President Obama's Comic-Book Identity Crisis

“There’s a storm coming Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, ‘cause when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you could ever live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.” –Selena Kyle, The Dark Knight Rises

While liberals wring their hands over how to apply salve to the recent wounds dealt to the Obama campaign by reality, a new light is shining on an entrenched bit of partisan rhetoric, and it poses an existential threat to the Demographic Party if it continues. The building of heroes always coincides with the rise of a comparable villain. In fact, sometimes the villain is more interesting and important to the story than the hero. Remember The Dark Knight? Tragically, it was Heath Ledger’s final completed role before his untimely death, but his interpretation of the joker put people in seats more than anything else in that movie. The old saw in entertainment is that every story needs a good villain. And President Obama’s “story” is no different.

But who would serve as the villain? Why, none other than the hated rich. Liberals, no matter their personal wealth, have always clothed themselves in the rhetorical tights of Robin Hood. Robbing from the rich to give to the poor is a great story plot, but makes for a terrible reality, especially when the richest and greediest corporation in these United States is our own federal government, and it is trying to divert your eyes to those banks and private citizens who “have all the money”. The fallacy of the zero-sum economy assumption aside, the position of the left has always been, “Elect us so we can take from those who took from you, and you will be more prosperous (when we spend that money in government programs)”.

So the CEO in the corporate jet becomes the Lex Luthor, the wheelers and dealers on Wall Street become the chaotic Joker, and the small business owner who barely sees their family while working to build their business (which they didn’t build) is just Bane-in-waiting, or Bain-in-waiting, whichever. The necessity to craft a villain is even more significant than the necessity to build the hero. Batman Begins is nowhere near as good as The Dark Knight, because of the villain. And every iteration of the villain lends itself to a potential Robin Hood. It could be the community organizer who is carried into the White House on the shoulders of those he saved. It could be executive, the one good man in Washington, surrounded by xenophobes who fear his “otherness” and “newness”. Or it could be the dirty but noble tribe of commoners that occupy the centers of power, leaving the dirty streaks of their discontent to run down the side of a squad car. Heroes are these men and women, not the Navy fighter pilot tortured in Vietnam for five years, nor the hardworking family man who graduated from a parallel law and business program that is considered to be one of the hardest programs at one of our most prestigious schools. No, those guys aren’t heroes, they never dropped trou on a cop car.

In keeping with the latest “bloom is off the rose” trend that seems to be building momentum against Barack Obama, a few wealthy and prosperous individuals have recently, publicly, declared their discontent with the current regulatory and business climate (and the left says Obama hasn’t done enough, hmph.). The most notable is Steve Wynn, a Democrat, who even in 2009, was describing President Obama as “a wet blanket on business”. Recently, he came out and said he was afraid of Obama’s anti-business attitude. Not hesitant. Not concerned. Afraid. Liberal economists from Krugman to Krugman (he’s the only one they like anymore) have tried to argue that there is no “corporate uncertainty” preventing money from flowing in the market. I have to finally concede that they are right. There is no uncertainty. Business leaders are absolutely certain President Obama is aligned against them. (Unless you run GE)

The most telling example is a letter by Westgate founder David Siegel to his employees. In it, he makes a couple of interesting points, but there are two that stand out. First, he recalls the early struggles to build his business, and he also expresses that he is never “free” of his company. He may have a lavish home, but it is basically an extension of the office. A lot of the thugs and rapists on Occupy Wall Street have no idea about this. I served in the military. I understand completely, as do most conservatives and free marketeers. Success doesn’t happen overnight? Wrong. It happens overnight, every night, and often well into the wee hours when your family has long since gone to bed. But your family, your employees, and your customers are depending on you. That’s why you stay awake and keep working. You know what the President did when he found out our embassy was under attack? He went to bed.

The second point he makes, and thank God someone finally said it, is in regard to taxation. He couches it in a simple premise: If I took half of your paycheck, would you still work? Of course you wouldn’t. And why not? Because you would be working for me, regardless of who signed the check. Let’s ask ourselves, did the President’s party ever have enough control over the government to raise taxes? And don’t they always argue that tax cuts don’t stimulate economic growth? So how would raising taxes slow that same growth? And that’s the tip of the iceberg with this narrative. All of a sudden, the Westgate CEO is a real guy, and after the debate, the Rich Republican is a family man who cares about the country. Neither of these fit the villain profile upon which our hero rose to power. It begs the question: If the villain façade is illegitimate, what of the hero?