Broken Elephants, Part II: Ben Carson, Frank Gaffney, and The Way to Make Your Mark in Today’s GOP

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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75 Responses

  1. Avatar j r
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    Great post. The really sad thing, and you can see this in the links about Carson’s staff quitting, is that the media is obliged to cover Carson, and Gingrich in 2012, as someone who is actually running for President as opposed to someone running a tax-exempt personal marketing operation.

    For that matter, the other team is obliged to take these guys seriously as well. Progressives get much more mileage out of alternating between using someone like Carson as negative motivation to rally around and painting him as an idiot rather than acknowledge that he is likely just playing a different game.

    One minor quibble related to this:

    Bonus: Carson himself was African-American, which from a conservative perspective gave the Right a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card to parrot his vitriolic criticism of black equality movements.

    It is not that conservative whites view Ben Carson as cover behind whom they feel free to be racist, or even politically correct (being politically incorrect has in many ways become the political correctness of the right). Rather, these are folks who have so internalized the white male victim mythology that they think having a black men up front helps to sell conservative ideas that would otherwise be dismissed as racist. These are folks who really believe that Obama is the affirmative action president. And now they want one of their own.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to j r
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      says:

      It has actually been pretty common in the liberal Internet to say that Carson isn’t really running for prez but trying to sell books and build his brand. I’ve been reading that for months.

      He is clearly brilliant in his chosen field, i don’t’ think anybody has denied that. But like many specialists he is pretty unaware of anything outside of his field. But he, like again, many highly skilled specialists thinks he is knows a lot about everything.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to greginak
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        says:

        I’d rather listen to an economist criticize Firefly than listen to Ben Carson criticize anything.

        Skilled Surgeons are due about the respect that you give a senior car mechanic, that and no more. They’re roughly equivalent skillsets. Can you name the key difference?Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kim
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          1. Significantly longer and more intense academic and experiential barriers to entry into the medical profession.

          2. Stakes of outcome are (typically) much higher for surgeons. Certainty of outcome notwithstanding best efforts substantially lower for surgeons.

          3. Continuing medical education.

          4. Substantial support staff.

          5. People are not cars.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko
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            says:

            You know robots do surgery now? I watched a DaVinci robot peel a grape. And then another stitch a grape’s skin together.

            My wife had personal experience with one of those things. Given her biggest problem was she was off pain pills in a week (six weeks is the minimum full recovery time) and kept trying to do things like, I dunno, lift stuff after being told not too….

            Pretty miraculous.

            (Although because we’re not insane, we didn’t want videos of that particular surgery before hand. Or after, to be honest. A magic robot did it. That’s all we needed to know).Report

            • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Morat20
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              says:

              And why ever shouldn’t a robot do that sort of thing?

              But I’ll bet that there was a surgeon standing by right there in case things got wonky, and that a battalion of surgeons helped program the thing.

              I’m pleased that things didn’t get wonky in your wife’s situation, and that her recovery was so fast and (relatively) pain-free. Here’s wishing similar outcomes for everyone who has medical issues.Report

              • Avatar notme in reply to Burt Likko
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                There is a surgeon controlling the robot, it doesn’t operate autonomously.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to notme
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                says:

                Got it. So now it isn’t even a surgeon’s programming — it’s still a surgeon, just using a really technologically advanced tool.

                Well, to the original point, yes, auto mechanics sometimes use very technologically advanced tools, too, and they do go to classes to learn how to use the and get certified on things and stuff. But it’s a massive quantitative difference between the work it takes to become a high-end, high-tech auto mechanic and the work it takes to become a good surgeon.

                Because the object of that training is qualitatively very different.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Burt Likko
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                The robot is actually controlled by a surgeon; it isn’t wholly automatic. Neat technology, but not cheap. Oh no.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Burt Likko
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                says:

                Oh no, the surgeon was controlling the robot. The thing is, they can tell the robot to do something very delicate and tedious — like, say, stitching up a very delicate bit over a sizeable cut, and the robot will do it perfectly. Better than any flesh and bone surgeon can.

                Because it doesn’t get tired, it doesn’t suffer a lapse of attention, and it’s capable of smaller, more precise movements than the human hand. And it can fit into tinier spots than clumsy human fingers, and still stitch.

                In this case, I believe the doctor used the robot as a waldo, basically, for a lot of the work. And then set it to cauterize, glue, or stitch delicate internal areas.

                In short, the surgeon spent most of the time with her hands on a machine. And the machine could be told to do simple stuff itself, I believe. (Like “stitch every x units for y length, at z depth”).Report

          • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Burt Likko
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            says:

            Burt Likko: People are not cars.

            When did you start running for office?Report

  2. Avatar Dan Scotto
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    This is a very good piece and a great write-up, so, well done, Tod Kelly.

    I basically think that the main problem that the GOP faces is that a substantial share of its voters no longer trusts its elected officials to keep its interests in mind. That leaves an opening for fringe candidates. The talk radio/PAC ecosystem is sort of a parallel establishment that can make a compelling critique of how ineffectual the GOP’s elected officials are, and does… but then you see the things like how much money they spend to raise money, and it becomes quite clear that they’re basically running something only a bit above a scam.

    Democrats really do not have a comparable problem.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Dan Scotto
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      Democrats are developing a comparable disillusionment with elected officials, at least on a local level. See, e.g., Chicago. And obviously there’s some distrust of Clinton, which is why Sanders has been able to gain some traction despite being slightly outside of the center to center-right of the party (the parts of the party that ordinary win the highly visible elections). But so far it hasn’t produced any love for “fringe” candidates (think Kucinich in ’04 and ’08, who didn’t gain any real traction), even if “fringe” means something very different in the two parties.

      That said, it’s interesting to me that this dissatisfaction is finally having at least early consequences for a Republican primary race (we’ll see how impactful it remains by next summer). I’ve heard many rumblings from conservatives about the ineffectiveness or even unwillingness of Republicans at the federal level to fight for conservative policies, particularly on issues like abortion and immigration, for the better part of two decades, and I remember a lot of dissatisfaction with Bush during his second term in particular, but it didn’t lead to more conservative candidates. Perhaps conditions — the Iraq debacle, for example — simply didn’t make a viable candidate to Bush’s right possible at the time?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Chris
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        Chicago is a pretty unique example. Ed Lee sailed to reelection pretty easily in San Francisco. De Blasio is suffering in the polls but he has enough support that he can probably pull off reelection when his term is up and he has two years to pull around.Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to Saul Degraw
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          I don’t know that Chicago is unique except in the scale and speed. Baltimore, St. Louis, and perhaps Missouri itself, are likely to face lesser challenges to entrenched Democratic politicians. And if there are signs of success in those places, it will spread.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw
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          The Democratic Party is also helped by the fact that the Further Left was always disillusioned with it and never really attached itself to the Democratic Party in the same way that the Further Right decided to work with the Republican Party after World War II. From around FDR until the late 1940s or early 1950s, the Further Right in the United States hated both parties and wanted nothing to do with either. They eventually decided to start working within the Republican Party rather than from without it with great success.

          Dan Sotto is correct, many of the GOP base does not trust elected Republicans to carry out their interest. Chris is right that the Further Left feels the same about the Democratic Party. Where Chris is wrong is that the Republican base has a more accurate view of itself as the base of the Republican Party than people on the Further Left have of themselves as the Democratic Party. The base of the Democratic Party is more diverse and therefore ideologically wider than the base of the Republican Party. Elected Democratic politicians simply have more viewpoints and interests that need to be represented, many of these interests contradict each other, and more balancing needs to be done.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Saul Degraw
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          I don’t know how good an example DeBlasio is, since he was kind of an insurgent (against Quinn) himself. Then again, I’m not really sure I buy the overall argument that there’s any sort of equivalency to the way Dems are getting annoyed at big city Democratic mayors with the distrust of the national level party that we’re seeing in the GOP. That kind of frustration just feels too familiar to me to really qualify as a trend.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Saul Degraw
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          says:

          DeBlasio seems to have had some solid successes to point to though.Report

  3. Avatar Roland Dodds
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    Well said Tod. This is the most telling observation:

    “All of this is pretty significant, and quite telling. First, it shows that Carson’s business and marketing arm hasn’t been tagging along for the ride with Carson’s campaign; rather, it has been the reverse.”

    As long as running for president is a profitable business endeavor for Republicans, they are going to get conmen who launch campaigns in the hope of selling more books or getting a show on Fox News. The fact that the rank and file has no problem with this is shocking.Report

    • Avatar Joe Sal in reply to Roland Dodds
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      ‘The fact that the rank and file has no problem with this is shocking.’

      Why is this shocking? Is it not par for the course in the current economic model?

      Hell the model is to build the brand and profit from it. No true capital formation required, (just assets under management right?). To say BSDI is an understatement. To say all sides do it in the current model is obvious.

      When tangible capital formation is occurring it may not look so much bread and circuses. It’s not so much broken elephants as broken everything.

      If the base is pissed and looking at fascist to fix the model, the boat on political sanity left the port and is over the horizon. We’re just haggling price of bread and circus now.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    “Despite liberals’ insistence otherwise, Carson is both likable and charismatic. Further, he is likely the smartest (if not necessarily the wisest) man in whatever room in which he happens to be hanging out. Claims from liberal pundits that Carson isn’t bright enough to know how to speak in public come off as wishful thinking, considering his highly successful career over decades doing just that.”

    I think you do are going BSDI here and need a bit of pushback.

    Ben Carson is a successful speaker and writer for a very specific audience. Now this audience happens to be around 40 million people in the United States which is no small number but it still writing and speaking for a specific audience. Do you have any evidence of Ben Carson writing or speaking to a crowd outside this audience successfully? Liberals don’t take Carson seriously for the same reasons you were criticizing Frank Gaffney, Carson says some really nutty things which are absolutely disconnected from reality. He gets caught out on these things again and again. There was his theory about the ancient Israelites building the Pyramids. There was also the whole Perception class lie.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/holes-ben-carson-yale-psychology

    Ben Carson is a successful speaker in the same way that P.T. Barnum was a successful speaker. He sells lies and hokum to a large group of Americans who want the stories to be true because it represents their worldview. This is successful but it is not necessarily right or moral.

    Maybe Carson sincerely believes these things to be true but one thing that happens on the right is seemingly that being an expert in one things, makes someone an expert in all things. I trust Carson as an expert in pediatric neurosurgery, maybe neurosurgery in general. That doesn’t mean I have to trust him on Egyptology, health insurance policy, Economics, etc.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      David Simon and David Simon’s characters treated Ben Carson as an inspirational role model hero in The Wire.Report

    • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Saul Degraw
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      Liberals views of Carson are probably more related to when and how liberals hear what Carson has to say.

      Two months ago, I didn’t know anything about Carson beyond the fact that he was a Brain Surgeon, that he was popular among conservative Christians, and that he was the only Black Candidate running in the Republican primary. Given that, I’d assumed that he was Intelligent and Charsimatic

      Two weeks ago, I knew that he believed in a bunch of conspiracy theories, especially ones related to biblical archeology. And I’d seen his performance in the third debate. That pretty much erased any positive thoughts I had about Carson’s intelligence or charisma. Now, there’s almost certainly a side of him I’m not seeing. I don’t think people can make it through med school without being incredibly clever in certain ways, and I don’t think people can become successful inspirational speakers without being incredibly charismatic in certain ways. But when it comes down to it, i’ve got guesswork and intuition in the plus column, and transcripts and video in the minus column.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to Alan Scott
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        Now, I could try to turn that into a “and that’s why Liberals aren’t racist”.

        But I won’t. Because we are.

        Because racism isn’t a moral failing. It’s systemic. And when we get to see what he has to say about the pyramids but not what he has to say about epilepsy, or videos of him babbling foolishly about Russia but not videos of him being clear and knowledgeable about HSAs, that’s us participating in a racist system–one that we should work to reject.Report

        • Avatar miguel cervantes in reply to Alan Scott
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          says:

          Racism, no neither was Seth Rogen’s pot induced outburst, some months back. but progressive arrogance, contempt against ‘bitter clingers’ except those one would fear to antagonize,Report

        • Avatar j r in reply to Alan Scott
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          @alan-scott

          Because racism isn’t a moral failing. It’s systemic.

          This is an interesting statement. It strikes me largely as a political statement, somewhat divorced from the issues of normative ethics and cognitive philosophy that one might normally raise when talking about racism.

          In your opinion, is this statement falsifiable? Can it be both?Report

          • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to j r
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            says:

            That should really say “isn’t just” or “isn’t primarily a moral failing. After all, participating unquestioningly in the system that is racism is immoral, or at the very least amoral.

            I’m simply saying that racism isn’t a matter of mustache-twirling cartoon villainy. That it’s something we do, and that people like us do, and it’s woven into the fabric of our present-day society.

            As to the falsifiability of the statement, “racism is systemic” is an unspecified generalization, so it’s not falsifiable. statements like “all racism is systemic” and “some racism is systemic” would be falsifiable though.Report

            • Avatar j r in reply to Alan Scott
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              says:

              @alan-scott

              Got it. I was reading you as saying something close to “all racism is systemic;” therefore completely above any issue of individual ethics or agency. By the way, I don’t think that statement is falsifiable, because, in that construction, it is mostly functioning as a definition. The older I get, the more wary I become of non-falsifiable statements.

              I agree with you absolutely that racism is a systemic issue as much as it is an individual issue.Report

              • Avatar Alan Scott in reply to j r
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                @j-r , yeah. To me, “racism is systemic” is definitional more than descriptive. That is, the phenomena I’m speaking about when I talk about racism, why it’s bad, and how it can be overcome are systemic phenomena. I’d even argue that the mustache-twirling racism is a phenomenon that emerges from the broader system of racism.

                But I also don’t think individual ethics and agency are incapable of addressing systemic phenomena–and so they still have a place of importance in any understanding of racism and/or opposition to it.Report

  5. Avatar pillsy
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    says:

    And it likely says something ugly about Americans that the obvious rejoinder to any learned or scholarly black man one disagrees with is the automatic assumption that, despite his accomplishments, said black man must be unintelligent.

    Another example is the common assertion that Clarence Thomas is just a puppet for Antonin Scalia.

    As for Carson’s bizarre performance as a campaigner, the truism that politics isn’t brain surgery cuts both ways. He’s surely not an idiot, but being smart really doesn’t preclude incuriosity, hubris or even being able to handle a political debate.[1] To indulge in a bit of stereotyping, at he’s just running a political campaign into the ground; surgeons usually do that with private planes instead.

    [1] There are good and even great politicians who suck behind the debate podium.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to pillsy
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      Thomas is just not a very good supreme court justice.
      I’d rather we have a second Scalia (complete with mysanthropic curmudgeonness) than one Thomas on the bench.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Kim
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        I think Thomas is quite mad, but at least it’s an interesting sort of mad. Scalia used to at least be entertaining, but increasingly he sounds like one of those guys who calls in to sports shows to yell about how the Illuminati are using fluoridation to keep the Cubs from winning the World Series.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kim
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        I disagree with a claim that Clarence Thomas is not good at his job.

        He is well-learned, a skilled legal writer, and produces thoroughly-researched and logically-consistent opinions. He also frequently takes on opinions on less-sexy issues like ERISA and the Arbitration Act, and has staked out a unique (even from Scalia) school of Constitutional interpretation that, while I disagree with several of its premises (most prominently his rejection of the doctrine of Fourteenth Amendment incorporation), possesses rigor.

        Justice Thomas has strong opinions and they originate from a set of premises with which I personally disagree. But there is no indication that he is corrupt or unfairly biased, intellectually less capable than his (all very impressive) colleagues, or that he does not discharge his judicial duties with both the professionalism and vigor necessary to run the highest court of the land.Report

        • Avatar NoPublic in reply to Burt Likko
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          I think many, particularly in the non-legal professions, see his lack of participation in oral arguments as an indication of an incurious nature or a lack of interest in building a narrative of the arguments rather than the cold textual basis. I know that in engineering, for instance, free-form discussion of the problem often “shakes loose” assumptions that one side or another were unaware of or corner cases which would not otherwise have been seen. I believe that law has a different process and one which laypeople are really not structured to understand without guidance.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to NoPublic
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            I think he is pretty damned doctrinaire about his rather strange point of view about constitutional issues. I generally get the sense that he comes closest, of all the Justices, to adhering to John Roberts’ stated ideals of just “calling balls and strikes”[1], it’s just he’s calling them based on a rule book from an alternate reality where John C. Calhoun’s face is on the five-dollar bill.

            Being a real stickler for bizarre principles is in no way inconsistent with meeting high intellectual standards.

            [1] I certainly think he comes closer than Roberts himself.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to pillsy
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      Rather anecdotally, I have met some really idiotic engineers. Mind you, they could do their job fantastically. Whatever they did — design bridges, engines, whatever — fantastic. Excellent. Great at it. Would totally trust my life to it.

      Maybe idiotic is the wrong word. They weren’t dumb, it was just stuff outside their expertise? They basically felt they were similarly expert at. They would speak with great assurance, unwilling to listen to anyone else, on subjects they knew nothing about. Less than nothing, sometimes.

      They knew they were smart, knew they were excellent engineers — and somehow felt this made them expert at everything else.

      I think it’s a common pitfall among any expert or skilled person. You know you’re smart, or good, and so assume that it’s not just this narrow area of life you’re skilled with. It’s everything.

      Carson comes off that way. He’s undoubtedly a great neurosurgeon, and brain surgery — along with rocket science — is the buzzword we associate with “incredibly smart and skilled”. His skills would likely transfer to many other fields, like politics — except, by all accounts, he seems to think he knows everything he needs to know already and won’t tackle it like someone learning an utterly new skill.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Morat20
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        @Morat20:

        Rather anecdotally, I have met some really idiotic engineers.

        I’d bet a dollar at least one of them was a Creationist.

        I’ve seen it in engineers, physicists, MDs, lawyers, economists, and so on. Arrogant, incurious gits can excel at pretty much any endeavor with talent, hard work and some good luck. It’s the American dream!Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Morat20
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        He’s undoubtedly a great neurosurgeon, and brain surgery — along with rocket science — is the buzzword we associate with “incredibly smart and skilled”.

        And I have no idea why. Neither of those make sense.

        First, rocket science isn’t really a thing. The word there is physicist if people are talking about the actual science, or rocket *engineer* if people are talking about building them. But both those, at least, require smarts.

        Surgery…does not. Yes, being a doctor is a pretty difficult skill level to reach, but in doctor land, surgeons are *actually* regarded, by other doctors, as the sorta dumb ones.

        Other doctors have to diagnose all sorts of problems and figure out what’s actually happening, whereas surgeons just…perform very specific cutting and sewing.

        Or, to put it another way, doctor:scientists::surgeons:engineers. Other doctors figure complicated problems out, surgeons just *fix machinery*, usually after some other doctor told them the problem, and mostly using well-known techniques they didn’t invent themselves. (1)

        This is not to say there are brilliant surgeons who fix problems that modern surgical techniques can’t handle, just like there are engineers that design things that no one knew how to design. But most surgeons, like most engineers, are just following basic rules and procedures. It takes skill, it takes knowledge, it takes steady hands, and it takes the ability to work under pressure. It does not, really, take intelligence.

        Again, surgeons usually are intelligent, but that’s because it’s really hard to *pass medical school* without being intelligent. But they’re in the ‘does not rely as much on intelligence’ branch of medicine.

        And brain surgery is not only no *harder* than other types of surgery, it’s actually somewhat more forgiving. You screw up in heart surgery, the patient is dead. You screw up in a liver transplant, the patient dies. You screw up in spinal surgery, the patient can’t walk. You can screw up in brain surgery, and maybe there’s some minor undetectable brain damage, who can say? Brains can’t even feel pain!

        1) I wonder if it’s less that ‘smart people’ fall prone for stupid political ideas than *engineers* do, and it’s just we should sometimes classify surgeons as engineers.Report

        • Avatar Richard Hershberger in reply to DavidTC
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          And I have no idea why. Neither of those make sense.

          I haven’t actually researched this, but my guess is that both memes came out of the post-WWII era. Both rocketry and neurosurgery were making flashy breakthroughs that caught the public’s attention. It doesn’t matter that whatever validity there might once have been to the notion that rocketry and neurosurgery were limited to the super-smart no longer applies, if it ever did. Once this sort of meme gets established, it long survives past its actually being true. This is a bit like those people who note that poor people have cell phones, and who recall a time when cell phones were an expensive luxury, and conclude from this that there aren’t any people who are actually poor.Report

  6. Avatar North
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    Apalling and well written my Todd.
    My own impression is that much of this involves the boomers. The GOP has a reservoir of credulous, frightened voters who have a nice package of money they’re sitting on. The grifter industry has been drilling for money in this reservoir for decades now. Now the parasites are getting so thick they’re beginning to kill their host.

    I don’t, however, see any way out except through. The GOP needs to lose and lose badly for a couple of cycles. Nothing kills parasites in political parties like an extended stint in the wilderness.Report

    • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to North
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      My theory is that GOP folks are all just big My Brother, My Brother and Me fans, so they all knew that last year was really Twenty Grift-teen: The Con is On. Now that we’ve moved on to Twenty Fix-Teen, they’ll step in and put a stop to this nonsense.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to North
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      The GOP has a reservoir of credulous, frightened voters who have a nice package of money they’re sitting on

      Finally, a real downside of Social Security.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Morat20
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        I suppose one could argue that though if you’re living only on social security you’re probably not the primary target for these grifters. They’re mainly after the comfortable frightened white people who have a house, a cottage, a pension and social security and have a nice nest egg set aside as well.

        Hell, no wonder young people aren’t into the GOP- that’s their inheritances those shock jocks are finagling away.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to North
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          says:

          I dunno, I mean that fundraising machine has it’s roots in Pat Robertson’s fund-raising machinations of the what, early 80s? And IIRC, he was aiming pretty hard at seniors whose income stream was primarily SS.

          The timing and pattern of the fundraising appeals would be a good place to look to see if any given PAC or candidate or minister was aiming at that sweet SS money. You’d see the appeals peak around the date the checks get cashed and the week or so after, before dying down for a few weeks.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to North
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          One of the key rules of politics or life is to follow the money.Report

  7. Avatar veronica d
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    The thing is, the media is one part of a broad social system — but it’s all a system, which means cause and effect go round and round in loops. My point is, the media both reflects and shapes opinion.

    I recall going to gun shows in the early 80’s, down in South Florida, which was a lot more redneck back then than it is now. In any event, I’d see the Nazi memorabilia guys next to the guys selling elaborate knives, but then across the room I’d get confronted by some Bo Gritz supporter. Those were odd fellas. In any event, this shit ain’t new.

    But on the other hand, most people don’t hang out at guns shows, and many who do found the Nazi memorabilia guys just creepy and the Bo-Gritz-for-president guys just unhinged.

    Until people on TV kept saying this stuff to them again and again and again.

    The point, you can fool some of the people some of the time. You wrap up nonsense in an entertaining package, and experiment with your message until you find the social fault lines, and then the cash flows in.

    The problem is, of course, that you are fostering stupidity and hate, which are bad things in large doses. In other words, this is building stupidity and hate that might not have otherwise existed. And indeed, “angry old white people” were always going to be a problem in a progressive, multicultural society, as we moved away from the world they knew. So yeah. But at the same time, queers and blacks and Muslims (and so on) are human beings, and I’ve met plenty of homespun old folks who are totally awesome about diversity stuff.

    Part of that is just their character. No doubt. Character matters.

    But right-wing media is really attractive to a lot of people, and it knows what buttons to hit.

    Blah.

    Fox News and all that shit is causing suffering. They are the cause. They are an active evil in the world.Report

  8. Avatar miguel cervantes
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    says:

    Actually it wasn’t a lie,

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/ben-carsons-yale-classmate-we-did-the-prank-test-that-carson#.oePN8AEM1b

    unlike the president who said his parents met at selma, four years after he was born, his memoir, whose press kit for a dozen years, said he was born in Kenya, and he was the son of a finance minister, a candidate whose first office, was not due to the idealism of his followers, but the systematic disqualification
    of all opponents, by challenging their voter signatures, passing himself as a constitutional law professor, when infact he was a lecturer in Alinsky power dynamics, His Senate race, was another sham, where the strongest candidates were forced out of the race, by the leaking of their sealed divorced records,

    need we mention the whole fraud who was John Edwards, not just an adulterous weasel, but a hypocritical consultant to Hedge Funds which foreclosed on properties in the 9th Ward,Report

  9. Avatar miguel cervantes
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    you have to go back past the journolist, who covered up his hundreds of flubs during the campaig,

    http://twitchy.com/2015/03/07/flashback-in-2007-speech-obama-credited-1965-selma-march-for-inspiring-his-birth-in-1961/Report

  10. Avatar miguel cervantes
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    says:

    this was before alamoudi was nabbed involved in a plot against the Kingdom, previously having chaired the muslim champlains corps

    http://bostonphoenix.com/boston/news_features/this_just_in/documents/01848515.

    htmhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28602-2004Jul30.html

    so maybe Norquist is just a fool, but he enables the Salafi more often then not,Report

  11. Avatar miguel cervantes
    Ignored
    says:

    One interesting part of this story, was Dewey Claridge’s supposed statement to the Times, who’s reporter burned the intelligence network he put together in Afghanistan, after facilitating the search and recovery of
    a reporter from said paper.Report

  12. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t have much to add to either post so far, except that I am really enjoying them, and that I greatly appreciate how much FoxNews you have to suffer through to bring us this.

    Your sacrifice shall not go unnoticed, brother!Report

  13. Avatar miguel cervantes
    Ignored
    says:

    How about MSNBC, it’s a menagerie, dr. doolittle, would be afraid to tread, and don’t even get me started on the freakshow that CNN has become, as it becomes ‘increasingly more selective’Report

  14. Avatar miguel cervantes
    Ignored
    says:

    it’s funny, we are told Romney who was fooled by Gruber and Gina McCarthy, on masscare and climate change, was the answer, to which question.Possibly, except who can be slandered into a tax dodging
    killer of his employees wives, I’m using shorthand. McCain who bent over backwards on amnesty,
    and the muzzle of McCain Feingold, who ended up up a basengi in the final round of the contest, which he
    dropped out of, like Shoeless Joe Jackson in 1919.Report

  15. Avatar Kolohe
    Ignored
    says:

    So, is the consensus that the retired general is just trying to make a buck on top of his pension?

    Or is Dees nuts?Report

  16. Avatar miguel cervantes
    Ignored
    says:

    those were the two republican standard bearer, their love of compromise and congeniality doomed them, now Bennett and Watts, didn’t reign in stray staffers like Claridge, and that had a consequence, Gingrich’s technique was much less consultant dependent than at the outset, and he won a few primaries till Romney
    10-50’s fold funding advantage ground him down, So a world renowned surgeon, hired a General who has been working rehabilitating wounded veterans, and that is a reason to look down on both of them,Report

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