Let me finish with the Joker. Remember him. He was played by Jack Nicholson in that great Batman movie by Tim Burton.
He was the key to the movie. Why? Because his dark world of malevolence and revenge set in contrast the goodwill, generosity and glamour of the hero. He was to the movie on the bad side what Batman was on the good.
Batman stands on tall buildings looking for evil to be perpetrated and people to be saved. The Joker looks for ways to manipulate public opinion, interrupt the TV news, and bring his evil intentions and motives - and instincts - into reality.
Maybe the President is our Batman, trying to do good, a bit mysterious, a bit cool and technocratic, a bit removed from the world of emotions, but right there on the side of good, always using his brains and wit to look out for the people in trouble. Well, maybe he’s not “that” good.
No, Newt Gingrich is a far better Joker than Barack Obama is our Batman.
That wide, demoniac smile of his, too much smile, not even a twitch of heart behind it, all guile, all dark delight in the menace he can dredge from the afternoon newspaper, the fears of people in the streets, the midnight dread of what might be coming in an uncertain world and time.
Newt Gingrich, like all the bad guys of the Batman world, has now gotten caught up in his own nasty ploys. He attacks the Republican plan for Medicare to end run the rest of the candidates and tries to escape himself. He gives a quick, defensive answer to David Gregory, confessing he’s for requiring people to have healthcare and then tries to spin out from it, confessing on Monday that he was wrong on Sunday. On Tuesday, he’s apologizing to Paul Ryan for what he said about Medicare, than gets glittered for his nasty attacks on gay rights.
Newt is so busy spraying his attacks that he can’t keep his evil as least consistently evil. He’s like the Joker and the Penguin and all the rest of those comic book villains. He’s just so instinctively looking for the next chance to attack; he loses control even on his bad attitude.
Life’s been good to me,” the Joker tells us on his comeback from the past, his face repainted to cover the horror, his smile deluding none of us, instead being an unintended warning. The Joker is out there again and no one’s safe from his menace, least of all himself.