Dr. Ben Carson is so against gay marriage that if the Supreme Court rules in its favor this year, he may just decide he doesn’t have to abide by it. That is, if he’s elected president.
The former Fox News contributor and current 2016 Republican presidential candidate’s presidential prospects were pretty much on the “none” side of the slim-to-none meter before he appeared for a nearly 13-minute interview on Fox News Sunday today. I have to think his chances are even none-r now.
When asked about his lack of political experience, Carson cited “world experience” that included “putting together teams to accomplish things never done before, incredible complex surgical procedures;” putting together a successful “national scholarship program” and a “lot of corporate board experience.” That’s all well and good. But I suspect Americans will want someone with a resumé that includes at least something in economic policy, national security, foreign policy, military strategy, the law or some other area directly related to the incredibly complex job of a U.S. president.
But Carson seemed to think he’s more qualified than someone with actual credentials. “You know, there’s real-life experience and there’s politics,” he told host Chris Wallace. “Politics, you know, there are some good people in the political arena but I’m not sure that they actually, in many cases, understand real life."
Later, Wallace grilled Carson on his support for a flat tax. Wallace challenged the plan:
WALLACE: Low and middle income families would get a big tax hike, while wealthy families would actually get a big tax cut. …I got to tell you, a lot of independent studies say the people that make out like bandits in this are the wealthy.
Carson didn’t have much of an answer to this point:
CARSON: Bear in mind, Chris, this is part of an overall complex program, because it also involves reorienting the way that we do things in government, making the government run more like a business than this great, inefficient behemoth that we have now. It involves, you know, utilizing our energy resources the right way. We can get an enormous amount of revenue from that. It involves a balanced budget.
You know, by the time you put all those things, and it involves getting rid of all of these things that are fettering, the economic engine and revamping corporate taxes and bringing in money that’s overseas, by giving a tax holiday, that’s $2 trillion right there. I mean, there are a number of things involved in doing this.
Finally, Wallace addressed Carson’s recent comments that a president is only obligated to carry out a law passed by Congress, not a “judicial law” made by a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. Though Wallace didn’t mention it, Carson’s willingness to disregard a SCOTUS decision was made in the context of his opposition to same-sex marriage.
WALLACE: Do you believe that the president must observe a decision by the Supreme Court?
CARSON: Well, what I said is the president doesn’t have to agree with it.
WALLACE: No, of course not. But does he have to—but does he have to enforce it?
CARSON: Well, Dred Scott, a perfect example. You know, the Supreme Court came up with this and Abraham Lincoln did not agree with it. Now, admittedly, it caused a lot of conflict and eventually led to a civil war, but we’re in a better place because of it.
WALLACE: But does the president have to carry out a Supreme Court ruling?
CARSON: The way our Constitution is set up, the president or the executive branch is obligated to carry out the laws of the land. The laws of the land, according to our Constitution, are provided by the legislative branch.
WALLACE: But, sir—
CARSON: The laws of the land are not provided by the judiciary branch. So—
WALLACE: But, sir, since Marbury v. Madison in 1803, we have lived under the principle of judicial review which says, if the Supreme Court says this is the law, this is constitutional, the rest—the executive has to observe that.
CARSON: And I have said, this is an area we need to discuss. We need to get into a discussion of this because it has changed from the original intent. And—
WALLACE: So, you’re saying this is an open question as far as you’re concerned?
CARSON: It is an open question. It needs to be discussed.
In 2011, the non-partisan National Constitution Center did discuss this question. It found, “It is a rarity for presidents to simply ignore decisions of the Supreme Court, although it has been done. …Presidents in general have tended to see it as their duty to obey Supreme Court rulings, and, at times, even to enforce them.”
While Carson’s disregard for our history and practice may appeal to some of his tea party supporters, I seriously doubt such a radical move by a neophyte – over same-sex marriage, no less – is going to put Carson in the White House.
Kudos to Wallace for holding Carson’s feet to the fire. The question remains whether he will be so tough on the top tier candidates as well.
Watch it below, from today’s Fox News Sunday.
Yeah, MISTER Carson. You’ve just proven your complete lack of qualification to run for President (hell, you’re not even qualified to run for dog catcher). The Dred Scott case was decided in 1857; Lincoln didn’t run for President until 1860. While Lincoln did denounce the case, he had no say in enforcing the decision which had been made long before he took the oath of office (which, incidentally, does include the phrase “to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Now, as to the timeline of events involving Lincoln, and that little “civil war,” again, the Scott decision was effectively settled law long before the 1860 election and really had NO part in the election’s outcome. You, MISTER Carson, might want to reread the text of Lincoln’s famous Emancipation Proclamation. In it, he specifically exempted ALL slaves held within Union territory including not only recently liberated areas in the Deep South (Union commanders were urged to free any slaves in their zones of occupation but they were NOT under a mandate to do so) but also within the Union (ie, “Northern”) states where slavery was still legal which included Missouri. (As a complete incidental, Scott’s emancipation was purchased by a former owner just 2 months after the SCOTUS decision and Scott died more than 2 years before the Civil War broke out. Scott may have died a free man but thousands of other Black slaves in Missouri remained in bondage until 1865.)
It should be recalled too, that ALL the slave-holding states rejected Lincoln’s candidacy, not just those that eventually seceded.
And, as Wallace pointed out, our CONSTITUTIONAL government is made up of three EQUAL branches. Yes, the legislative branch (aka “Congress”) makes the laws but, ultimately, it’s up to SCOTUS (as well as the lower courts) to determine the CONSTITUTIONALITY of those laws—not just the ones with which you agree, but also those with which you disagree.
We might need to toss you into a time machine and set the co-ordinates for 1850 Maryland and see just how well-received you are—especially with no identification. I don’t think you’d be able to charm the “conservatives” of that era as easily as you do their modern counterparts. (Then again, if it weren’t for the fact that the current President is Black, nobody in the GOP would be paying you the least bit of attention. You’d be in the same dung heap as Alan Keyes and Herman Cain.)
So much for the “rule of law” the GOP always talks about . . .
When asked about his lack of political experience, Carson cited “world experience” . . . Carson seemed to think he’s more qualified than someone with actual credentials. “You know, there’s real-life experience and there’s politics”
It’s funny: during the 2008 campaign, Candidate Obama’s supposed lack of political experience was considered negative — since when did lack of political experience for a presidential candidate become an asset?