[Editor’s Note – If you haven’t done so already, make sure to check out our Getting to Know … Bane article, which talks to Bane’s creators – Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan and Dennis O’Neil – about the origin of the character and his inclusion in The Dark Knight Rises.]
A grotesque, bulbous, aristocratic villain has waddled into the limelight, attempting to take down Batman with a smear campaign.
No, I’m not recounting the plot of Batman Returns. It isn’t Danny DeVito’s Penguin kidnapping the ice princess and framing Batman for the crime. No this time it’s our old friend Rush Limbaugh, taking a break from calling any woman who uses birth control a whore to attack the Caped Crusader.
Limbaugh has convinced himself that the villain Bane in the forthcoming Dark Knight Rises was conceived as part of some vast left-wing conspiracy in order to draw attention to Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.
According to Limbaugh: “The thought is that when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year, and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, Romney and Bain, that these people will think back to the Batman movie … There are some people who think it’ll work. Others think you’re really underestimating the American people to think that will work.”
“You may think it’s ridiculous, I’m just telling you this is the kind of stuff the Obama team is lining up. The kind of people who would draw this comparison are the kind of people that they are campaigning to. These are the kind of people that they are attempting to appeal to,” he added.
Now normally, when someone spouts this level of crazy at you, you simply compliment them on their tinfoil hat and continue briskly making your way to the Pottery Barn. But Limbaugh is a national figure with an inexplicably popular talk show, so when he talks, people listen.
Never mind the fact that Bane was created in 1993 by Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan (which Limbaugh would have known if he read this article) and that Dixon randomly picked the name out of a dictionary because he liked the sound of it. In Crazy Town, facts are irrelevant. Surely this is all a conspiracy and surely the Obama campaign has nothing better to talk about during the election than summer blockbusters.
(Painting Romney as Bane would also make Obama Batman, which would never work. Bruce Wayne is a billionaire who believes in circumventing the Constitution in order to stop his enemies. He’d totally be a Republican.)
However, by far the biggest misstep Limbaugh makes in his crazy tirade is in trying to argue that this would be a bad thing for Romney. The Republican candidate should be praying that Obama gets the American public thinking of Bane every time he mentions Bain Capital. It’s going to do nothing but help Romney if that happens.
Think about Romney’s public persona now. Taking his political ideology out of it, the man himself comes across as stiff and charisma-less. He certainly doesn’t strike you as the life of a party. He’s a rich guy out of touch with the American public who thinks $10,000 wagers are a standard bet. He wears mom jeans to make him look cool, which only furthers the notion that he is completely out of touch with the average Joe. He seems like someone who would show up to a backyard barbecue with a bottle of Merlot and a tin of caviar.
Then there’s Bane. He’s a hulking, intimidating wrecking machine who absolutely commands every room he’s in. The man has a great sense of style, whether we are talking about the classic look he has in the comics or the bomber jacket and breathing apparatus that he sports in the movie. The man wears a luchador mask for god’s sake – what says beer drinking average Joe more than an affinity for pro wrestling?
Then there’s his leadership qualifications. Sure, he wasn’t born in America and he is a convict, but those two roadblocks aside, Bane would be an amazing leader. Look at our last few Presidents. George Bush started a costly, prolonged war in Iraq based on false intelligence, then completely bumbled the PR fallout. Barack Obama sent guns into Mexico as part of a misguided plan to take down the Cartel, only to lose track of the marked weapons, giving the bad guys increased firepower without yielding anything positive from the investigation.
But with Bane, that won’t be an issue. In a classic rags to riches story, he escaped a corrupt prison and left his home country to find a better life in America. And, like Bush and Obama, he had a plan to take down his enemy as well. The difference is, his plan actually worked. In a move that would make Sun Tzu proud, Bane first wore down Batman by breaking all of the other members of the rogues gallery out of Arkham Asylum. While Batman scramble to recapture all of those other villains, Bane studied him from afar, learning his habits, searching for weaknesses.
By the time Batman got everyone else back behind bars, he was physically and emotionally exhausted. Bane, meanwhile, hadn’t even broken a sweat. Then, having figured out Batman’s secret identity, Bane simply walked up to the front door of Wayne Manor and attacked an unsuspecting Bruce Wayne in his own home. He completely destroyed him, raising the weakened hero up over his head and crushing Batman’s spine with his knee.
Tell me that’s not the guy you want leading your country. You think that Congress is going to stonewall him or that the Supreme Court will be able to thwart his efforts to implement new public policy? Bane is a man who gets results. He’s a man who can guide this country back to greatness with an iron fist. What other country wants to go up against the ‘roided out guy in the wrestling mask? What stock broker is going to try to pull a fast one under his watch? He’s the man you want in the White House. He’s a man with a plan.
He broke the Bat. Next he’ll fix this country. Bane 2012.
Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.