I see a common pattern on this board and in general political discussion of dismissive labels being applied totally inaccurately to people and then used to ignore them or avoid debating more specific issues at hand. I've been labeled a rightwinger, wingnut, neocon, Republican, etc. when I criticize Obama and Democrats for escalating the occupation of Afghanistan, curtailing civil liberties, egregiously rebuking the rule of law, expanding executive power, colluding with powerful corporate interests against the public good on health care reform and the bailout, and general lack of transparency. I've also been labeled an Obamabot, wingnut, socialist, Democrat, etc. when I criticize Bush and Republicans for much of the same and even greater failures of foreign policy and domestic governance, curtailment of basic liberties and disastrous economics, and extreme secrecy in how it operated. I'm far from the only one I see this happen to, it's quite pervasive. Critique the Kagan pick, you're assumed to be a Tea Partier and your argument is dismissed by the members who identify with the "left" no matter how substantive. Critique Cheney's views on habeus corpus, you're assumed to be a true blue partisan and your argument is dismissed by the members who identify with the "right" no matter how substantive. I've never voted nor supported either national party or their candidates, I've actually actively opposed them my entire adult life, and I have to believe there are a fair amount of genuine independents on the board, despite the generally polarized and partisan makeup here, whose grievances cannot be conveniently packaged with the platform of any party or movement. I just want to bring it to general attention in the hopes that a couple people will read this and think twice before assuming the next person they disagree or agree with in a thread is automatically of a certain political persuasion, holds a variety of allegiances, and can be judged on a wide range of issues based on their opinion on a single and specific one. We'd all be better off and discussion here would be a lot more rewarding if people took a little extra time and care to actually debate the issue at hand and not jump to conclusions about agendas and broader political beliefs, labeling any opponent in order to dismiss all they say or insult them, but rather engaging them point-by-point. Obviously there are people here who are simply loyalist partisans of both parties, but a lot of other people are more complex and individualized and there could actually be merit to debate that isn't shoehorned into simplistic, polarized, and so often inaccurate "sides." *Steps off soap box* Thanks for listening.