Captain America Has a Civil Libertarian Bent But Iron Man Was Right

I never read Captain America while growing up because it was corny. Rarely did I find a Cap story I could enjoy. If I was 15 years older and grew up when Captain America considered Nixon to be a terrorist, leading him to quit to become Nomad and later The Captain, maybe I wouldn't see it that way. I also never understood why the military, or even the Avengers, never promoted Cap from company command. If Nick Fury can go from Cap's first sergeant to a colonel (or, in the Ultimate universe, a general), then surely at some point someone can kick the guy upstairs. Even to a staff job. The guy is like 90 years old. Shouldn't Steve Rogers be Gen. America? That said, Ed Brubaker has done some of the only writing on Captain America I can enjoy. It's complex and thought-provoking.

Anyway, in the midst of the ongoing saga of Brubaker-vs-the-Teabaggers, Marvel is going out of its way to indicate, however implausibly, that the company, Brubaker and certainly the icon of Captain America has nothing against their mature insistence that the national debt suddenly became a problem when the black guy took the oath of office and that freedom's just another word for "top marginal tax rate." Adam Serwer, citing Julian Sanchez, does a good job of showing just why that's so implausible. Captain America -- the original Steve Rogers version -- "died" defending the principle that, in his words, when the government controls the superheroes, they'll start redefining the supervillians to target legitimate political speech.

The thing is that was totally wrong and it gives me some sympathy with the teabaggers here. In the 'Civil War' storyline, Iron Man responded to a superhero-wrought tragedy by...