Interesting for three reasons. One: Watch the clip and you’ll see how low-key Carson is in questioning Trump’s faith, so much so that he may be honestly surprised this morning that Trump hit back so hard. I can’t tell if that’s a ploy by Carson, posing as the mild-mannered newbie candidate who knows how to go for the throat, or if he really didn’t think a point made so matter-of-factly would draw such a sharp reply from Trump.
Two: Trump’s counterattack is all over the place and sounds desperate because of it. His goofs on Jeb Bush are fun and they work because they’re true. Bush is in fact being propped up by wealthy special interests and he does seem “low energy” on the trail. For all his early blather about running for president “joyfully,” his campaign has played like a chore. Carson, meanwhile, is universally understood to be more than an “OK doctor,” and Trump’s in no position to question anyone else’s evolution from pro-choice to pro-life. His knock on Carson for allegedly being more boring than Bush feels especially lame, partly because he’s just repeating one of his Jeb laugh lines and partly because Carson’s drawing big crowds too, if not as big as Trump’s. Trump’s a showman so he thinks “excitement” requires a spectacle, but Carson’s exciting in his own soft-spoken way because he’s pitching a true outsider candidacy, even more so than the billionaire with all the friends in both parties. It’s the professional pols who are truly boring. That’s why Carson’s second in all the polls now.
Three: This shows how Trump and Carson, although political amateurs and “outsiders,” both understand keenly who their audiences are. Carson knows that questioning Trump’s faith is a smart play in socially conservative Iowa. Trump knows that he had to hit back hard after Carson tweaked him because he’s the alleged alpha male in the race and Trump fans are all about the alpha. No slight can go unpunished or else the mammoth size of Trump’s balls, so crucial to his appeal, might begin to be questioned. Even the end of this episode, which is trickling across the wires as I write this, shows each man’s style in action:
“The media frequently wants to goad people into wars, into gladiator fights, you know,” [Carson] said. “And I’m certainly not going to get into that.”…
“Everyone is going to be saying, ‘Oh there’s a big fight, everyone come watch the fight,’” he said. “But it’s just not going to be as great as they think, because I’m not going to participate.”
In fact, he said the whole thing is a misunderstanding, and that he feels bad that Trump thought he was attacking him at all.
“I would like to say to him that the intention was not to talk to him but about what motivates me,” he said about his religion comment. “If he took that as a personal attack on him, I apologize, it was certainly not the intent.”
If you like Carson, there’s another reason to like him. He’s willing to apologize, and he’s unwilling to brawl with Trump just because it’ll make the media happy. If you like Trump, there’s another reason to like him. He fought Carson and won. Carson pussied out! Can you believe how round, firm, and yuge Trump’s balls are?
Exit question: Trump sure seems irritated that anyone would question his faith, which is understandable. Who could doubt that a Christian who admits to never having asked God for forgiveness might not be serious about his religion? What I want to know is, since when is questioning the depth of some politician’s faith taboo? We’ve (and I do mean we) been doing it to Obama since roughly 2007, no?