Sunk Cost Boogie

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Memo Ben Carson: LET ME EXPLAIN THIS TO YOU.

Hey, remember during Hillary Clinton's Benghazi hearing, I made a joke about the Republicans essentially spending 10 hours asking her "If you didn't do anything wrong, why have I spent the last four years convincing myself that you have?" Well, all that goes double for Ben Carson.

Allow me to explain. In Monday's column, I made a reference to a hilariously awkward news conference in which Ben Carson spouted a bunch of old wingnut conspiracy shit. Well, now it's time to look at that in more detail. ACTUAL LONG-ASS QUOTE TIME!

I do not remember this level of scrutiny for one President Barack Obama when he was running. In fact I remember just the opposite. I remember people saying, ‘Oh we won’t really talk about that. We won’t talk about that relationship. Well, Frank Marshall Davis, well, we don’t want to talk about that. Bernardine Dohrn, Bill Ayers, well we don’t really know him. All the things that Jeremiah Wright was saying, oh, not a big problem... He goes to Occidental College, doesn’t do all that well, and somehow ends up at Columbia University, Well… his records are sealed. Why is his record sealed? What are you not interested in why his records are sealed? Why are you not interested in that? Let me ask you that. Can someone tell me why, please... Hold on one second. You are saying that something that happened with the words ‘a scholarship was offered’ is a big deal, but president of the United States, his academic records being sealed is not? Tell me how there is equivalency there!”

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah ran a clip of a bunch of times the press asking Obama questions about all that stuff, which is both true, and completely missing the point. Why is it completely missing the point? Because Benghazi.

Ben Carson believes the press failed to do their job in vetting Obama. He believes it because, well, he believes pretty much everything the wingnut fever swamp and/or right-wing Christian fever swamp (a near-total eclipse of the Venn Diagram) has told him since Obama was elected. His entire campaign is peppered with the verbal equivalent of e-mail forwards.

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And why do Ben Carson and the fever swamps believe that the press didn't do its job investigating all these Obama scandals? Because Obama became President, stayed President, got re-elected President and is still President. Sane people would see this as evidence that the various issues raised about Obama's origins, school history, religion, associations, national origin, and general love of country either amounted to nothing, or were unimportant to the American people.

Crazy people see this as evidence that the journalists and liberal media were complicit in covering up Obama's lazy affirmative action Muslim radical leftist Kenyan America-hating past. Like with House Republicans and Benghazi, they have too much invested in this worldview to give it up just because it's both wrong and irrelevant. It's mass delusion and sunk-cost fallacy on an epic scale.

And it's a good thing it's so funny to watch, because clearly, it's never going to change, even if the current incarnation of that madness eventually slops from his place on top of the polls. After all, he's already laid the groundwork for his inevitable martyrdom.