Batman versus DubyaA column article, Comics Bulletin Soapbox by: Ray Tate
In The Politics of Superheroes, for Democratic Underground.com Pab Sungenis makes the comparison between John Kerry and Spider-Man as well as George Bush and Batman. I'm not going to argue whether or not the Kerry comparison is accurate. I support Kerry and while I would have been willing to vote for a mentally challenged ficus plant had it ran against George W. Bush, I actually find Kerry to be cogent and credible Presidential material.
The Batman has been with me ever since childhood, and it is on the subject of Batman which I feel that I am an expert. I almost choked up my liver when Sungenis made the comparison between George Bush and Batman. In this article, I will show that Batman is nothing like George Bush. In fact, Batman would hunt down George Bush and drag him, whimpering and cursing, to the Hague.
The biggest difference between the two entities is intelligence. Batman is one of the sharpest individuals on the face of the earth. He is the ultimate strategist. He is "the world's greatest detective." Classic heroes such as the Shadow and Sherlock Holmes recognized Batman as their successor. Batman's knowledge of science in general and biochemistry in particular is on a Ph.D. level. George Bush has a cow-like intellect. Bush's understanding of science is quite possibly the poorest this country has ever seen. This lack is partially why Bush believes that evolution is little more than guesswork.
Bush's stupidity derives also from a gross religious bias. Batman has no god. Although the Dark Knight has worked with the New Gods and with colleagues whose powers derive from the Greek Gods, he does not accept them as deities. Probably in Batman's eyes, they are simply more powerful super-beings. He does not consider Superman a god who nearly matches these individuals in raw power, but it is Superman whom he traditionally respects the most.
Batman is without a doubt an atheist, for if there were a god, then the being would have prevented the murder of his parents. If a god existed there would be no need for a Batman. George Bush wears his religion out in public. Most of his policies reflect his fundamentalist Christian belief system. Bush's asinine ban on stem cell research, the Iraq War, his attack on the environment which originates in a misplaced belief in divine right, his crusade against women's rights and his fear of gay marriage all spring from the cesspool that is a fundamentalist interpretation of The Bible. I wonder if he believes the earth is flat and the sky a tent.
Batman is an orphan. Bruce Wayne became Batman through a dedication to study and honing his body to perfection. Batman worked to become who he is. George Bush, who comes from a large family, could not have possibly reached the White House without the help of his brother Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush ordered State Troopers to block something like one hundred thousand Black voters from the polls and forced a swing to favor his slow-witted sibling.
Batman inherited his riches, but he would have gladly given up every penny if that sacrifice would have prevented the murder of his parents. He is not a wealthy wastrel like George W. Bush. All of Batman's wealth is channeled into either changing society for the better through the Wayne Foundation thus preventing a crucible for criminals or for his nocturnal activities as Batman to deal with the criminals already established. George Bush has oodles of money. I doubt he gives a single penny to a reputable charity. Bush is also a thief. He has stolen from the American people. He has subverted funds to wage a misplaced war all in a bid to grow even more wealthier. He did not wage war for the sake of his father. He did it for Haliburton. He is not changing society for the better. He is attempting to cripple society, to create more poverty, more death and unwittingly more terrorism. The countries that do not hate us are now severely disappointed in us because of Abhu Gharib. The United States of America's status as a democratic bastion has forever been tarnished by this miserable excuse for a President and his filthy administration. We are no longer the good guys, and perhaps given all the crimes against innocent citizens, that was always wishful thinking. Perhaps, it's more accurate to say that in the minds of the people, we wish to become good guys. It will never happen with George W. Bush in office.
Sungenis is dead wrong when he says that Batman has never gone after or brought to justice the criminal who "actually wronged him." Batman avenges his parents murder by confronting Joe Chill and revealing to him his identity. He frightens Chill into a hail of his cronies' bullets. If you ascribe to the movie version, Batman facilitates the death of the Joker who in the movie killed the Waynes. Batman having vengeance however does not quit. His vow becomes not to avenge his parents' death but to prevent the deaths of other parents and other children. George Bush had no such altruistic goals. He never has. He could have directed the country into a Golden Age. He could have said enough to partisan politics and did what was ethical, but he threw away all the unity that was created as an effect by September Eleventh to pursue the evil aims of himself and his puppet masters. The Patriot Act hasn't stopped a single act of terrorism. Terrorist plots have been stopped without it. The Patriot Act crushes civil rights. Batman respects the rights of the innocent.
Batman is feared because of who he is. His very presence makes the criminal heart skip a beat. George Bush is feared not for who he is but for the power that was given to him. Power which he has squandered for the vision of an anti-America. Sungenis misses something extremely obvious. The dangerous version of George Bush was born from September Eleventh. Without it he would have been ignored, shackled and voted out with an even greater majority. America was tired of George Bush almost a week into his Presidency, but the Tragedy on September Eleventh gave this complete disgrace of a human being the opportunity to create a miasma of paranoia. If Batman existed in the real world, there would have been no tragedy. Batman would have studied the reports regarding an inordinate number of Arab men taking avionics classes. He would have been aware of the potential for aircraft being used as weapons--Clinton certainly was aware of the fact, and he certainly would not have deemed the infamous report as "Bin Laden Determined To Attack Inside The United States" as "a historical document." In truth, that document would never have come to light because Batman would have destroyed Osama Bin Laden's terrorist network long before they sat in pilots' seats. Furthermore, Batman would have eradicated Al-Qaeda quietly. There would be no idiotic calls for duct taping, getting revaccinated for small pox, which was eradicated in the late seventies. There would be no color-coded terror alert system. There would be only Batman working in secret to safeguard a world that wasn't exactly sure of his existence. Bush does not work in secret. He broadcasts for the sake of securing his position of power.
If Batman were elected President, the United States would become almost a Utopia. He would not trample on human rights just to fight crime. Batman has never as Sungenis states "broken the fingers" of an "informant" simply to get information...even if the informant had nothing at all to do with the crime in question." Batman when he strikes is certain that his target knows something or is guilty of something. That's the beauty of fiction. Bush wrote a fiction to strike at a country who was innocent of the crimes of which it was accused. There were no weapons of mass destruction. There was no nuclear threat, and innocent soldiers are dying because of these lies perpetuated by a true villain and his Cyberman pal.
Sungenis is mistaken when he states that "Batman disposed of one of his targets by throwing him into a huge vat of acid." Batman originally was a very efficient killer of criminals, but he has never done what Sungenis states. Batman in "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" strikes the villain, and the force of the blow sends the villain flying over the railing and into the vat of acid. Batman, while indeed unconcerned that the villain will die, does not intend for this to happen. It's a cause and effect.
Bush's United States disgusts and frightens many American citizens who come November pray to whatever god they believe exists that their vote will actually be counted and the half-brained monkey in the White House will not be reappointed. I realize that the election is more important than a fictional character, but I will not allow somebody who doesn't know what the hell he's talking about to sully Batman's reputation by comparing him to a waste of skin like George W. Bush. Do not look to super-heroes for a George W. Bush comparison. Look toward the super-villains.