Sunday, November 29, 2015

How does a conservative candidate know it's over?

When conservative columnists say so. (But that assumes that the campaign staff bothers to read the newspapers.)

This morning's _Daily Star_ carries a damning column about Ben Carson by conservative writer Jonah Goldberg. So who is he, you ask? The Star answers:

Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor of National Review.

And here is part of what he had to say.

... Carson’s problems extend beyond foreign policy. He places an inordinate amount of emphasis on platitudes and cliches, particularly about common sense. But common sense isn’t a leather-bound book one takes down from the shelf to find the right solutions to every problem.

Of course, politics isn’t brain surgery. But it does require a certain foundation that only experience and homework can provide. If you’re waiting until you run for president to get up to speed, it is too late. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker learned that the hard way this year. He simply wasn’t prepared to discuss policies outside his comfort zone.

The rarest commodity in politics is a genuinely charismatic personality that arouses passion in voters at a propitious political moment. Money can’t buy that; just ask Mitt Romney. Doing your homework, meanwhile, is easy. I don’t mean it doesn’t require effort; it most certainly does. But there’s no trick to it: Read books, talk to experts, think things through when you have the time and resources to do so.

If Carson had consulted common sense, he would have known that.

But, according to Goldberg's first paragraph above, Carson still would not have known that. Consulting common sense about common sense is a fatally flawed circularity. May Carson's campaign be so afflicted.

Politics ain't bean bag. It ain't brain surgery either.

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