Batman Silly Season Weekend Open Thread



Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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99 Responses

  1. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I’m setting myself up for a disappointment. But I’ll be there sometime this weekend.

    SHAMELESS PLUG: The Bane/Bain thing was discussed here.

    Mitt Romney and the comic book Bane may have more in common than the comic book and movie Banes do. Romney, like c/b Bane, has connections to Latin America.

    (Giving one of comic bookland’s few Latin American villains a British accent kinda makes me mad.)Report

  2. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Can anyone who does see it this weekend weigh in on whether or not it is worth seeing in IMAX/3D/3D-IMAX? THANKS!Report

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Kazzy says:

      I haven’t and won’t seen it this weekend, but I can assure you that it’s not worth seeing in 3-D. (IMAX would be a good bet, though.)Report

  3. Avatar Plinko says:

    Reviews have led me to lean toward not seeing this one in the theater. Mrs. P. is going this weekend – her reaction will guide whether or not I go.Report

  4. Avatar Rufus F. says:

    I’m actually really jazzed that Nolan insisted on shooting on film and not shooting in 3-D.Report

  5. Avatar NewDealer says:

    I will probably see it this weekend in an afternoon show.

    What most interests me without seeing the movie are:

    1. The cases of fanboy rage going after dissenting critics. Have we gotten to the point in superhero/fanboy madness that a dissenting viewpoint on a movie needs to be taken down? Is the net just making everything more tribal?

    2. I’ve seen critics attack this movie from the left and the right. The left seeing this as a randian screed aganist OWS. Conservative critics (not Rush L) have seen at as very pro-OWS. Can the movie be both or are we all post-modern now and just view things from our own lens and now everything is all things to all people?Report

  6. Avatar Murali says:

    I’ll be watching it in 9hrs time soI’ll update you guys tomorrowReport

  7. Avatar wardsmith says:

    Umm, cool pic but I think it is too big. Shouldn’t it be something like 200×300 or vice versa?Report

  8. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    There have already been approximately 79,000 movies about comic book characters made in the last 20 years, with roughly 13,000 of them being about Batman. Unless someone can explain why this one is worth seeing, I believe I’ll skip it.Report

  9. Avatar James K says:

    I’ve just come back from watching it. It’s nowhere near as good as the Dark Knight. As long as you understand that going in, you’ll enjoy it because it’s still a good movie. Anne Hathaway is one of the best things in the movie, and I don’t merely mean her looks.Report

  10. Avatar scott says:

    The only spoiler I know is that liberals are already calling for more gun control in the wake of the theatre shooting. Never waste a good tragedy, right.Report

    • Avatar wardsmith in reply to scott says:

      Now if only one of the patrons had a concealed weapons permit perhaps the death count would be much lower.Report

      • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to wardsmith says:

        If the right uses this as a platform for more gun-carry permits, then they’re guilty of exploiting the tragedy as well, eh?

        Of course it was America’s Mom, Michael Bloomberg, who was first to the post with this

        but this door swings both ways, just sayin’.Report

        • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          I was just impressed that it was politicized in both directions in the space of two posts. Impressive efficiency! Fortunately I doubt that either more or less gun control would have much of an effect upon tragedies like this, so I am saved by my policy attitudes from being a huge asshole about it.Report

        • Avatar Trumwill Mobile in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          Besides that, Tom, it hadn’t become political here at the League until Scott made it so. If one thinks injecting politics into a conversation about tragedy (actually, just the movie in this case) is bad, one shouldn’t go around injecting it in them. Doesn’t matter if someone else somewhere made it political, cause you just did the same thing here.Report

          • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Trumwill Mobile says:

            Easy there, Mr. Trum. I was purposely offending equally.Report

            • In that spirit, I am quite agitated at a number of the commenters on OTB, who are doing what Scott is doing.Report

              • What spirit is that?Report

              • The spirit of not targeting a singular side when elements of each are doing themselves a disservice.Report

              • Oh, you meant “what Scott and Bloomberg” are doing, then. Et al. Roger that.

                Good roundup @ OTB, BTW.

                . More than one conservative I follow on Twitter jumped right to the Islamic Terrorism angle, of course. Shortly after the suspect’s name had been released, ABC News reported Brian Ross, apparently using nothing more than a Google search, speculated as to whether the identified “James Holmes” was the same as a “Jim Holmes” listed on the website of the Colorado Tea Party (he isn’t, and ABC apologized). Even while criticizing Ross and ABC News, the people at Breitbart were speculating if the shooter was the same person as registered Democrat with the same name from Durango, Colorado (he’s not). Other’s speculated over whether or not this shooter was affiliated with Occupy Wall Street even though there was absolutely no reason to believe that. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as well as others such as CNN host Piers Morgan, used the opening hours of the tragedy to push a gun control agenda. Congressman Louie Gohmert, already known for saying nutty things, said that the fact that nobody took Holmes out before he killed more people is a sign of the decline of Christian values. Others have jumped in to blame the murders committed by Holmes on Rush Limbaugh. And, on the punditocracy side, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza was up within hours with a “what it all means” political post even though we didn’t have all the facts about what happened.Report

              • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                I really hate our media and political culture sometimes. This is one of those times.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                “Oh, you meant “what Scott and Bloomberg” are doing, then. Et al. Roger that.”

                Only one of those people comments here, last I checked. Unless Density Duck is really Bloomberg indulging some performance art…Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Link doesn’t go anywhere… but maybe that is your point?

                My point is that it is silly to bring in Bloomberg when Will is responding specifically to and about Scott. What the fuck does Bloomberg have to do with what Scott has done to this thread?Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Will Truman says:


                All I’m doing is pointing out that the liberals are trying to use this tragedy for their own political purposes from the moment it happened without bothering to wait for any facts or analysis. Sorry if you don’t like that but that is what their are doing.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Scott says:

                In doing so, you opened the door for NewDealer. Jumping into a conversation where nobody has made it political and talking about how the other side is making it political is… making it political. You took the crap that was going on elsewhere and brought it here.Report

              • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Scott says:

                Scott, I’d hoped that “Don’t Pull a Bloomberg” would warn you off at least until the smoke clears. And although your objection was completely valid, you can’t avoid the Double Whammy.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Scott says:


                So sorry, if you don’t want to discuss politics and current events then why do you you frequent blogs such as this and OTB? Did you really think this issue wouldn’t become political or are you just sore that I called out liberals on their sad attempts to use this issue? Furthermore, I’m not responsible for what others post.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Scott says:

                Some liberals did exactly that. Some conservatives, too. They’re actions are all equally despicable. That you chose to go that same direction here is no less so.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Scott says:


                Which conservatives have tried to use this tragedy?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Scott says:


                I come here in good part to talk about things while avoiding the partisan crapping on everything, which I consider “let’s blame the NRA for this” to be. The problem is that you crapped first. When ND responds, what can I say? He’s responding to the partisan crapping you initiated (at this site). Right now you’re making the League’s liberals look good, as only one has risen to your bait.Report

              • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Scott says:

                Seriously, Scott? Read the quote TVD posted above from OTB? In addition, I’ve seen another fairly well-read right wing site speculating about how the shooter must have had ties with OWS because supposedly the movie portrays OWS in a negative light.Report

              • Avatar Scott in reply to Scott says:


                I get it now. I’m the bad guy for pointing out that liberals are trying to use this tragedy. I can understand why liberals would don’t like folks pointing out what they are doing. As for making the liberals on this board look good, yea right, that will be the day.Report

              • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Will Truman says:

                OTB? Sorry, what is that? Off-track betting?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Rufus F. says:

                Outside The Beltway. My second favorite group blog, which I will likely be avoiding for the next week or so.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman says:

                OTB is a good blog fwiw.Report

        • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          I worded my comment badly. The Gainsville video was sent to me by a friend who is an FFDO and /always/ carries. I have a CWP but /never/ carry, so I’d be as much a casualty as anyone else in that situation unless I was incredibly lucky. My friend constantly chides me for not “doing my duty” and going out armed. The issue isn’t whether carrying a gun makes one safer, but whether bad guys /knowing/ that people are carrying guns become more circumspect in their actions. I’m also allergic to bee stings but refuse to carry an epipen so I guess part of me is just fatalistic.Report

          • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to wardsmith says:

            > The issue isn’t whether carrying a gun makes
            > one safer, but whether bad guys /knowing/
            > that people are carrying guns become
            > more circumspect in their actions.

            That argument carries water when you’re talking about guys who engage in robbery.

            It holds not much water at all when you’re talking about spree killers, who either blow their own heads off or commit suicide by cop at the end of their spree (not quite uniformly, and not in this case, but certainly much more often).

            These people are just fishing crazy. There are no two ways about it. There is really only a couple of viable positions on these sorts of events:

            * ready access to formal weapons increases the likelihood of a murderous spree

            * it doesn’t

            People have gone on killing sprees with swords, axes, muskets, shotguns, rifles, pistols (by the way, for total deaths in spree killings, pistols beat out “military-style” long arms), and bombs. These events, as a total number of incidents per capita per year, aren’t increasing, they’re decreasing (although they’re still rare enough that statistical significance is a laughable concept, so that argument lacks rigor). We just have 7 billion people, now, so that many more potential breakages in the noggin.Report

            • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

              These people are just fishing crazy. There are no two ways about it. There is really only a couple of viable positions on these sorts of events:

              * ready access to formal weapons increases the likelihood of a murderous spree

              * it doesn’t

              You can stipulate the first *, and still say that since we’re talking about small percentages of small percentages, the cost of action is not worth the benefit.Report

        • Avatar scott in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          Before nanny Bloomberg, the folks on ABC’s GMA were talking about tea party connections.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to wardsmith says:

        Cinemark doesn’t allow firearms in their theaters except for those carried by law enforcement. However, they don’t have a policy on gadgets you carry on your utility belt.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to wardsmith says:


        The theatre was dark, crowded, and the gunman was wearing body armor and threw out a tear gas type of grenade. CCW bravehearts would have likely made things worse.Report

        • Avatar wardsmith in reply to NewDealer says:

          Unlikely isn’t impossible. I’ve been trained and have been in live fire exercises. The bad guy (and I think we can all agree this nutjob is a bad guy) wore protective gear but no one knows how he would respond to live fire coming /his/ way. A bullet proof vest keeps you alive but the rounds hurt like hell, like getting punched by a heavyweight boxer. He might have panicked, he might have run we’ll never know. The two data points we have right now are he put up /zero/ resistance against armed policemen (unlike the LA bank shooters) and his own mom knew he was a nutjob.
          A San Diego woman identifying herself as James Holmes’s mother spoke briefly with ABC News this morning.

          She had awoken unaware of the news of the shooting and had not been contacted by authorities. She immediately expressed concern that her son may have been involved.

          “You have the right person,” she said.

          “I need to call the police,” she added. “I need to fly out to Colorado.”

          The woman and her husband later released a statement saying their “hearts go out to those who involved in this tragedy and to the families and friends of those involved. We are still trying to process this information and we appreciate that people will respect our privacy.” Report

          • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to wardsmith says:

            And the people firing back, who are mostly untrained in real emergencies (which are not the same thing as live fire exercises), might well have mistakenly or accidentally shot innocents and, having no way of knowing which gunmen were the good guys, each other. Crowds panic. That includes armed crowds.Report

            • Avatar wardsmith in reply to Mike Schilling says:

              So you’re saying in that situation we’d have more or less than 70 casualties? Real world incidents with real armed concealed carry people have not gone down as you surmised, but that isn’t’ to say it might have happened here. At Gifford’s shooting there were several CWP’s present, none of whom responded quickly until he went to reload and then they tackled him instead of shooting him.

              The guy was dressed normally, bought a ticket, snuck out through the emergency exit (which should have been alarmed BTW), propped the exit door open, changed into his battle gear and came back with multiple weapons. Someone like that, shooting into a crowd doesn’t “blend” very well, he’d be an easy target although there certainly exists the probability and even likelihood that there would be collateral damage from heroes. But would there have been 59 of them? Because there are 59 victims plus the 12 killed outright.

              My friend the federal flight deck officer would almost certainly have /wanted/ to be armed in that theater. Had he known that theater policy prohibited being armed, like any good law abiding citizen he’d have put the weapon away. Given our laws and the lawyers who take advantage of them, had he shot the bad guy and disabled him or even gotten him to run away, and had there been collateral damage, my friend would absolutely have been sued. We’ve talked about this, he knows the risks and believes it is still his duty as a citizen to do his part to “keep the peace”. I guess his 25 years in the military didn’t relieve him of that burden.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to wardsmith says:

                I’m not going to get in the gun control argument, but I do find it amazing that a line of argument that was a joke from Archie Bunker forty years ago (“All you gotta do is arm all your passengers. He ain’t got no more moral superiority there, and he ain’t gonna dare to pull out no rod. And then your airlines, they wouldn’t have to search the passengers on the ground no more, they just pass out the pistols at the beginning of the trip, and they just pick them up at the end! Case closed.”) is now conservative policy.

                That’s not even getting into the fact that in actual situations like that, instead of rushing in and shooting blindly, They establish a perimeter, figure out what the hell’s going on, gather intelligence, and so on. It isn’t hard to figure out why. When someone starts shooting, particularly in a dark theater, no one knows where the fire is coming from, how many there might be. The idea that having a bunch of armed movie-goers, or even an armed off-duty police officer, would have helped is either crazy or naive wishful thinking inspired by seeing too many action flicks. Hell, a third guy might shoot the second guy because who knows who the original shooter is?

                I’d also point out NYC cops fired 41 shots at an unarmed man at close range and still managed to miss 19 times. So, maybe everybody with a gun should downgrade their shooting abilities in a high-pressure situation by just a grade or two, all right?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                If more guns didn’t help, we wouldn’t even bother calling the police.

                The shooter is going to be the person with long guns that everyone is running away from, who is conspicuously shooting at people who are running away. In these kinds of beserker attacks, where there’s no specfic targets, the perp usually keeps shooting people until he runs out of ammunition or gets befuddled.

                Just engaging him is going to draw his focus and allow more people to escape, even if he never gets hit, and if you don’t engage him he’ll walk around executing people like a Terminator in a pre-school. The Norway shooter killed 69 people and injured 110. Do you really think someone with a 9-round Glock risks accidentally killing 69 people and wounding 110 by shooting back? I don’t think anyone could be unlucky enough to hit 20 people with each bullet every time.

                But short of shooting back, there are better responses than a stampede, but that would take a bolder mindset.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to George Turner says:

                In the chaos of shooting the cops might just as easily see the concerned citizen with CCW as the shooter and take him or her down. Or other concenred citizens with CCW might take the first guy trying to take down the shooter as a target. I’m not against CCW’s or the idea of people taking down a shooter, but it is too easy to postulate a movie scenario where some hero saves the day. Gun fights are messy, not clean.

                FWIW i saw a person carrying a big ol pistol in the local costco a few months ago. We have bears here in Ak so maybe it was for bear protection, but we don’t have bears in the costco. The gun was clearly to show all the other citizens. If i was a shooter, the person brandishing their hogleg would be the first one dead. They would never even know what hit them.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to greginak says:

                +1. This isn’t the third reel for a Chuck Norris movie. Again, even though I’m against CCW, I can at least see how it might be helpful during your average convenience store robbery or an attack in an open area like Gabby Giffords.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak says:

                A girl I go caving with goes grocery shopping with a gun on her hip and nobody bats an eye. Heck, I’ve carried a belt-fed machine gun through our downtown sports arena (the gun show place) and people in the food court don’t even look up. The diffence is probably due to whether it strikes a person as odd or unusual or not. I could imagine a scene in the Old West where a deputy says, “Hey, see that dude over there? He’s not wearing a gun on his hip! What’s he up to? We’d better keep our eye on him because he looks like trouble.”

                I don’t know of only one instance where a CCW holder has accidentally hit a bystander, one where an idiot aimed at a wall and pulled the trigger to show a crowd at a party that his gun was empty (it wasn’t, one dead), and an accidental shooting at a movie theater where a guy dropped his pistol and it shot him in the leg and another woman in the butt. She sued.

                That’s probably over the past 10 years, so statistically I would expect it to take about a century for CCW accidents to equal last night’s Batman premier.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to greginak says:

                George- If you are wearing you gun on the outside its for show and makes you a target for crazed shooters. CCW makes more sense if you are interested in self-protection. It’s easy to picture a scene where a CCW is used to down a shooter but the real world is a lot more of a mess then our imaginations.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to greginak says:

                Also, the Wild West was a far more violent time than today. Even with random mass shootings. So, the fact somebody without a gun in the Wild West was a cause for concern isn’t a point to the “arm everybody and we’ll be peaceful” crowd.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley in reply to greginak says:

                In the chaos of shooting the cops might just as easily see the concerned citizen with CCW as the shooter and take him or her down. Or other concenred citizens with CCW might take the first guy trying to take down the shooter as a target.

                So stipulated. Two questions in response:

                1) Are CCW folks likely to be aware or unaware of that danger?

                2) Given that danger, is the likely injury and death toll likely to go up or down as a consequence of CCW carriers putting themselves in that dangerous position?

                I’m agnostic on the wisdom of CCW, and I’m not eager to be in a theater full of armed folks. But I think these are legitimate questions.Report

              • Avatar North in reply to greginak says:

                This strikes me as moot. Concealed weapon laws typically allow private property owners to stipulate that guns (concealed or otherwise) are not allowed on their premises and you can guarantee that theaters would have such a restriction up as soon as such a law was passed. I saw it here in Minnesota: as soon as the gun laws permitted carrying the neat little signs went up on every store and mall door “XXYY prohibits guns on our property”.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to greginak says:

                George Turner,

                It is a myth that people used to go around carrying guns in the Wild West. In many towns, cowboys and others had to check in their guns with the Sherrif when entering town kind of like we have coat checks at restaurants.

                The legendary fight at the OK Coral was because the people did not want to check their guns.


              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to George Turner says:

                If more guns used by people who are part of a team trained to work together dealing with emergencies didn’t help, we wouldn’t even bother calling the police.


              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to wardsmith says:

                <i.So you’re saying in that situation we’d have more or less than 70 casualties?

                One of those. I don’t know which, nor do you.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to scott says:

      For damned good reason:

      American Gun laws are absolutely insane and I am tired of living under rule by the NRA. There is no legitimate reason for local police or civilians to have military grade weapons. There is no legitimate reason for Concealed Carry unless we want to prove that the United States really is a paranoid nation and we all think Escape from New York is around the corner. This is not an anarchy filled with warlords.Report

      • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to NewDealer says:

        Repeal the second amendment seems like your only course of action, if that’s how you feel.

        I don’t think you’re going to get anywhere.Report

        • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Pat Cahalan says:

          Or get 5 justices on the Supreme Court who believe like former Chief Burger that, “”[The Second Amendment] has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”Report

          • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

            Chief Justice Burger did say that.Report

            • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to NewDealer says:

              Interesting, true: FTR, Burger had retired, said it on McNeil/Lehrer, not in a Supreme Court case.

              From what I gather, neither right nor left has much good to say about his juridical acumen. [Most LoOGers will find his concurrence in Bowers v. Hardwick like seriously off the map.]Report

          • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

            “Or get 5 justices on the Supreme Court who believe…”


            You know how many independent-minded folk who like their guns don’t vote for Democrats precisely because they think this is part of the plan? Gun control stumping has probably lost the Democrats more support than any other single issue except abortion.

            You want to keep putting roadblocks up in front of the rest of your political agenda on this one issue?

            Note: I’ve said this before, and I’ll mention it here because it is germane: spree/rampage killings happen all over the world and the killers use guns… and bombs (improvised or otherwise), knives, machetes, spears, bows, cars, arson.

            The most successful spree kill killers (in terms of body count) aren’t the ones who use guns: bombs and arson, hands down.


            • Avatar Tom Van Dyke in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

              Great point, PatC. But everybody knows they also cling to their religion, so there’s that.Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

              I’m with Pat here. Gun control is a losing issue in the States and frankly not worth the energy the left wastes on it. Removing the second (fat chance) is the only realistic path to enforcing it; getting the Supremes to jigger the laws around it will just result in a series of electoral blood baths until the court is restacked to undo it. And, as a practical matter, I just don’t see the results of (well meaning gun control) in the US yielding any benefits remotely equivalent to their costs.Report

            • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Patrick Cahalan says:

              I thought it has been pretty much proven at this pont that almost all Independent voters are really “closet partisans” who do not want register with a party for largely psychological/perception reasons.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to NewDealer says:

                Speaking for myself only, this seems like a crock. Citation please.

                I registered independent because I never wanted either party to count on my vote. In presidential elections, I have voted third-party, Republican, and abstained; that I have not voted for a Democrat for President in the time I have been eligible to do so, is due largely to lack of appealing candidates during that time (there was a good chance I would have voted for Hillari, had she secured the nomination – my only real strike against her was simply the anti-dynasty thing, I don’t really want any more Clintons or Bushes, much as I liked Bill C.).

                I abstained in the most recent one because while I was not sure Obama deserved to win (IMO he was too inexperienced, and I was fairly certain his economic policies would not be to my liking) the Republicans damn sure deserved to lose, and I was in no way going to stand in the way of that happening.

                While Obama has not been great on the economic nor civil liberties front (though he often just continued his predecessor’s mistakes), his admin’s ending of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and belatedly coming out against DOMA are good things from the social end, and I recognize them as such, and am glad for that.

                In state/local elections I have voted for Democratic governors and Republican governors and D’s & R’s for various other lower and local positions, depending on the perceived competence:criminality ratios of each.

                So you tell me, NewDealer – who I am partisan for?

                I think it’s worth taking people at their word when they self-describe. Sure, some ‘independents’ are probably self-deluding or lying – just as I am sure there are probably some ‘bisexuals’ who really just can’t/won’t come all the way out of the closet to identify as gay for whatever reason.

                But it’s probably really annoying to the rest of them to just pretend they don’t exist, to state that you know that they are *really* something else, when they are standing up and waving and saying, ‘Hey, I’m right here.’Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph says:




                This is not to say that there are not true independents out there. There are 300 million people in the US. That leads towards a lot of variants but based on everything I’ve read, it seems that many people who described themselves as Independent are still largely straight-down party voters.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to NewDealer says:

                Thanks for the links NewDealer.

                We may be having a terminology or definition disagreement w/r/t the terms ‘independent’, and ‘almost all’, especially once we bring in the ‘leaners’ to confuse things.

                In your first two links, under their own definition (excluding ‘leaners’) researchers put the ‘true’ independent (non-leaning) number at around 10-15% (they note that some percentage of these will not turn out; but abstention can be a reasonable choice given unpalatable alternatives with no clearly superior choice – in other words, an independent, or anyone, declining to vote in any given election does *not* mean he is not what he claims to be).

                So let’s take that as correct, that is still 10-15 % of the populace. So my analogy to sexual orientation may not have been too far off. If you know some gay people, you probably know some independents (not that they are necessarily the same ones).

                The third Center Forward link actually cuts against this a bit – they put the ‘true’ number (excluding leaners or closet partisans) number at half of the independents – that is, 20% (half of 40%), and up to 23% according to the Pew poll.

                Somewhere between 10-23% of the electorate seems non-negligible to me.

                Sorry if I was crabby, and thanks for the link. I am tired and pretty sick, and these cold meds are doing me no favors.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to NewDealer says:

                I don’t know what the numbers say, but there does seem to be a certain degree to which being independent is “in vogue” nowadays.

                I’m independent, but I’m liberal. It is unlikely that I would ever vote Republican… at least not the current crop of Republicans. And I make no bones about this. I might not necessarily vote Democrat, but I’m almost assuredly voting for someone from that side of the aisle. I’m sure there are conservatives that mirror this position. And some folks who are genuinely in the middle.

                But, yea, I’m relatively confident saying that the notion of a large swath of voters who occupy the middle and aren’t sure whether they are going to vote D or R is a falsehood.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Kazzy says:

                Why is it so unthinkable? You don’t think most people put off making an important decision until the last possible moment? That while they may be leaning one way or another through temperament or habit or peer pressure or – gasp – sound reasons, , they are reserving final judgement until they have absorbed as much info as possible, or waiting to make sure something else doesn’t come up?

                Man, I have about as little faith in people as you can have, but even I think they do this.

                ‘This just in: Partisans Assume Everyone Must Be Partisan, Else, Liars’

                Kazzy, this isn’t directed at you, something about NewDealer’s comment just rubbed me the wrong way. I am really tired & sick though. Probably overreacting.

                But given the info I provide above – who am I planning to vote for? You tell me, and I’ll run with that.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:

                Oh, I certainly think SOME folks are as you describe them. But I also think the major parties/candidates are so different in most known regards*, that I struggle to see people really being on the fence. It’d be like someone being on the fence between buying a motorcycle and a tank when attempting to replace a broken down car.

                * I do believe that, in many ways, the parties are quite similar when it comes down to actually conducting business. But in terms of how they present themselves, they often seek to make it clear that they are diametrically opposed to one another.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Glyph says:

                And re: ‘independent’ being ‘in vogue’ – think that has anything to do with the general suckitude of the 2-party situation?

                There are young people who get all their movies via internet.

                From their POV, the prior ‘choices’ of viewing movies over the air, or via cable provider, both blow.

                Why would an increasing number of people opting for either ‘none of the above’ or ‘it depends’ be construed as secret partisanship for one of the old alternatives?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:

                I do. But I also think it is more than that. Not only is there genuine suckitude, but a way of signaling yourself as being above partisanship is to say, “Ya know what man, BOTH parties suck! I’m an independent!” It is similar to how someone (I forget who) has been putting forth the notion that strictly adhering to the notion that both parties are equally terrible and awful is just as dogmatic as strictly adhering to one party.

                I think a lot of people are genuinely “independent” in that they subscribe to think that does not conform to either of the dominant parties. I also think there are a lot of people that genuinely do subscribe to all or most of the thinking of a dominant party but think that insisting they are independent somehow demonstrates they are more thinking than they really are.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph says:

                Partially. Not necessarily because there are two parties but because I think there are growing perceptions that being an open partisan shows that you are willing to ignore inconvenient facts from the other side.

                The Congressional system seems to favor having two parties more than having multiple parties.

                What is interesting about the United States is how old our parties are. The Democratic Party is nearly 200 years old (let’s say it started with Jackson) and the Republican Party is not that far behind. The demographics of the parties have changed over generations but as far as I can tell there were always key groups that identified with each party from the start.

                Previous American parties stayed around for a few generations and then disintergrated like the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, the Whigs, etc.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:

                “Not necessarily because there are two parties but because I think there are growing perceptions that being an open partisan shows that you are willing to ignore inconvenient facts from the other side.”

                This is the phenomenon I was trying to get at. Smart people are too smart to be partisan. It’s hipsterdom gone political.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Glyph says:

                I suspect that “independent” arises from a problem with wording.

                Are you Republican, Democrat, or Independent? Hey, you know what, by that measure, *I* am an Independent!

                I’d be willing to bet that there aren’t that many folks on this board who would come out and say “I am a proud member of the X party!” Now, there are *SOME*, of course… but I think we’re more likely to have someone who says “I vote for the X party, and I donate to the X party, and I attack the Y party, but I don’t really consider my self an X, you know?”

                And then someone else can say that saying X Party is an insult.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

                Maybe, but I have voted for both, fund neither, am registered to neither, and attack both; I feel no affinity for either; and *then* am told I don’t exist (or that I am secretly, or effectively, R or D).

                I take ‘Independent’ to be a catch-all that encompasses me. I am not so special a snowflake that there are not others like me.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

                Isn’t there an actual Independent Party as well? Really what we are describing is people who are non-affiliated, which much better captures what we are describing but is SOOOOO much less sexy than “independent”. No one wants to be dependent… do they? (Insert joke about leaches of the state or whatever)Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Glyph says:

                In this election, you do seem to be in the minority that might decide the winner.

                My blogs have been showing that an overwhelming majority of people have already decided whether the are voting for Obama or Romney. This could change but probably not by much.


                I agree with Kazzy though. The platforms of both parties seem so different to me that I have a hardtime comprehending someone being undecided. We are in an age of hyper-polizarization.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to NewDealer says:

                I think this is a terminology problem. I think you may be using ‘Independent/Undecided’ to mean ‘Will vote for either Romney or Obama and has not yet decided or declared intent between these two options’.

                I am using ‘Independent’ in a way that encompasses ‘Will vote for Romney or Obama or will write in Gary Johnson as a protest vote or will stay home and drink in the dark.’Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to NewDealer says:

                will write in Gary Johnson as a protest vote or will stay home and drink in the dark.’

                The great thing about this country is that you can do *BOTH*.Report

              • Avatar Glyph in reply to NewDealer says:

                Yeah, who am I kidding, barring catastrophe I’m going Johnson so who cares what I think and why do I care what others think.

                Here’s to futility, JB!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to NewDealer says:

                I’m blessed enough to live in Colorado.

                If there are enough “independent” votes to make the difference between winning and losing for one of the two candidates, I’ll consider my job to have been done.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to NewDealer says:

        This doesn’t exactly square with the Second Amendment, but I’m OK with any weapon restrictions for civilians that also apply to police.Report

  11. Avatar greginak says:

    Perhaps people should pull up a large frothy mug of STFU until we actually have a lot more info on the shootings before grinding their political axes.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to greginak says:

      Well, it’s too early for us to speculate, [ed. I have just issued the usual media disclaimer that precedes wild speculation], but one of the dead is a Fox News sports reporter who survived a shooting in a Toronto food court just last month. It’s possible that she was the actual target of both shootings because she was dating the real Batman, since anyone he dates gets targeted by multiple psycho killers, and this particular shooter claimed to be Batman’s arch nemesis. Coincidence? Not likely.

      I can’t believe one of the cable networks hasn’t hired me as an on-air analyst.Report