July 25, 2008
What Bush and Batman Have in Common
By ANDREW KLAVAN
July 25, 2008; Page A15
A cry for help goes out from a city beleaguered by violence and fear: A beam of light flashed into the night sky, the
dark symbol of a bat projected onto the surface of the racing clouds . . .
Oh, wait a minute. That's not a bat, actually. In fact, when you trace the outline with your finger, it looks kind of like.
. . a "W."
There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently
breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the
fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of
terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in
the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the
boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish
those boundaries when the emergency is past.
And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free
society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect
bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the
latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.
"The Dark Knight," then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like
another such film, last year's "300," "The Dark Knight" is making a fortune
depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to
articulate for beans.
Conversely, time after time, left-wing films about the war on terror -- films like "In The Valley of Elah," "Rendition"
and "Redacted" -- which preach moral equivalence and advocate surrender, that disrespect the military and their
mission, that seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism, have bombed more
spectacularly than Operation Shock and Awe.
Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives