After presidential candidate Ben Carson stated that a Muslim should never become President of the United States, it's unsurprising that his campaign felt the need to respond quickly.
Yet in a subsequent interview with The Hill Carson refused to back away from his anti-Muslim remarks and actually expanded upon his controversial interview with Chuck Todd.
A new poll has Carson third in the Republican race; he was in second place before last Wednesday's debate. And, according to that same poll he's holding the highest favorability rating of any Republican candidate -- both among Republicans and the broader electorate.
The GOP race thus far has been unpredictable and messy, yet it's clear there are several candidates who are more viable options than Carson. Even in a period of intense anti-incumbency, selecting someone with no relevant experience looks ill-advised.
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has recently penned an excellent piece about Carson's candidacy and his strong support amongst evangelical voters. Douthat looks at the candidacies of both Carson and Donald Trump, but asserts that "the growing evangelical embrace of Carson is arguably a greater folly than Trumpmania."
After mentioning that Trump's campaign is based mostly on populism and nationalism, Douthat goes on.
Carson, on the other hand, is running a more content-free campaign. Like Trump, he's underinformed and prone to wild rhetorical flights, but unlike the Donald he doesn't have a distinctive platform. He's offering a collection of pieties and crankery; mostly, his candidacy is just about the man himself.
The reality is that Carson never has been a serious candidate. He's benefited tremendously from his outsider status, though that shouldn't obviate the need for substance on policy. And, aside from being a political dilettante, he's obviously a bigot too.
In short, his candidacy (and recent success in the polls) is very bad news for the Republican Party. So, are we witnessing the end of Ben Carson?
We certainly should be.