We've all read historical dramas that mix reality with fiction. Dramas such as War & Remembrence, mash-ups such as "Lincoln vs. Zombies" or "Millard Fillmore vs. Vampires" (happy birthday to president Fillmore, btw, Jan. 7) How wise is it to insert real people as characters? Let us say, for example, that I write a story in which I mix real characters with fictional ones. If I truly just go with it, I feel I might get into some trouble, in this PC age, this sensitive age. Sure, others have done it before me. Herman Wouk portrayed FDR as a flawed person in War & Remembrence. Tom Clancy killed Yeltzin. John Birmingham wrote an alternate history book in which Bush and Cheney die, and Ariel Sharon kills 85 million Arabs and Iranians. I'm writing a short story that includes the US president and CIA director as minor characters. It's funny because I actually had to look for the name of the guy who temporarily replaced Patreus, and less than 24 hours later I learn that Obama picked Brannan for the job. I can decide to just pick random names for these characters, and, maybe, base them partially on any real politician I want. Or, I can actually named them Obama and Brannan and inject some of the actual facts about these two men. My main character is militant who used to like the US but gradually feels betrayed by it, and even gets into rhetoric of how tyrants should be killed, etc. You see where I'm going with this. It doesn't represent my emotions, and that character is designed to be a villain, but, still, if you were to write a character who encourages violence against a politician, would you pick a fictional politician or an actual living politician? Also, would you be more comfortable writing a character based on a politician you support or oppose? Just wonderin.