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EDITORIAL: Long knives for Ben Carson

Liberal pundits attempt a little surgery on a dissenter

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Among the people who "do more before breakfast than most others do all day," Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins is atop the list. What he does really is brain surgery, and not just brain surgery, but brain surgery on infants, the most delicate of patients.

His steady hands and quiet manner in the operating room will be excellent training for his latest challenge: withstanding the verbal slings and arrows of black leaders who don't like his political views. Dr. Carson, having eloquently expressed his opinions at the National Prayer Breakfast (with President Obama listening nearby) and reaffirmed them at several media appearances and at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, is now fair game for lockstep liberals who can't imagine, much less brook, a black man engaging in principled, reasoned dissent from the left-wing party line.

Dr. Carson says the life of victimhood won't advance anyone. He told Henry Payne of the Detroit News, "Nobody stopped me from going into Wayne State University's library and taking advantage of all kinds of programs. [We must] empower people to take advantage of the multiple opportunities that exist."

To those steeped in the gospel of the redistribution of wealth and the "unfairness" of the "1 percent," them's fightin' words. And, lo, the fight hath begun.

MSNBC's Toure Neblett served up this slam against Dr. Carson, knocking the GOP along the way: "When you're publicly admitting your party doesn't care enough about black America, then it's time for a new black friend. Enter Dr. Ben Carson."

Cynthia Tucker, once an Atlanta Journal-Constitution editor and columnist now taking refuge at the University of Georgia's journalism school, attempted a bon mot about Dr. Carson on CNN's website: "It's no wonder that conservatives have started to trumpet him as their Great Black Hope. Psychologists believe that romantic interest increases when people mirror each other's gestures. Carson perfectly reflects the beliefs of his suitors."

Ms. Tucker also takes a shot at the devout Christian's personal beliefs: "For good measure, he's also a religious conservative who disputes evolution." How dare he doubt Darwin and the media consensus.

Dr. Carson, soft-spoken in personal conversation, is quiet with steel in his character. "That's what you can find on a third-grade playground," Mr. Carson said on Fox News in response to Toure's brickbats, as reported by our colleague Jessica Chasmar. "This is something that we need to move beyond in this country, and let's have a real discussion about the real facts. If somebody disagrees, let's talk about why they disagree, let's talk about the pros and cons, let's see if we can find some accommodation."

We're guessing neither Toure Neblett nor Cynthia Tucker wants such a sit-down. That would require an open mind that neither has displayed; a black man who won't toe the liberal line must be taught a lesson.

That's a shame. Ben Carson's logic and his reasonable tone are persuasive, not least because he embodies the ideals he promotes. Whatever he decides to do after leaving the operating room in June, we wouldn't be surprised if Dr. Carson reaches — and wins over — far more people than his enemies.

The Washington Times

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