Ben Carson says so much weird, stupid shit that it sometimes takes awhile to catch up to it all. In all the hubbub of the last Republican debate, I completely missed the incredibly dumb thing Ben Carson said about Osama bin Laden, namely that if George W. Bush had simply threatened to “declare petroleum independence,” the Arab world wold have turned bin Lladen in within two weeks.
It also took George Stephanopoulos a month to catch up to it, but he finally asked Carson about it on this morning’s This Week. What ensued looked more like a conversation with SNL’s Girl You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With at a Party than a candidate interview:
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s what you said he should have done.
But how would that have worked?
How would you have gotten the moderate Arab governments to turn over Osama bin Laden in two weeks?
He’d already been expelled by Saudi Arabia. He was already an enemy of those moderate governments.
CARSON: Well, I think they would have been extremely concerned if we had declared — and we were serious about it — that we were going to become petroleum independent, because it would have had a major impact on their finances.
And I think that probably would have trumped any loyalty that they had to — to people like Osama bin Laden.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But they didn’t have any loyalty to Osama bin Laden. The Saudis kicked him out. He was their enemy.
CARSON: Uh, well, you may not think that they had any loyalty to him, but I believe otherwise.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you believe that had President Bush simply declared energy independent, they would have turned over Osama bin Laden.
How would they have gotten him out of the tribal areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan?
CARSON: I think they would have known where he was. You know, there were indications, for instance, during the Clinton administration that — that they knew exactly where he was but didn’t necessarily pull the trigger.
If — if we could tell where he was, I’m certain that they knew where he was.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But at that point, we had some idea but we didn’t know for sure. I simply don’t understand how you think this would have worked.
It actually went on like that for a few more minutes, but the derp was so thick that Stephanopoulos never actually got around to the most absurd thing about the very absurd plan Carson proposed. Once George W. Bush had threatened to declare petroleum independence (presumably in much the same way that The Office’s Michael Scott declared bankruptcy), and Saudi Arabia had delivered up bin Laden, Carson’s plan would have the United States agreeing to remain petroleum-dependent. All’s well that ends well, though, since Obama got bin Laden and freed us from dependence on foreign oil.
Carson’s performance pointed me at another weird thing Carson said at the debate, that I completely missed the first time around. During that same bin Laden exchange, Carson joked that, haha, Obama will murder me:
Well, recognize that, you know, President George W. Bush is a great friend of ours, and we spent many wonderful days at the White House. I haven’t been there in the last seven years. I probably have to have a food-tester.
At some point, the mainstream media will have to snap out of the trance cast by Carson’s inspiring life story and mild-mannered delivery, and start treating him like the lunatic he clearly is.