He takes Corey Booker, the mayor of Newark, to task. Mr. Booker ran into a burning building to save a neighbor. In addition to being a personally good deed, this episode demonstrates the real failure of local government in the 21st century.
The whole story speaks to a quintessentially American love of amateurism and cowboy theatrics, but it also speaks to our neoliberal age: like the superhero of comic-book lore, Booker is a stand-in, a compensation in this case for a public sector that doesn’t work. And the reason it doesn’t work—the reason we put more stock in the antics of a Batman Mayor than a well paid and well trained city employee—is that we’ve made it not work: through tax cuts, privatization, and outsourcing, policies that Booker himself often supports.