The Neurosurgeon Who Is In Over His Head
By all accounts, Dr. Benjamin Solomon Carson is a superb pediatric neurosurgeon with a grand career of service to his patients and their families.
However, Dr. Carson is something less of a whiz as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Trump administration.
Dr. Carson often gives the impression he has inhaled way too many toots of operating-room anesthesia. Why would anybody expose himself to such a public position when he has not bothered to learn or care anything about it, including the mandatory alphabet-soup of government terminology?
The Secretary contributed to a classic video on Tuesday during a House hearing, when Democrat representatives peppered him with caustic yet knowledgeable questions about poverty and wretched housing.
His willing appointment to HUD is a constant reminder of the scorn Trump and his fellow Republicans have for the department and for the needs of the poor. (Then again, this administration has been kidnapping migrant children, tossing them into cages, and covering up, always covering up, even when children die.)
By going from medicine to mendacity, Dr. Carson put himself in a position where he could be questioned by Rep. Katie Porter, in her first term from a formerly Republican district in Orange County, Calif. Rep. Porter, out of Yale and Harvard, is a protégé of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, and shows the same passion for others as well as attention to detail.
(A protégé like Rep. Porter is another reason fervent voters consider themselves members of the Warren Wing.)
Rep. Porter knows how government runs because she has worked in it, before running for office. She often does her best to get through five minutes of questioning of witnesses like Carson. She clearly cares about the poor; Carson seemed to be sleep-walking.
Several news stories on Tuesday said the Secretary was “humiliated” by the questions of Rep. Porter and other Democratic members of the committee, several of them African-American or Latina:.
The subcommittee members had the right to grill him because he is doing the dirty work for a political party and a disdainful slice of the (white) American population.
Trump wanted to show his contempt for the poor; he found his man. Ultimately, Trump drags everybody down. The real question is why Dr. Carson, who once had enough wits to repair damaged children, took such a prominent position. It cannot merely be the free-loading instincts he and many other cabinet members have demonstrated.
What was in this for Dr. Carson, to be exposed in such public fashion?
5/22/2019 11:45:17 am
He should have stuck with what he’s good at. In an administration replete with clown figures he’s the one with the biggest shoes, the most absurd hat and the reddest nose. He was apparently a distinguished surgeon. Now he’s a punch line for late night TV comics. Another person seriously diminished by his association with Trump.
5/22/2019 01:43:59 pm
John: As they say in the picturesque coal hollers of Central Queens, you lay down with the dogs, you get fleas.
5/22/2019 06:24:56 pm
George and John-you said it all.
5/22/2019 10:32:27 pm
Mnuchin a favorite here.
5/23/2019 11:55:11 am
My astonishment, and disbelief about Carson goes back to his campaign for president. He, a graduate of medical school does not accept evolutionary or Big Bang scientific theory.
5/23/2019 01:58:10 pm
Ed: I think it takes some kind of altered state to accept what this sick guy does as President. I do think Carson is damaged. But then what is the excuse for McConnell and Graham -- or Susan Collins? Mass hysteria?
5/23/2019 03:24:25 pm
Pure self interest. Some simply financial, tax breaks for them, and for their constituency. Let’s look at one current item- 16 billion taxpayer dollars plus 12 billion last year for farmers ,because of his trade war with China. When he heard metal tariffs were harming his electoral chances in Michigan, and other states, he cancelled those “essential” tariffs to protect our economy. The would back Hitler as long as their party is in power. In fact, in a sense, they are.
5/26/2019 10:03:29 am
5/27/2019 12:31:31 am
Thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
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From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.