Are Conservatives Really Going All-In on Ben Carson?

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Wow. I gather that conservatives are making a big U-turn on Ben Carson. This morning most of them were wringing their hands over Carson’s deception about being accepted at West Point. Now they’re defending him and blaming the whole thing on Politico and its typical liberal media hatred of conservatives. Their basic defense seems to be that Carson never said he “applied” to West Point, or even that he was “accepted” at West Point. All he said is that he was offered a scholarship to go there.

Well, here’s what he said in August:

I was the highest student ROTC member in Detroit and was thrilled to get an offer from West Point. But I knew medicine is what I wanted to do.

Come on, folks. “An offer from West Point” is the same as “being accepted at West Point.” It’s obvious what he was saying here, and it’s equally obvious it isn’t true. Here is Carson’s defense:

In an interview with The New York Times on Friday, Mr. Carson said: “I don’t remember all the specific details. Because I had done so extraordinarily well you know I was told that someone like me — they could get a scholarship to West Point. But I made it clear I was going to pursue a career in medicine.”

“It was, you know, an informal ‘with a record like yours we could easily get you a scholarship to West Point.’”

That might have happened—though no one would have used the word “scholarship” since West Point is free to begin with. But for the past two decades it’s not what Carson has said. It’s not even close. There’s a world of difference between (a) someone telling you that you could probably get into West Point and (b) actually getting into West Point.

Carson is a nutcase, a policy buffoon, and at the very least, a serial personal embellisher. With a guy like that, you just know more stuff is going to come out. Conservatives should quit while they’re behind and dump the guy. If they stick with him, eventually he’s going to make them all look like dopes.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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