(Above) John Wayne as David Crockett in the 1960 must-see classic of American post-war aspirations, The Alamo, with Laurence Harvey, Richard Widmark, Richard Bone, Frankie Avalon, Chill Wills, Partrick Wayne.
The exchange of videos between OFA and the Romney camp on the agitprop video featuring Joe Soptic naming Mitt Romney as the villain who killed his wife tells me that the election season has reached the fabled moment of the first bloodletting. The black flag is raised above YouTube. It means "no prisoners." In March 1836, Santa Anna ordered the black flag raised at his encampment in San Antonio de Bexar, telling the fewer than 200 Texas colonists and rebels in the Alamo that there will be no prisoners taken, that the men in the Alamo were condemned as "pirates." Travis, Bowie, Crockett, all knew that Santa Anna would not negotiate, and when Travis drew the line on the ground in the Alamo, to offer escape to the rebels, they all knew that stepping across meant death (see James Donovan's thrilling new The Blood of Heroes: The 13-Day Struggle for the Alamo -- and the Sacrifice that Forged a Nation). Same for 2012. Santa Anna's thinking was that the rebellion in Tejas, which had started the previous fall with the capture of Bexar by the so-called "Army of the People," had to be wiped out in such a way that there would be no doubts afterward that Santa Anna was king. Same for 2012. Both electioneering camps benefit by conveying the idea to their partisans that the other side is bloodthirsty, false-tongued and ruthless. Does this make OFA into the six thousand Mexicans who marched to Bexar and Goliad and massacred the rebels? Does this make the Romney camp into Travis at the Alamo and Fannin at Goliad? Who is Sam Houston gathering the revenge force that will strike at San Jacinto? Who is Andrew Jackson who benefits mightily from the rising of the colonists in distant, nascent Texas? The black flag is raised.