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Klavan On The Culture

The Bain/Bane Video I Never Made

July 19th, 2012 - 2:29 pm

Agh, I am kicking myself! I’m sure you’ve heard of this pseudo-controversy about Rush Limbaugh and the new Batman movie. Rush wondered out loud if the fact that the movie’s villain is named Bane was an attack on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital — and the Mainstream Media toadies immediately tried to make him sound like some kind of crazy man (because…  Hollywood would never attack a Republican?).  Anyway, as it turns out, Obama’s team was planning on spinning the film in exactly the way Rush said, so, as always, the Maha Rushdie got the last laugh on these heel-nipping clowns (and even mentioned yours truly in the process!).

But with all respect to El Rushbo, I was on this Bain/Bane stuff half a year ago! Back then, Justin Folk and I were experimenting with making some animated videos for the Manhattan Institute (they’re worth watching by the way). In February, I wrote one in which a comic book superhero Obama took on Bain Capital, represented by Batman’s evil Bane. The joke was that, in the end, the superhero Obama laid waste the nation while the “evil” Bane actually made things great.

Well, my script made us all laugh, but basically we decided the work involved in producing it was way beyond what any of us could afford to do, so I put it aside. Here’s the script — I don’t know if you can get the feel of it, since it’s very visual, but I offer it as evidence of my far-seeing wisdom. Since it’s, like, the only evidence I have.

INVESTMENT THUNDER DOME: OBAMA VS. BAIN

Andrew Klavan:  The Manhattan Institute Presents:  Investment Thunderdome:  Obama vs Bain!

Hi, everyone, I’m City Journal contributing editor Andrew Klavan for the Manhattan Institute and I’m here today with an exciting adventure: Investment Thunderdome: Barack Obama Versus Bain Capital!

Barack Obama is on a mission to invest in America.

[Comic book graphic: Obama looking heroic with angel chord and admirers.]

AK: Bain Capital also wants to invest.

[Monstrous Bane from Batman]

Bain:  Baaane.

AK: In order to invest in America, Bain needs money.

Bain:  Monnneeey.

AK:  Bain gets his money from people who choose to give it to him because they want to make more money. Look — here comes one now.

Guy in Graduation Outfit: Hello. Can you please invest our college endowment fund so we can continue to teach students about the dangers of capitalism?

AK: Obama needs investment money too. So… he…. takes it.

[As Obama holds his heroic pose, IRS agents crash into a citizen's home, guns drawn.]

 IRS Agents: Give us your money!

 Citizen: Hey, that’s my money! Gimme back my money!

[Obama angel chord.]

Citizen:  Rotten thugs!

AK: Obama now uses the money he took to invest in things he thinks are good for you.

Obama:  Clean energy.  Electric Cars.  Solar Panels.  High-speed trains.

Various Citizens, looking up at him:  I don’t want those things. Can I have my money back please? I want to buy a new TV instead. I earned that money, it’s mine. Solar panels suck.

AK: Bain uses the money people chose to give him to invest in companies that make products and services he thinks people will choose to buy or use. These companies choose to take his money because they’re just starting up or are struggling due to poor management and high payrolls.

Various Company Guys crowding around Bain: I make pizzas. I provide office services. I invent gizmos. Look, I painted a face on a rock!  We can sell these things! People want them!

Bain: [giving them money] Baaaane.

AK: Bain helps run these businesses; sometimes he even takes them over. When necessary, he streamlines them and makes them more efficient which means firing people he doesn’t need or can’t afford.

Unemployed Guy: I am out of work. This would never have happened if I worked for the government.

AK: That’s right. Obama doesn’t have to worry about efficiency. He employs over two million people whether we need them or not and almost never fires anyone. He pays wages about twice as high as those in private business and delivers benefit packages that are so huge the government has to borrow more money than the entire country can produce just to pay for them. Isn’t that…  super? And wow…  look what you get.

Obama: [offering a citizen a piece of junk]  Here’s a solar panel.

Citizen: I told you I don’t want a solar panel.

[The panel falls over and shatters.]

Obama: Well, have an electric car.

Citizen:  I don’t want an electric car eith…

[The car bursts into flames.]

Citizen: Aaaaah!  Now I’m on fire!

Obama: Well, here’s a light bulb.

[A spiral light bulb explodes pouring poison gas over the citizen.]

Citizen:  [gags, burned, smoking] This is the worst investment ever!

[Obama grins and strikes a heroic pose with an angel chord.]

AK: But don’t worry! When Obama’s investments fail and he loses the money he took, there’s no problem. He just takes more money.

IRS Agents: [chasing a naked citizen] Pay your fair share of our crappy investments!

Naked Citizen: I don’t have any more money! Leave me alone! Help!

AK: In order for Bain to survive, however, his investments have to earn money by giving people what they actually want instead of what they’re supposed to want.

Various Citizens: Ooh, look. Staples! Pizza! Gizmos! A rock with a face! What do you want that for? I don’t know — I just want it.

AK: When Bain’s investments succeed they create new businesses, new jobs, and new wealth…

[Stores, businesses — an entire city — grow up behind Bain and his people.]

Bain: [happily]  Baaaane!

AK: New wealth that Barack Obama can then… y’know, take.

IRS Agents: [Marauding through the city, setting fires, bringing buildings down.] Pay your fair share of our solar panels!

Fleeing Citizens: We don’t want your stinking panels!

AK: So there’s our story. Obama versus Bain.  Two men enter the Investment Thunder Dome, but only one depends on free choices by free individuals…  or what’s sometimes called the American Way.

[Obama strikes a heroic pose over a burning, demolished city.  An American flag and fireworks go up behind the thriving city of Bain.]

 Bain:  Baaane.

 AK:  Wow…  that was actually kind of a surprise ending.

I’m City Journal contributing editor Andrew Klavan for the Manhattan Institute.

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