Tuesday, July 29, 2008

KNIGHT OR KNAVE?

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, Andrew Klavan praises the recent film The Dark Knight, and makes flattering comparisons between the film's superhero protagonist Batman and sitting U.S. President George W. Bush:
http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB121694247343482821.html

Well, God bless Mr. Klavan for enjoying the movie. One of the great things about pop-culture films is that people from "both" sides of the political fence can watch and be entertained.
Still, while I am amused by Mr. Klavan's logic model, I would have to disagree. To me, our Commander-in-Chief George W. Bush is less like Batman, and more like one of the Dark Knight movie's villains, Harvey Dent a.k.a. Two-Face. In the film, Harvey Dent is an elected official--a crusading District Attorney who wants to rid Gotham City of its criminal element, especially the Mob. Dent hides a dark side, however, and when he is kidnapped and disfigured in an explosion, he goes mentally over the edge, seeking lethal revenge against anyone who he feel has crossed him-- he lets his enemies live-- or die-- based on a coin toss. With the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, nationwide home foreclosures, wallet-busting gas prices (no, $3.95 a gallon compared to $4.30 isn't really a great deal) and other sad states of affairs home and abroad, it could be argued that many of President Bush's choices have been made with all of the depth of flipping a coin, that's for sure. Bush originally ran for office back in 2000 based in part on his carefully crafted image of a 'compassionate conservative'; in the years since then, Bush quickly settled into the far-right comfort zone of the Neo-Con club, compassion be darned. Talk about two-faced, eh?

But in the spirit of fun, let's see who else from Batman's Rogues Gallery has something in common with the most prominent people in the Bush White House cabinet:


  • Dick Cheney (vice president.)- The Penguin: in the comics, the Penguin owns legitimate businesses while conducting all kinds of skulduggery behind closed doors. As a key stakeholder in Halliburton, war and related mayhem has apparently made good for profits for Cheney and company.
  • Karl Rove (former senior adviser)- The Riddler: Thanks in great part to his labyrinthine plans, the United States invaded Iraq to find Weapons of Mass Disappearance (er, Destruction), and some five years later, the riddle hasn't been solved- why are we still here?
  • Donald Rumsfeld (former Secretary of Defense)- Mad Hatter: In the comics, this crook has high-tech gizmos to control people's minds to do his bidding, with sinister results. I'll leave it at that.
  • Robert Gates (current Secretary of Defense)- Scarecrow: In the comics, this villain uses 'fear dust' to make people unduly scared. What does the color-coded terror alert say today? "Be afraid. Be vary afraid. Of Everything! Hey, is that an Al-Qaeda operative or your shadow?"
  • Condoleeza Rice (Secretary of state)- Poison Ivy: In the comics, she's beautiful to look at, but deadly to touch. Dr. Rice will smile and say that things are going better than ever in Iraq; wait, wasn't there another suicide bombing yesterday?
  • Michael Chertoff (Secretary of Homeland security) - Joker: Certainly, homeland security has been a joke for a long time, the Katrina tragedy being only the most glaring example.
  • Henry Paulson (Secretary of Treasury)- Mr. Freeze: With the United States currently having a deficit of nearly $500 billion (http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807280333) layoffs and unemployment strangling even the middle class, the country's economy might as well be in an Ice Age.

Needless to say, we'll have to wait and see what develops next- Same Bush time, same Bush channel?

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