It's 2014 and Republicans are still comparing progressive policies to slavery.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback kicked off the new year by comparing abortion to slavery in his annual State of the State address Wednesday night.
"Kansas marked the bloody trail out of slavery when the nation was divided and undecided on whether to do so," he said in his speech. "The chains of bondage of our brothers rubbed our skin and our hearts raw until we could stand it no more and erupted into 'Bleeding Kansas.'"
"The Summer of Mercy sprung forth in Kansas as we could no longer tolerate the death of innocent children," he continued, a reference to the protests focused on the office of late-term abortion provider George Tiller, a controversial figure who was shot and killed by an anti-abortion activist.
Brownback is far from the first to equate slavery to abortion. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and Paul Ryan have echoed those comments as well.
Republicans have been drawing comparisons between other liberal policies and slavery for ages, with no signs of stopping. In an October interview unearthed by Mother Jones this week, North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Greg Brannon compared food stamps to slavery.
“We’re taking our plunder, that’s taken from us as individuals, [giving] it to the government, and the government is now keeping itself in power by giving these goodies away,” Brannon said in the interview. “The answer is the Department of Agriculture should go away at the federal level. And now 80% of the farm bill was food stamps. That enslaves people. What you want to do, it’s crazy but it’s true, teach people to fish instead of giving them fish. When you’re at the behest of somebody else, you are actually a slavery to them [sic].”
The welfare-slavery comparisons are well-worn territory for Republicans as well. Other liberal policies that have drawn slavery comparisons include: the national debt, the Affordable Care Act, affirmative action, gun control, and even illegal immigration. Then there's the Republican from Nevada who said he'd vote to reinstate slavery if his constituents wanted it, and then insisted he was joking.