Monday, November 09, 2015

Mortified At Facing Carson

Rush Limbaugh said something silly today.

That wouldn't be when he referred to Politico's report(s) about Ben Carson and West Point as "Not just the biased, but racist journalism that it was." That is a preposterous allegation offered without any evidence, though that is Rush Limbaugh, a guy who labeled Senator Obama a "Chicago street thug" and "little black man-child"; and who called no-drama President Obama "an angry black guy" and claimed "Obama's entire economic program is reparations." The latter charge earned the response from Stephen Colbert "Those guys aren't racist. They're just saying that a program that helps the poor is actuallly a secret plot by African-Americans to steal white people's money."

Even more absurdly, while attacking Politico and the left for questioning the ever-righteous Ben Carson, Limbaugh today declared "It scares them he might become president.  It scares them that anybody like him, any religious conservative might become president. That's why they support the Democrat Party.  I'm convinced.  They're scared to death of religious people."

Quaking in their boots, I tell you.  It's curious that Limbaugh believes liberals worry "any religious conservative might become President," when right-wing icon Ronald(6) Wilson(6) Reagan(6) pretended he was religious and George W. Bush probably was.  But never mind.

The left need not fear a religious conservative on the order of Dr. Carson as president (Carson on a tirade, video below). The first prerequisite to obtaining the Oval Office is a single-minded conviction to get there. However, as Amanda Marcotte observes

Carson is not running a typical campaign for office—arguably, he’s not really trying to win office at all—so much as he’s trying to build his brand as a fundamentalist Christian icon. He wants his book to be wrapped and placed under every evangelical’s tree this Christmas. After he bows out of the presidential race, he has a nice career ahead of him as an “inspirational” speaker—and seller of tapes and sermons and educational materials—for the Christian right circuit. His exaggerated tales of sin and redemption sound bizarre to most Americans, but they are par for the course in the evangelical circles that Carson is trying to win over.

Take the Yale story: A young man who needs $10 and doesn’t have it and then is put in this situation where his convictions are tested and voila! He is given the $10 he needed. It’s a weird story if taken literally. But the story is perfect for a Sunday sermon on how the good Lord will provide to the righteous man. The likeliest explanation is not that Carson was too stupid to understand what was going on, but that he used his real life experience to fabricate a story meant to be read aloud from pulpits or turned into coloring books to be used in Sunday school.

Hammering messy real world experiences into trite fables about sin and redemption is standard operating procedure in conservative Christian circles. So is the exaggeration. Tales of your behavior before you were saved are embellished for maximum drama. What’s important is not the literal truth, but reinforcing fundamentalist notions that the world outside of the Jesus bubble is a depraved hellhole.

Unfortunately for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, Ben Carson will not be nominated. Were he to be so blessed (as he would put it), there would be an historic turnover in the US Senate and in the House.  There aren't many opportunities to run against a fellow who has compared the Affordable Care Act, gun control, political correctness, the progressive movement, and abortion to slavery and/or the Holocaust.(also, women who have abortions to slaveowners).. And did you know that some guys go into prison as straight and come out as gay?

Dr. Carson is, as Charlie Pierce puts it, a "guy (who) says his unprovable biographical details are true because he's running as a Paschal Lamb against an imaginary conspiracy, and his primary competition is explaining the structure of the pyramids to you, as well as the decades-old wanderings of William Westmoreland and the tensile strength of belt buckles as body armor."   Terrified.

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