Four years ago, Rush Limbaugh was hailing, sight unseen, "The Dark Knight" for its defense of the Bush Administration. Now the talk radio legend claims, again sight unseen, "The Dark Knight Rises" is an effort to help get President Obama re-elected.
On his nationally syndicated show Tuesday night, Limbaugh pointed out to his listeners a suspicious coincidence:
The villain in the "The Dark Knight Rises" is named Bane. B-A-N-E. What is the name of the venture capital firm Romney ran and around which there is now this make-believe controversy? Bain... Do you think that it is accidental that the name of the really vicious, four-eyed, whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?
In short, yes. Having seen "The Dark Knight Rises," it's fairly clear that director Christopher Nolan has been planning since 2005 for Bane to be the villain in this film. And Bane, it should be pointed out, has been a part of the Batman universe since 1993, and the word "bane," meaning "a cause of misery or death," has been around for hundreds of years.
Limbaugh continued to argue:
And the thought is, when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year, and Obama and the democrats keep talking about Bain—not Bain Capital—but Bain, Romney and Bain, these people will think back to the Batman movie—Oh, yeah! I know who that is!
Interestingly enough, shortly after the 2008 release of the "The Dark Knight" Limbaugh talked up the "conservative" values of the film. He cited an opinion piece by Andrew Klavan in The Wall Street Journal that argued how "'The Dark Knight" was "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."
The confusion about Nolan's politics is a testament to the filmmaker's skills as a storyteller. The Bush Administration's reaction and response to the events of 9/11 are at the core of Nolan's Batman trilogy, and this final chapter is spiced up with a healthy dose of the commentary on the Occupy movement.
But Nolan is so nuanced a filmmaker that it's almost impossible to pin down his politics—he's a Rorschach blot, with each person seeing what they want to see.