Or perhaps, as he sees it, moving in for the kill.
What am I talking about? Gentle Ben is launching a frontal attack on Donald Trump....on illegal immigration:
A day after the fourth GOP debate, Ben Carson took a hatchet to Donald Trump’s plan to deport millions of illegal [alien]s living in the United States.
In an exclusive interview with the Washington Examiner Wednesday before a private fundraiser outside of Richmond, Virginia, Carson took aim at Trump’s deportation push, saying it will “hurt” the billionaire candidate more than the Republican Party.
“I think they hurt Donald Trump in the long run,” Carson said, referring to the deportation plans. “I think there are enough people who know that there are others in the race that are very reasonable. I don’t think he necessarily is the representation of the Republican Party — far from it.” …
“The people that are here, the [thirty] million people here, rounding them up and deporting them may sound good to some people,” Carson said. “But it’s not pragmatic.”
“It also affects the farming industry, the hospitality industry. So, you know, we have to be pragmatic as a nation. There’s no reason that they should have to live in the shadows,” Carson said.
I've written about the fantasist nature of Donald Trump's purported immigration position before, and I'll reiterate it again here: Should all thirty-plus million illegals be deported? Absolutely. Can all thirty-plus million illegals be deported? Hell, no. First, there's no way they could all be located; second, even if they could, the magnitude of the law enforcement operation necessary would be way beyond the resources of even federal authorities; third, even the attempt would create such unimaginably hideous PR optics that no administration would even consider it for one, single, solitary moment - and that includes a President Trump.
It's all pandering mierda de toro, in other words. But it's what Tea Partiers wanted to hear, especially in the aftermath of the Kate Steinle slaying in San Francisco, and it's likely what they still want to believe can be done if only there's enough "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!" will to make it happen. It's not a topic on which "pragmatism" will be tolerated - or even realism and acceptance of the physical and political limits of what can actually be done.
And Ben Carson has gone "there". I guess we'll see if he's destroyed himself, even though pretty much every other "hopeful" in the GOP field, including Ted Cruz, holds an illegal immigration stance that is more or less similar.
But if Dr. C's gambit does succeed, it will mean the end of the Trump candidacy, because if the berserker-rage-fueled furor over illegal immigration among the GOP base fades, what rhyme or reason will the Trump campaign have for its continued existence?
Exit question: Why doesn't anybody in the Republican herd point out that Mitt Romney's 2012 idea of using economic incentives to get illegals to voluntarily repatriate themselves - "self-deportation" - was and is a pretty good idea?
UPDATE: Later today Dr. C attempted to balance out his position, doubtless mindful of imperiling his Tea Party support. Unfortunately all he did was remind everybody of what a political rookie he is:
Republican presidential [frontrunner] Ben Carson said Thursday that the U.S.-Mexico border can be secured in one year and promised to finish a job that has taken decades to come close to accomplishing.
The political newcomer told a telephone town hall audience in Arizona that double fencing and more Border Patrol officers, National Guard troops, and technology can get the job done.
"All we have to do is agree upon doing it. And I believe we wouldn't have any problem doing that in less than a year," Carson told the call-in audience. [emphases added]
Oh. My. God. "All we have to do is agree upon doing it"? Sweet merciful crap, who knew it was that easy? Is he pulling our legs with this silliness or does he really believe it?
And then, belatedly realizing that he'd just made a political promise that will fuel an avalanche of future attack ads, the Doc said....
"I don't make political promises, but that's as close to one (as) I would make."
Welcome to Ben Carson's version of "I'll close Gitmo by the end of my first year in office". Except I can't believe that such a neophyte will ever attain the GOP nomination, much less the the big chair behind Old Resolute, no matter how much Republican voters claim to want that. It's just too far-fetched. He and Trump will simply make too many mistakes trying to get there to get the chance to make far more catastrophic mistakes once they did.
I hope. <gulp>