Alabama's Tea Party-backed congressional candidate Rick Barber has released a new ad in which he declares taxes, health care and America's other social services "slavery" — with support from an Abraham Lincoln impersonator. When Barber asks "Abe" what it's called when hard-working Americans pay taxes "so that a total stranger can get a free meal, medical procedure or a bailout," Lincoln answers, "slavery," adding, "we shed a lot of blood to stop that in the past." From a historical standpoint, says Eric Kleefeld in Talking Points Memo, "Barber's ad does have a few errors." For example, "Alabama conservatives did not shed a lot of blood to stop slavery — they shed a lot of blood to perpetuate it." Not only that, says Jamelle Bouie in The Washington Independent, but this ad shows the disturbing "extent of the far right’s ascendancy in the Republican Party." Remember, the further apart we drift politically, "the more likely it is that we’re unable to respond to the huge challenges ahead of us." Watch Barber's "ridiculous" new ad below:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Hey, scolds: Stop telling us to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The slippery slope of Twitter's attempts to stop harassment against women
Subscribe to the Week