this really was the plan all along.


Victor said...

Maybe what it is that this loon proves, is that just because you're a skilled surgeon, doesn't mean that you're any smarter than the average sturgeon.

I thought our Righties wanted Pure, No-holds-barred, Non-Compassionate, Non-Aplogetic Conservatism!

You know, the kind that doesn't need it no "Blah," brown, gay, or wommin folks voting for it?

I'm talking about the old white male Volks - with maybe just a few "House" "Blah, brown, gay, or wommin folks, willing to sell-out for some cold hard cash.

How's that auditionin' thingy workin' out fer ya, Doc?

RHOACO said...

Libs/Progressives....BE afraid...Be VERY afraid..This FIRST agttempt to fudge his muff...IS WEAK.....
You gotta DO BETTER....
Get BACK to the RAWING BORD!!!!

Steve M. said...

Oh, wow -- you must be right, because what you're saying has LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS. That's always the sign of an irrefutable, tightly reasoned argument.