Dr. Ben Carson is worse than a bad nightmare.
A nightmare keeps recurring, and recurring and recurring. But at least with a nightmare, you wake up in one piece with no scratches, bruises, cuts, or injuries.
With Carson, though, there’s no end to the torture. The horror is that he invariably crops up when his right-wing GOP handlers trot him out whenever they need a black to make a dumb quip, dig, slur, or insult of women, blacks, Democrats, and especially President Obama.
He was in predictable form again when he piled on Obama to a recent interviewer with the not-so-veiled hint that he’s “not qualified” to be the nation’s commander in chief. This is, of course, the echo of the GOP’s latest hit attack on Obama for his alleged foreign policy gaffes. But Carson didn’t stop there he earlier had dredged up the well-worn, tired, Nazi label to tag those who try to silence dissent. Carson didn’t explicitly name who the “those” were but he meant Obama and the Democrats and the dissenter was him.
There it was on naked display, the two pet themes of the ultra-right; the supposed bullying by liberals of conservatives, particularly a black conservative, and a supposedly weak kneed president on foreign policy. The trotting out of Carson to deliver the right-wing gospel from on high fits in with yet another by now familiar ploy used by ultra-conservatives during the Obama years. And that’s float Carson as a trial balloon as a possible GOP presidential contender in 2016. As always some in the media take the bait, and start a mild buzz of speculation about whether Carson will actually toss his hat in the rink.
This is more than political theater of the absurd. It gets even more attention for the GOP. But more importantly, it touches a deep, dark, and throbbing pulse among legions of ultra-conservatives who think that Obama and many Democrats are communists, gays are immoral, and that the health care reform law is exactly what Carson has likened it to “slavery,” meaning the tyrannical intrusion by big government into their lives.
Mainstream GOP leaders can’t utter these inanities. They must always give appearance that they are above the dirt, mud, and hate slinging fray. So they leave it to a well-paid stalking horse like Carson to do their dirty work for them. But that’s only part of Carson’s worth to conservatives.
He gives the illusion that the GOP is a race-neutral party that has a plethora of big name, African-Americans as their visible point men and women, and who speak with authority. The cast of shameless black panderers and hucksters that the GOP has trotted out and plopped in front of the TV cameras during the past few years has been both endless and embarrassing. But they still keep them coming.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a frequent political commentator on MSNBC and a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is the author of How Obama Governed: The Year of Crisis and Challenge. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK-Radio and the Pacifica Network.