Rick Barber and a staggering lack of perspective

So I watched this ad again a few seconds ago while filling up the tub for my son’s bath. I laughed at it before, but upon further review, it’s truly galling. The fact that this man thinks himself worthy for any position other than TOILET CLEANER: PEARLMAN HOUSEHOLD is ludicrous.

My personal favorite line: “We shed a lot of blood to stop that in the past, didn’t we? And now look at us. We’re all becoming slaves to our government.”

First off, you live in Alabama. You’re white, and your ancestors hail from Texas—a slave state. Odds are, your family didn’t shed an ounce of blood to “stop that in the past.” Come to think of it, at one time your relatives probably shed a lot of blood to preserve slavery. Hell, it’s 90/10 you descend, literally, from slave owners.

Second, there’s this thing called taste. Now, as a white Alabaman with a probable family history of slave owners, perhaps you’re callous to such things. But to compare the enslavement of blacks to the recent corporate bailouts and health care reform … well, it’s fucking sick. Beyond sick. Demented, times 1,000. But here’s the problem—Rick Barber and Southern politicians of his ilk know damn well what they’re doing. They’re going to receive about .02% of the African-American vote anyhow, so they used words like “slavery” as red meat for white conservatives. There’s no concern about being cruel, or wrongheaded, or just plain idiotic—because men like Rick Barber are decidedly aware that it’s the dumbest voters of their state who will be wooed by such advertisements.

I must say, if you break down the ad, it could be repackaged in a yellow-and-black book jacket and titled AN IDIOT’S GUIDE TO EARNING THE VOTES OF DOLTS.

A. To show that he’s got wicked smarts, Barber explains—in detail—The Whiskey Act of 1791 by saying to a fictional George Washington, “Mr. President, some argue that you would have been in favor of this tyrannical health care bill because you enforced the Whiskey Act of 1791. But that was an excise tax levied to service the military debt incurred by the Revolutionary War. A legitimate function of government, correct?” (Del, I don’t know what an excise tax is, but this boy seems bright as a bulb. Y’all know we’re fixin’ to vote for him!). As was noted on the website Today in Teabaggery, who out there is actually referencing the incredibly obscure Whiskey Act? And who is using it as an analogy to modern times?

B. I love the fake mole on Abraham Lincoln in this ad. LOVE it. A. Because instead of looking like Lincoln’s mole, it’s akin to a piece of Cookie Crip cereal with some beige paint. Furthermore, has anyone ever seen a more pathetic looking Lincoln? I’ll bet $50 that’s either Barber’s uncle or father. Had Barber boasted any Hollywood connections whatsoever, he would have spent top dollar to lure in Robert V. Barron, the best Lincoln out there. Oh, wait. Barron died 10 years ago. I digress. (By the way, I beg of you to fast forward to seconds 41 through 44. Correct me if I’m wrong, but is that a Lincoln dummy he’s shoving aside? Being serious—I don’t think that’s a real person).

C. I love the awkwardness of seconds 15 and 16, when George Washington nods and this boob—in his own terrible advertisement—doesn’t actually know what to say, so he utters a very brief inaudible mutterance (my own words). Brilliant.

D. I am always inspired by the big-heartedness of Tea Party Republicans. “Hey Abe, if someone’s forced to work for months so that a total stranger can get a free meal, medical procedure or a bailout, what’s that called?” I mean, seriously. Heaven forbid we Americans pay taxes so that a system is in place where people who are hungry or sick can receive aid. So that we have food shelters and public hospitals. How friggin’ sad a statement. How friggin’ sad.

E. I just watched the photo montage after Abe says, “Slavery.” And, holy shit, this guy has the audacity to use photographs from German concentration camps. German. Concentration. Camps. Hey dillweed, guess what? My great-grandmother Johanna died in Auschwitz. This is her photograph. Are you seriously comparing the actions of the Obama administration to my great-grandmother being put to death? Is that what you’re genuinely trying to say?

F. Holy cow. That’s Dale Peterson standing back there. With his gun! He’s the Sarah Palin of Alabama—an utter buffoon, but one with mojo! Yeah, boy! Shoot ’em up!

G. The ending, well, I don’t even get it. I think, in some sort of far-right Republican way, it passes as humor. Or something. Reminds me of the skit when Eddie Murphy dresses up white on SNL, gets on the bus and finds everyone behaves in odd ways.

In conclusion, this man is a boob. Factually, a boob. But more than that, he scares me. Not because he runs bad ads, but because he believes the words that come from his lips, and Alabama is the sort of state he might win. Literally, this man doesn’t want taxes to help the less fortunate (oddly, on his site he claims to be a Christian). Literally, he thinks it’s OK to compare the Nazis and Barack Obama’s policies.

Oy.

14 thoughts on “Rick Barber and a staggering lack of perspective”

  1. Do you think Lincoln’s voice was really that high an octave? My favorite part is the guy singing. See how red his face is getting toward the end? Take a breath, man!

    This was funny, but scary at the same time, because this guy will probably win the election.

  2. I am a huge believer in respectful discourse, that said oy what a schmuck.

    My Grandmother survived Auschwitz but later after a full and free life in America began to lose her way mentally and became tortured by the memories of her hellish times in captivity once more.

    Anyone who throws around the Hitler comparison should be beat about the head with a thick history book.

  3. The only thing more sickening that Teabaggers are the cowards in the media and in the mainstream of the Democratic Party who refuse to attack them and expose them for what they are.

  4. Jeff, the fact that you keep focusing on political ads from Alabama says it all. Obama is the curly cue on top of the giant turd that is our country being flushed down the toilet, but all you see is some candidates ad for congress in Alabama as a major issue? Give me a fucking break. You and your minions are really grasping at straws here. Did you hear that today, on day 70, that the President accepted international help with the oil spill? Now, rather than focusing on job creation, he’s trying to push through a liberal environmental agenda. How many non government jobs have been created in the last month or two or six for that matter? Further taxing of the people that are the ones we need to hire the fifteen million unemployed Americans will really help get people back to work. Are we really going to further erode consumer confidence by raising taxes to pay for an unemployment extension? Or how about we borrow the money from our friends in China? The only thing Democrats have right now is finding stupid ads or statements and acting as though the entire Republican party is behind them.
    Who knows, maybe I’m dead wrong and the Dems will sweep in November, I guess we’ll see.

  5. Do you actually think 9/10 southerners owned slaves, or is your counting approach that if one ancestor in 32 owned slaves, then you are “descended from slave owners”

    Sportswriter’s reflexive need to be offended on behalf of blacks always amazes me. Its epidemic, even more prevalent than among the average SWPL journalist.

    Why do you think that is?

  6. a little history

    I don’t think that’s it.

    Think harder about about the sportswriter job, and whose jock you have to sniff if you cover the big 3 sports in the US

    Also, sportswriting is generally considered the lowest form of journalism. And I hear that can be a weird dynamic with athletes who consider writers the enemy.

    But a sportswriter can feel good about himself with a screed calling someone else a racist.

    The pieces almost write themselves after a while, I imagine. Take any situation involving blacks, throw in a little innuendo, read the mind of a few white people, throw in the phrase “lily white enclave” or some such thing, and bam, you can lower the Prozac dose.

    Have you read this site – its all about you

    http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/full-list-of-stuff-white-people-like/

  7. wow, dont know where to start.

    You really dont get the blog, it is all about you Jeff. Try reading it first. Its quite funny at times, although hit and miss near the end.

    As for Jews being not being white, ok Jeff. If that makes you feel better about yourself, you can be non White. Who *is* white in your mind, Jeff? Are Italians white? Just the northerners? How about the Irish, are they white yet? The British did a pretty good job on them back in the day, so maybe they can qualify for non White status in your mind.

    Let me know where the US govt categorizes you on the census Jeff. Or if you asked every black athlete you’ve ever covered if you were white, what do you think they would say? You look pretty damn pale in your pics too. I suggest you go for a tan, so you can be swarthy and more non white in appearance, to match your desire.

    Let me tell you a little secret Jeff, everyone’s ancestors suffered at one time or the other. Jews and Blacks haven’t cornered the market on it. As much as you find joy in your ancestors victimhood – ITS NOT YOURS. You get paid to write vapid opinion pieces and gossip books. No doubt, not a bad life.

    And one final thing, if you think that Jews and Blacks are kindred spirits in oppression, the Blacks missed the memo. Or maybe you could ask Jessie “Hymie Town” Jackson, or Al Sharpton the pogroms he stirs up now and again.

    BTW, if you were joking about the “I’m not white comment, then please disregard the above. You’re just a garden variety annoying liberal then. Check out the website, it really is you.

    1. You are my favorite type of poster:

      A. Void of humor.
      B. Here, even though you hate my writing, and don’t enjoy the blog.

      This is a free site—one of millions. If you don’t enjoy or, and think my writing suck, there are so many other options. Makes no sense to me.

  8. I guess you were joking, see your quote below from your March 30 post

    “Great news! I finally have a shot at playing professional basketball. No, the NBA isn’t interested. The CBA isn’t, either. But thanks to the genius in the above video, I can join my white brothers and sisters in the big time.”

    Or does your view of your whiteness change with the seasons? It is summer now, and we whites burn in the summer.

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