Welfare Wasn’t Welfare Back In My Day

Ben Carson, who was raised by a single mom and whose biography is full of heartwarming stories detailing how government assistance made his current position in life possible, spouted off on the View yesterday about the evils of welfare. Here’s his tissue-thin rationalization:

The culture was different then, Carson insists. “I think there was a time when people were not proud of taking handouts,” he said. “There were more people who did have that drive and determination. You do what you have to do.”

I was looking through my local newspaper’s festival guide, and I see our local Poor Pride Weekend is going to be the week after the Lilac Festival and the week before Rib Fest this year. Your town probably has a Poor Pride, too, but they might call it something like “Mooching Weekend” or “Flat Screen TV Day”. That’s where everyone who’s proud of “taking handouts” drives their welfare Cadillacs to a public park, starts a big bonfire of hundred dollar bills, and roasts t-bones on the open fire. Clearly, unlike Carson’s mom, who had the good grace to be ashamed of her poverty, these people don’t deserve the same generosity that fed, clothed, and provided Carson with his first pair of glasses.

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115 replies
  1. 1
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Ben Carson is a disgrace. Like so many, he wants to pull up the ladder after he’s made it to the top so no one else can get the assistance he did. Of course, many Republicans are begging him to run in 2016. At least until the TBaggers take a good look at him and figure out that he’s a Blah.

  2. 2
    Belafon says:

    So the new Republican meme is “I got mine, but you don’t need it” which might sound like “I got mine fuck you” but it’s meant to be more uplifting: I was weak in my childhood but you don’t have to be, and I’m going to prove it to you.

    Fuckers.

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    You haven’t really arrived socially in this country until you are in a position to be able to make ignorant statements about the “culture” of poor people.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    There were more people who did have that drive and determination

    It’s so obviously true that any evidence would only serve as a distraction.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    @Baud: Maybe that drive and determination came from all those T-bone steaks that people on welfare used to eat all the time before Reagan came along.

  6. 6
    TR says:

    Christ, what an asshole.

  7. 7
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    “There were more people who did have that drive and determination. You do what you have to do.”

    Otherwise known as rank terror of starving to death in the streets. The reason people are “to proud” now is because they have an option now to groveling for the worst possible jobs out there.

  8. 8
    Punchy says:

    The old “back in MY day….” garbage. Of the many subspecies of assholes, he’s the worst kind.

  9. 9
    rikyrah says:

    Let me say this. Carson is a Slave Catching Sambo. A well educated Sambo, but a Sambo nonetheless. He is from the Clarence Thomas School See all that government help was good for him, but not for others. Let me break it down. Carson was part of the Black poor youth that went to school FUCKING FREE. This man did not have student loans. His whole life was paid for by the PEOPLE and their taxes. I have no problem with this, because I believe that the investment in people is worth it. What I DO have a problem with is those that have been helped deciding to pull the ladder for others. Fuck this slave catcher.

  10. 10
    Cermet says:

    The theme isn’t I got mine and f-you. Rather, it is: I’m the special exception and those getting money today are all lazy and undeserving. All CEO’s and their companies are welfare queens but they all say it is the others (read as low life’s) getting free money who don’t deserve it.

  11. 11

    @Belafon:
    It is the opposite of uplifting. The message is ‘I’ve got mine, but you’re lazy and don’t deserve it.’ I’m kind of surprised this guy is black, since the unspoken rider has traditionally been ‘because you’re black.’ I know assholes come in all colors, but surely he has been the target of exactly this kind of thinking.

  12. 12
    Poopyman says:

    @rikyrah: Tell us how you really feel. No need to hold back.

  13. 13
    Aimai says:

    I love this post and everyone who commented here. Just love you all. Also: never forget that Clarence Thomas badmouthed his own sister for accepting government assistance while taking care of his elderly relatives.

  14. 14
    dmsilev says:

    Remember Craig Nelson? “I’ve been on food stamps and welfare, did anybody help me out? No”.

  15. 15
    Poopyman says:

    @rikyrah: @Cermet: @Frankensteinbeck: Actually, if you mix a bit of each of these together and stir, I think it would explain ol’ Ben pretty well.

  16. 16
    beltane says:

    @rikyrah: I wonder where he would have ended up if someone gave him more “drive and termination” instead of a taxpayer subsidized education.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    @Aimai:
    You don’t have to tell me. The moment I heard that story, I knew exactly what kind of person Thomas is.

  18. 18
    some guy says:

    from wiki:

    On October 11, 2013, Carson spoke at the conservative Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., where he called the Affordable Care Act (ACA) “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.” In his speech, Carson claimed that the entire push for the legislation originated with Vladimir Lenin and quoted Lenin as saying that “socialized medicine is the keystone to the establishment of a socialist state”. (Lenin did not actually say this, although the purported quote appears on a number of conservative websites).

    8 million new slaves on the plantation, according to Dr. ben.

  19. 19
    Gene108 says:

    I have found respect for Ben. He is a very smart man.

    Listened to NPR yesterday. Ben twisted an NPR interviewer around in knots over gay marriage.

    Ben’s contention was that marriage has been defined as between one man and one woman. Gay marriage redefines the definition of marriage, therefore it should not be and gays should have some other type of legal union.

    NPR guy days we redefine social norms all the time, like ritual human sacrifice is not allowed anymore.

    Ben managed to countered with an analogy about changing the definition of 2+2=4 to 2+2=5 because it was now deemed to be changed.

    The NPR guy could not counter this. There was a level of internal consistency in Ben’s world view that was impressive.

    Of course, if I was interviewing Ben I would point out that polygamy is still acceptable in Islamic nations, so marriage being between one man and one woman is not a universal norm.

    Also, too the NPR guy was very stupid and not used to guests pushing back.

  20. 20
    amk says:

    carson/clarence 2016.

    win/win.

  21. 21
    beltane says:

    The out-of-state tuition-just the tuition-at our state university has increased to $36,000. I’m sure that given a bit of drive and determination, a family making $50,000 a year should be able to afford that with no problem. Food, shelter, clothing and retirement savings are for deadbeat moochers.

  22. 22
    MattF says:

    You see, Ben isn’t one of ‘them’– notwithstanding details concering family history and skin color. And, presumably, there are no conspiracy theories about his birth certificate.

  23. 23
    Belafon says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: His self-centeredness allowed him to buy into the same argument that Thomas has: “Hey, black man, you would have probably done pretty well, but since you took welfare, I really can’t trust your abilities.” Most people would see that as the argument of an asshole, but they pulled the right strings with Carson and Thomas.

  24. 24
    Ajabu says:

    @rikyrah:
    I heartily endorse everything you said. Ben Carson (whom we used to admire based on his story) has shown his true colors. – And it ain’t Black!
    As someone pointed out recently: He has an extraordinary skill set in medicine and it’s completely untransferable. Half steppin’ motherfucker.
    Fuck this slave catcher, indeed…

  25. 25
    ericblair says:

    @Cermet:

    The theme isn’t I got mine and f-you. Rather, it is: I’m the special exception and those getting money today are all lazy and undeserving. All CEO’s and their companies are welfare queens but they all say it is the others (read as low life’s) getting free money who don’t deserve it.

    It’s hypocritical and moralistic like that, and it’s also upsetting the social order that the Dregs of Society aren’t sufficiently humble and pliant.

    You can’t use economic and financial arguments on these idiots because if you drill down into it, it’s not an economic problem to them. “Deficit” is shorthand for “giving my hard-earned money to Those People”. “EBT” is shorthand for “giving Those People steak and lobster while they sit on their lazy asses.” While they themselves can be on four types of public assistance, but they earned it, you see.

  26. 26
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Back in my day, we lurved a block of gubmint cheese. These poors today wanna buy the fancy individually wrapped slices on their EBT cards.

  27. 27
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Gene108: yeah. I was in favor of that “some other kind of union” 20 years ago, but then a judge down in Virginia took away a lesbian widow’s kids so they would be raised properly and I figured that most of the folks who wanted “some other kind of union” weren’t being sincere.

  28. 28
    Kay says:

    Conservative pundits have done more to devalue and demean work than any liberal program could ever do.

    They have attacked entire working class and middle class job categories, from public school teachers to factory workers to fast food workers. They are always, always, on the side that says these jobs (and many others!) are worth LESS. They worship CEO’s and finance people, while never even mentioning the fact that tens of millions of lower level people obviously contributed to any success a CEO or manager has.

    If working class people believe that the work that they do has no economic value and no societal worth, it’s because conservatives and their buddies in media have told them that for the last 30 years. Their ENTIRE message has been “you’re lucky to have a job at all”, which works out really well for CEO’s and managers.

  29. 29
    cleek says:

    why not just write “LOSER” on people’s SNAP cards?

    then they’ll feel bad about it, like they’re supposed to.

    when i was young, and my single, bi-polar, alcoholic mother would give me a pack of food stamps and send me off to the grocery store for dinner stuff i felt weird about using them . they were colored funny, and they weren’t money. i would’ve preferred cash, but we couldn’t afford cash. these days, people have those debit card things so the shaming isn’t as public. we need a way to attract more attention to the fact that those cards are handouts, to increase the users’ shame.

  30. 30
    Gene108 says:

    @Belafon:

    I think it is different than IGMFY, with respect to Carson and Clarence Thomas.

    I saw a CSPAN interview of Thomas. He went to predominantly white schools. I think he internalized the prejudices of the white culture he grew up around and does not like to be lumped in with blacks, which is what Affirmitive Action did to him.

    I think Carson has his own internal logic about why it was OK for him to get federal assistance, but it is not OK now beyond IGMFY. It would be interesting to here his rationality for it, because unlike a lot of white conservatives who get heavily influenced by the politics of their church, which in turn had been assimilated into the larger collective of movement conservatism over the last 35 years, guys like Thomas and Carson reached their views on their own and not as part of a tribalism instinct to follow the larger group.

  31. 31
    RaflW says:

    Clearly…these people don’t deserve the same generosity that fed, clothed, and provided Carson with his first pair of glasses.

    Well, they’re in luck then! After Clinton’s triangulated welfare reform, subsequent cuts to federal programs, many slashes at the state level, poor people today don’t get the same generous benefit he and his mom got.

  32. 32
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @rikyrah: Thank you.

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    Tell it Kay.

  34. 34
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    @cleek: We have the technology to make the grocery store terminal emit a loud Nelson Muntz-like laugh when an EBT card is swiped: let’s use it.

  35. 35
    beltane says:

    @Kay: Yup, conservatives have even managed to transform wages themselves into a form of charity, with “job creators” creating jobs out of the goodness of their hearts, not because a labor force is necessary for the functioning of their businesses. Too many so-called liberals have fallen into the trap as well. All the emphasis on “job training” as a way to reduce income inequality is just another way of saying that the work millions of Americans do has no value and does not deserve to be compensated for with a living wage.

  36. 36
    p.a. says:

    @some guy: well, they wingers can’t very well cite Bismarck as the cause, unless he too is now a CoINO.

  37. 37
    beth says:

    @Kay: I had the same conversation recently with some people from church. Even if we somehow manage to fix all our education problems and every single person in the country gets a college degree, that’s not going to eliminate the businesses that depend on minimum wage workers. There’s still going to be McDonald’s hamburgers to cook, toilets in office buildings that need to be cleaned and boxes of merchandise at Target to be unloaded. The people who do these jobs work harder than I do and bust their asses – why shouldn’t their work be valued and paid a living wage? Of all the things the Republicans have done, this makes me the angriest.

  38. 38
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Gene108: Dr. Carson is a well-educated man. He ain’t “smart”.

  39. 39
    Gene108 says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I do not agree with Carson. I think he is wrong on the issue.

    I usually hear folks like Palin or Perry and other prominent conservatives, including former President Bush, Jr, be very good at sticking to talking points but if they had to give a deeper answer as to why they believe what they do they spit out some kind of semi-coherent word salad (at best).

    Carson could actually articulate his view in a logical manner, without going to cliches and/or quoting Leviticus. I do not often get to witness someone on the right, who is able to do that.

  40. 40
    beltane says:

    @beth: The low-end jobs happen to be the one which are the most necessary for the day to day functioning of society. If every bank president in the country was raptured tomorrow, no one would noticed. If every child care provider vanished, the country would grind to a halt within hours.

  41. 41
    RaflW says:

    @Gene108:

    Also, too the NPR guy was very stupid and not used to guests pushing back.

    Ugh. I hate The Takeaway. I haven’t pledget to my MN NPR station in the past year or so, as shows I like get cancelled and crap like that stays on the air.

    I don’t want to (totally) give up on NPR, and MPR does do good local origination programming (though they like Ron Fournier too much, keep inviting him on the air). Anyway, I think I’ll write a letter to the president of MPR with my renewal check enclosed begging him to save affiliate money and drop The Takeaway. John Hockenberry is emblematic of NPR’s slide.

  42. 42
    John says:

    That’s weird. I remember when I was a kid, people were saying the same things about welfare as they’re saying now. I wonder when the big change happened?

  43. 43
    NonyNony says:

    @Gene108:

    NPR guy days we redefine social norms all the time, like ritual human sacrifice is not allowed anymore.

    Ben managed to countered with an analogy about changing the definition of 2+2=4 to 2+2=5 because it was now deemed to be changed.

    This doesn’t tell me that Carson is smart – this tells me that his interviewer was an idiot.

    Because that’s a non-sequitor, not an argument. And the interviewer should have been about to say “but that’s not a social norm, that’s mathematics – tell me how that explains the shifting of norms away from human sacrifice being acceptable” and make it stick.

    Or – and this is where the interviewer is TRULY an idiot – he should have used slavery as an example of a social norm that has changed instead of human sacrifice. Because it’s a better example all around of how norms have changed very recently in human history and is one that you can’t even appeal to the Bible to to say “the Bible always said it was wrong” because it doesn’t.

  44. 44
    Matt says:

    “I think there was a time when people were not proud of taking handouts,”

    This really gets to the heart of the soulless GOP id: they aren’t so much pissed that people are getting handouts, they’re pissed those people aren’t SHAMED sufficiently by it.

    That philosophy explains so much of the modern conservative position:

    * “pro-life” but anti-birth-control and anti-prenatal-care, because unplanned pregnancy is a SHAME magnet

    * drug-testing welfare recipients, despite it being ineffective and expensive: again, all about the SHAME of having to piss in a cup for the state

  45. 45
    satby says:

    @Cermet:

    The theme isn’t I got mine and f-you. Rather, it is: I’m the special exception and those getting money today are all lazy and undeserving.

    I hear that exact argument from the poor white welfare takers here in Michigassippi. All proud Republican votors, all worried that somebody somewhere is getting something they may not be. And magically thinking that Republicans would only act to hurt those “undeserving” people. I used to think they were delusional, then the House Repugs tried to confine a supplemental food program to “rural only” school kids. And I realized my neighbors aren’t delusional, they just haven’t been able to see the complete fulfillment of the return to Jim Crow.

  46. 46
    Biscuits says:

    I’m pretty sure It would not sink in for Carson, but perhaps he should be directed to read T Coates article over at Atlantic about reparations. His head would probably explode.

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @beltane:

    Yup, conservatives have even managed to transform wages themselves into a form of charity, with “job creators” creating jobs out of the goodness of their hearts, not because a labor force is necessary for the functioning of their businesses.

    It’s incredibly pervasive once you start to listen for it.

    How crazy is this? They managed to convince the whole country that “benefits” as part of compensation for work are a gift from your employer. Employers are so generous they give people gifts. The “benefits” really belong to your employer, even after you’ve earned them, but only when they’re cutting them. Conservatives add them back in when they want to claim factory workers make 60k a year if we add the value of their health insurance.

    I had this ridiculous conversation with one of my daughter’s friends from high school. We had a high-profile strike here last year at a tire plant. It’s on the main drag and they were picketing for months. She told me “they’re hurting the company”. You have to say “Brittany, who makes the tires?” Does “the company” produce them out of thin air?

    Conservatives know this, politically. They had a “New Populism” conference in DC the other day and it was bipartisan. I read some of the comments made at AEI. The conservative politicians were announcing that they had recently discovered that everyone isn’t a CEO. But they haven’t changed the dogma at all. They realized that it wasn’t working politically for them anymore.

  48. 48
    Woodrowfan says:

    Carson is a great example of someone who is very smart and skilled in one area, and thinks it transfers to other fields as well. I see it a lot from engineers and economists trying to explain history. It’s often painful to watch.

    XKCD did a nice cartoon on that phenomena once.

    http://xkcd.com/675/

  49. 49
    Ben Cisco says:

    @rikyrah: Your comment made mine unnecessary except to say: THANK YOU.

  50. 50
    Cacti says:

    Carson’s just like any other GOPer. His family weren’t welfare bums because they were worthy. Others are unworthy because of reasons.

  51. 51
    Kay says:

    I have to give them credit. The political move from 5 years of campaigning against the health care law to their other 3 greatest hits has been seamless. It may go down as one of the smoothest political pivots of all time. Here I was waiting for the entire health care system to go up in flames and all of a sudden we’re back at food stamps.

  52. 52
    Chris says:

    The culture was different then, Carson insists. “I think there was a time when people were not proud of taking handouts,” he said. “There were more people who did have that drive and determination. You do what you have to do.”

    Yes, more people have finally learned that getting fired or underpaid by an asshole is not a reflection on themselves and nothing to be ashamed of.

    ETA: going on welfare and ignoring the public shaming that comes with it IS doing what you have to do.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    Hey, black Whte man, you would have probably done pretty well, but since you took welfare are a legacy enroll and hire, I really can’t trust your abilities.

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @Cacti:

    Everyone who I have ever met who is on public assistance thinks their situation is unique, because it is. They encounter it one at a time. They don’t seat a roundtable and consider the sociological implications.

    What’s different is they don’t then turn around and lump all the other people on assistance into this worthless mass of deadbeats. Only conservatives do that.

  55. 55
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I figured that most of the folks who wanted “some other kind of union” weren’t being sincere.

    If they were being sincere, they would’ve suggested “some kind of union” for gay people years and years before there was even a gay rights movement. They wouldn’t have waited until gay people started organizing and pushing for their rights to come up with that idea as a counteroffer to gay marriage.

  56. 56
    Stella B. says:

    @beltane: When I attended the superb University of California I easily paid my own tuition at $238 per quarter. Minimum wage was a third the current minimum wage. I have noooooo idea why kids today can’t do the same thing. I got mine and they don’t even deserve a ladder.

  57. 57
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Aimai: Clarence also benefited from Affirmative Action, which supposedly tainted all his achievements since then.

  58. 58
    RaflW says:

    @Kay:

    one of the smoothest political pivots of all time. Here I was waiting for the entire health care system to go up in flames and all of a sudden we’re back at food stamps.

    It’s an old saw, but I’ll repeat: if we had a better press corpse, they’d bother to ask the GOP “hey, what happend to 5 years of anti-ACA? Didja give up on that, then?” a few dozen times, to help the public notice the crickets.

  59. 59

    “I think there was a time when people were not proud of taking handouts,” he said. “There were more people who did have that drive and determination. You do what you have to do.”

    Presumably, Dr. Carson has gone and talked to enough poor people to get a statistically relevant sample of poor folks on welfare and poll their attitudes about welfare, and then has gone back periodically (after 1,2,5 and 10 years) to follow up with them and determine the percentage of those who worked their way off of welfare and have moved into higher paying jobs. Presumably he also discussed and analyzed the factors contributing to their poverty and whether or not steps and assistance were available to them to help them clear their hurdles.

    Oh? He just made a dumb statement about people he hasn’t met and doesn’t know? I’m shocked. Shocked! I tell you.

  60. 60
    chopper says:

    few things are more disgusting than dudes that rationalize pulling up the ladder once they get out of the hole.

  61. 61
    OGLiberal says:

    On that TNR thread about TNC’s reparations piece – a thread that Marty Peretz must have told his racist buds to flood/troll given the responses – some guy is trying to claim that Democrats are the real racists. Why? Because Ben Carson said so! And we all know that if some extreme wing nut who happens to be black says that Dems are the real racists they must be – because he’s black and he’s smart and accomplished, not like those low IQ taker blacks that vote for Dems. (implied, of course, is that all of those blacks who vote Dems are too stupid to know they are being tricked by the Dems – yeah, that’s not a racist thought, huh?)

  62. 62
    liberal says:

    @Woodrowfan: no. Economists—who in aggregate couldn’t see a multi-trillion dollar housing bubble right under their nose—aren’t even good at economics.

  63. 63
    Interrobang says:

    It’s kind of darkly hilarious that conservatives want everybody else to be ashamed of whatever (taking public assistance, being a single/poor pregnant woman, etc.) while being themselves so completely shameless. Hypocrisy, it’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

  64. 64
    Cacti says:

    @Kay:

    What’s different is they don’t then turn around and lump all the other people on assistance into this worthless mass of deadbeats. Only conservatives do that.

    As I’ve mentioned before, my Republican parents gripe about welfare bums without any sense of irony that:

    1. One of their children is on Social Security Disability

    2. Their oldest grandchild gets treatment for her type 1 diabetes through Medicaid.

  65. 65
    liberal says:

    @Gene108: “not all conservatives are stupid, but most stupid people are conservative.”

  66. 66
    BD of MN says:

    I don’t know if Ben Carson is this year’s Herman Cain (he has a book to promote…), but in that same interview yesterday he said that he didn’t want to run for president, but if enough people wanted him run he would do it for the good of the country…

  67. 67
    Woodrowfan says:

    @liberal:

    @Woodrowfan: no. Economists—who in aggregate couldn’t see a multi-trillion dollar housing bubble right under their nose—aren’t even good at economics.

    OUCH. Well, it worked in the models! It’s real life that messed up!

  68. 68
    Daddy-O says:

    @Cermet: You’re on to something here. Ben Carson is SO special, only HE can explain it so cunningly. In order to understand his explanation, you can ONLY be as ‘special’ as he is.

    Slave catcher. I really like that one. It makes the point perfectly without the hate surrounding the synonym House N****r.

  69. 69
    Ruckus says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:
    It takes a particular type of intelligence to be highly educated, have a rather rare skill set, and to be so glaringly stupid. Not sure what type of intelligence that is but carson has it by the truck load.

  70. 70
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Didn’t need no welfare state! Everybody pulled his weight! Gee, our old LaSalle ran great!

  71. 71
    bemused says:

    @Cacti:

    Have they been asked about their dependency on SSDI and Medicaid? I’m curious if their answer is the usual response that they are deserving, everyone else are deadbeats.

  72. 72
    flukebucket says:

    I once saw him described as Sarah Palin in a lab coat. I don’t see him as dumb as much as just despicable. More like Allen West than Sarah.

  73. 73
    Zam says:

    @OGLiberal: This is the real reason they want him to run. Not because they would actually support him, but because he’s black. Then they can hide behind him whenever they say something along the lines of “Democrats just buy off blacks with welfare” by saying “I’m not racists I support Ben Carson” but just like with Herman Cain, when it comes to picking the president they will find some excuse to go back to the same old candidates.

  74. 74
    Jeff says:

    @Gene108: There’s no internal consistency to that Ben’s statement. What are you talking about? Redefing marriage (a transitory cultural institution) is not remotely like redefining mathematics (a universal law). Whether you live in BFE Texas or the Persian Empire or the fourth planet of the Seti Alpha system, a term representing a quantity of two, added to another term representing a quantity of two, will always result in a term representing a quantity of four.

  75. 75
    BretH says:

    All so true. It’s a variant on how if we paid people a living wage for shit jobs they would become too comfortable in those shit jobs and never want anything more thus undermining the good ol’ Protestant Work Ethic.

    But the Ben Carsons and all the other people sneering down at the poor of course would still have the drive to seek out better jobs because they are made of a better Moral Fibre.

  76. 76
    SFAW says:

    @Interrobang:

    Hypocrisy, it’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

    Well, either that, or projection. (I know, I know, “why not both?”)

    @BD of MN:

    he said that he didn’t want to run for president, but if enough people wanted him run he would do it for the good of the country

    I wasn’t aware that Dumbfuckistan has a Preznit – I thought it was Head Dumbfuck In Charge. (I was considering using “Head Numbnuts In Charge,” for the obvious abbreviation and its connection with Carson, but I thought it might be in poor taste.)

    @TR:

    Christ, what an asshole.

    How did we get Camille Paglia involved in this? (Apologies for the possibly-obscure Molly Ivins riff.)

  77. 77
    SatanicPanic says:

    @BD of MN: I never get that “if the country wants me to run”- like dude, if you don’t have some sort of guiding reason why you want to be president- maybe something you think needs fixing, or you have some political skill that no one else has- then don’t hold yourself out there as a possible candidate! Don’t act like being president would be a chore that’s foisted on you.

  78. 78
    SFAW says:

    @Jeff:

    There’s no internal consistency to that Ben’s statement in ANY Reichtard argument.

    Fixed for universality.

  79. 79
    El Caganer says:

    Dr. Carson needs to stick to medicine, where he actually does some good for the world.

  80. 80
    AxelFoley says:

    @rikyrah: What rikyrah said.

  81. 81
    greennotGreen says:

    Ben Carson got to be a famous neurosurgeon because he is smart, talented, and got sufficient assistance from society and his own mother to make it. Joe Blow may not be smart or talented. Being a fry cook is pretty much the limit of Joe’s skill set. Does that mean Joe should have to live in abject poverty because minimum wage is too minimal? Annie is able to care for herself. She can pay her bills and cook for herself and dress and wash her clothes, but her mental health issues are too troubling to others for her to hold down a job. Should she also live under a bridge? Why are the smart and talented the only people worthy of support?

  82. 82

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    What in the world makes you think that Carson is exempted since the unspoken rider has traditionally been ‘because you’re black?’

  83. 83

    @Harry R. Sohl:
    I don’t. That’s my point. He has surely faced the ‘blacks are lazy and welfare encourages it’ prejudice in his life. It’s strange to see him turn around and use it himself. But then, if he weren’t an asshole, he wouldn’t be an asshole.

  84. 84
    chopper says:

    clearly the problem is that today’s families on welfare aren’t constantly full of shame. like i’m sure carson’s mom was, right? i’m sure the reason he grew up confident enough to go for medical school was the fact that his mom constantly infused in him a deep sense of humiliation and inferiority for being poor and needing help from the taxpayer.

    wait, what? she didn’t? well i’ll shave a cat’s ass.

  85. 85
    Mart says:

    Neighbor and his three brothers have all established multi-million revenue auto related small businesses. They all benefited from Social Security benefits after their father died. They are all ridgid republicans and think I am an unhinged lefty. When I point out that SS stabilized their lives at a critical time, and it worked wonderfully as look at all the money their successful busineeses are pouring back into the treasury… they either say the benefits were basically nothing, or they were better off after their father died as they had more money coming in then when he was working. Also too, what they give those people these days is nothing like the meager sums we got.

    Cannot really discuss anything with these people.

  86. 86
    Kay says:

    @beth:

    Even if we somehow manage to fix all our education problems and every single person in the country gets a college degree,

    I think the push to devalue work is much broader than low wage jobs.

    I think it is plain idiotic for any regular person to believe they’re not going to devalue ALL work that is less than CEO or manager level.

    They will.

    The objective is to pay people less, obviously. It’s pretty crazy to think they’re not going to push that up the chain ‘o workers. Someone who makes 40k has much more in common with someone who makes 20K than they do with a physician/pundit/author.

    Liberals always think conservatives divide on class lines, but that isn’t what they do. They bring working class and middle class people INTO the group where wealthier people are. It’s appealing because this very smart doctor says “you’re more like me than you are those other people, the bad people” and that’s flattering and inclusive, from the perspective of someone who is much less prestigious and wealthy than the doctor.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rikyrah: THIS.

    Absolutely righteous. I give this post two thumbs up.

  88. 88
    Shakezula says:

    Murkin Exceptionalism at its finest. When creating rules for everyone else, conservatives always create an exception for themselves.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    @rikyrah:
    Very well said.

  90. 90
    TooManyJens says:

    @Kay:

    The objective is to pay people less, obviously. It’s pretty crazy to think they’re not going to push that up the chain ‘o workers.

    Indeed, they are, and have been for years. Look at what’s happening with adjunct faculty, for just one example.

  91. 91
    Paul in KY says:

    @rikyrah: Hear, hear!

  92. 92
    Paul in KY says:

    @Aimai: Best wishes to you too! Also, recounting what a cramped, douchewad, weirdo Clarence Thomas is never gets old.

  93. 93
    Paul in KY says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: Buying Asiago or Romano on their cards…The nerve!!

  94. 94
    Paul in KY says:

    @p.a.: That Bismark guy was a soc1alist, I tells ya! Wanted full employment & if you didn’t have a job, you got one in the military. Soc1alism!

  95. 95
    Paul in KY says:

    @BD of MN: I hope he runs. He’ll get squished.

  96. 96
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mart: Really nice when your arguement boils down to ‘glad my father died, so I got more money to further my dreams’.

    Wonder how the father expired….

  97. 97
    Paul in KY says:

    @Kay: Excellent comment, Kay.

  98. 98
    Barry says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: “@Gene108: Dr. Carson is a well-educated man. He ain’t “smart”. ”

    Probably he’s just a superbly-trained technician, and not well-educated at all.

  99. 99
    nicteis says:

    @rikyrah: @Kay – Tons of good responses in this thread, but you two kick it to a higher level.

  100. 100
    tomshefchik says:

    Like Re-pig-lickin’ women who have 20 abortions, then suddenly see the light and want to outlaw it for the rest. Phonies all.

  101. 101
    The Other Chuck says:

    @rikyrah:

    Let me say this.

    No. I’m not going to let you say it. You may as well just call him a nigger, because all the folks I know who use that word seem to qualify it with “well I’m not saying all black people are niggers, I apply it to *those* types with the gangsta rap and blahblahblah…” Look, I’m not so PC as to say everyone who calls Sarah Palin a nasty bitch is a misogynist, but I’m not going to listen to someone who can only refer to her in anatomical terms. When you have to reach down into minstrel-show terminology to deride someone, maybe you should get your hands out of the muck for a minute and look around you and see where you went.

    Carson may not deserve an iota of respect, but some of us here do, and would rather not be associated with racist epithets, no matter how much special pleading you want to give just this one target this one time. What you’re saying reflects a hell of a lot more on you than on Carson.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    FYI, rikyrah is Black.

  103. 103
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    And going on what I’ve read on this blog, a much better human being than carson.

  104. 104
    Hal says:

    @The Other Chuck: Meh.

    Considering Carson’s job is to appear before white conservatives audiences and tell them what they want to hear; black people are brainwashed, there is no racism in America, the ACA is slavery, how else would you describe him? This man grew up in the civil rights era and compares the ACA with the brutality of slavery. He says this to what he knows is undoubtedly a mostly, if not all, white audience that eat this shit up. He is their example of a “good” black person, and therefor proof they are not racist. That’s is job now, he knows it, gets paid for it, and his audience loves him for it.

  105. 105
    J R in WV says:

    If I cared about random bright but stupid conservative Doctors, I would DuckDuckGo look up thie Ben(jamin, I expect) Carson. But I don’t and won’t.

    I trust the others commenting here, and if they think he’s a black slave catcher like InJustice Thomas, I’ll believe them. I know what kind of dork Clarence Thomas is, so I am not a bit surprised he slammed his sister for accepting welfare while caring for his elderly relatives.

    In my family, we would all pitch in to help a relative caring for elderly ancestors, but Thomas clearly couldn’t care less about his relatives. They’re all black shiftless welfare bums, and he is now all above that.

    I got a VA loan for my first home purchase, I took GI Bill money for machinery repair class AND for a college degree. I’m thankful my country provides benefits to veterans who serve and thus earn those benefits.

    Now, after working since I was 14, I’m accepting a pension payment, based upon my years of service and salary earned (and age), and soon I will sign up for and accept Social Security, also based upon my age and earnings. Between my (not that big) pension and Social Security, and my equally hard working wife’s pension and Social Security benefits, we will have a comfortable retirement…

    Unless the Republicans combine to fuck up a perfectly operating system that only needs minor tune-ups every 30 years or so.

    This would be bad for the Republicans, who don’t understand how angry people can get when they watch their livelihood being stolen.

  106. 106
    chopper says:

    @Hal:

    This man grew up in the civil rights era and compares the ACA with the brutality of slavery.

    which means he’s either grifting or brain damaged. given his career, the latter is pretty ironic, so i’m going with the former. a shanda fur die goyem.

  107. 107
    Plantsmantx says:

    @rikyrah: Add Stephen A. Smith to that list. He’s in complete agreement with Mark Cuban that a black guy in a hoodie is at least as threatening-looking as a white guy with a shaved head and a face full of tattoos.

  108. 108
    ItAintEazy says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Actually, white racism is more nuanced than that. It’s like a Chris Rock routine gone horribly wrong: they love blah folks, but boy do they hate niggers.

  109. 109
    rikyrah says:

    @The Other Chuck:

    You see Carson as benign. I see him as the threat that he is. He is a Slave Catcher, plain and simple. He is a long line of those who would sell out Black folks. He is a real life Uncle Ruckus. He is a real life Stephen from Django.

    If he was born as a bougie Black, and his Jack and Jill parents paid for everything, that would be one thing.

    But, that is not Carson’s story.

    He literally got EVERYTHING because of the ‘Guvmint’.

    The ‘Guvmint’ paid his education.

    He’s not like a promising poor Black student, that if they’re educated today, will be burdened with a pile of student loans.

    Carson is part of that group of Black students with promise that got a FREE education.

    Carson, with his backstory, if he were growing up today, would be in the SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE. The ‘indescretions’ of his youth that were looked over because folks thought he had ‘promise’ back in the day, wouldn’t mean shyt in today’s ‘ no tolerance’ policy that permeates our schools.

    As I’ve said before, I don’t give a rat’s ass about Clarence Thomas’ self-hatred. Why he gets contempt is that he takes out HIS self-hatred on the rest of the Black Community. And Carson’s willing to shin and grin and do the same.

  110. 110
    ItAintEazy says:

    @rikyrah: Normally, I wouldn’t use those terminologies to describe certain black folks, but this Carson guy definitely knows what he’s doing and which side his bread is buttered on.

    Yes, we all know black folks who don’t subscribe to gay marriage or welfare (his opposition to ACA is purely economical), but who otherwise vote Democratic. But this guy decided to go get some real money and fame off that pig ignorance.

    Fuck him.

  111. 111
    Procopius says:

    @rikyrah: I should probably google it, but somebody said, “I’ve been on welfare and food stamps, and nobody helped me.”

  112. 112
    rikyrah says:

    and if you don’t know about Carson’s youthful ‘ indiscretions’ -google it.

    His ass woulda been expelled and he would’ve been scrambling trying to just complete his high school education in a ‘transition’ high school. Someone gave HIM a chance to develop his ‘ promise’, and instead of paying it forward, he wants to pull up the ladder, and condemn those nowadays that just need someone – anyone to see their ‘ promise’.

    THAT is the reason for the depth of my contempt for him. He was so ‘special’, while today, he would be just another Thug from the Projects.

  113. 113
    Procopius says:

    @Gene108:

    Carson could actually articulate his view in a logical manner, without going to cliches and/or quoting Leviticus. I do not often get to witness someone on the right, who is able to do that.

    I really don’t think he could. I’ve read his explanation of why Obamacare is “kind of like slavery” and it’s wilted word salad.

  114. 114
    ItAintEazy says:

    Ah, so he was a belt buckle away from being thrown into big-boy prison for manslaughter (because that’s where they throw 15-year-old black kids, right?). Or maybe he’d got lucky and just got sent to baby booking for aggravated assault.

    Seriously, fuck him.

  115. 115
    chopper says:

    @ItAintEazy:

    if I was that other kid I would have that belt buckle framed and mounted on my fucking wall. talk about lucky.

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