Who is Batman?

Like the rest of Gotham City, I’ve asked myself this question, hundreds, if not thousands of times. Over beers after work. During Sunday dinners with the fam. While driving down I-26 to work. I’ve got a few theories.

Harvey Dent seems like the most obvious. He’s got the build and the balls. The only problem is he spends far too many hours in the courtroom to actually be Gotham’s hero.

Lt. Jim Gordon. Sure. Sure. He’s the last honest cop in this corrupt town, but I seriously doubt he has the money to pay for all of those wonderful toys.

Former Police Chief Reuben Greenberg is another likely candidate. Could his retirement be just a cover?

And what about City Councilman Wendell Gilliard? We know he likes wearing track suits. Is a bat-suit that different?

Andrew Klavan has a theory of his own, one that’s gaining ground. According to Klavan, an award-winning mystery writer, Batman is none other than our own commander in chief, George W. Bush.

In a recent Wall Street Journal column, Mr. Klavan compares Dubya to the Dark Knight: “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.”

Mr. Klavan adds, “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.”

OK. Time for a reality check. George Bush is not Batman. And up until this point, this column has been full of guano. Truth be told, Mr. Klavan doesn’t actually believe the POTUS is the Batman. Nope. He just believes the latest bat-flick, The Dark Knight, is “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.” And you know what, Mr. Klavan is right. But he’s also wrong.

See, Mr. Klavan doesn’t take it far enough. The Dark Knight isn’t the only movie inspired by George W. Bush. Every movie this summer has been about our commander in chief.

For starters, we’ve got Iron Man, a tale about a booze-swilling rich boy who discovers his purpose in life — to kick sandy tail across the Middle East? That’s Bush, ladies and gentlemen.

Or take the Will Ferrell-John C. Reilly comedy Step Brothers. What is it but a story about the strained “brotherhood” between Dubya and presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain?

Then there’s Wall-E. Ignore all that enviro-mumbo jumbo. What’s really important here is the story of the ship’s captain and his attempt to wrest control of his vessel from Auto, the cruiser’s autopilot. Do you see the Bush and Cheney parallels there? Of course you do.

And lest we forget, there’s Sex and the City: The Movie. When Mr. Big leaves Carrie at the altar, why that’s a metaphor for Bush’s relationships with Big Oil. The president starts a war in Iraq in order to help Big Oil, but instead of adhering to their part of the agreement, the oil barons jack up the price of petroleum. Bush’s faith in the back-room deal is broken. He’s left crying at the altar, and we cry along with him.

I don’t know about you folks, but I’m tired of crying. Maybe Barack Obama can put a smile on my face.