• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Ben Carson: Affordable Care Act Worse Than 9/11

Facepalm

Ben Carson has become something of a celebrity on the right thanks in no small part to things like equating the Affordable Care Act to slavery. Well, if his fans on the right liked that analogy, they’re positively going to love this one:

Dr. Ben Carson, the Republican right’s favorite African-American neurosurgeon, often says that President Obama’s health care law is the worst thing since slavery.

But in my recent interview with the good doctor—who is riding high in the presidential preliminaries, having come in a close second to Sen. Ted Cruz this past weekend in the Republican Leadership Conference’s much-ballyhooed straw poll—he upped the ante.

He claimed that Obamacare has been even more damaging to the United States than the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

“You said Obamacare was the worst thing since slavery. Why do you think it was worse than 9/11?” I asked him.

“Because 9/11 is an isolated incident,” he answered.

Here’s how the exchange went (Williams is conservative talk show host Armstrong Williams):

Me: “Who do you think caused families more pain—Obamacare or Osama bin Laden?”

Carson: “Let me explain.”

Williams: “Let him answer the question!”

Carson: “Things that are isolated issues as opposed to things that fundamentally change the United Sates of America and shift power from the people to the government. That is a huge shift.”

Me: “Right. But what do you think caused specific families more pain—Obamacare or Osama?”

Carson: “You have to take a long term.”

Me: “You’re not answering the question.”

Carson: “Will you listen? You have to take a long-term look at something that fundamentally changes the power structure of America. You have to be someone who reads. Who is well-read. I want you to go back tonight and pull out what Saul Alinsky says about health care under the control of the government.”

Regardless of what one’s opinion about the Affordable Care Act might be, anyone asserting that it is worse than a terrorist attack that killed 3,000 people and set the nation on a course toward more than a decade of war, new restrictions on civil liberties, torture, drone attacks, and NSA spying all authorized by sitting Presidents, and all the security restrictions we must now deal with on a daily basis, is quite simply a fool. Carson will no doubt be lauded by the right for these comments, just as he was lauded for the absurd slavery analogy, but he’s just as much of a wingnut as the rest of the people that crowd worships.

On some level, though, I have to wonder how someone who is obviously intelligent could be so stupid.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CB says:

    Carson: “Things that are isolated issues as opposed to things that fundamentally change the United Sates of America and shift power from the people to the government. That is a huge shift.”

    Yeah, 9/11 wasn’t responsible for any long term shift in power towards the government…

    Idiot.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  2. Tabby says:

    Ben Carson Does Not Think Obamacare Is Worse Than 9/11, Says Aide http://bit.ly/TiCpLT

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  3. stonetools says:

    Carson and Williams prove that African American wingnutscan be as batsh!t crazy as white American wingnuts . In this at least, the goal of equality has been achieved.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Carson: “Will you listen? You have to take a long-term look at something that fundamentally changes the power structure of America. You have to be someone who reads. Who is well-read. I want you to go back tonight and pull out what Saul Alinsky says about health care under the control of the government.”

    Saul Alinsky, really? Just shows you that even retired neurosurgeons can dumb it down for the base. He attacks ACA on the basis of what Saul Alinsky may or may not have said about health care? To be fair, the Republican base eats this stuff up the way a dog eats just about any waste product.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 2

  5. al-Ameda says:

    @stonetools:

    Carson and Williams prove that African American wingnutscan be as batsh!t crazy as white American wingnuts . In this at least, the goal of equality has been achieved.

    I believe that Alan Keyes is responsible for the 27% crazification factor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  6. Ron Beasley says:

    This week Carson is definitely in the front seat of the clown car.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  7. @Tabby:

    You don’t seriously believe that nonsense do you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  8. Yep, because these two things are exactly the same:
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2011/09/09/article-2035720-0043EF9100000258-219_468x353.jpg (graphic 9/11 photograph warning)
    http://angrybearblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/PPACA-20131004-1240.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  9. Andrew E. says:

    The next part of the interview is fantastic.

    Carson is asked if he’s ever doubted or been angry with God:

    After buying a new house, he just couldn’t unload the old one. “My house was on the market for five years. And I said, ‘I pay my tithes. I am faithful. I try to help people. So why is this happening to me?’ ” Carson told me.

    “And [then] I found out about the ‘1031 Exchange’ [named for a tax code provision] where if you sell a piece of property and you make a very, very large profit on it, you don’t have to pay huge taxes on it if you can roll it over into another property of higher value.”

    Another Republican bright light. Number two in the Republican Leadership Conference’s straw-poll to Ted Cruz, dontchaknow?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  10. There’s something in the article that I found even more disturbing than the 9/11 remark:

    The only other question I was given time to pose came before the 9/11 dustup, when I asked Carson, who self-identifies as deeply religious, if he’s ever doubted or been angry with God.

    Yes, indeed, he indicated, recounting an incident in which the Lord apparently subjected him to Job-like tortures over a problem involving residential real estate. After buying a new house, he just couldn’t unload the old one. “My house was on the market for five years. And I said, ‘I pay my tithes. I am faithful. I try to help people. So why is this happening to me?’ ” Carson told me.

    Remember, this is a pediatric neurosurgeon. And when asked about the thing that made him maddest at god, it’s not, say, all those kids he had to watch die. No…. it’s that time he had trouble selling his house.

    I think this man may be a psychopath.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 1

  11. humanoid.panda says:

    And another morsel

    “Nazi Germany is a perfect example of such a society…[Adolf Hitler’s] regime may have started out innocently enough, but because the people did not oppose a progressively overreaching government, the entire world suffered a great Holocaust.”

    Seriously, no one expects MDs to be well-grounded in history, but this level of ignorance is just jaw-dropping. The sad thing about it is that while some of the other people who say things like this are either worthless lunatics (Keyes) or grifters (Palin, West, Cain), he is an accomplished man and seemingly a true believer. I weep for him, for his movement, and for the country this country slowly cannibalizes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  12. stonetools says:

    Cruz/Carson 2016!

    With that ticket, the Republicans will sweep the African-American/Hispanic vote and ride into the White House!
    You heard it here first!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  13. @Stormy Dragon:

    Come to think of it, I’m reminded of Romney’s “dog on the roof” story, which if you recall originally came out in response to a question about naming a time he’d had to show leadership in a crisis.

    It’s the same bizarre mix of:

    1. Pumping up a relatively minor annoyance into a major crisis because it’s happening to them
    2. When faced with a problem that was the easily forseeable result of their own actions, acting like this was an unforsee act of God
    3. Being completely unable to forsee how lacking an empathy this story was going to make them look

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 2

  14. Kevin D Korenthal says:

    I realize that on the left, those that have less benefits at a higher cost as a result of Obamacare are simply “paying their fair share” so that those without the means to buy insurance may have it. But this meme ignores the fact that Obamacare did nothing to reduce the cost of medical sercices and has become a real boon to Big Insurance because the Obamacare polices are, for most, too costly to use except in dire situations.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 22

  15. Tillman says:

    He may be the most brilliant neurosurgeon in the world. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles distant are we, and yet I can feel his scalpel cutting through my brain, making me dumber by the minute.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  16. James in Silverdale, WA says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “I think this man may be a psychopath.”

    Bingo. That quote sent chills down my spine, the raw entitlement at the exclusion of all else, the so called “prosperity gospel” made nonchalantly manifest, all during some of the truly wretched human horrors he has encountered. He got his profits, by Circe.

    Psychopath or still trapped in the 8th grade of his mind, perhaps a distinction without a difference. So he’ll be right at home on the predicted GOP primary stage.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  17. DrDaveT says:

    Without for one second meaning to support this sociopath in any way, let me take a slightly contrarian stance on ACA vs. 9/11:

    If you really believe that the ACA is a net negative for America — and that’s not a ridiculously unreasonable position — then it’s not hard to also believe that it was worse for America than 9/11. Why? Because the 9/11 attacks — by themselves — did almost insignificant harm to America.

    The tragedy of 9/11 is that, in response to an attack that (viewed objectively) comprised less carnage than a typical year on the nation’s highways, we self-inflicted grievous wounds on our nation, our polity, our social contract, our freedom. But I don’t blame that on 9/11 — I blame that on Bush, Cheney, and the Spineless Congress who had the brass balls to claim that this attack constituted an existential threat to the US of A.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  18. CB says:

    @Tabby:

    Then stop with the @#%@^!& rhetoric that implies otherwise. These aren’t stupid people. They know exactly what they’re doing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  19. Mikey says:

    Dr. Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist. Having myself grown up in that church, fortunately recovering as an adult, I can tell you it is very good indeed at training undeniably intelligent people to compartmentalize and thereby avoid a lot of painful cognitive dissonance.

    Thankfully, they didn’t do a very good job with me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  20. labman57 says:

    Step #5 in “10 Easy Ways to Demonstrate that you are not a Viable Candidate for Public Office“.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I think this man may be a psychopath.

    What was your first clue? ;-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  22. ChefmartyB says:

    I think Dr. Carson has simply figured out that it’s easier to fleece ignorant, fearful people out of their money than it is cutting their brains open. Less work, more camera time, and more lucrative.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  23. C. Clavin says:

    “Things that are isolated issues as opposed to things that fundamentally change the United Sates of America and shift power from the people to the government. That is a huge shift.”

    So the entire basis of his position is a lie.
    Obamacare does not shift power to the Government…sure there are regulations to insure participation and minimum requirements…but Obamacare at it’s heart is a private sector solution developed by the Heritage Foundation.
    So Carson is just full of BS on every level.
    Why people like this get bandwidth is beyond me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. Jay Dubbs says:

    Always fascinated by the Saul Alinsky references by the right wing crazies. Did anyone know about this guy before 2008? I mean I studied politics at college; worked in politics after college and I had no idea about this guy until the right made him such a villain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  25. sam says:

    @Jay Dubbs:

    Did anyone know about this guy before 2008?

    Alinsky was very influential among young left-wing firebrands in the 60s. He was especially influential in community organizing, which is probably why the right likes to link him with Obama. My favorite Alinksy story, that I heard him tell one time, is this. He was giving a talk to some young Catholic priests who were working in inner city neighborhoods. The subject of the talk hadn’t been publicized, just the fact of the talk. Some older, elderly priests wandered into the talk, and, he said, when they saw the title of the talk written on the blackboard, How to Neutralize Your Bishop, he said the thought the paramedics were going to have to be called.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. gVOR08 says:

    Caught a minute or two of Carson on TV. struck me on very brief exposure as very bright, but incredibly naive. Seemed to me to be an extreme version of something I’ve seen elsewhere. I know people who seem reasonably intelligent and have advanced degrees, but they seem to believe nonsense. On getting to know them I realize they’ve had an extensive education, but very narrow. They never really studied anything outside accounting or medicine or whatever. Had I not made it a point to take some electives, I’d have had exposure to little except engineering.

    My guess is that Carson got a narrow medical education and continued intensely studying in his field. He seems to know nothing of history or economics or any of the social sciences. Probably nothing of literature. I saw a study lately that doctors tend to be more intensely Republican with higher income. Carson’s spent his life around high income doctors. Probably also donors.

    Bottom line, he knows little of how the world works. But being surgeon, he’s utterly confident he does.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  27. Rob in CT says:

    @DrDaveT:

    That’s all true, but not at all what Carson meant.

    I agree with the others who have pointed out his “I was angry at God ’cause my house didn’t sell fast enough [for the price I wanted]” bit is as bad or worse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  28. Rob in CT says:

    @Kevin D Korenthal:

    Even if this were true (and it’s not), that doesn’t make the 9/11 analogy work. Or the various other hyperbolic nonsense that has been thrown around (e.g., slavery).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. @gVOR08:

    Caught a minute or two of Carson on TV. struck me on very brief exposure as very bright, but incredibly naive. Seemed to me to be an extreme version of something I’ve seen elsewhere. I know people who seem reasonably intelligent and have advanced degrees, but they seem to believe nonsense. On getting to know them I realize they’ve had an extensive education, but very narrow. They never really studied anything outside accounting or medicine or whatever. Had I not made it a point to take some electives, I’d have had exposure to little except engineering.

    One of my favorite classes in college was “[American] Civil War and Reconstruction”, which I only took because I was paying a flat fee for 18 credits but only needed 15 credits that semester to finish all my requirements (plus the class fit nicely between two other classes and I was commuting to the university).

    Reading the primary sources relating to the Civil War and secession (namely the “Cornerstone Speech” and the South Carolinian Declaration of Secession) illustrated how full of crap anyone who says the Civil War wasn’t about slavery really is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. DrDaveT says:

    @Rob in CT:

    @DrDaveT: That’s all true, but not at all what Carson meant.

    Oh, we agree completely on that. I was off on a tangent…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0