P. J. O’Rourke says, “Ben Carson is Brilliant and Kind. Therefore, He Has No Business Running for President”

Stephen Lam/Reuters
Stephen Lam/Reuters

There is nary a word to be said against Dr. Ben Carson. He is a soft-spoken gentleman of civilized refinement—broadly educated, highly skilled, widely accomplished, and universally respected. And he rose from a background of social adversity and economic deprivation that makes President Obama look like the lost Bush brother.

Thus Ben Carson makes us feel small. By “us” I mean the part of America filled with funk and failure. This is the America where political pundits reside.

We pundits have done our best to cut Ben Carson down to size. But we might as well be George Washington with the cherry tree if George had the body mass index of Kelly Ripa, George’s little hatchet were a butter knife, and the tree a mighty oak.

But George Washington couldn’t tell a lie, and we pundits can. Here, quoted from a recent AP political analysis piece, are two typical failed attempts to throw Ben Carson into the snark tank.

“…a gaffe-prone novice lacking a national profile and any significant political network.”

In other words Ben Carson is a person who says what he thinks, hasn’t spent decades screwing the pooch in Washington or flying his ass from the media flagpole, and he isn’t friends with the pack rats running through the sewers of democracy.

“…rough around the edges and has little experience with issues beyond healthcare and business, particularly foreign policy…”

That is to say, when Carson gets a baby thrust at him on the campaign tail he’s more likely to check its vital signs than kiss it. He knows enough to talk about things when he knows what he’s talking about. And he doesn’t have a clue what the overseas bouquet of assholes is going to do next because nobody does.

Indeed, to hear any worthwhile skepticism about Ben Carson’s presidential campaign, we have to go to the good doctor himself. He’s said, “The likelihood of someone like me getting through this process and making it to president is virtually impossible.”

Republican primary voters—a group with well-attested metal health issues—are responding to treatment by Dr. Ben. In recent polls, support for Carson has risen from 6 percent to 23 percent putting him (given political polling’s 100 percent +/- margin of error) in a dead heat with Donald Trump for GOP front-runner. True, that was before his ho-hum Sept. 16 debate performance, but Republicans go to the doctor for what ails them, not to get a good talking-to.

In Freudian terms, there is an upside to Republican schizophrenia. The Republican Id favors id-iotic Donald Trump. But the Republican Super Ego goes for superior Ben Carson.

(Dr. Carson, being a neurosurgeon, probably favors a physiological and bio-chemical model of brain dysfunction over a Freudian model. He’d probably have long ago left Donald Trump idling in the Rick Santorum polling bracket if Republicans would just stay on their meds.)

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Source: The Daily Beast | P. J. O’Rourke

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