A Political Kerfuffle That Is Bats, Man

Politics has become so preposterous, sometimes it's difficult to tell the difference between actual charges and outrage and the worlds of mockery, meta, and spoof. A case in point, the discussion surrounding the fact that the villain in the new Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, is named Bane, a similar name to the private investment firm Mitt Romney founded in 1984. As you no doubt know, the word "bane" has meant " that which causes ruin or woe" as far back as the 1570s.And the villain by that name first appeared in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 in January 1993. And yet….a kerfuffle.

Yesterday in the Washington Examiner Democratic advisor and former Clinton aide Christopher Lehane was quoted saying, "it has been observed that movies can reflect the national mood. 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."

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In the Washington Times Kerry Picket writes: "The DC Comics character Bane is best known for releasing all of Gotham City's criminals from Arkham Asylum. 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.'" Last night on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart had some fun with this. noting that Bain "happens to have the same name as the most frightening and current Batman villain":

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Rush Limbaugh waded in today:

"Do you know the name of the villain in this movie? Bane. The villain in The Dark Knight Rises is named Bane, B-a-n-e. What is the name of the venture capital firm that Romney ran and around which there's now this make-believe controversy? Bain…And there's now a discussion out there as to whether or not this is purposeful and whether or not it will influence voters. It's gonna have a lot of people. This movie, the audience is gonna be huge. A lot of people are gonna see the movie, and it's a lot of brain-dead people, entertainment, the pop culture crowd, and they're gonna hear Bane in the movie and they're gonna associate Bain. 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, "Oh, yeah, I know who that is." (laughing) 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."

Chuck Dixon co-created Bane. On his website, Dixonverse.net, Dixon yesterday was asked about this. He wrote:

"I saw it on FB like two hours ago.


"Tho' I got a cold feeling in the pit of my stomach that Rush may pick up on this.

"And hat would be the second time he pegged me and Graham as liberals on his show."

Dixon later wrote: "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?"

-Jake Tapper

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