Ben Carson is a fire hose of awful

I said I was done posting about Ben Carson today. I lied. This guy is too much. I can’t keep up.

It wasn’t enough for Carson to say that same-sex marriage is like forcing car seat manufacturers to make all of their seats accessible for conjoined twins. And it wasn’t enough that he has no idea what the debt ceiling is. In the span of less than two days, Carson has gone beyond those two would-be gaffes to make at least five comments that should be putting his campaign on life support, were it not for the fact that his base loves them. Here are the other three:

First up: guns. Perhaps worried about whether he lost his competition with Bobby Jindal for who could say the worst thing following last week’s Roseburg, Oregon shooting, Carson doubled down. Not only would he organize a counterattack in the event that he found himself in the midst of a mass shooting, he knows he’d handle the pressure well because he’s faced down the barrel of a gun before. And how did he react? He told the gunman to shoot someone else. As he said, quoted by TalkingPointsMemo:

“I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye’s,” Carson said, reportedly referring to a Baltimore location of the fast food chain.

“Guy comes in, puts the gun in my ribs,” he added. “And I just said, ‘I believe that you want the guy behind the counter.’”

“He said, ‘Oh, OK.'”

What a hero.

Next, gays. Call Carson old fashioned, but he isn’t one for all of this New Age “equality” business. As he said, again from TalkingPointsMemo, not all lifestyles are created equal. That’s a fact, and we should just get used to it:

“We’ve got to stop paying attention to the PC police who say every lifestyle is exactly of the same value,” Carson responded. “No, it’s not of the same value. It is very clear that intact, traditional families with traditional, intact values do much better in terms of raising children. So let’s stop pretending that everything is of equal value.”

It’s worth noting that Carson didn’t just mean that The Gay Lifestyle is bad. If it were up to him, he’d rank-order every formulation of the family unit, starting at the top with man/woman/two kids/church on Sundays/straight-ticket Republican voting and working his way down from there. He didn’t say for sure whether he thinks it’s more morally objectionable to be gay or a single mom, but I think we can guess.

And let’s not forget the Holocaust. Never forget the Holocaust. Especially not how the whole thing could have been prevented if only the Jews in Germany had concealed-carry permits. As he told Wolf Blitzer, “The likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed.” When Blizter reminded Carson that Hitler had a rather large military — one that wouldn’t (and didn’t) have much difficulty systematically eliminating communities full of Jews — Carson was unfazed, reiterating: “I’m telling you that there’s a reason that these dictatorial people take guns first.”

It’s important to note that Carson’s insistence that gun control is just like Hitler is nothing new. He makes the claim so frequently, raising eyebrows each time, that even his own campaign manager has had enough:

When your own campaign manager calls Godwin on you, it’s time to slow down. That is, unless being a fire hose of offensive derp is working for you in the GOP primary. In which case, he has no reason to do anything other than carry on.

There’s still time left today for him to say something else that would set most presidential campaigns on fire. Stay tuned.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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