Red, White & Yeller!

It’s been awhile since any signs of life were detected at this site, huh? Maybe the blog should have been entitled “The Ghost Bullet.”

I knew the days of timely, 24-hour updates were far, far behind me. Burn-out was the primary reason for boarding up my beloved Fortress of Fortitude, after all. But two, whole fershlugginer months without a single peep? What’s up with that?!?

Well, it isn’t easy to write much of anything – let alone an article of substance – when one has nothing to say. I lost my taste for modern Big Two comics long ago, and although your humble host pondered the reasons why this long-standing relationship finally went sour it seemed a trifle self-indulgent to make such reasons public.

(Honestly, who really cares why I no longer spend $30 a week on funny books? If somebody out there truly loves “Siege” and “Blackest Night,” more power to ’em. In the meantime, I’ll be just fine catching up on old, ragged issues of Police Comics.)

Inspiration is a funny thing, however. After 60 days of bupkis, yours truly was finally moved to plug in the ol’ keyboard by – of all things – Tea Party protestors.

(I’m not going to use the term “Teabaggers” because … well, you know.)

Proponents of the movement – who receive reams of publicity on Fox News by doggedly opposing the president’s stimulus plan, health care proposals and other signs of big government, hit the headlines once again by expressing outrage over a recent issue of Captain America that portrayed the Tea Partiers as racist super-villains.

(One especially sharp criticism was offered by comic-book writer James Hudnall, FYI.)

Joe Quesada, long a proponent of making the Marvel Universe appear as realistic as possible, leapt into the fray to point out the group does not represent Tea Party supporters. They are just a generic group of  anti-tax protestors that writer Ed Brubaker put into “his story to show one of the moods that currently exists in America. There was no thought that it represented a particular group.”

The sign that states “Tea Bag The Libs?” A production error caused by pressing deadlines and a letterer who didn’t put much thought into the slogans he picked up off the ‘Net.

Demonstrating the same dexterity shown daily by politicians at both ends of the spectrum, Quesada apologizes to those offended by the panel, promises that the “Tea Bag” sign will be excised from future printings and defends Brubaker’s story by advising readers wait until the conclusion of the four-issue arc.

(Geez, it’s like the guy’s talking about “Civil War” all over again.)

He also re-emphasized that “our books are no one’s soapbox. I have always made it a point never to publicly talk about my own political beliefs as I don’t feel it’s my place to do so and use Marvel as a bully pulpit. Our readers come in many shapes and sizes, and we need to be respectful of that.”

(Unless, it seems, the company decides to garner cheap publicity by showing Spider-Man rapping knuckles with President Obama. Hey, even a life-long liberal Democrat like myself found that particular move crass.)

If we’re being honest fellow Time Bulleteers, I have to call bull-hockey on both Quesada and Brubaker’s insistence that the scene no way, no how depicted Tea Partiers. Just how many protest groups out there tap into that particular mood that “currently exists in America?”

As one of my favorite Internet fellows, Svengali Lad, wrote on Twitter: “I’ve lived in downtown Seattle for 5 years & have yet to see a “generic” protest. Protest = specific group of people behind a specific idea.”

And now that I think about it, why is it so friggin’ wrong that a Captain America comic referenced a political act or philosophy found in modern society? Aren’t comic books supposed to be sophisticated  graphic literature these days?? The last time I looked, stories for grown-ups included such topics as politics.

(Or is the term “adult” simply an excuse for comics publishers to indulge in juvenile levels of angst  and violence?)

Yes, I understand Marvel is a billion dollar corporation that makes more money off of super-hero movies and merchandise than comic books, but if the publisher is really interested in all-ages material it would address several other pressing issues – i.e. super-villains ripping open and devouring dead women – before toning down what little political content exists in Marvel publication.

It’s especially unfortunate to see such back-sliding associated with Captain America, a character that was created as a strong political statement.

If you recall, Cap’s first appearance on the pages of a comic book showed the Star-Spangled Avenger clocking Adolph Hitler.

Remember, dear reader, that Captain America Comics #1 appeared on newsstands a full year before Pearl Harbor. America was not involved in the war overseas, and many citizens and pundits within the nation thought we should stay out of the conflict altogether.

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby knew exactly what they were doing when they allowed Cap to wade in, fists a flying, against the Great Dictator. As Simon himself later stated, “The opponents to the war were all quite well organized. We wanted to have our say too.”

Simon added that Cap’s comic attracted its share of hate mail at the time. “Some people really opposed what Cap stood for.”

Even after the Comics Code removed much of what made funny books controversial – and compelling –  for a generation of readers, Captain America still found himself embroiled in the popular political sentiments of the times.

In the 1950s, he was a Cold Warrior who fought the Red Menace. In the ’60s, he wrestled – as many of Steve Rogers’ generation – with the tumultuous changes within society and considered himself a “man out of time.”

The 1970s brought Watergate and the classic moment where Cap discovered the leader of a secret conspiracy against America was a man who sounded a heck of a lot like a certain disgraced president of the United States …

Cap’s disillusionment mirrored the emotions felt by many at the time. I was about 10 years old back then, but I remember full well how my parents reacted to the Watergate conspiracy as the details became public.

To see a similar scenario play out in a comic book was quite powerful, and to this very day I can exactly how I felt after seeing one of my favorite super-heroes walk away in abject defeat.
I can say with all confidence that it was a scene that sealed my lifelong interest in comic books, for better and worse.

In the 1980s Cap again found himself opposing his government and briefly abandoned his heroic identity to a character who more closely exemplified the gung-ho Rambo sentiments of the Reagan era, a character some fans preferred to the “clean-cut Indiana Jones garbage”  heroism  offered by Steve Rogers.

(The Indiana Jones cut, by the way, appeared in a letter’s page published around that time. “Let’s Rap With Cap,” indeed.)

And, of course, there was this classic cover …

It may be a fact of life in modern corporate culture, but it’s a crying shame that Marvel’s current regime isn’t willing or able to accept its medicine without casting blame elsewhere or backsliding. Captain America himself would certainly never do such a thing, and I’m fairly certain his creators would stand up for their convictions as well.

After all, if Simon and Kirby weren’t willing to stand up against popular opinion there never would have even been a Captain America.

Joe Quesada, Ed Brubaker and the publishers corporate overloads would do well to remember that fact …


21 thoughts on “Red, White & Yeller!

  1. But don't you know that Adult Comics — something Quesada proudly has made his editorial mark with — just mean swear words, T&A, extreme violence, and dead girlfriends. /sarcasmI'm really glad I bought this comic single issue even though Captain America is usually a trade title for me.

  2. It's highly desirable to have convictions, but not just any convictions. Henry Ford, for example, had convictions that led him to demonize Jews and to give early support to Adolph Hitler.Writers and artists for comic books have often expressed their convictions, but too often their convictions have entailed demonization of basically decent people.I wonder what sort of intellectually incestuous fool would so insulate himself from opposing views that he had to see the typical Tea Party activist as a Klansmen sans sheets. And what greater fool would see tax protesters or opponents of socialism as generically thus?Perhaps comic books are not the place for nuance, but if people and events are to be simplified, it should be to bring clarity to ideas, rather than to insist that, somehwere hidden on their bodies, one's opponent's bear the Mark of Satan.

  3. Erica – It seems that Dan DiDio shares that very same view …oeconomist -I see your point, and I wouldn't want to see comics go back to the racial and cultural stereotyping of the Golden Age. (Heck, it was even around during the Silver and Bronze ages …)But, I would rather creators be open about their biases than simply say this group is not "blah blah" but a completely generic assemblage that just happens to be identical to "blah blah."At least you know where someone like Steve Ditko stands when you read his comics…

  4. My real comment arriving a bit later tonight…But first, there are a LOT of crazy people saying a LOT of crazy things in the Tea Party world, and you can witness with your own eyes the filling of angry minds with disinformation every night on the news. AND IT'S ONLY EVERY CAPTAIN AMERICA STORY EVER, YOU KNOW! As a Canadian I think there's a lot of unAmerican sentiment being expressed in those tea parties — the America I love isn't the one that demonizes me as a socialist, you know? And there is a lot of that out there, and I don't think it comes from the bottom up. Why would an average, decent American think it right to compare Obama to Hitler? What exactly has Obama, your duly-elected President, done to merit such a comparison? I mean what has he done, in real terms, to merit it.In Captain America comics, it's never the mob's fault, it's the demagogues' fault — and it's the demagogues Cap targets and defeats, in the name of a healthy democracy. I look at the Tea Party stuff on the news and I see plenty of demagogues whipping decent people into a frenzy that doesn't become their better natures, regardless of their political beliefs. In Stan Lee's day they would've left this stuff alone in the same way they left Vietnam alone, but I guess that particular sort of pudicity is a thing of the past…However since it apparently is a thing of the past, then if Brian Bendis can have a bunch of hippies swayed by peace-lovin' rhetoric to welcome their new jihadist overlords — who then murder the hell out of their wooly-headed liberal asses — then I must say those who are angered by the Tea Party mob in Captain America ought to be eager to come to have come to that stereotype's defence too. Or it's a double standard. And double standards AREN'T THE AMERICAN WAY.In my own PERSONAL opinion.And by the way, Oeconomist, if you want to use socialism as a dirty word that's your business, but I think that posture is deeply impractical.Sorry for the reactive comment, Marc.

  5. I agree that disingenuousness is repugnant. The bizarre thing is that, while no one is really fooled by it, the very group that is half-fooled is within the camp whence it comes.It isn't just present opponents who are outraged. Independents are also alienated, and some within the originating camp become more skeptical of views that seemingly cannot be honestly and openly defended.

  6. plok, I'm an actual economist. As such, I've often explained exactly what is wrong with socialism from a practical perspective (for example, in my 'blog), though there's nothing particularly original in my explanation.Whether one regards “socialism” as a dirty word or not, the proper definition of socialism is ownership and administration of the means of production by and for the community as a whole. Ownership, in turn, is right to control, not mere formal title. Hence, the reforms proposed were plainly socialist. It's more of that disingenuousness about which we were speaking not to admit as much, and I consider it imminently practical to call this spade a spade.

  7. Oh…I didn't include the ire…Oeconomist, I hear that thing all the time about how it's not just the Republicans, there are lots of independents who're annoyed too…the implication seems to be that the Tea Partiers are some sort of grass-roots rainbow coalition. But it seems as though most of these independents are really just people who were once Republicans but then quit supporting the party to move further to the right. Or did I miss seeing Ralph Nader out there.Not intending to start a brouhaha, but I don't think anybody can realistically consider the Tea Party stuff a movement with a broad base, not if there were ten different names for Fox News subscribers.

  8. Sorry, didn't see your further comment there, Oeconomist. Let me get a quick response in.I'm not objecting to you calling socialism by its name — we have socialized medicare in Canada, and we call it socialized medicine because that's what it is, and we like that it's socialized medicare. The term has no particular stigma attached to it, except we like how that system works.Many of our economists, you may be surprised to learn, also like it…so perhaps you'd like to compare credentials with them, instead of with me. Though I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that as far as practicality goes, I've got sufficient credentials of my own to argue with you about whether there's anything "wrong with socialism" or not, eh?Of course we do not have to do that, since that wasn't what we were talking about in the first place. Fortunate, since I don't have any particular desire to try to convince you of the legitimacy of my position. Like I said, however you want to treat "socialism" is your own business. Just don't assume that I would find your position particularly seaworthy if I just knew what it was. As you yourself say, your perspective on socialism isn't exactly novel: I probably do know what it is, and have already been around and over it and concluded that it comes up short. So why go around and over it again?Again, not to start a brouhaha. Merely to say that the weight "socialism" carries with you isn't transferable to me — I don't recoil from it, I don't think it's bad, from my perspective it just doesn't load the argument in any way to use that term. I hope I've been both polite about that, and clear.

  9. plok, you need rely less heavily on formulæ.First, I didn't say much of anything about whence the Tea Partiers themselves came. What I said about independents was that they were alienated by disingenuous disavowals about convictions. And this point applies as well to disingenuousness by any party, including the Republicans or the Greens.(Nader, BTW, doesn't represent independent voters; he represents voters with a strong ideological affiliation, albeït a minority affiliation, which is why the Greens found him suitable in 2000.)Second, it is a grave mistake to equate the Republican Party and any or all of the various things that have been labelled “conservativism”.I have bo need to compare credentials; I'd rather compare arguments. As I noted in the 'the blog entry to which I referred, neoclassical economists have struggled to understand the intrinsic informational problem of socialism because they typically assume-away informational problems ab initio.And whereäs I've linked to the principal practical argument that I would use, you've done no more than hand-wave with the word “practical”, and declared that you can guess what my argument would be.As to “what we were talking about in the first place”, I asked what sort of fool would see opponents of socialism as generically Klansmen without sheets, and your reply was “if you want to use socialism as a dirty word that's your business, but I think that posture is deeply impractical” — a perfect non-sequitur unless you were denying (or otherwise opposed to acknowledging) that the reforms in question were socialism.

  10. My comment was too big for Blogger, I'm afraid. I took a long time writing it, so now I'm gonna be real quick instead. Apologies if I end up sounding rather brisk, I really do mean no offense.Oeconomist, you haven't given me anything I can do much but wave at, you know! Because that post you linked is a description, not an argument. You say it yourself: you would use it.I don't mind if you don't. Here is the part of your first comment that I was actually responding to:"Writers and artists for comic books have often expressed their convictions, but too often their convictions have entailed demonization of basically decent people."Interestingly, you do not go on to give the standard example of racist and sexist caricatures, but instead use the Tea-Partiers as your demonized group. But from my perspective this totally doesn't hold up, because although in your country the story may be that it's a perfectly normal, everyday, and ordinary thing for people to want to "oppose socialism", so why should they be vilified or made fun of for it, in my country being pro- or anti-socialism is NOT part of the basic political orientation, and the only people who crusade against socialism tout court on general principles are quite far out on the political fringe. The rational legitimacy of their politics is deeply in question, and in their ranks you might very well not be surprised to find a whole bunch of Klansmen without hoods…although I agree it would be very, very wrong to say they were all Klansmen without hoods, it would probably be very, very right to remind them that their politics are leading them to make common cause with people who are NOT decent people, but abhorrent ones. And especially when those folks start wrapping themselves in the flag, they should be aware that's my flag too, so if they're cozying up to Klansmen while saying they're better Canadians than I am, they shouldn't expect to be handled with kid gloves, political discourse-wise.That's in Canada.Dunno how it works where you are.Okay, hold on while I try to post this…

  11. Now, as to what you say about the "independents"…you said they were alienated too, didn't you? It isn't just a particular group of people who are outraged enough to find something in the tea-partying that speaks to them, it's a significant number of other folks with no strong ideological identification as such, that you can't easily sock in with the group, who feel that way?But what I said, in response to that, was that the statement "there are lots of other people out there, who aren't affiliated with the core group of the Tea Partiers (Republicans, surely?), who're just as upset" seems to imply that the makeup of Tea Party enthusiasts is necessarily diverse, because it includes people who can't be socked in with any group…which ain't necessarily so, because just because someone styles themselves "independent" doesn't mean they magically embody a diversity of opinion, and you certainly can sock in a lot of them with the rest. So MY point is: I hear that all the time about the independents, from the lips of those who would be well-served if the public at large thought their movement was more inclusive than it is. And I don't believe it, because I find the assertion kind of incoherent. You seem pretty easy about saying Nader did NOT represent independent voters…I don't know how you can possibly arrive at that conclusion. What makes someone "independent"? Being ideology-free?Can it really be that there are no people like that who were for Nader, while at the same time there are people like that who are against Obama, or against liberals, or against socialism, or against higher taxes for people who are not themselves or their neighbours? And if I'm forgetting a critical "against" in this protest movement, please let me know…And I don't see why it's such a grave mistake as all that to associate the Republican party with a whole bunch of the stuff that's been called "conservativism", actually. It might be unfair to somebody, but I'm sure I don't know who that is…if Republicans don't like being linked to Mitt Romney's beliefs about evolution and gay people (e.g.) they shouldn't be linking themselves to 'em.All the same topic, you see.

  12. The post to which I link is not merely a description, but if you won't attend to its argument then I certainly cannot force you to do so.The reason that I discussed the Tea Partiers as a demonized group is because that is the group relevant ot the entry. And, whether it is or isn't normal in your country for people to oppose socialism, it isn't logical or decent in any country to insinuate that those who do are generically racists. People can be well out of the main-stream without being racists. As to “common cause”, monsters may be found in any major political movement; for example, environmentalists include some people who would literally wipe humanity off the face of the Earth. Unless you're prepared to condemn the rest of the environmentalists for “cozying up” to such people, you're employing a double-standard to rationalize hatefulness.Whatever theory you might advance as to the make-up of the Tea Party, the fact remains that I said nothing about their relationship to other groups, and my remarks about independents being alienated were completely unrelated to any theory about whence came the Tea Party. But your reply was as if I had.Republicans and former Republicans plainly did not jointly make up the majority in Massachusetts, as the Republicans were not a majority before the former Republicans left them. The vote was swung by actual independents. Likewise, Democrats were not by themselves a majority in the last Presidential election; the vote was swung by actual independents. And they swung the previous Presidential election the other way.Independents are independent of any strong affiliation; Nader was and is a man of pronounced ideological commitments. Independents searching for “third” party candidates could find others closer to what they would regard as the moderate center.What I said was that it was a grave mistake to equate the Republican Party with conservatism; as far as mere association goes, the Democrats too can be associated with conservatism.Mitt Romney, like his father, is an opportunist; you and I have no present way of knowing what his beliefs are about evolution or about homosexuality. But I don't think that Obama voters must all wear the Weather Underground albatross because of Obama's associations and I again remind you not to employ double-standards about complementary associations.

  13. Well, I have NOT employed any double standards, thank you very much! If you look, you'll see that I've explicitly agreed with you on the "generic racist" point — and I would certainly hold environmental groups to account if they made common cause with monsters, although I emphatically do NOT credit your claim that environmentalist groups include any significant numbers of people who "would literally wipe humanity off the face of the Earth." I think that's smoke.Also, my doubt that the Tea Party movement actually exhibits a lot of political diversity, and my skepticism about the term's application in these sorts of discussions, was neither intended nor I think presented as an objection to some theory you (correctly) point out you never advanced — and that I have not claimed you advanced. So please feel free to agree or disagree with it as you like, but kindly stop trying to declare it a moot point on the grounds that it's attempting to rebut something you never said!It is not attempting any such thing!As to Mitt Romney, if he wants to stand up in front of a national TV audience and say he doesn't believe in evolution, that doesn't oblige me to give him the benefit of the doubt that he secretly might, you know?More…

  14. Why you bring up Massachusetts I don't know — to prove the existence of "actual independents"? Well, who are they when they're at home, you know? Do they always gravitate to "what they would regard as the moderate center"? Why?Are they simply those without a Republican or Democrat membership card, is that what constitutes a "strong affiliation"? And why are you so sure "independents" wouldn't vote for Nader? And no, you didn't say it was "a grave mistake to equate the Republican Party with conservativism", what you said was:"It is a grave mistake to equate the Republican Party and any or all of the various things that have been labelled “conservativism”."Which I think hardly gives you license to chastise me for being imprecise with my language! For the record, I'd say it certainly is not a grave mistake to equate Republicans with "conservativism" — the arrow may not hit the bullseye, but it for damn sure is bound to land on the target, eh? Likewise, if the Democrats were in my country they'd be pretty far right of centre, for sure, but in their own political milieu that "conservativism equation" arrow lands mostly in the grass, I believe.Also, I just feel I should point out that I did not bring up any equation of Republicans and conservativism — I just said it seemed to me as though the vaunted "independents" of the Tea Party movement (and they do happen to be vaunted, check out Fox News, they vaunt them all the time!) were merely people who'd moved rightwards from the Republican Party. Hardly an equation of conservativism and Republicanism!I might add that, although you say you'd rather exchange arguments than credentials, it was again not me who brought up credentials…it was not even me who expressed a wish to debate, and it was definitely not me who framed the debate in terms of economic theory. Now I am getting a little hot under the collar here: I'd like to repeat that I enjoyed your lucid post on the informational problem with socialism…but it is still not an argument, it is a pretty analysis but it doesn't maintain anything, and I am not obliged to manufacture a contention that fits its content when you yourself have not. Arguing about whether or not socialism is problematic is like arguing about whether or not light travels in straight lines — and I haven't picked that comparison out of a hat, by the way!

  15. Now I don't think I've put any words in your mouth, here, so please do not put any in mine. At this point I would almost say "okay fine, we might as well argue about socialism since otherwise we will just be arguing about what has been said", but I'm sure you can see why at this point I wouldn't want to make ANY BLOODY ASSUMPTIONS about what your argument is, so you will have to spell it out to me. Actually I think this would be a good rule in general for Internet arguments: no links to off-site posts in lieu of stating arguments.By the way, that's roughly as hot under the collar as I ever get, when dealing with someone I think is basically arguing in good faith: I wouldn't be talking to you if I thought you blithely held double standards, or were interested in constructing apologies for bigotry and hatred. But as it happens I find I now have quite a bit to say about the strategy of right-wing American pundits in claiming discrimination against their favourite protestors of the moment, so if you want to talk about that too, I think I could crank out about five thousand closely-reasoned words.

  16. Finally, at the risk of being thought a dick, here's a thought in the process of germination:It seems to me that if the meaning of "independent" is "without strong ideological affiliations", then these would be people who had no particular interest in combatting socialism, no interest in protesting tax increases that didn't disadvantage them personally, no interest in a given candidate's religious views or social agenda or ethnicity or what-have-you…except perhaps we might speculate that some of these people could have an aversion to or hatred of other people's ideological bent. Like, they might think people with strong ideological affiliations were stupid, or something.On the other hand, they might not care either way.So they might cast votes for any number of reasons — a candidate who's good-looking, a candidate who's well-spoken, a candidate who seems like a "winner", or like an underdog, who seems smart, who seems not that smart but appealing in other ways, etc. etc. Similarly, in their voluntary affiliations they wouldn't be motivated by ideology but by things like, oh let's say "that guy's a dick", "she is horrifyingly smarmy", "this bastard lies all the time, he'd probably lie if you asked him the time", "this totally advantages me personally", even things like "I can't stand Oprah" or "what an old coot" or "how dare he act like he's better than me, just because he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth" or "what a charmer, I met him once, he gave me this tie-pin" or even "all politicians are the same".But however they acted, it wouldn't be from an ideological foundation, would you agree?So getting back to what the fine folks on Fox News are always saying about those independents you referenced before — they, at least, do claim them as part of the Tea Party "groundswell", as part of and proof of a common and broad-based repudiation of Obama and the Democratic Party — something I question is whether they would even care if no one called a spade a spade as far as socialism was concerned.Because it seems to me that they wouldn't have anything specifically against socialism. Or anarcho-syndicalism, for that matter. Hell, they might not give much of a damn about any -ism on its own terms, might have no knee-jerk reactions to the "ismatic" at all.I'm being redundant I suppose: still you've got me thinking today about the claims of Tea Party boosters, and how those claims are constructed, how support for them is enlisted that otherwise might not be forthcoming.But, consider all that a hiccup, I guess. Okay, I've monopolized this thread long enough for one day I think.

  17. Your unwillingness to acknowledge the monsters amongst other political blocs is how you effect your double-standard.You ought to look up the word “moot”, as indeed your claim was at best a red herring.Giving a claim the benefit of the doubt is not the same thing as treating it as knowledge, and Romney has an established track-record of behaving contrary to his professed beliefs and of retailoring them as political context changes.I bring up Massachusetts and the last two Presidential elections in response to your (somehwat incoherent) writing as the only significant opposition to Obama comes either from Republicans or from ex-Republicans.You meed a better grasp of logic. My original claim about equation of the Republicans with any or all of the things labelled “conservativism” logically entails the brief claim that you deny that I made.Your arrow certainly does not land on target. The Republican Party was traditionally technocratic, rather than conservative, and there have always been conservatives who've kept their distance. Some of those conservatives have affiliated themselves with the Tea Party, and your claim that it is simply Republicans moved to the right is a result of the sort of equation against which I warned.You didn't say that you wanted to debate; you merely began to debate. And my mention of my credentials was not to argue from authority, but to include a warning shot amongst the return fire. Your continued insistence that the post in my 'blog isn't an argument shows that you aren't grasping some very straight-forward economics, and perhaps should take greater note of the warning shot.

  18. This 'blog is no more the place to give you an exposition of the economics than it is a place to discuss microbiology or group theory. If you won't or truly cannot attend to the argument where it is presented, that's simply a small tragedy for you.I'm not interested in your finding hypocrites or whatever amongst right-wing pundits; I wouldn't be interested if this argument had begun with the relative rôles of left and right switched around. The issue at hand is whether the group discussed in the entry is being smeared. Even if every Tea Partier had him or herself engaged in such smears — and certainly that is not the case — the victims of these smears of Tea Partiers would not be confined to those smeared, but would include everyone who wanted a honest and reasonable report.Indeed, the independents about whom I spoke in the first place don't have particularly strong feelings against socialism — they want at least a little bit of it, but not a whole lot, and their notions of too much are too little evolve with time.As to what Fox says about the independents whom I referenced, has Fox said anything about them? The fact that Fox uses the word “independent” doesn't meant that they are actually talking about independents; nor, if they are talking about independents of any sort, that they are talking about the sort that I referenced in my original remark; nor, if they are indeed talking about that group, that they are reporting accurately about them. In case you hadn't noticed, I'm not Fox News.As to people more generally without affiliation with the Democratic or Republican Parties, these include all sorts of people. Some of them would have strong ideological commitments or group identities. These people would then already be amongst the opponents of one or both of the major parties. My original remark overtly distinguished between opponents and independents.

  19. I hope Marc will allow me this. I claim aggravation.Oeconomist, why don't you get a FUCKING GRIP. Now you're proposing not one, not two, but three different groups of "independents", invented out of your own mind, whose nature you alone know and trot out when you please, why it's like reading a goddamn A.E.Van Vogt novel listening to you. Where were these distinctions when I asked for them, eh? And may I say that my imaginary group of independents thinks your imaginary group of independents are a bunch of mercenaries who are for sale to any argument. You must think I'm new to this game. Actually, the reason I didn't want to get into a debate is that I'm not new to it. But you just HAD to call me a person who holds a double standard, eh? Fucking REPEATEDLY. And you are STILL calling me that. I need a better grasp of logic? I need to look up the meaning of the word "moot"? I'm an incoherent writer?With respect, Oeconomist: YOU are an ASSHOLE, and your claims regarding me are transparently full of shit. Who do you expect to convince with that? Hey, your weak attempts to control what you think the "issue" ought to be fool precisely no one: what you mean is that you just want to say shit, and not have to back it up. Where, exactly, is your argument? Oh, I forgot: I must pad your stats to get it, and even then I CLEARLY don't understand it unless I state it for you. Also, you take pains to inform me, this blog is not a place to discuss microbiology! How marvellous that you know this! I suppose your independents told you, through their spooky mental telepathy, that it's, you know, just not cool to talk about that here.Or is it that you just don't know a good microbiological metaphor for why I should bow my head to you?You're not arguing in good faith. I've met a lot of guys like you before, they trade in sophistry and they trade in fallacy, like a Scrabble game where if you don't notice your opponent's put down a bullshit word it stands. Well, that's not the way I play the game, Oeconomist. SLURS DON'T FLY with me. You can crawl back to your hole and feel superior now, this conversation's over, you LIAR.Verification word is EXCES. Motherfucking RIGHT.Sorry, Marc.

  20. I've stayed out of this fray because I like to feel my blog is a place where readers – all four or five of them – can feel free to express their opinions without fear of censorship.Still, there comes a time when enough is enough and I feel we've reached that point now. No apology to me is necessary, plok. You stated your honest opinions as did oeconomist. In fact, I appreciate the fact that you both thought enough of this blog to use it as a forum what turned into a deeper conversation than what was originally written in my post.It just seems to me the gap here will never be bridged and we should move on …

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