Ben Carson, who achieved outsized fame in the ‘80s as the first brain surgeon in history to accidentally leave a pair of forceps in his own head, is back on television. Whether he knows it or not is an open question, but he is saying things. Weird things. Outrageous things. Things that only Ben Carson could—or would—say.
Carson endorsed Donald Trump at a speech in Iowa on Sunday (for president, in case you were wondering), and CNN’s Abby Phillip invited him on air this week to explain himself. It was eye-opening for everyone but Carson, who nearly always looks like someone who’s gotten up in the middle of the night to pee and is only marginally aware of where the toilet is.
Carson served as Trump’s Housing and Urban Development secretary for four years and left on good terms with his boss, which is just one indication of how incompetent he was. Another clue is the four years previous to that, when he was “doing” his “job.”
At one point during the interview, Phillip asked how supporting Trump, who tried to overthrow democracy and has called for terminating portions of the Constitution so he can be reinstated as president/dictator-for-life, was compatible with defending democracy. It didn’t go great.
PHILLIP: “I also just want to raise to you, you know, former President Trump has openly mused on his social media platform about terminating the Constitution. How does that factor into defending American democracy?”
CARSON: “Well, I think you have to look at the context of what things were said, how they were said, and which parts of the Constitution are you talking about.”
PHILLIP: [Visibly surprised] “Are there any parts of the Constitution that should be terminated?”
CARSON: “There are no parts of it that should be terminated, but they need to be well interpreted. They need to be looked at in the right way. For instance, you have people who are trying to take away people’s right to bear arms. They say that part should be terminated. That’s not true. But, you know, you can make strong arguments. But the key thing that we have to do as a nation at this point, we have some very major differences. We have one group of individuals who feels that our country should be people-centric, and we have another who feels that it should be government-centric. They need to be able to sit down at the table, put the facts in the middle of the table, and resolve their differences by discussing the facts and how they can both use those things in an appropriate way.”
Yes, people do need to sit down at a table to discuss how our country needs to be more people-centric and less government-centric, but only if the government bought that table for one of Trump’s cronies with $31,000 in taxpayer money.
Also, conservatives have been misinterpreting the Second Amendment for decades now. Quite deliberately, it seems. In fact, way back in 1991, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Nixon appointee, said conservatives have made the amendment “the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word fraud, on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”
That said, it’s one thing to disagree over how the Constitution should be interpreted. It’s quite another to claim parts of it should be unilaterally tossed in the rubbish so we can get our wannabe strongman dictator back. Something tells me Ben hasn’t thought this through. Give him a few minutes while the Plinko chips settle in his head. He’ll get there. Eventually. Maybe.
Or maybe not, judging by this exchange from the same interview:
PHILLIP: “The question really is why aren’t there more people like you who actually worked with, served under Donald Trump, who are willing to actually endorse him? I want to read for you some quotes from your former colleagues. John Kelly says ‘God help us’ at the thought of another Trump term. Mark Milley: ‘We don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator.’ Mark Esper: ‘Unfit for office.’ Dan Coats: ‘To him, a lie is not a lie.’ Gina Haspel: ‘A 6-year-old with a tantrum’ is how she described her former boss. What are they seeing that you’re not seeing?”
CARSON: “I think the better question is what are they not seeing? And they are not seeing the big picture. If, as I said, we allow our Justice Department to be weaponized, we will have lost something very precious and important. We will become like a banana republic, and that is incredibly important. We would have lost the republic that Benjamin Franklin talked about.”
PHILLIP: “But what evidence do you have, Dr. Carson, that the Justice Department has been weaponized, against Trump specifically? There’s no evidence of that.”
CARSON: “Well, let’s put it this way. Al Capone, who was a notorious killer, had one indictment, and Donald Trump has four indictments. That would tell you something right there …”
PHILLIP: “I don’t think that’s evidence of anything except that Donald Trump allegedly has committed conduct that has resulted in indictments.”
CARSON: “It’s evidence that you have a group of people, a system, that is out to get this president, and they feel that he’s an existential threat to their existence. America was designed for the people, it wasn’t designed for the government.”
Got that? Because Donald Trump has been indicted four times as often as Al Capone, he must be innocent. It’s just common sense. Just because two of the prosecutors who’ve indicted him have nothing to do with the U.S. Department of Justice doesn’t mean it’s not the DOJ doing all the weaponizing! Also, why are you asking these questions? They never ask these questions on Fox News. It takes Ben days to come up with these rehearsed answers! Don’t be rude.
Then again, maybe Republicans should at least consider the possibility that Trump has been indicted four times because he’s a criminal who commits lots of crimes. Maybe that’s occurred to Dr. Carson, maybe not.
Let’s just hope Ben finally gets some sleep. After all, tomorrow will be another long day of trying to wake up in the morning.
Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.