George Bush as Batman

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Here's hoping that Andrew Klavan never goes to Hollywood:

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.

Cover your eyes if your one of the five people in America yet to see this flick. The Dark Knight is a flawed film that isn't as good as its predecessor--it lacks the same energy and drive of Christopher Nolan's original take. It is very ambitious--the murder of Rachel Dawes is particularly inspired, and Aaron Eckhart is really really good. I thought it was a noble, if highly flawed, effort--and I say this as a fan of virtually every Nolan film. But no matter how problematic the Dark Knight is, the movie doesn't deserve to picked over by people whose politics so overwhelm them, that they see argument in a product that was created to make you buy popcorn. It's worth noting that one of the most poingant moments in the film comes when Batman sees he can no longer terrorize the mob into squealing. But really, I don't want to make an argument for why The Dark Knight is actually a lefty movie and not a right-wing defense of the War On Terror. I want to make an argument against unthoughtful hacks and their need to piggy-back their politics on to virtually anything.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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