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Hullabaloo


Saturday, November 07, 2015

 
Running for president of Bizarroworld

by digby

I've been saying this for a while, but I think this proves that Ben Carson is so steeped in the wingnut fever swamp that he is in an alternate universe:


“I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running,” Carson observed. “In fact I remember just the opposite. I remember people saying, ‘Oh we won’t really talk about that. We won’t talk about that relationship. Well, Frank Marshall Davis, well, we don’t want to talk about that. Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, well we don’t really know him. All the things that Jeremiah Wright was saying, oh, not a big problem.”

Carson then called into question Obama’s educational achievements, repeating a widely debunked theory that Obama’s educational records are being kept secret by some sort of court order.

“[Obama] goes to Occidental College, doesn’t do all that well, and somehow ends up at Columbia University,” Carson asserted. “Well… his records are sealed. Why is his record sealed? What are you not interested in why his records are sealed? Why are you not interested in that? Let me ask you that. Can someone tell me why, please?” He then demanded to know “how there is equivalency [sic] there” between “something that happened with the words ‘a scholarship was offered’ was a big deal, but the president of the United States, his academic records being sealed, is not.”
This is primo wingnuttery, the stuff you hear in the most toxic depths of the right wing media.

His affect is downright bizarre in that clip.  But not as bizarre as this.

From "Ben Carson's house: an homage to himself in pictures"



Update: Sarah Posner has an insightful piece up at Religion Dispatches about what makes Carson tick. Super interesting. An excerpt:

As Paul Waldman writes in an astute piece at the Washington Post, this scrutiny of the accuracy of Carson’s autobiography tells us little about what kind of president he’d be. But Carson’s wild claims, say, about the purpose of the pyramids, the origins of the universe, or his rejection of evolution, Waldman contends, “suggest not only that his beliefs are impervious to evidence but also an alarming lack of what we might call epistemological modesty.”

“Some parts of his personal story are irrelevant to that assessment” of his suitability for the presidency, Waldman concludes, “but some parts aren’t. And it’s those that should really give us pause.”

But there’s a way to see Carson’s apparent dissembling on a variety of issues, from his personal story to his views on science and history, as of a piece. That piece consists of a very simple frame: that Carson, through his faith in God, the grit exemplified in his life story, and the smarts evidenced by his success as a neurosurgeon, sees the truth and, as a presidential candidate, is conveying that truth to the American people. Questioning his claims about history and the universe’s origin are akin to questioning Carson’s own origin story.

Ben Carson believes he has seen the enemy, and casts himself as a prophet warning America of it. Carson’s method of disarming his critics is to portray them as that enemy in a cosmic battle over that truth. The enemy is people Carson facilely refers to as “secular progressives.”

Secular progressives, to Carson, are not mere political adversaries. In Carson’s usage, the term seems to encompass any sort of person or entity that might fall into categories as varied as liberal, secular, religious liberal, religious progressive, communist, socialist, feminist, LGBT rights activist, civil liberties advocate, Someone Who Disagrees With Ben Carson, atheist, agnostic, dormant and dead moderate Republicans, and, oh, I don’t know, CNN? Yesterday, as the Huffington Post’s media editor Gabriel Arana reports, a Carson interview on CNN turned “strangely combative” as anchor Alisyn Camerota “pressed him on a number of his recent controversial comments, including the claim that ‘many’ Americans are stupid and that ‘we’d be Cuba if it weren’t for Fox News.‘”

Camerota reminds Carson she used to work at Fox News and still has many friends there, but this appears to be of no moment to Carson, who lectures her (emphasis mine):

"the general mainstream media all seems to move in the secular progressive direction, and you know, they would like to create a narrative that certain things are good, and certain things are bad, according to the way that they see them. And by being able to be the bully pulpit, so to speak, and to be the only voice that’s out there, you can get a lot of people to start thinking the way that you do. Along comes Fox News and presents an alternative, a different way of thinking."

As POsner points out, Carson and Trump both received Secret Service protection this week. Carson told people it was because he's in grave danger from the secular progressives.

.