A gentle Ben Carson reminder

The man is a complete nut!  With his certifiable neuro-surgery skills and calm demeanor, it’s kind of easy to forget that the man came to political fame for his crazy, incredibly-outspoken extremism.  Jamelle Bouie recently provided a reminder:

Of course Carson believes in the disloyalty of American Muslims. His genial reputation conceals a deep commitment to paranoid politics, honed over years of conservative activism and deployed in speeches, op-ed columns, and now a presidential campaign. At the Values Voter Summit in 2013, for example, he compared the Affordable Care Act—President Obama’s signature health care law—to chattel slavery. “You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” said Carson in his remarks to the conservative gathering. “It is slavery in a way because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”

There’s no question this is outrageous. But it pales next to the reactionary paranoia of much of his other rhetoric. “I mean, [our society is] very much like Nazi Germany,” he said last year, in a rant against “political correctness.” “You know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate the population. We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe.”

If political correctness is akin to German fascism, then it’s no shock the doctor thinks the IRS is a bona fide secret police. “You know, we live in a Gestapo age, people don’t realize it,” he said, in reference to the federal tax agency.He believes that President Obama might suspend elections in 2016, that Democrats want immigrants to increase the welfare population and keep themselves in power, and that—as he explained in the first Republican presidential debate this year—Hillary Clinton and “the progressive movement” are “trying to destroy this country” by driving up the national debt and stepping “off the stage as a world leader.”

Carson, the doctor, is a brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon. Carson, the candidate, is a crank—a creature of deep suspicion and conspiratorial thinking, who gives the mainstream a rare glimpse into the American Negative Zone of far-right fear and fetid fever dreams. [emphasis mine]

This is crazy, nutball stuff.  Not over 20% in the polls stuff.  Well, not over 20% when the polls actually start mattering.  For now, he’s just the calm, humble outsider to Trump’s brash one.  But I’d like think (alas, I may be wrong) that 20% of the GOP would truly embrace Carson’s right-wing, completely untethered from reality, paranoia.

There is no “Catholic vote”

While Catholics used to be a somewhat distinct political entity.  That is decidedly no longer the case.  From a Gallup post looking at American Catholics and politics (occassioned by Pope Francis’ visit, of course):

Party Identification Among U.S. Catholics and Non-Catholics, 2014

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