Thursday, June 23, 2011

The GOP Rogues Gallery

The goofballs who attend Tea Party rallies favor a certain sign in which President Obama is sporting war paint ala Heath Ledger/The Joker in The Dark Knight. But one look at Michele Bachmann in HD last spring prompted me to tweet that she looks much more like The Joker than Barack Obama does. This led me to wonder: Which classic Batman villains do the other Republican presidential candidates match up with?

Sure he's out of the race, but no other GOP figure says "cartoonish villain" like Donald Trump. And Trump = The Penguin. Wikipedia says that in the past twenty years, animated Batman series have depicted The Penguin alternately as "deformed outcast and high-profile aristocrat." Both of those descriptors match up with Trump.

Michele Bachmann = The Joker. Not only does she have the maniacal eyes and grin of The Clown Prince of Crime, she shows up on TV to taunt her opponents, which is Jokerish behavior indeed.

Mitt Romney = Mr. Freeze. Because he does seem to live at a below-zero temperature and he moves slowly, mechanically, like he's wearing a cryogenic suit.

Newt Gingrich = The Riddler. Gingrich is smart, but wants to show it off so bad that he trips up on his own smartiness, much as The Riddler gives Batman just enough clues to get caught. Wikipedia describes The Riddler as "a malignant narcissist with an enormous ego." Sound familiar, Newt?

Sarah Palin = Catwoman. Both Palin and Catwoman favor leather, and there is a dominatrix aura to both of them. According to Wikipedia, in the fifties Batman comics revealed that Catwoman is an amnesiac flight attendant. This of course matches David Letterman's description of Palin's "slutty flight attendant" look.

Tim Pawlenty = Harvey "Two-Face" Dent. I have a relative who has met Pawlenty and although she doesn't agree with his politics, insists that he is the nicest guy. But what nice guy leaves his governorship with his state facing a six billion dollar defecit? Pawlenty recently showed more two-faced behavior. On a Sunday morning show he slammed Mitt Romney, then the next night at a debate he backed off from his attacks. Unfortunately for Pawlenty, America will not believe in Harvey Dent.

Ron Paul = The Scarecrow. Wikipedia says that The Scarecrow is addicted to fear and some would claim that a politician obsessed with the usual conspiracy, uh, scarecrows such as the Federal Reserve, the United Nations, and the North American Union is also addicted to fear.

Rick Santorum = This specimen is such a shrill scold that he doesn't match up to any villians. But remember in that great scene from The Dark Knight where The Joker says that he can spot the squealers? You just know that a pud like Santorum would rat out anybody and everybody if it means he would escape unharmed.

Jon Huntsman = ? Huntsman hasn't yet shown which masked threat to society he mirrors. But have no illusions, once he starts kissing up to the GOP base, Huntsman will reveal his creepy, belongs-in-Arkham alter-ego. And as others have pointed out, he - like Romney - already looks like the stuffed shirt who would hand you a pink slip to the applause of the shareholders.

And now you're waiting for me to annoit Barack Obama as Batman, right? Nope, consider Obama's cool demeanor, his ace handling of his commander-in-chief duties (offing pirates was just a prelude to the taking out Osama bin Laden, the what-Pakistani-sovreignty? mission reminds one of Batman's "he has no jurisdiction" taking of Lau in Hong Kong), and his background in Chicago - where Christopher Nolan has set his Batman films - and the resemblance is obvious. Our president is Commissioner Jim Gordon.