You can’t trump everything with the race card

Oh, Dr. Carson.  Stop.  Just… stop.

Via TPM:

[Ben] Carson, who is the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, said he represents an existential threat to liberals. “They need to shut me up, they need to get rid of me,” Carson said. “They can’t find anything else to delegitimize me, so they take my words, misrepresent them and try to make it seem that I’m a bigot.”

“And you’re attacked also, in many respects, because of your race,” Levin said. “Because you’re not supposed to think like this and talk like this. A lot of white liberals just don’t like it, do they?”

“Well, you know, they’re the most racist people there are,” Carson said. “Because, you know, they put you in a little category, a little box, you have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?” [emphasis added, here and below]

Just to remind you of Dr. Carson’s most recent inflammatory comments, here they are.

On Fox News’ “Hannity” last week, as the Supreme Court heard landmark gay rights cases, Carson shared his views on gay marriage: “Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established fundamental pillar of society. And no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition. So it’s not something that’s against gays. It’s, it’s against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications.”

First of all, I find it genuinely baffling that Dr. Carson would choose to mortgage his incredible career as a pediatric neurosurgeon and the esteem it has deservedly won him for a political career he has already poisoned beyond salvage.  If he wants to become one of the talking heads on the lunatic Right, then I guess he’s welcome to it.  But let’s not pretend this is anything but a disastrous start to any campaign for eventual elective office.

However, whatever his political fortunes, it appears something needs clarifying.  If you conflate consensual, loving and committed relationships between two people of the same gender with pederasty or animal rape, you don’t “seem” like anything.  You are a bigot.  The word “offensive” has been bleached of meaning through overuse, but that association merits such a description and more.  It is poisonous, vicious and ugly, to say nothing of how asinine that straw man argument is.  (If there is any meaningful “Up with Bestiality” movement I’ve yet to encounter it, much less one that’s agitating for the right to marry.)  If someone posted comments along those lines here on my blog, I would delete them.

So here’s a memo to Dr. Carson from one white liberal — I don’t need to delegitimize you.  You’re doing a dandy job of demolishing your own legitimacy without any help from people like me.  It has absolutely nothing to do with your race, and everything to do with the profoundly appalling statements you’ve made.  Play the race card if you care to, but don’t think I’ll be in any way cowed by it.

Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.


  1. How small is the echo chamber of these folks? We saw those who mocked the politician what’s-his-name for changing his mind on gay marriage once he found out his son was gay… hell, we do a good job of mocking people who only have one (whatever) friend (though mostly for the fact that they bring this friend up all the time rather than because they have such a friend).

    But there are people out there who don’t even have the one (whatever) friend.

    And when they talk, you can tell how small their world is.

    • Ya know. If these people were at all like… “I went to talk to my gay friend, because he was gay and might have some perspective that I was missing — I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being unknowingly offensive…”

      … then they’d be liberals. righty-o.

      • I understand your point.

        However, I would just like to make a callout: there are several (many?) people on this blog who do that and call themselves libertarian (or something else that is not liberal). It’s one of the things that has taught me to respect several (many?) people on this blog.

        Of course, (nearly?) all the liberals do it too. Don’t want do dis my homies!

        • Yeah, I guess I started out wanting to make the point that if Conservatives actually seemed to value others for their “diversity”, we wouldn’t make fun of them as much for only having “one gay friend.”

          offtopic: are conservatives more likely to be introverts than liberals?

          • are conservatives more likely to be introverts than liberals?

            This has come up from time to time – not just conservatives, but all stripes.

            I don’t know. I’m an introvert, by nature, though I am quite gregarious in groups, as well. I prefer the introvert side of me, I think. I don’t know if conservatives are more introverted or not. I’ve known a lot of actors (a liberal group, by and large), and while one might categorize them as extroverts, they are really secret introverts – almost all of them that I know – very self-conscious, very unsure, very insecure. Whites and blacks.

            I’d hazard a guess (though this might just be me projecting) that introvert is a common trait for a majority at the LOOG.

          • The relationship between the Extroversion dimension of the Big 5 [insert Jaybird objection to the labels here] is inconsistent, across several studies, but this paper may explain why. The analysis contained therein suggests that there is a weak but statistically significant positive relationship between economic conservatism and extroversion, and a weak negative relationships between extroversion and social conservatism.

          • “The more people I meet, the more socially conservative I get.”

            You know, I can totally see this work if we use a non-theocon flavor of social conservativism.

          • I would say the opposite, really. The more different sorts of people I meet, the less I think I have any business holding opinons about how they live their lives. (Which I think matches the negative correlation Chris mentioned.)

          • There you go, Jaybird. Introduce Mike to another million people, and you’ve got another Libertarian on the team.

          • I don’t think we have been making fun of conservatives for their singular gay friends, but rather their obviously fictional gay friends, whom they even let use their bathrooms.

  2. “But let’s not pretend this is anything but a disastrous start to any campaign for eventual elective office.”

    I think it’s a open question whether his promoters see it as that disastrous. Outside saner circles, many feel that the resolute Republican loss in November was a result of messaging, rather than the message. There are people who still think Sarah Palin could be elected President, after all.

    In a more general sense, social conservatives have completely failed to see how much the world around them has changed, and will continue to change. I suspect that many thought they had ‘won’ the culture war in 2004, rather than simply buying time. And despite their protestations about having ‘many’ gay friends, I think most of them have only occasionally interacted with gay people, and consequently subscribe to antiquated notions of what gay people are like.

    • Oh, I’m not saying he couldn’t get some traction in some race or another predicated on these beginnings. But as any kind of credible candidate in a general election, I think this start is an unmitigated failure.

      • Me too. It would be one thing if he’d taken a stand against gay marriage based on religious reasons or a call to tradition. Instead, he’s headed into Rick Santorum country, conflating gay marriage with pedophilia and bestiality. That kind of ugly bigotry is uncalled for and is increasingly being seen for what it is.

        And now he’s playing the victim card? Gaah!

  3. There is nothing lower than misrepresenting someone by quoting them accurately.

  4. I dunno. The black conservative is rara avis but he’s not extinct. If we’re to comb through his argument, it can be deconstructed comprehensively. It just requires more effort.

    We do have laws defining bestiality, likewise pederasty. However distasteful these concepts might be, we can put the actors on the stage and infer harmful results from both. Leave the poor animals alone: they are not your sexual playthings, it is abusive. Leave those little kiddies alone: it’s not a consensual relationship, it is abusive.

    Marriage between a man and a woman? Heretofore, that was the standard. We can substitute an animal for a human and it becomes bestiality by definition. Likewise a minor child makes it statutory rape. Two men? Two women? Didn’t fit the definition of marriage and the DOMA advocates made sure that definition was preserved in law. DOMA still hasn’t been repealed. No gay couple has yet to file a joint tax return.

    Over time, the definition of marriage changed, as with Loving v. Virginia. Miscegenation was once a crime. Stupid, yes, but a law nonetheless. Now we have two cases before SCOTUS which will similarly redefine marriage and overturn a host of stupid, cruel laws.

    To properly refute the likes of the odious Dr. Carson, we must have strong stomachs. But we cannot deny Carson’s definition of marriage is currently the law of the land, signed into law by a feckless Congress and a feckless president. If that law is to be repealed, and it must be repealed, we do ourselves no favours getting upset with him. We might be better served to twist the ears of our legislators and quietly inform them there will be a price to pay for continuing in their feckless ways.

    • Well, first of all the work you describe in your last paragraph is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been busying myself with for lo these many years.

      With regard to Dr. Carson, I wouldn’t describe what I’m doing in the OP as getting upset with him so much as refusing to let him move the goalposts in this debate. He can try to pretend that my strident objection to what he said is because I can’t stomach the notion of a black conservative, but I simply won’t have it. My objection to him is based entirely on the loathsome and inflammatory way he framed his anti-SSM argument, on which his race has no bearing whatsoever.

      • Dr. Carson has made his bed hard and if he now wants to play the Race Card, he was led into that line of argumentation by Mark Levin. And if we’re to be fair and rational, we must admit the possibility of a certain number of jackass Liberals (though no actual quotes were provided by either Levin or Carson) who might have made such allegations.

        It was a Straw Man argument and Carson didn’t make it. Levin made it, without citation and with the express purpose of getting Carson to spout off. We simply cannot rule out the possibility that Carson has been unfairly attacked from some Liberal quarter of the compass rose.

        Carson’s not our problem. He’s just a surgeon with some faith-based conclusions. As such, he is beyond reproach, whatever he may believe about SSM. I have attacked Carson because he’s wrapped himself in the mantle of Prominent Neurosurgeon to preach unscientific nonsense. As such, he’s clearly guilty as charged.

        Now we might hope, me as a convert to Liberalism, you as a gay man who’s worked for years for equality in the eyes of the law, that Dr. Carson would be wise enough to look at the world through lenses of common decency and see how the Civil Rights struggle benefited the cause of equality. We might also say “C’mon Dr. Carson, surely you as a black man should know how discrimination worked for two centuries and more, how Jim Crow systematically repressed the cause of black equality despite the passage of the 14th Amendment, how black men were legally forbidden to marry white women. Put yourself in the position of LGBT people, can’t you see any congruence in the inequalities thus created?”

        But that would be a flawed approach. Appealing to his black-itude isn’t going to work with him. He is a Seventh Day Adventist. SDA has a serious historical problem: over time, SDA cooperated with German nationalism in WW1 and Nazism in WW2. They’ve also cooperated with Communism. They’ve expelled conscientious objectors from their ranks. As a religious movement, they’ve had a tendency to splinter into cults, most notably the Branch Davidians.

        If I were debating Dr. Carson, I’d proceed along these lines:

        SDA has been fallen into far too many pits of its own digging over time to ever cast aspersions on anyone else’s belief structures. The USA has provided a sanctuary for SDA, as it has every other religious minority. Yet SDA has expelled all known its LGBT members from its ranks and sued them for trademark infringement in our courts, should they gather as SDA believers.

        Take care, Dr. Carson, that you do not now take a position for or against LGBT marriage. Your faith has an exceedingly bad track record of intolerance. Your church is permitted to maintain every sort of odd religious proscription you wish. But on the street, you will keep a civil tongue in your head about your fellow citizens, whose opinions on this subject are as valid as your own.

    • There are plenty of Black Conservatives. Most of them still vote Democratic.

  5. I’m a bit conflicted here…

    Generally speaking, I don’t like to throw the term “race card” around, because too often it is used as a means to further solidify privilege by declaring certain conversations about race to be illegitimate because they are part of a “game” rather than serious conversation. Furthermore, I do think that Carson’s race has factored into the responses he has garnered, from both sides. If he was a brilliant white pediatric neurosurgeon, the right wouldn’t be holding him up as a hero nor would certain folks and groups on the left react so strongly in opposition (see: JHG’s post on fallen heroes). Now, this doesn’t necessarily make any of these responses racist but it does make them informed by race and thus Levin’s quoted statement there isn’t entirely off the mark, though it isn’t dead-center of the bullseye either.

    However, it also boils my blood when the most common users of the term “race card”, folks like Levin, who are entirely too ready to deny any form of racism exists (save for that oh-so-subtle-as-to-be-invisible kind that Obama utilizes to keep the white man down), attempt to come out as champions of anti-racism.

    In a nutshell, do I think at least part of the response to Carson has been informed by race? Yes. Do I think Levin and most pundits on the right actually care about racism other than where they can exploit it for their own gain? No.

    I should also make clear that I don’t necessarily think that Russell is using “race card” in the same way as the people I criticize above do; I just bristle at the term in general.

    • I use the term “race card” because Dr. Carson is attempting to play himself as a victim due to his race. He is trying to characterize the outrage expressed at his rhetoric as being informed by racist (or, at least, racial) notions of what a black man ought properly to think.

      To which I reply with utterly contempt. He has, by association, put my relationship and my family in the same kind of “other and unworthy” category as people who rape children and animals. His race is patently irrelevant, and invoking it as an explanation for why I find him so suddenly horrifying is absurd and offensive in its own right.

      • An entirely fair point. And I certainly completely ignored that angle to his statements and your response in my comment.

        Let me be clear and say that there is plenty of room to criticize Dr. Carson’s position without even knowing what race he is.

        But I don’t think that doesn’t mean he isn’t getting treated differently by folks and the media (on both sides) because of his race.

        I mean, if a prominent white doctor said such horrid things about gays, do you think most of us would even know?

        But, ultimately, none of that makes his horrid comments about gays any less horrid. And they are indeed horrid.

        • I managed to refrain from commenting about Dr. Carson until this latest affront to common sense. I didn’t have anything useful to say about his words at that prayer breakfast and felt like the odiousness of his NAMBLA/bestiality comments spoke for itself.

          But I really can’t stomach being told that I’m roughly equivalent to pederasts when it comes to my relationship’s legitimacy and then being told my anger is because I want to keep the speaker on some kind of plantation.

          • “But I really can’t stomach being told that I’m roughly equivalent to pederasts when it comes to my relationship’s legitimacy and then being told my anger is because I want to keep the speaker on some kind of plantation.”

            Nor should you. And this is one of the more insidious consequences of racism, false claims of racism, and most utilizations of the “race card” trope: they all so muddy the waters that even valid criticisms have to be run through a number of filters to prove their worth. My apologies for construing that your criticism was motivated by anything other than justified offense.

          • I don’t think any apology is necessary.

            I agree that the whole notion of a “race card” is fraught. But ( pace Blaise in other comments), even if Levin is the one who dealt it to Dr. Carson, it seems evident to me that he played it without hesitation.

          • Do you think Carson really thinks he was targetted for his race? Do you think Levin? I’d hazard to guess Carson probably does and Levin does not. Carson surely has dealt with real racism, so I wouldn’t necessarily fault him for seeing it where it is not. Levin makes a loving denying anti-black racism exists. Which makes levin softballing a “racecard” question that Carson swings wildly at resulting in the latter getting raked over the coals seems like a really interesting dynamic. Levin, a racebIter, engages in some sort of reverse race baiting jujitsu on a black conservative to result in the latter getting called out by liberals for playing the race card. Huh?!?!?! That is a really strange dynamic that has somehow left the people with the more appropriate reactions seemingly taking the most criticism.

          • I think that there are attacks that Dr. Carson will have directed toward him because he is black that he would not have had thrown his way if he were white.

            I’ve seen the race card thrown for reasons less involved with the thrower’s race.

          • (Which is a shame because that will allow him to pretty much put all of the criticisms directed against him in the “they called me a slur” pile rather than in the “they have actual reasons for disagreeing with me” pile.)

          • Is Levin being let off the hook, or is it just not worth noting yet again what sort of skunk he is?

          • Mike,

            I had a long post typed in the wee hours last night addressing that issue, but I felt I couldn’t articulate it in a way that didn’t seem critical of the good doctor here, which was not my intention, so I scrapped it.

            In a nutshell, here is what I was hoping to express…

            – Folks like Russell are 100% justified in voicing criticisms such as the one voiced here; this call out is 100% righteous
            – While inaccurate, it is not wholly inappropriate for Dr. Carson, who has surely faced real racism in his life, to think that he might be facing criticism because of his race, especially given that some of the broader criticism he is facing is because of his race; his statement is not 100% righteous but is understandable
            – Levin has made a career denying that anti-black racism exists and lampooning folks for playing the race card; that he would offer up such a soft ball question to Dr. Carson because it was expedient in his ongoing attack on liberals is the height of absurdity

            Somehow, Levin is facing the least criticism, Carson the most, and folks like Russell are also dealing with their share of pushback. To me, that’s really fished up.

          • I should add that Carson’s comments become far less understandable if he does not genuinely believe race to be a factor but is playing such up for political points. I can’t say which it is and will give him the benefit of the doubt because I tend to accept people’s, especially traditionally marginalized people’s, perception of their own treatment, even if such perception does not jibe with reality.

      • Shit, man… Total brain fart. I blame 2 hours of sleep and the 14-hour-old in the room. Crap. Sorry.

        • “I remember the day he was born. I got 2 hours of sleep. It’s been three months now, and I would fishing kill for 2 hours of sleep!”

  6. Ta-Nehisi Coates in the NYT today on Carson,

    Not all black conservatives see it as their job to tell white racists that they embody the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. It is certainly possible to oppose Obamacare in good conscience. No one knows this more than Ben Carson. In the late 1980s and early ’90s, he may have been the most celebrated figure in the black communities of Baltimore. Carson responded to that adulation by regularly giving his time to talk to young people, who needed to know that there was so much more beyond the streets.

    I was one of those young people. I don’t doubt that Carson was a conservative even then. I knew plenty of black people who loved their community and hated welfare. But white conservatives were never interested in them, and they were never as interested in Ben Carson as they are right now. When the presidency was an unbroken string of white men, there were no calls for him to run for the White House. And then he put on the mask.

    • The interesting thing was the person in the comments section who wrote that Dr. Carson epitomizes “personal responsibility”.

      I really don’t understand the Republican mantra of “personal responsibility”. It seems to mean not wanting or expecting anything from anybody. It is all very Calvinist to me.

      Right now my job is a contract position so I get paid hourly with no PTO or other benefits. I pay for my own not very good health insurance. I imagine that the GOP claims this is a better world and more personal responsibility but I would rather have the PTO and Insurance.

      • I imagine that the GOP claims this is a better world and more personal responsibility but I would rather have the PTO and Insurance.

        I wouldn’t posit it as personal responsibility. I’d posit it as, sure you might prefer PTO and insurance, but one what basis should you be able to demand it of them if you’re willing to work for them without it?

        I’m a tad confused about the Calvin reference.

        • I would posit that it is a sign of a decent, dignified, and humane society that thinks of PTO and Insurance as basic human rights.

          In my ideal world, there would be universal healthcare in the United States and a national vacation policy that gave everyone a minimum of three weeks PTO a year (not including national holidays).

          • I’m more amenable to “the government has a responsibility to provide (basic!!) health care” than “my employer owes it to me” to do same.

            Not so much on mandatory PTO. I think that’s something you negotiate for or not. I could maybe be convinced that, absent two or three weeks of PTO, that it should be considered overtime. If nothing else, it might prevent employers who claim to offer PTO from simply denying the time off until it doesn’t roll over.

          • Mr. Blue,

            I would also argue that you are going against externalities. It is better to work than not work often and you need to start somewhere for a career, especially those who have the luck to graduate into a recession/long-term employment crisis.

            Just because I am not working for PTO or Insurance now, does not mean I should be locked like this forever.

          • I’m not seeing the externalities.

            I don’t think people should be locked outside of PTO or Insurance forever. But that’s different from saying all employers should have to offer them to all employees.

            I started where I am now at a notch above minimum wage, though I compensated by working eighty hours a week and living somewhere affordable. I had high-deductible insurance. I actually had paychecks bounce. But sacrifice was required to get where I am now. I’m not advocating sacrifice for its own sake good for the soul or whatever – but sacrifice was required for both my employer and I to be where we are today.

          • I would posit that it’s a sign of a decent, dignified, and humane society that people who self-righteously demand that other people be forced to give them things for nothing are just laughed at.

            And seriously? Paid time off? That’s not even a real thing. They take the salary that you earned during the time you actually worked, and spread it out a bit to cover the time you didn’t work. You don’t want paid time off—you want a raise.

            I don’t get ostensibly paid time off, either, and I pay for my own insurance. It’s fine. The idea that I’m being wronged somehow is laughable.

    • For what it’s worth, I found TNC’s follow up post at The Atlantic this morning to be significantly better than the column itself, which I felt was a bit vague and came across as too much preaching to the choir. His follow up post framed his point in a way that I found a lot easier to understand.

      • He did write speaking to the horde; to readers familiar with his work. It would have been stronger, also, if he’d given better identification of the poem, We Wear the Mask by Paul Lawrence Dunbar in which it roots.

        Maybe someday, such context wouldn’t be needed.

        • And in this context, I find it deliciously redundant; put on the mask so that you can tell others to wear the mask.

        • I’ll quote Jonathan, since I like what he says,

          At any rate…so I guess I’m saying in the first instance that there’s no reason to think that it’s more natural or proper for Jamelle’s parents to be Republicans because of ideology than it is to think that they “should” be Democrats because (most) African Americans (and presumably virtually all black people whose primary political identity is based on ethnicity) are Democrats.

          Basically, I think that pushing people to be ideological and pushing the idea that politics should primarily be about ideology gets it completely and totally wrong. And I think that unfortunately the ideology people have won, and that’s one of the Big Things Wrong with US politics right now. Not the biggest thing (that’s the broken GOP, which is related but not really the same thing). But one of the big things.

          • I think he’s totally right about how things are. It’s insanity to think that ideas are stronger than personal connections. We’re social animals, not ideological animals. I’m not sure why he believes it’s a good thing, though. Hurricanes and earthquakes are what they are, but that doesn’t make them what we want. I thought the second comment addressed this better than I can. We may get a country that’s divided by self-image and cultural identity, it may be inevitable, but I can’t imagine why we’d want it.

  7. Just like Sarah Palin stopped being a woman the moment she started being a conservative, so too did Ben Carson stop being a negro the moment he started being a conservative.

    Because being A Woman is a thing, just like being A Negro, just like being A Conservative, and the people who decide that the first two are a thing have decided that they’re incompatible with the latter. They think of political identities like they were D&D character classes. “A magic-user who’s also a fighter? Impossible!”

    • Just like Sarah Palin stopped being a woman the moment she started being a conservative, so too did Ben Carson stop being a negro the moment he started being a conservative.

      I wonder at your choice of that outmoded term, and I reject the substance of your argument, such as it is. I am no more troubled by the notion of a black conservative than I am by a left-handed dentist or a German trombone enthusiast. I am troubled by the ugly, ugly things Dr. Carson has said, and refuse to allow him to hide behind his race as a means of transferring the blame for my anger back onto myself.

    • Let’s suppose that’s true, that some nasty people think Negroes are sposta comport to stereotype. Women also. Specially Sarah Palin.

      Dr. Carson has been subjected to a Gaussian distribution of criticism, varying along the Heffman Fairness Axis. Is any of that criticism deserved? We cannot say if Dr. Carson or Sarah Palin are entirely immune from criticism: Negroes and Wimmens being what they are. Also magic users.

      Dungeons and Dragons has a finite number of character classes and even Gygax was hard-pressed to sort them all out properly. IIRC there were only three at first. The list has since grown. Actual people are somewhat more complex and if reality has a noticeably liberal bias, we Liberals are perfectly willing to grant the assertion that Black People can describe themselves however they wish.

      You see, Heffman, in the Liberal Zone, attributes like Skin Tone and Sexual Proclivity are viewed as irrelevant discriminants. In the immortal words of They Might Be Giants, “Women and Men!” We don’t care. Clarence Thomas is clearly a conservative and equally obviously a black man, we know such creatures exist. We also know Sarah Palin is a woman and an idiot. I don’t think Sarah Palin is really a conservative. Do you? What proof do you have she qualifies? I think she’s just a two-bit grifter and I have evidence to support that claim.

    • just like being A Negro

      I think you misspelled that.

    • No, Dr. Carson stopped being a conservative (which is a perfectly respectable thing) when he started being a right-wing troll, e.g. by comparing the aspirations toward marriage of people in consensual relationships who want to get married to those of people in non-consensual relationships who don’t. Likewise, Thomas Sowell, who had been a well-regarded conservative, lost that status when he compared Obama to Hitler.

      What to Doc is saying, which I very much agree with, is that if you spew offensive shit, obviously designed to appeal to an audience that laps it up, and then when someone calls you on it, claim to that same audience that it’s because of your race (something they also lap up), you’re going to lose the respect of everyone else, and it’s because of your actions, not your race.

    • Sarah Palin was always a woman. She was exalted by her allies as a woman. She was condemned by her adversaries as a woman. Woman, though, every step of the way.

      With Carson, his race is central to any discussion about him. But mostly? He’s not talking in a way that intelligent, educated people talk. Not when they mean what they say. That’s the big thing here. That’s what’s driving everybody crazy.

  8. This is where the discussion Jason K and Elias were doing the other day becomes very difficult. How does one tell the difference between cynical ploys for a polticial/pundit career and/or sincere belief?

    I think that there is just a world of difference between how liberals and conservatives think about racism. Institutionalized racism is something that it is very hard to convince conservatives of and there are probably a lot of conservatives out there who think that their policies are true meritocracy and liberal preferences for affirmative action hurt more than help.

    What I can talk about is minorities within minorities via the Jewish community. About 70-80 percent of American Jews are Democratic. This has been true since FDR if not before. About 20 percent of American Jews vote Republican and they think the rest of us are very very stupid and possibly traitors for being Democratic and liberal. Read the columns of Jennifer Rubin and the rest of the Commentary crew as examples.

    • It’s not all that different in the gay community, frankly.

      I have no doubt that Dr. Carson’s beliefs are sincerely held. That does nothing to make them less vile, as far as I am concerned.

      • I’m not surprised and I agree with your second sentence.

        It is just interesting with the discussion this week about how the conservative elite and probably not too different from the liberal elite in many ways. However, if Dr. Carson sincerely believes this stuff maybe Jason K’s argument is wrong.

    • Most discussions about whether a belief is a cynical ploy or a sincere belief are pointless. That kind of thing is typically unknowable and may even be murky to the person saying those things. But its also irrelevant, if a person says it then that is what we can respond to , not mind reading. Attempts at telling people what their “real” motivations are, are insulting and rely on reading their thoughts.

      • True.

        I still think my minority within a minority comment still holds.

        • Yup. Somewhere out there are women who believe their husbands are right to beat them when they misbehave, women who think their daughters should suffer honor killings, gays who think they sin and should hide their sexuality. Whole post justifying how people could welcome having their labor exploited because the alternatives are worse in their undeveloped homeland.

          • I don’t know if I would describe Jewish Republicans as self-loathing Jews. Though Jennifer Rubin once wrote a piece on Sarah Palin for Commentary that Johnathan Chait satrically reduced to “Jews are Frumpy, Sarah Palin is sexy and vibrant” or something close. This was during the 2008 election.

            But there is something strange about seeing Jewish-Republicans react to their largely non-Republican brethren especially on the Internet. They just seem absolutely flabergasted that any Jewish person would vote Democratic. Though they seem to have the cartoon version of Obama in their head.

          • New Dealer, the whole concept of ‘self loathing’ seems like a liberal trait; it’s a way of describing measuring you privilege against others’, part of the inclination toward fairness.

          • Zic,

            What I meant was that I don’t think Jews who vote Democratic and Republican are like the people you mentioned in the above paragraph with shame over their background.

            The how Jews should vote largely comes down to two issues with issue number one being predominant. Those are:

            1. Israel. Republican Jews see the Democratic Party as being too pro-Palestinian and secretly anti-Semitic. There are undoubtably pro-Palestinian people in the Democratic Party but to say that the American-left is anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic is absurd. 62 percent of Americans support Israel including people in all parties. It was also the GOP’s James Baker who said “Fuck the Jews, they don’t vote for us anyway” during the First Gulf War. This was over concern about Iraqi missles being targeted at Israel.

            2. To a much smaller extent economics. There is a really old and hoary joke that “Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans”. However, there is some truth to this cliche. Jews tend to do very well in American Economic life (as a group we a solidly upper-middle class and above on average) but our economic concerns and thoughts are still largely pro-welfare state/New Deal/Great Society. Hence my screen name. However, there are some Jewish-Americans who question the tribe’s large fidelity to the Welfare State, Trade Unionism, etc.

          • “New Dealer, the whole concept of ‘self loathing’ seems like a liberal trait; it’s a way of describing measuring you privilege against others’, part of the inclination toward fairness.”

            or just extreme self-absorption masquerading as empathy and social consciousness.

  9. Huh. Was thinking of moving some of my kiddo’s sub-specialty pediatric care to JHU. Remind to skip that for neurosurgery.

      • And this is why you don’t talk politics with doctor. I’m with Rosé, I would be second guessing how much I trust this guy with my kid. I just can’t compartmentalize well enough for that. If he’s really the right guy for the job, I could be very clearly making the wrong choice.

  10. Not related to the subject, but just the title, my impression of the SPLC is that that’s all they do is play the race card. If it works for them, why not this guy?

  11. At the risk of going off at a tangent I’m going to comment on “If there is any meaningful “Up with Bestiality” movement I’ve yet to encounter it, much less one that’s agitating for the right to marry.”

    A pro-bestiality movement seems unlikely but I think there is a case for saying that bestiality laws are unnecessary. If someone is guilty of animal cruelty it shouldn’t matter what their motivation was, we should focus on the crime not the fact they enjoyed it in a distasteful way.

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