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August 4, 2008

Why Barack Obama Will Never Be Batman


Would Barack Obama be willing to take an unpopular action because he believes it is the right action? Would he sacrifice his popularity for his country?


Batman would.


The Dark Knight is not merely an extraordinary movie and an excellent final performance by Heath Ledger. It is the story of America, its people and its leaders. And it brings forth serious questions about Obama’s presidential fitness, or lack thereof.


Let us begin with the similarities. Both Batman and Obama are rich.


Both have advocated surrender. When the Joker began terrorizing the city by promising to kill people every day until Batman revealed his true identity, Batman decided to turn himself in rather than fight on to finally eliminate the terrorist by risking further casualties. Indeed, he was further pressured to surrender by the weak citizens of Gotham, who were begging for capitulation to the Joker’s demands because they believed that such a concession would stop the killing. Unfortunately, they were blind to the implications of rewarding an irrational terrorist’s violent behavior and threats. Without knowing it, they were merely encouraging him to be bolder.


Luckily, Harvey Dent knocked some sense into Batman by taking the fall for him, at which point Batman realized that he could not let the Joker win. Of course, even when the Joker believed that he had gotten his wish (Batman’s surrender), he nonetheless pursued his violent impulses, knocking out an entire SWAT contingent in an attempt to kill Batman. So much for bargaining with terrorists.


Just when things appeared to be at their worst, the real Batman went all out, engaging both his batmobile and batpod to fiercely pursue and knock out the Joker – a surge of effort, if you will, that helped to get the Joker off the streets (until his inadequate prison guards let him escape).


So just when things appeared to be at their worst in Gotham, Batman went from the brink of surrender to taking the fight to the Joker, and winning. Yet just when things appeared to be at their worst in Iraq, Obama rejected the surge and embraced surrender – an action that would have resulted in chaos on a scale imaginable by no human. Thankfully, he was not president at the time, and the U.S. instead initiated a surge that is winning the Iraq War with striking success.


Would you trust a man of Obama’s infirmity to be Batman? And then, would you trust a man who does not possess the leadership qualities of Batman to be president of the world’s only superpower?


The list of differences between Obama and Batman is long:


Batman is incorruptible. Obama asked for a $1 million earmark for his wife’s hospital not too long after she received a $195,000 raise, 270 percent of what she had been making prior to him taking office.


Batman is willing to bend some rules to kidnap a criminal from Hong Kong in order to bring him to justice. Obama would have asked the United Nations if he could please borrow the criminal, failed, and tried again, but this time with a pretty smile.


Batman was willing to utilize a system mapping all of Gotham’s cell phones in order to find the Joker and bring peace back to Gotham. Until it recently became inconvenient for Obama to appear weak on national security, he ardently opposed a narrow wiretapping bill that is crucial to our efforts to fight terrorism.


Batman did not mind using physical pain to get life-saving information out of criminals he knew had such vital information. Obama would also advocate such interrogation techniques. Ha! Just kidding.


Although he is willing to coordinate with others when their goals are similar, Batman has absolutely no problem acting unilaterally when he thinks it is needed. Obama would beg the corrupt leaders of the world for permission before taking an action to protect America.


Batman learned one of the movie’s important lessons: “Some men aren’t looking for anything logical. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” Obama, on the other hand, wants to sit down and negotiate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong Il.


But most importantly, Batman went so far as to frame himself for another’s murders, thus sacrificing himself and his popularity, only to save his city. Would Obama do the same? Would the man who refused to visit our troops while in Germany because he wasn’t allowed to bring along cameras take a necessary action, even if that action made him subject to the media’s and the people’s criticism?


There is yet to be any hint that he would. Virtually every major position Obama has taken in the last few years has also been the preferred position of the majority of those voting in an upcoming election in which he is a candidate. At this rate, he will never be the “new” politician he claims to be. And he will certainly never be Batman, not even metaphorically.

© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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