Saturday, October 15, 2016

Ben Carson Puts His Foot In His Mouth Defending Trump

Let's say you're a campaign surrogate. If people are constructing what you believe is a false narrative around your candidate you must defend your candidate in a way that destroys that narrative. If your candidate is accused of hating black people you can't dismiss that narrative by saying "My candidate loves the darkies! And you won't find a n*****r that says otherwise!" So if your candidate is accused of behaving nastily towards women it's probably not a good idea for the campaign to send out a surrogate who's going to fight with women media figures and ask the male tv host if he would turn off the women's microphones or put a plug in their mouths. Just saying. I don't believe that if you think that a woman is being unfair, rude or dishonest that you need to accept her behavior or her premises. Not at all. In the media Octagon everyone is fair game. But there is a rather large range of verbal choices between "Here's why you're wrong Miss So-n-So" and "Someone shut this witch up so I can speak, dammit!" Unfortunately Trump campaign loony surrogate Dr. Ben Carson, showing more aggression on behalf of Trump than he ever did for his own Presidential candidacy, probably did more on MSNBC to advance the idea that Trump did some of the things of which he is accused than convince people that Trump was falsely accused. Dr. Carson was an enormously skilled neurosurgeon but he has poor political instincts. Having Carson defending you or explaining away accusations against you doesn't work. He's like a fireman who tries to extinguish a fire with gasoline. Trump is verbally pugnacious and belligerent. Carson seems to have picked up his new friend's traits. But you need to understand when, where and how to fight. If you don't get that, as Carson and Trump apparently don't, you run the risk of turning off Republican women who would otherwise vote for you. When you're baited into saying that it doesn't matter if Trump's accusers are telling the truth you probably should stop and review your moves to see how you wound saying something so stupid. Because you're not serving your candidate's interests. You're serving his rival's interests. 

The Democratic journalist Nina Burleigh once said that she would, sexual harassment and rape allegations notwithstanding, be happy to provide [service] to President Clinton for keeping abortion legal. She went on to say that in her opinion all American women should be lining up with their kneepads on to show their gratitude to President Clinton. Burleigh obviously had other concerns besides President Clinton's guilt or innocence. She was pilloried for her comments by conservatives. Now some of those same conservatives, who spoke with disdain about Democrats privileging political goals and party loyalty over personal morality, are doing the same thing. The more things change, the more they stay the same. So it goes.

blog comments powered by Disqus