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There’s a method to Ben Carson’s zaniness

Earl Ofari Hutchinson | 3/16/2017, 6 a.m.

Make no mistake, there’s a calculated method to Ben Carson’s zaniness. There’s absolutely no way he could not know that making an idiotic crack that blacks took what amounted to a busman’s holiday excursion to America and in the process poked around for a few plumb opportunities and then decided to decamp here would not ignite the predictable twitter, Facebook and media firestorm. It did. And that’s been the case each time Carson tosses out an absurd zinger.

This was the case when he said there’d have been no Holocaust if the Germans had guns. Or how about that a dead body riddled with bullets is a small price to defend the Second Amendment? Or, that the Great Pyramids of Giza had no other purpose than to store grain? And of course his pièce de résistance, calling Obamacare the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.

Now bear in mind that Carson isn’t just prattling off in his shower or at a bull session with some cronies. He’s made these looney quips either on national talk shows or at major political gatherings such as CPAC. He gave his absurdly hilarious take on slavery that blacks wound up here not in chains, but as immigrants seeking “opportunities” at an official meeting of HUD employees.

Carson has always had the boundless capacity to crop up when his right-wing GOP handlers need a black to make a dumb quip, dig, slur or insult of women, blacks, Democrats and especially former President Obama. Then when he incites the howls, his handlers circle the wagons and scream that he’s always being bullied by other blacks who simply can’t stomach the thought of a black conservative daring to go against liberal orthodoxy. The media almost always takes the bait and shoves Carson and his critics to the front of the news cycle, which guarantees even more tongues wagging about him.

This is more than political theater of the absurd. It gets even more attention for the GOP. But more importantly, it touches a deep, dark and throbbing pulse among legions of ultra-conservatives who still passionately believe that Obama and many Democrats are communists, gays are immoral, and that the health care reform law is exactly what Carson has likened it to: “slavery,” meaning the tyrannical intrusion by big government into their lives.

Mainstream GOP leaders can’t utter these inanities. They must always give appearance that they are above the dirt, mud and hate-slinging fray. So, they leave it to a well-paid stalking horse like Carson to do their dirty work for them. But that’s only part of Carson’s worth to conservatives.

He gives the illusion that the GOP is a race-neutral party that has a plethora of big name African Americans as their visible point men and women, who speak with authority. The cast of shameless black panderers and hucksters that the GOP has trotted out and plopped in front of the TV cameras during the past few years has been both endless and embarrassing. But they still keep them coming.