Monday, October 27, 2008

Politics Bleeds into the Geek

Well, it was only a matter of time. Here in The Middle Room we have remained mostly silent on the subject of politics, because politics (for the most part) has steered clear of us.

But it was not to last.

Barack Obama has invoked us, as so we must comment. For those of you who haven't heard, Obama recently compared the relationship between John McCain and George Bush to that between Robin and Batman.

We must admit to finding the comparison a bit baffling for a variety of reasons. The first and most obvious is that finding parallels between Bush and Batman would be trying: Bush simply isn't a heroic figure. On the other hand, similarities may exist between Bush and the persona Batman projects - that of a disturbed millionaire playboy with issues living up to his father's legacy.

But in the case of Batman this is merely a disguise used to misdirect suspicions. There is little evidence that Bush is living a secret life battling the criminal element in Crawford, Texas (though that may explain why he spends so little time in Washington).

What truly confuses us, however, is the lack of specificity: which Robin is Obama referring to?

Dick Grayson is the obvious candidate: he's the original and best known version. However, he's a capable leader, ready to take up the mantle of Batman should the need ever arise. While lacking some of his mentor's abilities, he is less disturbed and obsessed. It is hard to understand the connection, unless he was complimenting his rival.

Jason Todd might make the most sense: he was the least stable and least popular of the Robins, after all. What's more, he served the shortest term, which could be viewed as a veiled reference to McCain's age and the possibility he may be replaced by a different Robin (in this case, Palin). A similar innuendo could be drawn from Tim Drake, who briefly had to give up the mantle of Robin at his father's demand. In that situation, Stephanie Brown took over, with disastrous results.

While we continue to support Obama, we in The Middle Room question the wisdom of comparing Bush or McCain to Batman or any of his protege. Especially when he could have said that McCain is to Bush as The Riddler is to The Joker. That one has some merit.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you'd heard about that comment...I almost called you guys the other day to tell you. The true question is though...what does this make Sarah Palin? (and Dick Cheney)

Erin Snyder said...

It has already been well established that Cheney is The Penguin. As to Palin: that's a bit harder. Poison Ivy perhaps.