‘The worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery’

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Remember Ben Carson? He’s the right-wing physician who became a cause celebre among Republicans when he used a prayer breakfast to condemn health care reform in President Obama’s presence – immediately sparking speculation on the right about a possible 2016 bid.

Carson quickly positioned himself as a prominent anti-gay voice, joined Fox News’ payroll, and appeared this morning at the Values Voter Summit.

As my friend Kyle Mantyla at Right Wing Watch reported:

Speaking at the Values Voter Summit this morning, Ben Carson told the audience that Obamacare is “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”

In fact, Carson said, “it is slavery in a way because it is making all of us subservient to the government.” Claiming that the passage of health care reform was all about control, Carson said the entire push for the legislation originated with Vladimir Lenin, who knew that “socialized medicine is the keystone to the establishment of a socialist state.”

Now, it’s obviously difficult to take Carson’s nonsense seriously, and it’s a genuine shame to see a respected physician throw away his reputation so carelessly. That said, there are two angles to this that I find interesting.

First, quite a bit has happened in the United States since slavery. There have been assassinations and terrorist attacks. There have been tragic wars and internment camps. There have been scandals and massacres. But in the mind of Ben Carson, none of these events are as awful as a moderate health care law that provides private coverage to the uninsured and more stable coverage for those who are already insured.

It’s simply incomprehensible that an adult could believe such foolishness.

Second, what’s up with Republicans’ preoccupation with slavery and health care?

This week, George Will drew a parallel between the Affordable Care Act the Fugitive Slave Act. Last month, a New Hampshire Republican drew the same comparison.

Fox’s Hugh Hewitt compared defunding the Affordable Care Act to repealing slavery on the air earlier this week. Two weeks ago, Rush Limbaugh also equated “Obamacare” and slavery.

I don’t imagine the right will appreciate this, but let’s make this plain: don’t compare slavery to anything but slavery.

Affordable Care Act, Ben Carson and Obamacare

'The worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery'

Updated