WHAT DOES BARBER MEAN BY ‘WE’?…. Right-wing congressional candidate Rick Barber in Alabama’s 2nd caused a bit of a stir two weeks ago, releasing a bizarre video in which the agitated conservative had an imaginary “conversation” with Sam Adams, Ben Franklin, and George Washington. It was rather painful to watch — Barber came pretty close to not only calling for the impeachment of the president, but also for a violent uprising against the United States government.
Hoping to duplicate the “success” of the first ad — Barber’s video was widely seen, though mostly by those who found him ridiculous — the right-wing Alabamian is back with another clip, and this time, he’s having an imaginary “conversation” with Abraham Lincoln.
Barber says, “Hey Abe, if someone is forced to work for months to pay taxes so that a total stranger can get a free meal, medical procedure or a bailout, what’s that called? What’s it called when one man is forced to work for another?” The actor pretending to be Lincoln replies, “Slavery.”
At that point, viewers are bombarded with images of slaves and concentration camps, including those from Nazi Germany.
“We shed a lot of blood to stop that in the past, didn’t we?” Barber adds. “Now look at us. We are all becoming slaves to our government.”
The spot is a special kind of stupid, but let’s just consider three quick points. The first is, what does Barber mean by “we”? Alabama didn’t “shed a lot of blood to stop” slavery; Alabama shed a lot of blood to maintain slavery. Indeed, Barber is engaged in this “conversation” with the president Alabama considered responsible for “Northern Aggression.” As Eric Kleefeld noted, “Indeed, it’s quite interesting to see a Southern right-winger putting words into Lincoln’s mouth on this subject.”
Second, Lincoln was responsible for imposing the first federal income tax. If he considered the tax “slavery,” Lincoln had a funny way of showing it.
And third, I’m sure there are some folks who’ll find Barber’s hysterics compelling, and consider tax rates to be “slavery,” but tax rates are currently at their lowest levels since the days of Truman. I shudder to think how violent Barber might be prepared to get if Democrats proposed putting taxes rates back to where they were when, say, Reagan was president.