Alabama giving South Carolina a run for its money

ALABAMA GIVING SOUTH CAROLINA A RUN FOR ITS MONEY…. If South Carolina has proven itself as hosting some of the year’s nuttiest campaigns, Alabama is nearly as strong a contender for hosting some of the year’s most ridiculous campaign ads.

Right-wing congressional candidate Rick Barber will compete in a Republican runoff next month in Alabama’s 2nd district, and shortly before GOP voters head to the polls, Barber will begin airing this over-the-top spot. It features an agitated Barber having an imaginary “conversation” with Sam Adams, Ben Franklin, and George Washington.

The ad starts with Barber expressing his desire to “impeach him” — in an apparent reference to the president — and features images of hands tapping impatiently by guns. It concludes with the actor portraying Washington saying, “Gather your armies.”

In the midst of Barber’s factually-challenged on-screen tirade, the extremist candidate suggests the existing income tax isn’t really “progressive” — he may not really know what the word means — and tells the Washington character that he understands “how tough it is to run a small business without a tyrannical government on your back.”

Except, that’s pretty silly, not only because Americans have no reason to consider their own government “tyrannical,” but because Washington probably wouldn’t agree with such nonsense. As Dave Weigel explained, Washington “presided over, and approved, the first tax levied by the federal government — the 1791 whiskey tax. When the tax met resistance, he approved the assembling of militias to enforce the law and mobilization of agents to collect the revenue. So the Barber daydream of Washington angrily ordering a ‘gathering of armies’ to oppose a tax is… well, entertaining, I guess.”

I continue to wonder where the Republicans find such strange and confused candidates to seek key elected offices.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.