Ben Carson

Q for Ben Carson: Is "Caving to Gays" a Choice, Too? And What About the GOP Field?

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As Matt Welch noted Wednesday, pediatric neurosurgeon and next Republican president of the United States Ben Carson both "lived down to stereotype" and articulated some truths about the GOP field for 2016 when he argued that gay sex among heterosexuals in prisons proves that being gay is a "choice." (Carson's very existence, by the way, proves my general about Republicans' "long love affair" manifestly unqualified candidates.)

Here's something else to think about while mulling over whether any of this matters more than a tinker's ding-dong: Ben Carson has apologized for his comments and is already being taken to the woodshed by conservatives for backing down and issuing a formal statement. "Ben Carson Caves to Gays," runs one indicative headline.

More interesting, Hot Air's Allahpundit writes that 

for all the heat Carson took [for both his original statement and subsequent apology], he's open to legalized gay marriage insofar as he's a federalist on the issue. "I support the right of individual states to sanction" the practice, he says, which puts him in line with Ted Cruz and puts both of them quite a ways away from social conservative orthodoxy as recently as 2008 or so in calling for a Federal Marriage Amendment to ban gay marriage nationwide. The media's holding Carson up as an example of how retrograde his views are, but meanwhile even the right wing of the GOP field is ready for gay marriage coast to coast so long as it's being enacted by state legislatures.

Allahpundit muses on how the Santorum/Huckabee types in the GOP field will respond to any or all of this, noting that Carson may well end up being seen as too hard on gay issues by people on the left and too soft on gays by social cons. But his position will almost certainly be the position of the GOP presidential candidate, who will definitely not be Dr. Ben. Or Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee, either. 

Read the whole thing.

This opens up a larger question that the GOP would do well to grapple with head-on: If the vast majority of presidential wannabes are good with gay marriage—or are at least good with the federal government staying the hell out of the issue—what will they do to take it off the table for discussion among their prospective candidates and national figures?

Polls routinely show 55 percent to 60 percent of Americans approve of gay marriage. The quickness with which the issue went from not even being on the radar screen to majority and growing acceptance indicates that no political party is ever going to do well because of an anti-gay marriage position (though a party might still flourish despite an anti-gay marriage stance). Of course, the gay marriage issue resonates perfectly with all the things that conservatives say they favor, such as long-term commitment in adult relationships, devolving power out of Washington, etc. Other than a religiously based opposition to homosexual activity—and most conservatives would agree that there is and should be a separation of church and state—nothing about the issues surrounding gay marriage presents a problem for conservatives.

Conservatives and Republicans should also consider how the belief that they are homophobic hurts them with the general population. Regardless of what presidential candidates might think on the issue of gay marriage, the national and many state-level GOP platforms are anti-gay.

There are large numbers of voters who are neither Republican nor Democratic loyalists. Call them moderates, independents, whatever. Like most voters, these people care first and foremost about issues such as "the economy," "the availability of good jobs," and "the way the federal government is working," to name the top three concerns among registered voters according to Gallup last fall.

While these voters may not vote with gay issues in the front of their minds, to the extent that Republicans are seen as intolerant and spiteful if not hateful toward gays, voters will likely go the other way. Or, same thing, not feel comfortable voting for a Republican. Especially if that doesn't reflect the feelings of the party's presidential candidates, the GOP should work to change the way it operates in the court of public opinion.

Here's Ben Carson apologizing on CNN:

NEXT: Indian state bans beef; California banned horsemeat; what if an American state banned pork?

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  1. Fuck this bullshit, the republicans problem is they run way to many candidates who have no shot in hell only to have Jeb Bush suck up all the money and take the primary and fuck us all. My personal Ideal field for the GOP would consist of 4 people Walker(the centrist on all things), Ted Cruz(strict fiscal conservative, complete hawk), Rand Paul (strict fiscal conservative, nonhawk) and finally the corpse of Barry Goldwater.

    1. “… the republicans problem is they run way to many candidates who have no shot….”

      That settles it Idle Hands; I’m running on the Republican ticket.

      With the assistance of a professional online campaign slogan generator, I’ve decided on the following sound bites for my fledgling campaign:

      I have faith in our prosperity and our brave police force. When I’m elected, I’ll make sure bureaucrats and unions cannot take away our right to kill foreigners, because unlike my opponent, I will work for an America where drug dealers and communists can’t destroy our cop shows.

      Unlike myself, my opponent wants an America where tribal warlords and angry chefs can sabotage our innocent babies’ smiles.

      I refuse to support an America where internet pornographers and gays can make a mockery of our hard-working teachers.

      My opponent is taking donations from tree-huggers, terrorists, and smelly hippies and is known to pal around with illegal immigrants, porn stars, and Monsanto cronies.

      My supporters know that I have faith in our beloved family pets, our right to use up the world’s resources, our right to exploit cheap overseas labor, and our right to shoot brown people.

      Thank you and God bless America and nowhere else.

      [The same site has action movie title generators and I found it interesting that one of the first titles that showed up was “Fist of Extremism” http://phrasegenerator.com/actionmovies ]

      1. You could be Bary Goldwater’s marionettist.

      2. KOCHTOPUS!!!!!111!!

    2. I agree mostly with what you said, except that I don’t think Walker is a centrist on war. He is cozying up to Sheldon Adelson, which means if he is President, there is a good chance we will see military action in Iran.

  2. Well, the status of homosexuality in parts of ancient Greece and many other societies suggests a social component to same-sex activity, ditto sex in prisons. Not sure why NOT A CHOICE/IS A CHOICE is particularly relevant to policy, but on its face what Carson said doesn’t seem particularly objectionable to me. More objectionable is the groupthink which makes questioning such things something which prompts attempts to usher the speaker out of polite society.

    1. Not sure why NOT A CHOICE/IS A CHOICE is particularly relevant to policy,

      If it is a choice, then the civil rights analogies that the gay activists use for political muscle lose their juice.

      1. The situation is already disanalogous, since being attracted to the same sex does not require taking action on this preference. Since the laws do not criminalize sexual orientation but rather action (sodomy and the like), the appropriate question is whether or not the action is immoral/unethical in a way that should be dealt with at the level of politics.

        This is really the only question of importance — choice/not choice would, after all, have no bearing on other similar debates (sexual attraction to animals or sexual attraction to children). This is an easy one for classical liberals: doesn’t hurt anyone outside the individual performing the acts and all involved are adults, therefore should be legal.

        Of course, if one holds to the viewpoint that people are mere units for society to rearrange as they will to create utopia (as is the case on the left), it becomes more complex: one must maintain a number of fictions about how humans actually behave in the real world to avoid dystopia. It strikes me that those on the left learned the wrong lessons altogether from Hitler and Stalin.

    2. There is a often a difference between having sex with someone and being sexually attracted to him or her.

    3. Not sure why NOT A CHOICE/IS A CHOICE is particularly relevant to policy, but on its face what Carson said doesn’t seem particularly objectionable to me.

      What Dean said. In conservative minds, the law *might* be there to help you if you were born into hard conditions or *should* protect you from grotesque or *inhumane* social structures that are well beyond your control, but it’s certainly not there to coddle your decisions and get you back on your feet after making “bad” choices. It is, or can be thought of, as a very libertarian stance. Now, not all conservatives apply these principles universally, but the underlying notions, to me, are pretty understandable/reasonable.

      IMO, this is something that the GOP should’ve latched on to decades ago and never let go. If I don’t chip in to defense spending, then I don’t care if they provide medical/retirement benefits to gay spouses, but if you’re going to reach into my pockets (or my kids’ pockets for the next n generations) you better believe I have an opinion on the matter.

    4. Gay sex in ancient Greece was largely not by choice – same as in prisons. In neither case could you call the phenomenon “homosexuality”. A better description would be “rape”.

      To conflate “rape” with “homosexuality” is indeed a stupid fucking thing to say and he deserves all the scorn he’s getting. And to backpedal with some lame apology just shows how out of step such thinking is with the American public.

      1. Gay sex in ancient Greece was largely not by choice – same as in prisons.

        Citations?

          1. The Greek pederasty was considered a reverential and *Platonic* relationship. Sex occurred but the leading minds of the time varied between tolerance and disdain.

            Rome was a different issue.

            Moreover, both societies are were more tolerant of homosexuality, by law, than we are today. More same sex rape does not bolster the argument against Carson.

          2. More rape in cultures more tolerant of same-sex relationships does not bolster the argument against Carson.

          3. Pederasty’s a weird and complex social phenomena, not just in Greece and Rome but pre-modern Islam and Japan. In most cultures the boy’s father was required to consent, but in some the boy was also given a choice. There’s also an element of social advancement and patronage associated with it. In a lot of cases it was basically a ‘romantic apprenticeship’ and some of the art/writings/history associated with pederasty makes it seem like there was at least some willingness or consent. There’s a lot of Greeks who continued to associate with their ‘rapists’ as close friends decades afterwards, for example. Art depicts ‘wooing’ of young boys. At the same time, there’s a lot of writings condemning or mocking pederasty in these cultures. Cicero’s speeches against Mark Antony, for example, have a couple mocking references to Antony’s early pederastic relationship.

            Basically all I’m saying is that historical pederasty’s not quite so cut and dry as ‘rape’. It’s a weird part of the social hierarchy it varies dependent on society and case really.

            1. Agreed.

              There is certainly a concept that pederasty began as a method for unskilled Greeks to advance their children in skilled trades as a form of apprenticeship. As the practice advanced, both in prevalence and in social class, in Greek and Roman culture, it grew into rape and/or sexual slavery. And Plato, among others, make the distinction that purely non-sexual pederasty was a boon to both individuals and society at large and rather literally connote that sexual involvement corrodes/destroys any benefit.

              To say that “pederasty” = “rape always” is a fallacy.

              1. Points taken. Though I do tire of social conservatives’ tendency to obfuscate in these matters.

      2. In either case, the rapist is demonstrating a sexuality which he would not be undertaking if not for social or demographic pressures. It is relevant information regarding what components of sexuality are innate, even if the way that this sexuality is being channeled is in an unethical manner.

    5. Because NOT A CHOICE/IS A CHOICE speaks to the question of whether it is a legitimate basis for discrimination. People have called out that a lot of black Americans, deeply socially conservative and fiscally progressive, break with Dems when Dems start saying stuff like ‘being gay is JUST like being black’. What Ben Carson said isn’t even particularly controversial in the ‘urban’ community. And the distinction matters because a lot of black folks, if presented with a pre-natal color palette, would make kids that looked a look more like Tom Cruise than Wesley Snipes. OTOH, in that worldview, where you put your penis is up to you. I can almost guarantee that this is why it matters in Ben Carson’s head. And a smarter black conservative politician than Ben Carson could completely use it as a wedge, stated as ‘Where you stick your penis doesn’t really matter to me, how much free gubmint swag you think your choice of penis receptacle entitles you to does. However, since it’s a choice, it maybe puts you in line behind poor people, cripples, lady parts, and the folks with extra melanin from their parents.‘ Lob that into the room, start demonstrating a grasp of basic economic theory, and wait for Gloria Allred to show up with the white women you groped. What makes BC an unserious candidate is how he apparently had zero strategic thought on how to exploit the words that came out of his mouth.

    6. Interestingly enough, gay activism has pretty rapidly flipped on this point over the last hundred years. When homosexuality was seen as a mental disorder the argument put forward in the limited gay movements was that being gay was primarily an autonomous choice. Only when homosexuality was no longer treated as a mental illness did they start to argue that its predetermined.

      That being said, one of the main problem with Carson’s argument is that he words it very, very poorly.

    7. “”I will tell you peoples’ hearts have opened up on this issue,” the president said during Thursday’s interview. “I think people know that treating folks unfairly, even if you disagree with their lifestyle choice, the fact of the matter is they’re not bothering you. Let them live their lives and under the law they should be treated equally.”

      their lifestyle choice….hmmmmm, I thought it was genetic.

  3. Carson’s very existence, by the way, proves my general about Republicans’ “long love affair” manifestly unqualified candidates.

    Sorry, but this is just a dumb(unqualified?) statement even if you fill in the missing words.

    1. Unqualified like Barack Obama? Hillary Clinton? Joe Biden? John Kerry? Note that some of those even have decent resumes, if you leave out whether they performed their offices competently or honestly.

      1. Wonder if Nick thought Harry Browne was “unqualified”?

      2. What exactly qualifies one to be President beyond the bafflingly delusional conceit that you or anyone has the right to tell other people what to do?

        1. From my perspective, a certain amount of administrative and decision-making competence for the legal functions is a must, as are good ethics, but the key is a commitment to limited government, free markets, and individual liberty.

          1. Of course you have no reason to expect a Democrat to support the policy choices behind those slogans. I would like to think I can tell the difference between a competent Republican and an incompetent one even if I disagree with everything he wants to do.

            1. “The agnosticism of omnipotence is poetic in its cleverness.”

              Why not relax for a while and have a little fun, Tony? http://phrasegenerator.com/academic

      3. What about Al Sharpton, John Edwards, and Michael Dukakis?

        1. I was keeping the list short to avoid piling on. It’s really silly that this meme would carry weight here, that the GOP runs particularly unqualified/unelectable candidates. Um, no, if anything, they tend to have fewer totally empty suits than the Democrats. I mean, I don’t like John McCain, but he’s not some guy with no experience or even background to judge from.

          In any case, both parties are dominated by people I wouldn’t leave my dog with for an afternoon, let alone have essentially unrestricted power over me.

          1. I did not read Nick’s comment as excluding the fact that Team Blue also runs incompetent candidates, only that he was speaking in this instance of Team Red.

            PS – you forgot Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, etc. Funny, when you think about it, how both parties have had a history of “front runners” who ceased to be front runners as soon as people had the opportunity to vote on them.

            1. It is positively stunning the complete jokes we keep in power. I blame the voting public, but this also reflects a fawning media, that refuses to say what they’d say in other contexts about bad restaurants or movies: “Don’t go there.”

            2. It’s hard to tell exactly what Nick meant since the sentence seems to be missing a couple of words( who’s the fucking editor around here anyway?). But it seems to indicate that team red has a unique disposition to run unelectable candidates. Which is clearly not the case if judged next to team blue( which is the only other thing we have to compare them to).

            3. I did not read Nick’s comment as excluding the fact that Team Blue also runs incompetent candidates, only that he was speaking in this instance of Team Red.

              Gary Johnson aside, the candidates for Team Orange have been stunningly incompetent and lacking in experience. It is beyond farce that this should be a libertarian’s line of attack on the duopoly, when their candidates have been even less likely to have the requisite experience.

              1. Personally, it’s not so much experience per se that I care about, as most “experienced” candidates are experienced in abusing power and exercising their venality, but in having enough to assess their competence for high office.

                Voters would serve themselves much better if they viewed the presidential election as a hiring process, rather than a popularity contest/team sport.

                1. Even so, people like Michelle Badarnik and Harry Browne don’t exactly scream sanity to me. Ditto Ron Paul, for that matter.

                  Maybe in the future when the LP starts running people of excellence and, uh, not the guy whose skin turned blue because he gave himself Argyria, Nick can start making that argument.

                  1. No argument that the LP has posted some remarkably weak candidates.

  4. I understand that social conservatives are prone to some mind-boggling misjudgments about the mass appeal of their ideas, but let’s not miss the perfectly rational political calculations of someone like Ben Carson in competing with other Republicans for the support of social conservatives.

    Carson had all the progressives in the media denouncing him as a social conservative! You can’t buy that kind of advertising. Not if you’re trying to win the support of social conservatives.

    The thing about this incident, specifically, that makes me think he might not have what it takes to be President is that he apologized.

    Barack Obama has looked straight into the camera and said dumber stuff than that about how the economy works every day for six years. One of the reasons he gets away with that is because he never apologizes. Being President in the mass media era means never having to say you’re sorry.

    At worst, “mistakes were made”, Mr. Carson, but you can’t make a mistake when the media is denouncing you for saying what your core constituency wants you to say. Haven’t you learned anything watching Bush and Obama over the last 14 years?!

    1. Barack Obama has looked straight into the camera and said dumber stuff than that about how the economy works every day for six years. One of the reasons he gets away with that is because he never apologizes.

      The economy doesn’t have a mangina

    2. Barack Obama has looked straight into the camera and said dumber stuff than that about how the economy works every day for six years. One of the reasons he gets away with that is because he never apologizes.

      Never apologizing for anything, ever, is a huge red flag of a potential sociopath. Because if your empathy for other people is about the same as your “empathy” for a tube of toothpaste or a shaker of salt, you wouldn’t ever apologize to people, just like you wouldn’t apologize to a salt shaker for mistreating it.

      1. Well, I’m not talking about the way things should be. I’m talking about the way things are.

        He’s not running to be the most genuinely trustworthy guy in church.

        He wants to be a fucking politician.

        His constituencies were lining up behind him for speaking “the truth” as they understand it.

        They’re not going to support you for backing down.

        And they’re certainly not going to give you a pass for backing down just because you’re being honest and forthright while backing down.

      2. I’d argue that wanting that kind of power over others is an even bigger red flag for sociopathic tendencies.

        Politics: helping functional sociopaths reveal themselves since 4000 BC.

      3. Right out of the Clinton playbook. With the most recent scandal, it’ll be interesting to see if Hillary Clinton bucks the usual NOT US/YEAH, BUT THE VAST RING-WING CONSPIRACY IS WORSE, etc. nonsense the Clintons usually spew and admit wrongdoing (not accepting culpability, just acknowledging the error).

  5. If you ask bisexual people, they will definitely tell you that their current choice of partner gender is a choice. So the question is really silly. And even people who identify as very much gay may have hetero sex. I know a woman who describes herself as a “huge lesbo” who said she once had drunken sex with a guy.

    And don’t get me going on the large number of married men who’ve written to me about their desire to take a walk on the wild side.

    1. An occasional dalliance is not the same as “being gay”.

      1. You suck ONE cock…..

        *shakes head*

        1. +100 bridges

  6. “most conservatives would agree that there is and should be a separation of church and state”

    I’m gonna need evidence for that one.

    1. They all say this…unless you gave them the ability to make their church part of the state.

      1. They all say this…unless you gave them the ability to make their church part of the state.

        If I have to choose between the 10 Commandments carved in stone on my local courthouse lawn and a moment of silence before the beginning of a city council meeting as compared to buying into AGW and the GMO boogeyman, I’ll sit in silence for a moment while everyone else at the city council meetings do… whatever.

    2. How many conservatives have held State and Federal offices since 1789? How many bills proposing the establishment of an official state religion, or even if not a sect, proposing that Christianity in general be adopted as the official state religion have been voted on during that time? How many calls for amending the First Amendment to establish a State Religion have been voted on?

      1. How many calls for amending the First Amendment to establish a State Religion have been voted on?

        Conversely, how many calls for amending the First to disregard religion and/or explicitly bias the constitution to a particular and/or arbitrary belief system (not necessarily religious or organized) have there been?

        I mean, you don’t have to look very far or deep to see that a widespread loss of religion at the height of The Progressive Era produced prohibition. The ‘non-religious’ are all too eager to adopt the religious mantel whenever it suits a purpose and then freely impugn it when the purpose turns ill-fated.

        Progressives still try to variously rend the 2nd Am. based on a belief system about the founders intent and a supernatural predisposition against relatively arbitrary hunks of metal.

  7. “If the vast majority of presidential wannabes are good with gay marriage?or are at least good with the federal government staying the hell out of the issue?what will they do to take it off the table for discussion among their prospective candidates and national figures?”

    You have got to be kidding me. The adventures of Dr. Carson on this issue show what will happen to anyone who *seriously* tries to keep the federal government out of the issue and leave the matter to the states. The good Dr. takes that position, and look how he’s being portrayed!

    No, from the standpoint of the media and the activists, anyone who wants to leave SSM to the states is just like someone who wants to leave slavery or segregation to the states.

    “Of course, the gay marriage issue resonates perfectly with all the things that conservatives say they favor, such as…devolving power out of Washington…”

    How is the weather on your planet? I mean, WTF? Sure, some states (whether through their judiciaries or their legislatures) have adopted SSM, but in the remaining states, SSM is being imposed by federal edict.

    Anyone who takes the federalist, 10th Amendment position on this issue will simply be classified as a homophobic hate-filled meanie-pants who deserves to be purged from his/her job and banished from decent society.

    1. So take the zero-cost action of updating your viewpoint on this issue, and you will no longer be at risk for banishment from decent society. These exact arguments could have been made, and probably were, when it came to interracial marriage. Some people have to be dragged kicking and screaming. It would be unreasonable to ask people on the receiving end of a legal injustice to wait around until the last holdouts are ready.

      1. Simpler Tony: Rather than address the substance of their arguments, I think people who disagree with me should be banished from decent society.

        1. There is only one correct opinion in the gay marriage debate. That might not have been the case five years ago, but it is now. The arguments have been made, informally and in multiple courts of law, and sanity has spoken.

          1. There is only one correct opinion in the gay marriage debate. That might not have been the case five years ago, but it is now.

            What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      2. So take the zero-cost action of updating your viewpoint on this issue, and you will no longer be at risk for banishment from decent society.

        Renounce your faith or be tossed to the lions? This ‘decent society’ sounds familiar.

        Fuck. Off. Slaver.

        1. Bigotry is bigotry whether justified by magic sky fairies or otherwise. And decent society tells bigots to fuck off.

          1. No, decent society tells those would deprive others of their life or liberty to fuck off. Not those engaged in whatever is deemed the thoughtcrime of the moment.

          2. And decent society tells bigots to fuck off.

            Reading this and your other posts, I’m pretty convinced you don’t know what the words bigot or bigotry mean.

            Telling someone they have to change their mind or be banished is the letter and spirit of bigotry. Knowing someone holds different opinions and defending their right to speak on them freely, especially when it in no way adversely affects you, is a hallmark of decent and enlightened society.

            Ben Carson says homosexuality is a choice and supports homosexual’s abilities to live and live together, around him in relative freedom. You think anyone who doesn’t agree with you should be banished. And then you call him a/the bigot.

            1. Telling someone they have to change their mind or be banished is the letter and spirit of bigotry.

              No, telling someone they can’t be served at your establishment because of how they were born is bigotry. I’m not talking about deportation, I’m talking about the bounds of acceptable opinions in polite society. They do exist. You can’t go around calling people niggers and expect to be taken seriously or to have mature, reasonable friends, right?

              1. No, telling someone they can’t be served at your establishment because of how they were born is bigotry.

                A legless man walks into a shoe store… more relevantly, state at birth is not a pre-requisite for intolerance or bigotry, esp. if you consider bigotry in light of trans-gendered individuals.

                Seriously, you’re the only one asking people to change or leave. And you aren’t talking about deportation or the bounds of polite society, you’re talking about psychological eradication. You literally call for no less action than you say is/was unjustly foisted upon homosexuals. That, or you don’t know what the words banishment and polite society mean either.

                Ben says nothing about conversion, forcing people to change, or excluding them from polite society, you do, and *you* call *him* a bigot. Either you’re wrong or you don’t know what the words mean (or both), you don’t need to be extricated from polite society to fix that. Your insistence on the fact makes your idiocy all the more apparent and you banish yourself accordingly.

                1. No force, just pressure. It’s OK to work toward changing people’s bigoted attitudes. Bigots are not a protected class.

              2. I will never serve a damn cesarean section baby in my establishment. Call me a bigot but they can take their unnatural asses elsewhere, damn sareans.

      3. The article suggested that it was perfectly OK for a politician to take the 10th Amendment approach, since it would take the issue out of federal politics. I replied that the article was naive, that the media and activists will denounce anyone who wants the question to be decided state by state.

        Tony of course confirms my point by saying exactly what I predicted the activists and the media would say.

        1. Deservedly so. Surely you can recognize an “intelligent design” argument when you see one. That’s when conservatives are on the losing end of a debate and on the precipice of great and eternal embarrassment, so they adopt a wishy-washy halfway argument in the hopes that they don’t have to talk about it anymore.

          1. “they adopt a wishy-washy halfway argument in the hopes that they don’t have to talk about it anymore”

            So, just to be clear, Nick Gillespie, the author of this article, is a conservative? Because that’s what he’s saying.

            1. “Leave it to the states” is constitutionally inadequate and clearly a dodge Republicans are starting to adopt because they know their former outright opposition to gay marriage is untenable. It’s not a real argument.

              1. OK, but you see that Gillespie is urging precisely that stand on conservatives with the assurance that this can get them out of the line of fire of the likes of you. Which is the point I was making – Gillespie is naive.

                1. Agreed. Ben Carson’s immediate problem however may be that this half-measure position might not be mean-spirited enough for the Republican base.

      4. If I get banished do I get to opt out of SS, M’Care, and Obamacare? Deal.

        Hell, just to square things up, I’d be willing to cut a check for my share of the national debt right now if it got me off of future obligations.

        1. Wouldn’t it be nice if on a planet containing seven billion people we could all have ?-la-carte policies that only affect our immediate surroundings. Alas, we are a very social species with limited space. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do. Sometimes we have to live by rules we don’t like. Are libertarians people who were abandoned by their parents during the time when children are normally taught such things?

          1. So, in opposition to ?-la-carte policies you propose ?-la-carte banishment.

            Again, insanely idiotic… rambling, incoherent response… dumber for having listened to it…no points.

            1. Ejecting people from your social life is what you do when they are rude, and bigotry is an extreme version of rudeness. I’m not advocating deportation of people with stupid opinions. It’s a free country.

              1. I’m not advocating deportation of people with stupid opinions.

                Of course not. You seem more the type who wouldn’t let such people leave the country but instead be forced to attend camps where they could be shown the enlightened way.

                1. Yeah, they’re called schools. Clearly there’s a gap somewhere if you can become a renowned neurosurgeon without ever having encountered the facts about whether homosexuality is a choice.

          2. Wouldn’t it be nice if on a planet containing seven billion people we could all have ?-la-carte policies that only affect our immediate surroundings

            This would, of course, be the exact same form of argument as the one which, for millennia, justified criminalizing any expression of same-sex orientation.

            Thank you for confirming everything I said above.

            1. You think I’m not acutely aware of the ways democratic majorities can treat gay people? I don’t see the fundamental problem being resolved by giving everyone their own sovereignty.

  8. Regardless of what presidential candidates might think on the issue of gay marriage, the national and many state-level GOP platforms are anti-gay.

    See, I’m pretty convinced that racism isn’t a part of the police brutality and/or systemic abuse of power issue. I wonder how people can possibly think that. Then when I read about how the Republicans are anti-gay, I think to myself, “If being against gay marriage makes you anti-gay then whatever motivated someone to shoot Tamir Rice or choke Eric Garner to death must be some sort of…” And I realize if I were a black guy hearing them call Ben Carson anti-gay, I’d probably see a lot of racial animus where it really wasn’t too.

    1. From Texas: “the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit.”

      South Carolina “considers homosexuality a lifestyle detrimental to the health and well-being of individuals.”

      Anti-gay or not?

      Anyway, as for whether being anti-gay marriage is anti-gay, well… considering that a majority of America now supports gay marriage I think there is a case to be made that it is.

      1. “South Carolina “considers homosexuality a lifestyle detrimental to the health and well-being of individuals.””

        OK, let’s assume for the sake of discussion that homosexuality is harmless, like cholesterol. Does it follow that someone who, based on “outdated” ideas, warns you that abuse of cholesterol is dangerous, is acting out of hatred? Maybe he’s just relying on out-of-date studies in warning about what’s risky to our health.

        Today, of course, we know homosexuality poses no health risks at all, but you can certainly understand how a more primitive, and simplistic mind, might think it does.

      2. considering that a majority of America now supports gay marriage I think there is a case to be made that it is.

        Wow. So, when the mob was against homosexuals they were persecuted and when they are in favor of homosexuals well… life’s just tough for that black man.

        I’m not saying I know Ben Carson isn’t anti-gay or that there aren’t/never were anti-gay laws on the books. I’m just saying that conflating opinion with action, procedure, and law on the one hand and then finely dividing them on the other certainly comes across as inconsistent. Especially when you hold the dead letters of opinions above active enforcement on the one hand and below it on the other.

        As neither a homosexual nor a black person; to have evidence of a questionably racist act on the one hand and witness the hesitation to ascribe racism while having little evidence of any unquestionably orientationist act on the other hand smacks of rabid bias. At the very least, leaving the distinction between pro-gay and anti-black largely up to the individual and their given condition, I can understand how a black person might be left feeling shorted.

  9. Of course, the gay marriage issue resonates perfectly with all the things that conservatives say they favor, such as…..devolving power out of Washington, etc.

    Of course, even if they take that position, they’ll be derided as “living down to stereotype” and as a “manifestly unqualified candidate”. So, what’s the incentive to alienate a significant part of their voter base for nothing?

  10. OT: John Boehner just can’t catch a break:

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2…..-petition/

    House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t look to be catching a break any time soon. In addition to being slammed over Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and presiding over the embarrassing DHS funding debacle, a petition has now sprung up calling for Boehner to be prosecuted and removed from office for conspiring with a foreign leader to interfere in US foreign policy matters.

    1. Congress is within its rights if it wants to deal with foreign dignitaries. Heck, I can invite Bibi to my home to convince me that Iran is an existential threat.

      Whether it’s a good idea for the U.S. to operate foreign relations in a piecemeal way like this is another question, but legally, Boehner can invite foreign leaders at will.

      1. Whether it’s a good idea for the U.S. to operate foreign relations in a piecemeal way like this is another question

        If the alternative is Rice, Powers, and Obama running our foreign policy, its probably an improvement.

        1. True, but it’s probably better not to open the door to foreign policy forum shopping, as a general rule.

    2. The petition is being circulated by Moveon.org

      I’d love to see John Boehner removed from the Speakers’ chair–and any excuse the Republicans in the House want to use is fine with me.

      But John Boehner isn’t going to be removed from the Speakers’ chair becasue Moveon.org is mad at him for dissing the President.

      1. Moveon.org is still around?

        1. Look at their website, and I guess they’re all about getting Liz Warren to run now.

          Come to think of it, I don’t think they’d be wasting money and resources on that push if Liz Warren weren’t running.

          There must be some communication between them.

          Meanwhile, in addition to Hillary Clinton taking money from the governments of Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, while Secretary of State, Hillary also took donations from Wal*Mart, Bank of America, et. al.–which is undoubtedly worse than taking money from foreign governments in the eyes of Moveon.org and their progressive minions.

          The Republicans might be able to run a social conservative against Liz Warren and win. Outside of Massachusetts and Manhattan, Liz Warren has the shrill appeal of an air raid siren.

        2. Yeah, you’d think they’d have moved on, by now.

    3. By that reasoning, not only any opposition politician, but any person opposed to executive policy who has met with foreign dignitaries outside of the auspices of the party in power in the executive is guilty of the same thing.

      This isn’t, I think, a bridge the Democrats would want to cross.

      1. Well, here’s the Logan act in full. I’ll highlight what I think they’re using it for:

        Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
        This section shall not abridge the right of a citizen to apply himself, or his agent, to any foreign government, or the agents thereof, for redress of any injury which he may have sustained from such government or any of its agents or subjects.
        1 Stat. 613, January 30, 1799, codified at 18 U.S.C. ? 953 (2004).

        So it’s not officials meeting with or inviting them to private functions to discuss issues but officials making offical policy statements. It’s nonsense any which way.

        1. So it’s not officials meeting with or inviting them to private functions to discuss issues but officials making offical policy statements.

          That isn’t clear to me. All that I’m seeing cited is influence the foreign government or defeat the measures of the U.S. A private function to discuss issues would cover that, if Netanyahu’s speech does.

          1. It’s not all that clear to me either. Best guess, like I said, is that they’re trying to make a distinction between an official statement of policy and an informal discussion of views. I just think it’s a laugh that Boener’s getting shit from both sides at this point.

            1. Oh, I think it’s funny too. Hell, there’s a little part of me that almost hopes they get what they want and then get a big, heaping helping of the concept of precedent under a President Gingrich.

              Of course, then I realize that the same precedent would apply to everyone. And I realize that it’s just wrong.

              1. Meh. I’ve long since given up on expecting right or wrong from politics. From what I can tell, what goes on inside The Beltway is little more than a massive “Tony and Tina’s Wedding” style play (where the distinction between audience and performer becomes blurred).

      2. Come on, its not like Nancy Pelosi and John Kerry and other Democratic congressmen would ever, I don’t know, fly to Syria and meet with Assad.

        LOL.

    4. …he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers…

      While I’m happy that the Progressives are suddenly trying to become Constitutional textualists, the President is not the gatekeeper or travel agent for foreign muckity-mucks to the United States. Article II, Section 3 is a requirement placed on the President, not on the Congress, and not on foreign leaders. It requires the President to engage in some form of diplomacy with foreign Ambassadors and public ministers. Nowhere in that clause does it require that dealings with Ambassadors and foreign ministers go exclusively through the President.

    5. That’s kind of funny, given that Obama has a few dozen democratic party operatives running around Israel right at this very moment working to defeat Netanyahu.

      1. Maybe he and Boehner can share a jail cell.

  11. whether any of this matters more than a tinker’s ding-dong:

    I’m sure it doesn’t but just what kind of idioms are you running around here?

  12. If two men or women wish to get married no one should have any fucking say in it much less the federal government or the individual states. When the feds get involved shit gets complicated and trends dictatorial and when the states get involved freedom becomes a game of hop-scotch.

    …nothing about the issues surrounding gay marriage presents a problem for conservatives.

    Nick, you are swinging with too many Libertarian-styled conservatives. Visit a few politically-powerful bible belts and you’ll quickly be reminded just how serious a problem gay marriage presents to the bible-first crowd.

  13. “Other than a religiously based opposition to homosexual activity?and most conservatives would agree that there is and should be a separation of church and state?nothing about the issues surrounding gay marriage presents a problem for conservatives.”

    So…we’ve had the First Amendment since 1791, we’ve had the author of the First Amendment (James Madison) serve as President and insist on a strict reading of that Amendment…yet it wasn’t until a couple decades ago that we belatedly realized that even Madison was a theocrat because the First Amendment requires SSM recognition?

    1. The first amendment is not the one being invoked in this debate. It would be if someone wanted to legislate against gay marriage and included the language “because God says so,” I’d think.

    2. Even Madison eventually had doubts about theocratic activities in the congress as he aged. And Madison was hardly the author of the 1st amendment.

      1. Who, pray tell, was the author of the 1st (and other nine for that matter) amendment?

        1. We can start with George Mason IV for one.

      2. He was a hard-core separationist as President, and he became hard core-er after his Presidency. Which is not to say that only his interpretation of the 1st Amendment matters, simply that he embodied the strict-separationist “Virginian” tradition of 1st Amendment interpretation.

        His veto of the incorporation act for a DC church as President showed that his radicalism didn’t begin after he was out of office.

        His Detached Memoranda elaborated on his 1811 veto by denouncing expanded propertyholding by religious corporations. He also denounced Congressional and military chaplains, and thanksgiving proclamations.

        http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu…..ons64.html

        These were radical ideas, maybe they were right, maybe they were wrong, but where does SSM come into it?

  14. Of course, the gay marriage issue resonates perfectly with all the things that conservatives say they favor, such as long-term commitment in adult relationships, devolving power out of Washington, etc.

    Using federal courts to override state governments is a funny way to devolve power out of Washington.

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  16. So Carson stands with Kruz, Paul and others in believing state governments have powers which have never been delegated by the people … despite the 9th Amendment which explicitly says the opposite.

    Faux Federalism seems to be running amok — promoting the same version of states rights invented by southern racists — an excuse to deny fundamental rights at the state level. Even worse, many libertarians promote such a blatant violation of individual rights.

    Ron Paul even tried to deny gays the protection of constitutional liberties, an abuse not seen since the Japanese-American internment camps and emancipation.

    Carson’s campaign is actually funny, a black guy with no executive experience who gives great speeches. What could possibly go wrong?

  17. Ben just isn’t ready for prime time. if he stepped on his meat with this lame-brain answer, imagine what he’ll do in the debates.

    Live on the social issues, die by the social issues. Republicans never learn.

  18. Ben Carson: “What we need to do is come up with something simple. And when I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the universe, God, and he’s given us a system. It’s called a tithe.

    “We don’t necessarily have to do 10% but it’s the principle. He didn’t say if your crops fail, don’t give me any tithe or if you have a bumper crop, give me triple tithe. So there must be something inherently fair about proportionality.”

    First off, tithing was never mandatory. Jesus called tax collectors sinners, and it clearly laid out how anti government Jesus, and God his father was. Carson can’t even interpret what is clearly laid out in the bible. Instead, he see’s government as another God, and that its ok for folks to be extorted by his other God the government for whatever percentage he figures out.

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