Dr. Ben Carson has no more chance of being elected president, or even getting the Republican nomination, than Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, or Montgomery Burns. Nevertheless, he is slated to appear in an hour-long infomercial (that he calls a documentary) that celebrates his journey from poverty to world renown as a pediatric brain surgeon.
His quixotic fantasy of being leader of the free world is entertained despite his numerous pronouncements of unadulterated wingnuttery. He is an unabashed conspiracy theorist whose delusions include assertions that President Obama is a tyrant; that the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) is akin to slavery; and that America is very much like Nazi Germany. Not exactly the sort of soaring, patriotic oratory that is employed by most prospective presidential candidates.
The aforementioned television infomercial was the impetus for Fox News to terminate Carson’s contract as a network contributor. While Fox has a policy prohibiting active political candidates from being employed as on-air personalities, they have frequently ignored the policy. In the run-up to the 2012 presidential race, Fox permitted Sarah Palin to remain on the payroll despite her coy flirtation with running. And Fox still allows Mike Huckabee to host his own program even as speculation mounts as to his status as a candidate. But at least with regard to Carson, Fox is playing by the book.
The odds of Carson obtaining the GOP nomination are so remote that even Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace openly sneered at the thought. He asked Carson directly…
“Do you really want to spend the next two years begging people for money, shaking hands, eating a lot of bad meals, when I think you would agree at best you are a distinct long shot?”
Apparently the answer is “Sure, why not.” Carson has the benefit of a rabid cult following that has contributed millions of dollars to a Super PAC aimed at drafting him to run. And therein may be a hint as to what his true aspirations may be. He’ll need some excuse to spend all that money. And by launching a presidential campaign Carson can keep himself in the media spotlight where he can promote his books and speaking engagements. He can also raise his profile so that he can negotiate even richer contracts with Fox News or other media following his inevitable failure as a presidential contestant.
There is a constituency for Carson that he can amicably share with the likes of Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, and Alex Jones. He has promoted the writing of a Nazi sympathizer. He believes that the suffering of veterans neglected by the V.A. was a “gift from God.” And he even came to the defense of Vladimir Putin as champion of Christian values.
That’s why Carson will continue to be seen on Fox News, although not as an employee. He will still be invited to spew twisted opinions to the dimwitted Fox audience that eats up that sort of hog slop. That’s precisely what happened with former Fox contributor Scott Brown after he left to lose the senate race in New Hampshire. Speaking of which, after everything Fox did to promote his candidacy, Brown still lost.
However, there is another group of Americans that will be even more excited about a Carson candidacy: Liberals, Democrats, comedians, and lefty media bloggers. So bring it on, Benny. Your history of hysterical extremism is just what the doctor ordered. After all the bad news from the midterm election, this has really made my day.
[Extra] Carson now says “I feel fingers” of God driving his aspirations for the White House. Well, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, and Herman Cain, have all said the same thing, and we know how that turned out.