February 11 2013
One of the favorite mantras of the Left concerns “speaking truth to power.”
In other words, it was just dandy to throw a shoe at George W. Bush.
But speaking truth to President Obama? Not so much.
Our friends on the Left squealed like stuck pigs when Dr. Benjamin Carson, a Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon, made some criticisms of President Obama's views on class warfare, taxation and health care at the National Prayer Breakfast. How dare he! Rude, rude, rude!
CNN’s Candy Crowley asked a panel if they “found anything offensive” in Carson’s speech.
And--sure enough--Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois, did. It is Just So Wrong to disagree with the president’s policies at a prayer breakfast!
The Five’s resident Democrat Bob Beckel—also upset about the desecration of the prayer breakfast—earlier had been horrified at the mere suggestion that harder questions might have been in order when the president was interviewed before the Super Bowl. It was Super Bowl, Beckel said! So when can one ask this president anything?
Actually if you watch the video (and you really should), you’ll see Carson as a firm man who is nevertheless polite, engaging, and quite witty.
The speech started off being about the stifling effects of political correctness. Carson graciously used this as a way to say that he felt he had to speak up and not be cowered by political correctness. He made two very pointed statements about taxes and health care. Both were clearly aimed at the president, who found himself unable to look at Carson for several moments.
Here is Dr. Carson on taxes (courtesy of the Wall Street Journal—emphasis added by me):
"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. You make $10 billion, you put in a billion. You make $10 you put in one. Of course you've got to get rid of the loopholes. Some people say, 'Well that's not fair because it doesn't hurt the guy who made $10 billion as much as the guy who made 10.' Where does it say you've got to hurt the guy? He just put a billion dollars in the pot. We don't need to hurt him. It's that kind of thinking that has resulted in 602 banks in the Cayman Islands. That money needs to be back here building our infrastructure and creating jobs."
And this on health care:
"Here's my solution: When a person is born, give him a birth certificate, an electronic medical record, and a health savings account to which money can be contributed—pretax—from the time you're born 'til the time you die. If you die, you can pass it on to your family members, and there's nobody talking about death panels. We can make contributions for people who are indigent. Instead of sending all this money to some bureaucracy, let's put it in their HSAs. Now they have some control over their own health care. And very quickly they're going to learn how to be responsible."
Well, I don't know about you but I think envy and self-reliance are great topics for a prayer breakfast.
Carson also has a Reaganesque ability to make things understandable. On our $16 trillion national debt: if you say one number a second, Carson said, it will take 507,000 years to count to 16 trillion.
Carson grew up in poverty, the son of a “soft-spoken” single mother who had a third grade education but nevertheless made her sons go to the library and write book reports for her. Carson puts great stock in reading and cited de Tocqueville’s observation that when he visited America in the 1850s everybody he met read the newspaper. Carson and his wife created a nonprofit to give scholarships.