Memo to Republican presidential hopefuls: Forget Iowa (for now, anyway). Find a way to embarrass President Obama on national television, maybe at the National Prayer Breakfast, throw in some right-wing shibboleths like the “war on Christmas” and “death panels” and voila! Not only can you get all the face time on Fox News you could hope for, you might even get an hour-long special on Hannity called, “Saving America” complete with focus group and cheering Q&A segments designed to promote your candidacy. Political experience optional. Minority ethnicity probably helpful.
If you don’t know who neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson is, you have not paid much attention to Fox News lately. Otherwise, you can’t miss him. To call him this year’s IT guy would be so five days ago. As of Friday (2/15/13), when the “Saving America” special first aired, Carson had been elevated from internet video sensation/President Obama embarrasser to official Fox News Republican savior.
As the right wing slobbers over Carson and daydreams that God will “grab him by the collar” and push him into politics, I can’t help but think he’s the "moderate" Fox's 2016 version of Donald Trump. Good-bye birth certificate, hello medical savings accounts and personal responsibility. Even Juan Williams is calling Carson “my hero.”
It’s hard to encapsulate the Carson love-fest on Hannity Friday night. But I think the video below of the Frank Luntz focus group is a good place to start. It just so happens that Luntz “recently convened” a group of Los Angeles “swing voters” to offer their thoughts on Carson’s potential candidacy.
Luntz sounded almost awestruck as he announced that Carson “has really struck a chord with a lot of Americans.” I noticed that Luntz never said the political makeup of those “swing voters” with him. In the past, he has slyly and deceptively tried to pass off Republican-heavy groups as reflective of the electorate. But I digress.
“Before we go to (the group) let’s go to a clip that dialed particularly well,” Luntz began, referring to his method of having his groups record their reactions. “On the deficit and debt, man does this guy score well!” Luntz gushed. After playing the clip, he asked the group to tell him in “one word” what was so powerful.
“Is this the kind of guy that you want to see in politics?” Luntz later "asked." Then, although we didn’t see how many people nodded, Luntz quickly went to two people and asked, “Why yes?” If anyone disagreed, we never heard about it.
“What is it about him that cut across partisan lines?” Luntz suggested asked. Most of the rest of the discussion was similarly designed to elicit positive responses.
Notice that Luntz never mentioned the word “qualifications.” For all his admirable credentials, Dr. Carson has none in politics or public policy.
Luntz closed with, “Sean, there aren’t many people right now who have the language to connect to the American people… but there’s something about the doctor’s message and delivery that really does connect across partisan lines. Very impressive.”
“Sounds like Frank may have found some – well, Carson campaign volunteers,” Hannity said.
But if the focus group voters are destined to be future campaign workers, the studio “audience” members are Carson’s current groupies. Check out their fawning “questions” if you have the stomach for it.
But there’s more to this than just Fox’s sudden beatification of Carson, and that is Carson’s seemingly willing partnership with Fox. Carson is a very impressive man whatever you think of his politics. As David Zurawik wrote in a terrific column in the Baltimore Sun about this astounding show:
What I wonder is how far Dr. Carson is going to run with this political football. I have interviewed him, and I know his history and career well. I have tremendous admiration for him. I am surprised to see him looking so comfortable within the smarmy embrace of Sean Hannity.
…I am not a brain surgeon, but I have been studying and writing for decades about how seductive, blinding and culturally dangerous the bright lights of prime-time TV can be.
Unlike Donald Trump, there is nothing that smacks of hucksterism in Carson. I question how much of Fox News he really watches. Somehow, I have a hard time picturing him as a Hannity or No Spin Zone habitué. Whether this is a political hookup or a marriage remains to be seen. Regardless, the outcome is sure to be worth watching.
@ M M: The teabaggers don’t like too much of that fancy book larnin’; that’s why they embraced Sarah Palin — therefore, they won’t embrace Dr. Carson.
" (Unlike Cain, I highly doubt there are any skeletons in his closet.)"
The real effect of the Proclamation was propaganda. Since the CSA’s major trading partners at the time were Britain and France, both of which had abolished slavery within their empires* at least 20 years previously, Lincoln relied on the “will of the people” in those countries to protest their “support” of slavery. Somewhat ironically, during the Revolutionary War, the British offered freedom to any slaves who would rebel against their masters and join the British side; of course, the British didn’t offer freedom to slaves in any of their other colonies—only the 13 North American colonies in a state of rebellion. The American “patriots” (including Washington, Jefferson, and all the other Southern, and handful of Northern, Founding Fathers) who owned slaves didn’t recognize this offer as valid and threatened to kill any slave who dared join the British side. Historians in the last couple of decades have uncovered records documenting the killing of hundreds of slaves, especially in more rural areas of the Carolinas, simply because of the existence of the offer (not that there’s any evidence that any slaves actually joined the British side).
*The term doesn’t refer to style of government but the fact they held overseas possessions.
However, their plan will backfire because the extremists right-wingers in the Tea Party will not support the new change. Wait and see. It’s coming down the pipe.
In a desperate attempt to boost his sagging ratings, High End Hannocchio invited Carson to appear on his little show.
Carson, unaware of Hannocchio’s past close friendship with neo-Nazi Hal Turner, a man who’s hatred of blacks is legendary, agreed to appear on his show. Hannochio’s buddy, bigot Pat Buchanan should also be noted.
“You liberal propoganda cowards. I made an account so I could tell you assholes what I think of you . . . Your president is a lying sack of shit who won’t even release his records . . . George Bush looks like Abraham Lincoln next to that jug-eared clown.”
Poor Eddie; so angry that Barack Obama is in the White House while he works two jobs and drives an ’03 Ford F-150 (per his Twitter feed.)
Then again, per his Twitter, he follows Michelle Malkin — perhaps that explains the anger.
Ed, if you can calm down a moment: if the records you’re referring to are President Obama’s college transcripts, there’s a reason he hasn’t “released” them — Columbia and Harvard are private institutions, and, as such, do. Not. Release. Records. To. Anyone.
Now, OT . . .
“Notice that Luntz never mentioned the word “qualifications.” For all his admirable credentials, Dr. Carson has none in politics or public policy.”
Neither did/does Herman “999” Cain — that didn’t prevent Fox from fawning over him during the early GOP primaries nor hiring him to replace Lady Blah Blah.
Dr. Carson is, like the President, an intelligent, well-spoken, and accomplished African American male, who just happened to have a mild disagreement with President Obama. For Fox, that’s like manna from heaven . . .
That’s not only a good question, but it’s also where Carson would have started if he was politically competent. Like I said, he seems to have a good standing as a medical professional, he could have gotten himself a strong foothold on these things talking healthcare issues.
The way he’s behaved thus far toying with the idea of going political is showing that he’ll just be a suit that says what his people tell him to. And it’s not hard to guess who’s picking said people, given their zeal to get him in the ring.
There’s even a shirt/sign/bumper sticker they sell in LA that says “Not Chris Dorner- Please do on’t shoot!”. That’s how far the police crossed the line.
Fox News completely ignored that part, opting instead to pretend that it was some kind of race card issue. There was a point where I actually said to exclude their coverage because they couldn’t put up segments that didn’t support that angle.
Same with the drones- I might be wasting my time trying to say this someone who says “King Obama”, but here’s a few facts Fox News didn’t feel fit to say on their network:
1) The laws justifying drones on Americans were passed, and with non-existent limits under Bush. When they had to be intentionally employed for the first time under Obama, Congress approved.
2) Obama has presented the White Paper and target list to Congress, who found no legal fault, and defaulted to it being a morality issue.
3) Brennan and Obama have worked to resolve the concerns in the parameters they’re trying to set (see #1 again).
Fox News ignored these points because they don’t fit the “Tyrant” narrative. They even tried to claim NBC/MSNBC were ignoring it to try claiming they were giving Obama a pass, when in reality NBC broke the story. Like Dorner, I’ve begun to disregard their coverage because even the supposedly “in the tank for liberals” channels are being more legitimately critical of Obama- while paying attention to the parts like I listed.
Now, if you’d like to talk about the topic at hand… feel free.
Um, excuse me? I know religion trumps race with the Republicans, and Carter laid it on thick enough that he could have been an ebony Chinese man with a Mexican accent, and still gotten a few passes…
But there’s a limit. If it was as simple as “God,” Bush would be univserally praised, instead of many countries thinking he’s the worst non-dictator leader since 1776. He wouldn’t have created the financial mess we’re in now. He wouldn’t have given us such a clusterfuck policy dealing with our enemies.
Carter wants where “God” gets you? He can look at Bush. When he starts acting like a real candidate, I’ll take him seriously- In the meantime, he’s a smart man with dumb politics that’s famous with the right for shooting off his mouth.