Romney as Batman villain

What happens when pop culture addicts run your campaign:

According to Paul Bedard at The Washington Examiner, the Obama campaign takes Batman’s new enemy Bane, a pumped up venom gas breathing maniac, in the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” and compares him to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, because of the Massachusetts GOP’ers previous work with the investment firm Bain Capital, which Obama and Democrats say was a job killer. Get it–Bane and Bain?

Bedard writes:

“Bane” is the terrorist in the new movie who drives the caped crusader out of semi-retirement in the final Batman movie. Democrats, who believe they have Romney on the ropes over the president’s assault on his leadership at Bain Capital, said the comparisons are too rich to ignore. “It has been observed that movies can reflect the national mood,” said Democratic advisor and former Clinton aide Christopher Lehane. “Whether it is spelled Bain and being put out by the Obama campaign or Bane and being out by Hollywood, the narratives are similar: a highly intelligent villain with offshore interests and a past both are seeking to cover up who had a powerful father and is set on pillaging society,” he added.

Comic book writer Chuck Dixon created the character of Bane with Graham Nolan in the early 90′s and Dixon’s reaction to the news above, according to his message board on his website Dixonverse.net, was “I saw it on FB like two hours ago. Ridiculous. Tho’ I got a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach that Rush may pick up on this. And that would be the second time he pegged me and Graham as liberals on his show.”He later added, “Overgrasping Dems? Hey, if it gets Obama supporters into theaters. Maybe they’ll buy thousands of Bane toys to throw at Romney. It all adds to MY Bane capital. I wonder if the Romney campaign will contact me?”

The DC Comics character Bane is best known for releasing all of Gotham City’s criminals from Arkham Asuylum. Batman is pushed to the point of exhaustion as he rounds them all back up, but Bane is waiting for him and breaks Batman’s back. Bane brings forth chaos, anarchy, and lawlessness. Mitt Romney is not the first person to come to mind as far as the character of Bane is concerned. In fact, the chaos that Bane brings is reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street protests.

Other than the silly name play by the Obama campaign, the comparison is ridiculous, especially because Selina Kyle Catwoman, a thief who steals from rich individuals and is played by actress Ann Hathaway in the film, whispers to ultra wealthy Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego, in one trailer: “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne,” she says. “You and your friends better batten down the hatches. Because when it hits you’re all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”

via PICKET: Batman villain creator reacts to character’s comparison to Romney – ‘Ridiculous’..’Overgrasping Dems’ – Washington Times.

Besides, isn’t Batman the rich guy in the story, “millionaire industrialist” Bruce Wayne?  Who comes out of the private sector to right the wrongs that the government establishment types, like Police Commissioner Gordon can’t or won’t?  True, Bruce Wayne has some kind of strange religion that makes him wear unusual garb beneath his regular clothing, but. . . .[Two can play the game of explanatory paradigms!]

Actually, Bane, who is a tough blue-collar kind of guy, might help Romney’s image:

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    So, the writer wants to make the point that connecting comics and politics leads to silliness, and then ends his article by … connecting comics and politics. In an extremely silly way. Because his example brings to mind the 1% versus 99% rants of OWS, more than it makes me think of an Obama/Batman fail.

  • Tom Hering

    So, the writer wants to make the point that connecting comics and politics leads to silliness, and then ends his article by … connecting comics and politics. In an extremely silly way. Because his example brings to mind the 1% versus 99% rants of OWS, more than it makes me think of an Obama/Batman fail.

  • Joe

    Tom — I agree with your comment. I thought the article was moving along nicely; making an adult sounding point. Then … the unnecessary OWS bit that reads, “you can stop reading now.”

  • Joe

    Tom — I agree with your comment. I thought the article was moving along nicely; making an adult sounding point. Then … the unnecessary OWS bit that reads, “you can stop reading now.”

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, Tom and Joe, the writer was showing that while the Democrats were going off onto a tangent about the villain’s NAME, the actual storyline and what the characters do and say contradicts the meaning they are trying to assign to it.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, Tom and Joe, the writer was showing that while the Democrats were going off onto a tangent about the villain’s NAME, the actual storyline and what the characters do and say contradicts the meaning they are trying to assign to it.

  • formerly just steve

    Hasn’t political satire relied on comics and pop culture references for centuries? It’s a no-brainer: pop-culture is, by definition, popular and people get the references with little to no imagination on their part. Somehow, I think Aristophanes would approve.

  • formerly just steve

    Hasn’t political satire relied on comics and pop culture references for centuries? It’s a no-brainer: pop-culture is, by definition, popular and people get the references with little to no imagination on their part. Somehow, I think Aristophanes would approve.

  • Tom Hering

    So, the Obama campaign’s use of pop culture is silly. But the opinion blogger/editor for The Water Cooler, treating the matter as worthy of careful analysis, isn’t being equally silly?

  • Tom Hering

    So, the Obama campaign’s use of pop culture is silly. But the opinion blogger/editor for The Water Cooler, treating the matter as worthy of careful analysis, isn’t being equally silly?

  • DonS

    The Obama campaign is pathetic this cycle, and it looks to get a lot worse before its done. This is what happens when you have the sorry task of defending the indefensible.

  • DonS

    The Obama campaign is pathetic this cycle, and it looks to get a lot worse before its done. This is what happens when you have the sorry task of defending the indefensible.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    The reason it’s silly, Tom, is that the campaign is getting all excited about demonizing Romney by associating him with the villain in the new Batman movie whose name sounds the same as Romney’s company. But they are oblivious to the fact that the meaning of the villain and the storyline as a whole has no parallels to Romney. This is silly because of superficiality, though it highlights the tactic (which both sides use, though the Democrats have been hitting it harder lately) of demonizing your opponent, of trying to turn him into a comic book villain. (When accused of doing that, political operatives say, “no we’re not!” But this time they actually and literally are!)

    I do not consider comic books nor movies to be intrinsically silly or trivial.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    The reason it’s silly, Tom, is that the campaign is getting all excited about demonizing Romney by associating him with the villain in the new Batman movie whose name sounds the same as Romney’s company. But they are oblivious to the fact that the meaning of the villain and the storyline as a whole has no parallels to Romney. This is silly because of superficiality, though it highlights the tactic (which both sides use, though the Democrats have been hitting it harder lately) of demonizing your opponent, of trying to turn him into a comic book villain. (When accused of doing that, political operatives say, “no we’re not!” But this time they actually and literally are!)

    I do not consider comic books nor movies to be intrinsically silly or trivial.

  • Tom Hering

    Okay. I better stop arguing about this, as I’m in danger of making myself look silly. (I’ve never, ever, ever made myself look silly on this blog before, and I don’t want to start now. :-D )

  • Tom Hering

    Okay. I better stop arguing about this, as I’m in danger of making myself look silly. (I’ve never, ever, ever made myself look silly on this blog before, and I don’t want to start now. :-D )

  • Joe

    Gene — I got your point and I agree with it. While the main point of the article is that it is silly to use comic book characters to demonize a presidential candidate. My point was that the author undercut his own credibility a bit when we decided to insert that it is the OWS folks who are really Bane. The critique gets altered into a mere complaint about picking the wrong comic book villain. What if the villain was the Green Goblin (crocked capitalist Norman Osborn) instead?

  • Joe

    Gene — I got your point and I agree with it. While the main point of the article is that it is silly to use comic book characters to demonize a presidential candidate. My point was that the author undercut his own credibility a bit when we decided to insert that it is the OWS folks who are really Bane. The critique gets altered into a mere complaint about picking the wrong comic book villain. What if the villain was the Green Goblin (crocked capitalist Norman Osborn) instead?

  • Dust

    Am beginning to see why John McCain ran such a pathetic and wimpy campaign…..the Chicago style, smear machine must have come up with some very dirty dirt it would be more than happy to leak, unless of course, McCain would fold and just go thru the motions?

    Am pretty sure Romney won’t “cave” in to these tactics this election cycle…..holy one term Batman :)

    cheers!

  • Dust

    Am beginning to see why John McCain ran such a pathetic and wimpy campaign…..the Chicago style, smear machine must have come up with some very dirty dirt it would be more than happy to leak, unless of course, McCain would fold and just go thru the motions?

    Am pretty sure Romney won’t “cave” in to these tactics this election cycle…..holy one term Batman :)

    cheers!

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe–and Tom–did you even read the article? Nowhere does he claim that comparing people to comic-book characters is “silly.” It may or may not be silly, but the author’s point, as others have noted, is simply that Democrats are making a flawed analogy: Romney and the Bain affair actually bear no resemblance whatsoever (apparently) to Bane the Batman supervillain.

    That said, Democrats were probably just trying to conjure a rather atavistic word association in the minds of the public: BANE=BAD; BANE SOUNDS LIKE BAIN–>BAIN=BAD. Maybe it’ll work, but I have to agree with DonS: the Obama campaign in general is really, really lackluster this time around. Of course, they don’t have much to campaign on at a political level. But even the empty rhetoric they’re tossing out there is just ridiculous. Since I’m not a Romney supporter, I can only hope that things get a bit more substantive and serious. Even apart from the comic book flop, the entire Bain narrative is a non-starter: no one who doesn’t already oppose Romney cares, and the primary results proved it.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe–and Tom–did you even read the article? Nowhere does he claim that comparing people to comic-book characters is “silly.” It may or may not be silly, but the author’s point, as others have noted, is simply that Democrats are making a flawed analogy: Romney and the Bain affair actually bear no resemblance whatsoever (apparently) to Bane the Batman supervillain.

    That said, Democrats were probably just trying to conjure a rather atavistic word association in the minds of the public: BANE=BAD; BANE SOUNDS LIKE BAIN–>BAIN=BAD. Maybe it’ll work, but I have to agree with DonS: the Obama campaign in general is really, really lackluster this time around. Of course, they don’t have much to campaign on at a political level. But even the empty rhetoric they’re tossing out there is just ridiculous. Since I’m not a Romney supporter, I can only hope that things get a bit more substantive and serious. Even apart from the comic book flop, the entire Bain narrative is a non-starter: no one who doesn’t already oppose Romney cares, and the primary results proved it.

  • Joe

    Cincy — I guess you are right, I read into the article my own premise and then judged the author for not faithfully following my premise — that using comic book villains to vilify presidential candidates is silly.

    I will say this, he should have used my premise because as I pointed out there are comic book villains who do fit the narrative of who Obama wants Americans to think Romney is.

  • Joe

    Cincy — I guess you are right, I read into the article my own premise and then judged the author for not faithfully following my premise — that using comic book villains to vilify presidential candidates is silly.

    I will say this, he should have used my premise because as I pointed out there are comic book villains who do fit the narrative of who Obama wants Americans to think Romney is.

  • Cincinnatus

    Lex Luthor?

    But this misses the point: why wasn’t John Kerry’s hyper-wealth a problem in 2004? Or, really, why doesn’t the fact that all recent Presidents and congress-members are independently wealthy make the news? Apparently Romney is the first rich presidential candidate in history.

  • Cincinnatus

    Lex Luthor?

    But this misses the point: why wasn’t John Kerry’s hyper-wealth a problem in 2004? Or, really, why doesn’t the fact that all recent Presidents and congress-members are independently wealthy make the news? Apparently Romney is the first rich presidential candidate in history.

  • Joe

    Green Goblin aka Norman Osborn. Ultra-rich co-owner and president of Oscorp Industries who destroys his business partner in an effort to gain full control of Oscorp.

  • Joe

    Green Goblin aka Norman Osborn. Ultra-rich co-owner and president of Oscorp Industries who destroys his business partner in an effort to gain full control of Oscorp.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    C’mon, Romney team, you can do this! All you have to do to hit back is name-drop Conrad Bain and, pow, you’ve won!

    You know, Conrad Bain, the actor who played Mr. Drummond on Diff’rent Strokes. Yes, he was also a very wealthy man living on the East Coast, but he was also generous with his money, helping out two black kids who literally had nothing but their jeans. He also later adopted a red-headed child, I think, but never mind that.

    Anyhow, bam, there’s your pop-culture return volley. I’ll email you my consulting receipt.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    C’mon, Romney team, you can do this! All you have to do to hit back is name-drop Conrad Bain and, pow, you’ve won!

    You know, Conrad Bain, the actor who played Mr. Drummond on Diff’rent Strokes. Yes, he was also a very wealthy man living on the East Coast, but he was also generous with his money, helping out two black kids who literally had nothing but their jeans. He also later adopted a red-headed child, I think, but never mind that.

    Anyhow, bam, there’s your pop-culture return volley. I’ll email you my consulting receipt.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    That’s… just… lame.

    A President (regardless of the R or D title) resorting to pop culture references for the purpose of campaigning against his/her opponent is substituting intelligent argument for shallow wit.

    Guess that makes Obama the Joker, eh? Or better yet, how about Doomsday? Or Bizarro?

    (For the record, I’m torn on whether Marvel or DC is better)

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    That’s… just… lame.

    A President (regardless of the R or D title) resorting to pop culture references for the purpose of campaigning against his/her opponent is substituting intelligent argument for shallow wit.

    Guess that makes Obama the Joker, eh? Or better yet, how about Doomsday? Or Bizarro?

    (For the record, I’m torn on whether Marvel or DC is better)

  • Dust

    i think the really smart people are jumping the ship on the re-election and he’s left with sophomoric second stringers that come up with this juvenile junk?

    it’s going to get even more dirty, but it will be fun to watch since it is not going to work this time :)

    cheers!

  • Dust

    i think the really smart people are jumping the ship on the re-election and he’s left with sophomoric second stringers that come up with this juvenile junk?

    it’s going to get even more dirty, but it will be fun to watch since it is not going to work this time :)

    cheers!

  • T. Venditti

    In the world of marketing and spin in a 30 second dose, Bane/Bain represents a hook for those who base their voting on commercials, twitters, friends opinions, and any other less than thought out conviction. Last election, Obama was praised for running a campaign that grabbed the attention of the young voter — that is the target of this pop culture reference. Anyway, its not new, pop music (Don’t Stop Believe’n, a Change is Gonna Come), appearances on SNL to name a few. Obama seems to be gathering as much low lying fruit as possible — a la Get the Vote Out and vote Obama. While Romney relies on “candid” interviews on Face the Nation (still shuddering from that one). I find both campaigns leaving a bad taste in my mouth…

  • T. Venditti

    In the world of marketing and spin in a 30 second dose, Bane/Bain represents a hook for those who base their voting on commercials, twitters, friends opinions, and any other less than thought out conviction. Last election, Obama was praised for running a campaign that grabbed the attention of the young voter — that is the target of this pop culture reference. Anyway, its not new, pop music (Don’t Stop Believe’n, a Change is Gonna Come), appearances on SNL to name a few. Obama seems to be gathering as much low lying fruit as possible — a la Get the Vote Out and vote Obama. While Romney relies on “candid” interviews on Face the Nation (still shuddering from that one). I find both campaigns leaving a bad taste in my mouth…

  • Tom Hering

    My pick for the Batman character who best represents Romney is Ferris Boyle, CEO of GothCorp – “The People Company.”

    Look, Bruce, that “People Company” line is great PR, but when the wage slaves start acting like they own the place, it’s time to pull the plug. Know what I mean? – Batman: the Animated Series episode “Heart of Ice”

    Cold-hearted CEO Boyle could be thought of as Batman’s “star icicle,” which sounds a lot like Stericycle, which was one of Romney/Bain’s less warm-and-fuzzy business acquisitions (a company that disposed of medical waste, including aborted fetuses).

  • Tom Hering

    My pick for the Batman character who best represents Romney is Ferris Boyle, CEO of GothCorp – “The People Company.”

    Look, Bruce, that “People Company” line is great PR, but when the wage slaves start acting like they own the place, it’s time to pull the plug. Know what I mean? – Batman: the Animated Series episode “Heart of Ice”

    Cold-hearted CEO Boyle could be thought of as Batman’s “star icicle,” which sounds a lot like Stericycle, which was one of Romney/Bain’s less warm-and-fuzzy business acquisitions (a company that disposed of medical waste, including aborted fetuses).

  • formerly just steve

    tODD,

    I think your reference is to, umm, popped-culture. Anyone younger than 30 probably won’t get that one.

  • formerly just steve

    tODD,

    I think your reference is to, umm, popped-culture. Anyone younger than 30 probably won’t get that one.

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    FJSteve (@20), meh. Anyone younger than 30 probably isn’t voting, anyhow. Besides, they have Google and the smartphones.

  • http://Www.Toddstadler.com tODD

    FJSteve (@20), meh. Anyone younger than 30 probably isn’t voting, anyhow. Besides, they have Google and the smartphones.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407022659 Imma

    Relax Guys, Bane in the trailer looks like he can break an aemrord car he looked HUGE! Poster Bane doesn’t reflect that. They should always show the city under him or him looking down on someone to make him look as monstrous as he did looming over Batman in the trailer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003407022659 Imma

    Relax Guys, Bane in the trailer looks like he can break an aemrord car he looked HUGE! Poster Bane doesn’t reflect that. They should always show the city under him or him looking down on someone to make him look as monstrous as he did looming over Batman in the trailer.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X