There’s been quite a lot of discussion of this whacky video Alabama Republican Rick Barber is running. If you haven’t seen it, it’s pretty damn entertaining, though I think they should have had the singer cry (they do close-ups of his watery eyes several times, but the waterworks never quite materialize):
There are images of slaves, concentration camps, and the like that flash after Barber gets an Abe Lincoln impersonator to agree that taxes are the same as slavery. Barber has been criticized, not inappropriately, for this. The general consensus seems to be that he’s too angry, that he should try to sound more like David Brooks giving a seminar at the Aspen Institute. In interviews, however, he seems, as Ruth Marcus (not my favorite, but I like that she interviewed this nut), puts it “affably extreme”.
In today’s political world, when someone says something cray, it’s treated as a “gaffe” or an example of insufficient civility. But the truth is that some candidates, especially Tea Baggers, really do believe in very crazy things. Barber and Rand Paul aren’t just mistake-prone or uncivil or angry, they’re something far worse: candidates with insane, irrational political views.