Batman is a Republican and Spiderman is a Democrat
It's only a week until the polls open. The candidates have spoken, the pundits have punded... has a single voice not yet been heard? Certainly for New Yorkers, there's one more opinion we need to hear from. Really, before Gotham goes to vote, shouldn't we consider which lever our heroes will pull when they get out of their spandex and into the voting booth? Which is why I'm here to explain to you that Batman is a Republican, and Spiderman is a Democrat.
Consider the evidence.
- Class: Batman's hides in plain site as billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. Peter Parker spends a lot of his non-webswinging time getting Aunt May's jewelry out of hock. Who do you think benefited more from Bush's tax cuts?
- Military Spending: Sure, Spiderman has a host of little electronic spider-trackers, his web-spinners (unless you go by the movie version) and various other bits of tech. But this pales in significance before the Batmobile, the Batcomputer, the Batplane... Certainly when it comes to allocating $87 billion for an invasion, Batman's going to show a lot less hesitation than, say, John Kerry.
- Views on the Power Structure: Batman does things that are thoroughly illegal, whilst working with low-level officers (Commissioner Gordon) and building coalitions (including, occasionally, unsavory elements like gang bosses). He's routinely denounced by mayors, governors, presidents, and anyone else who has no idea of facts on the ground. Remind you of any coalitions of the willing? Spiderman, on the other hand, is only really hated by the Daily Bugle. And lets face it, does the Bugle more closely resemble the New York Times or the New York Post? As they say, I report, you decide.
- Motivation: Spiderman is all about "great power" and "great responsibility." Indeed, he can drone on about it repetitively in a style as flat as a certain Boston Brahmin. He's driven by guilt that he did one thing wrong long ago, and thus must make amends for the rest of his life by making sure nothing like that ever happens again. Batman, on the other hand, gets up in the morning driven by a sense of abstract eye-for-an-eye justice probably deriving from a deep-set desire for vengeance. (And let's consider how little hold Michael Moore must have on Batman. You can just imagine the most famous orphan in comics: "You mean George W. Bush has an obsessive desire to defeat Hussein? Sounds reasonable to me: Hussein tried to kill his father.")
- Willingness To Break The Law To Get The Bad Guys: Once again, Spiderman endures endless angst about whether his spandex-clad role is compatible with New York's existing legal order. Batman, on the other hand, considers Gothams existing order either fundamentally corrupt or ineffective, and so doesn't mind stepping around it. Remind you of anyone's attitudes towards the UN?
- UPDATE--Fascist Reputation: Frequent commentor Sarah reminds me of one more: lefties like to call Batman things like "a rather fascistic Reagan-era hero." See, e.g., Mark Gauvreau Judge, Holy Censorship, Batman! Guess Who's Banning Comic Books, Washington Post, June 09, 1996, C5 (interview with Art Spiegelman). And what's more Republican than having a lefty call you a fascist?
So there you go. If you fancy the Caped Crusader, vote Gotham in 2004. If teenage webswingers are more your thing, vote NYC. If you're having a hard time finding a way to take voting in New York very seriously, here's your motivation.