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John Wayne, John Wayne Gacy, what’s really the difference?

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has a thing for John Wayne. In an interview yesterday with Newsmax, she said she wants to live in “John Wayne’s America.” And in the Iowa town of Waterloo today, where she announced her presidential candidacy, Bachmann told Fox News, “John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” But unfortunately for historically challenged Bachmann, as the Washington Times points out, the John Wayne born in Waterloo is John Wayne Gacy, the notorious serial killer who murdered 33 teenage boys and young men, not the iconic Western actor.

Your Republican Party ladies and gentlemen!

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  • Fighting Words

    Slightly off topic, but do conservatives realize that the real John Wayne was…kind of a fraud?

    I mean, this is a guy that many people think of as some gung ho patriot, but he never served in the military, and specifically didn’t enlist in the military to serve in WWII becaue he thought it would ruin his career in acting.

    This is a guy who many see as this staunch anti-communist, but he was really only outspoken after the House of Un-American activities had already run its course.

    From what I read, even real Hollywood conservatives like James Stewart and Gary Cooper looked down on him.

    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      Sounds to me like the guy is the perfect symbol for the Chicken Hawk Conservatives.

      (Don’t forget, he bravely made Green Berets! What a sacrifice that was!)

    • Rob

      This is a party that worships a President who thought he was in World War II because he made a movie.

    • Joshua

      So in other words, the guy with the most “patriot” bonafides was a total phony and careerist, and walked away from the fight when his nation called on him?

      I got news for Bachmann: she’s already living in John Wayne’s America.

      • snarkout

        There’s a great story about “It’s a Wonderful Life”. One of Wayne’s flunkies, Ward Bond (who played Bert in IaWL) passed on a request to Frank Capra that he decline to hire Anne Revere, a CPUSA member, to play George’s mother. (The part eventually went to Beulah Bondi, who had played Stewart’s mother in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”.) Capra, who served as an Army mathematics instructor in the artillery corps during WWI and of course was cranking out “Why We Fight” propaganda films during WWII, told Bond to tell Wayne that as far as he saw it, he didn’t have to take advice on patriotism from a draft dodger. Wayne apparently was apoplectic.

    • DrDick

      Heh. My father, a life long Republican, who served in the Pacific during WW II used to insist on watching The Sands of Iwo Jima every time it was on TV. Every time he would say the same thing: “I never saw John Wayne when I was there.”

    • Liberals fascinate me with their hypocrasy. Michelle makes a technical gaff, and all you do is jump on the mistake and ignore the point of the message. Where was the outcry when Obama make the comments shown in this video clip? Which comment shows the greater lack of intelligence, not knowing where John Wayne was born, or not knowing how many states are in the USA?

  • Anonymous

    Really? Wikipedia lists JWG’s birthplace as Chicago. Family moved TO Waterloo, IA.

    • hv

      Whom do you think she meant, then?

      • Anonymous

        Huh? Read: “But unfortunately for historically challenged Bachmann, as the Washington Times points out, the John Wayne born in Waterloo is John Wayne Gacy.”

        • Hogan

          Well . . . it IS the Washington Times.

          • Anonymous

            And ThinkProgress and Erik Loomis. I expect unicorns and puppies from the factless ike Bachmann; I expect more accuracy from posts linked by LGM/Loomis and ThinkProgress.

        • hv

          The Washington Times being wrong didn’t make Bachmann more right, is my point.

    • Glenn

      She didn’t say “born in” she said “was from.” The Times’ misstatement aside, John Wayne Gacy was certainly “from” Waterloo.

  • Ubu Imperator

    Assuming we’re playing by the IOKIYAR rules, I eagerly await defenses noting that John Wayne (AKA Marion Morrison) was born in Winterset, Iowa, which is very similar to “Waterloo”, in that both of them are in Iowa, begin with a W, and have “ter” as one of their syllables, so she was practically correct, and only Deeply Unserious People–probably sexist liberals!–would use this to once again point out that she’s a goddamn moron who doesn’t know what planet she’s on and should be spurned like a rabid dog.

    • Hogan

      It seems her actual defense is that the Duke’s parents were from Waterloo, ergo she was right based on the logical principle of so shut up.

    • They even both have “-ter-” as their second syllable, so she was clearly right-ish; leave it to lamestream media and pointy-headed liberal elites to actually demand 100% accuracy in silly things like facts.

  • Hogan

    Waterloo, Winterset, it’s all flyover country to those suburban Minneapolis elitists.

    • rea

      Perhaps Ms. Bachmann has finally met her Winterset?

      • allium

        “Winterset
        Couldn’t escape with a trebuchet
        Winterset
        Knowing my fate is to be quite wet.”

        “Winterset”, by the rock group IBBI, was the Third Kalmar Union’s winning submission for the 1974 Eurovijin Songerkontest on Earth-471

  • efgoldman

    Popcorn! Get yer popcorn right here!

  • howard

    i’ve been running this around in my mind for a few minutes now: putting aside the actual john wayne, for a moment, and simply dealing with the john wayne that bachman believes existed, what would “john wayne’s america” look like?

    • Tyto

      Very similar to the KKK’s America, actually.

      • “Who says he can’t? Pour yourself a drink, Pompey.”

      • strannix

        FYI – this makes you look worse than either Bachmann or Wayne.

        • Teacherboy

          Not really. John Wayne, as late as 1971, was just about as old school racist as one gets. That playboy interview he gave is pretty creepy.

          • Tyto

            I couldn’t remember the source. Thanks.

          • Malaclypse

            I had never heard of this until just now, but wow.

        • Tyto

          Let’s see, the man was well-known for his racism and anti-semitism. To be fair, I don’t know whether he actually endorsed Hitler’s approach to “undesirables.” But really, is it so hard to imagine that a virulent racist would favor an America that marginalized anyone unlike him?

    • KBNC

      I’m pretty sure it’s the mid-19th century in Arizona or someplace, where you can pretty much shoot whoever you want. Where men are men, and show that manliness mostly through shooting and phony gestures of chivalry to mask a deep-seated misogynistic perspectives. In this place Latinos are always bad guys to be feared and expelled, there is no public infrastructure except trains, and, again I stress, there is lots and lots of shooting.

      • hv

        “Five days? But I’m mad now! I’d kill you if I had my gun.”

    • snarkout

      It would be fabulous! I installed a two-way mirror in his pad in Brentwood, and he came to the door in a dress.

    • strannix

      This is a tricky question, because I think that odds are good that Bachmann doesn’t know much about John Wayne movies or Wayne himself. It’s hard to know what image she has in her head or what she thinks he represents.

      It’s certainly a question worth asking, though, and I wonder if any actual reporters are going to bother. For the record, here’s what she had to say from the Newsmax article:

      …Barack Obama is turning this nation into a Third World, socialist nation. We’re seeing the nation move into decline. I’m not willing to do that. I’m not satisfied. I grew up with John Wayne’s America. I was proud that you grew up in John Wayne’s America: Proud to be an American, thrilled to be a patriot. I always knew that I could do better if I worked hard. Now, when I talk to parents, they don’t think that that is the case for their children. That’s not the America that I want to have. I want to see us on the upswing, and not on the decline. So I’m really very excited about bringing that positive message out.

      That makes it sound like “John Wayne’s America” is just a variation of the same generic “Main Street” stuff that we’ve been hearing from both parties for some time.

      • DrDick

        Nope, sounds like the wealthy white, Christian, male dominated world I grew up in or, to use Tyto’s words, the KKK’s America. For those too young to remember it, “socialist” is code for “uppity black”. It is what conservatives called MLK.

        • strannix

          For those too young to remember it, “socialist” is code for “uppity black”. It is what conservatives called MLK.

          …and everyone else. Seriously, Google “Bill Clinton socialist.” Or “John Kerry socialist.” Or “Howard Dean socialist.” Or any other prominent Democrat and “socialist.” Or, you can try “Mitt Romney” – surely the preeminent uppity black of our times – and “socialist.”

          Jesus this KKK thing is stupid. As the wise man said, it’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe.

          • DrDick

            Are you really so clueless as to believe that race is not a large part of what motivates Bachmann and those like her? I am surpised that you ever learned to breathe.

            • Holden Pattern

              Concern troll is concerned!

            • strannix

              Well now, you say that “socialist” is code for “uppity black.” When that is shown to be asinine, you move to goalposts to a much more general “race is a large part” of her politics.

              At least have the good manners to acknowledge that you’re backing off your earlier claim.

              • DrDick

                I am not backing off of anything. “Socialist” was and is still coded racism. It is not the only way the rightwing uses the term (the Birchers called Eisenhower a socialist as well). More to the point, what outrages Bachmann and the teabaggers is that they believe the government is taking their money and giving it to those people. That is also what they meant when they called Clinton, Dean, or Kerry were socialists. This goes back to Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” and Reagan’s “welfare queens.” Whenever conservatives wax nostalgic for “John Wayne’s America” they mean an America where minorities, women, gays, and everyone else not just like them knew their place and staid there. Please get a clue.

                • cer

                  Third world socialist.” Not even coded, really.

        • owlbear1

          Yeah, Dr.Dick, she could have said Charles Nelson Reilly’s America and meant the exact same thing!

          • Furious Jorge

            But he can heal the sick with the touch of his hand …

    • Hogan

      We’d be running around atomic test sites making horrible movies about Genghis Khan. Or killing Lee Marvin from ambush so Jimmy Stewart can marry Vera Miles. Or maybe both. Anyway, it’s definitely in Monument Valley. Or else in mirror-world Vietnam, where the South China Sea is on the western side.

      • Fighting Words

        I would rather it be like when Matt Garth and Cherry Valance checked out each other pistols in Red River…but that’s just me.

        As much as I disagree with the guy politically, and he did make some duds, but John Wayne was in some great films – Red River, The Searchers, Stagecoach, Rio Bravo, the Cavalry Triology, Sands of Iwo Jima, etc.

        • Hogan

          Agreed. I like the story about John Ford seeing Red River (directed by Howard Hawks) and saying, “I never knew the big lug could act.”

    • John F

      No really relevant, but I saw John Wayne’s version of the Alamo awhile back- it was
      1: As historically challenged as I expected
      2: Not as bad a movie as I expected
      3: Far more respectful of the Mexicans (or at least the Mexican soldiers) than I expected

      • Fighting Words

        Actually, all three of John Wayne’s wives were Latinas. Maybe that had something to do with it. Most westerns of that era weren’t too respectful when portraying Mexicans.

      • Hogan

        Have you seen Fort Apache? Wayne is the one who negotiates with the Apache; Henry Fonda is the one who finds them contemptible, until they kill him and most of his men.

        • firefall

          To be fair to Fonda’s character, I dont think he stopped finding them contemptible just because they killed him.

        • UberMitch

          I suppose you could also throw in The Searchers, where Wayne’s character’s racism against the Comanches is clearly presented in a negative light.

  • Harry-the Hat

    This is pretty lame.

    All politicians make these gaffes. Obama talked about going to “57 of the 58 states” and don’t get me started on Joe Biden.

    Must be a slow news day.

    • Socraticsilence

      I love how one gaffe by a guy whose basically the most eloquent politician of his generation means no Republican gaffe ever, no matter how stupid or how oft repeated is a valid point of mockery. Its almost as if there’s a double standard or something.

    • Anticorium

      What a genius this Obama fellow must be, that out of all the words he has spoken and written, this is the one mistake people ever bring up.

      • “No, no. I have been practicing…I bowled a 129. It’s like — it was like Special Olympics, or something.”

        • Anticorium

          You’re calling a 129 good bowling? Wow.

      • Harry-the-Hat

        …that out of all the words he has spoken and written, this is the one mistake people ever bring up.

        He speaks “Austrian”

        “It was … interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There’s a lot of — I don’t know what the term is in Austrian — wheeling and dealing … “

  • mark f

    Really? No one? Erik, I am disappoint.

    • davenoon

      I submit my credentials for approval.

      • Seriously – these really need to return.

      • mark f

        davenoon, I am approve.

  • Oscar Leroy

    Is what Michelle Bachman said more stupid than Barack Obama’s “the government can’t create jobs”?

    • DrDick

      Yes.
      This has been another edition of ….

    • Anonymous

      Hmm… A debatable policy point (I think Obama was wrong but his statement wasn’t grossly out of the mainstream) vs. characterizing oneself as having the spirit of a Serial Killer- yeah can’t see which one is a bigger gaffe.

  • DrDick

    On sober reflection, I do believe that Bachmann actually engaged in an unwitting bout of honesty. It really is the spirit of John Wayne Gacy which animates her.

    • BigHank53

      I’m not going to check out her crawlspace. Not. I don’t want to know.

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