It could be argued that Ben Carson, like much of Trump’s administration, is not qualified to hold the very important position of power to which he’s been appointed. At the very least, he’s doesn’t seem very sympathetic to the plight of the poor. His potential incompetence became evident on Tuesday, when the neurosurgeon-turned-presidential candidate-turned-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development publicly confused a basic housing term with an Oreo cookie.
The surreal exchange occurred during a hearing on Capitol Hill, during which Carson was being grilled about the high number of foreclosures overseen by his department. Carson has held the position for two years, which is plenty of time for even a housing neophyte — which Carson was in 2017 — to catch up on basic terminology.
Rep. Katie Palmer wound up being who exposed how little Carson’s gleaned during his tenure. She asked him a rhetorical question, namely: “Do you know an R.E.O. is?” R.E.O., by the way, stands for Real Estate Owned, denoting a property that’s been foreclosed upon.
Carson did not seem to know this. His reply was to ask if she said “Oreo.” Porter then spelled it out for the secretary of HUB. Carson did know (or was able to guess) what the first two letters stood for. When it came for the third, he though the “O” was for “Organization.” At this point, Porter simply explained what it meant.
At least he didn’t confuse it with the band that recorded “Wheel in the Sky”? Either way, Fox News quickly sprang to Carson’s defense, claiming Democrats were trying to “stump” him with “obscure acronyms.” But as Vanity Fair points out, R.E.O. is an everyday term in Carson’s field.
As one can imagine, social media had a field day with this. But let’s start at the top, namely Democratic politicians who were not amused someone at such a lofty position seems to know nothing of their field.
Some were horrified that he’s forgotten his own roots.
Even some comics who mostly use social media for jokes were just flat-out disturbed.
Others pointed out that Carson simply has the wrong job, if he should have any.
Okay, here’s some jokes, albeit mostly of the gallows humor variety.
Carson tried to have the last laugh, brushing it off as though he didn’t hear her right (while ignoring that he couldn’t answer what the term stood for).
But let’s not end on that. Let’s end with a reminder that by his boss’ standards, Carson is doing a five-star job.