Friday, November 6, 2015

Is Ben Carson Done?

Trigger Warning:
Deep thoughts ahead. Like why is this girl eating pizza with a knife and fork?
Hey, girl, did you hear the news?  Ooo, honey boo boo child, it's a doozy!  You know that Dr. Ben Carson fellow running for the GOP presidential nomination?  Well turns out he's lying his ass off.  See he wrote in his new book that he met with a general in high school.  He and this general went to dinner, and the guy liked Ben Carson so much, he up and offered him a scholarship to West Point.  Of course Ben Carson turned him down.  He wanted to be a doctor instead.  How do I know?  Honey, Politico broke the story this morning:
Ben Carson’s campaign on Friday admitted, in a response to an inquiry from POLITICO, that a central point in his inspirational personal story was fabricated: his application and acceptance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The academy has occupied a central place in Carson’s tale for years. According to a story told in Carson’s book, “Gifted Hands,” the then-17 year old was introduced in 1969 to Gen. William Westmoreland, who had just ended his command of U.S. forces in Vietnam, and the two dined together. That meeting, according to Carson’s telling, was followed by a “full scholarship” to the military academy.

West Point, however, has no record of Carson applying, much less being extended admission.
Yes, girlfirend!  Ben Carson lied about going to West Point!  He lied about being a soldier!
Except he didn't actually lie about anything.  The passage in question in the Politico piece never mentions that Ben Carson applied to West Point.  It does say he was offered a "scholarship" for West Point, but Ben Carson turned that down because he didn't want to make a 10 year commitment.  Numerous conservative sites published articles thoroughly debunking the Politico hit piece.  Conservative Twitter users were furiously tweeting out the facts.  Breitbart actually has a very good debunking of the Politico article.

Unfortunately it doesn't matter much.  The major news networks picked up on Politico's headline "Ben Carson admits fabricating West Point scholarship".  They say that a lie makes it halfway around the world before the truth has time to put on its shoes.  Well, sir, this particular lie strapped a rocket to its back and blasted off into the freaking stratosphere.
Like this, except faster.
There are two questions here, now.  The first question is is this going to hurt Ben Carson's campaign?  I submit that yes, it will.  It's not going to affect Carson among his hardcore supporters, that's true.  However, low information primary voters are only going to see the Politico headline.  The only thing they'll remember about Ben Carson when they're polled over the phone is "oh, he's the guy who lied about being a soldier."  And when the polls finally open in Iowa?  Well sir, a lot of them are only going to remember the Politico lie.  

Let's assume that this whole mess does end up hurting Ben Carson.  The question then becomes how much will it hurt him?  It's hard to say at this point; the "scandal" is only a few hours old after all.  I don't think it's much of a stretch to say it could potentially cost him his front runner status.  I can see Trump being put back on top, with Carson trailing a few points behind him.  Much like the last few weeks, actually.  Will it cost him the nomination?  I don't know, but it's possible.

Now let's say Ben Carson actually wins the primary despite all of this.  What's the one thing that Hillary and the Democrats are going to repeat over and over and over again?  Ben Carson lied about applying to West Point.  Ben Carson can't be trusted to lead the nation.  Of course Hillary's lies will be conveniently ignored, and explained away when Ben Carson brings them up.  There's little doubt the news media will dutifully carry Hillary's water and continue harping on this story all the way up until Election Day.

Of course I could be wrong.  It could be that this won't affect Ben Carson at all.  It could be that this will all fade into the background after a few days.  After all, it's not like Ben Carson barbecued Lassie...unlike a certain sitting president...
Don't worry, boy, you're safe...for now!

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