Willard "Mitt" Romney Loses Race for Dog Catcher
"The company's latest model now includes air bags and a built in DVD player. All plastic kennels are crash tested and come with a complimentary Romney "08 bumper sticker."
Strange era, we live in. Last year, George Allen may have done himself in by calling a young Indian-American “Macaca” not only to the fellow’s face, but to his video camera. Mitt Romney’s presidential bid is being dogged by a story told by his own son, Tagg. Romney's eldest son decided to share his experiences with his father’s executive-decision making skil by familiarizing America with Seamus, the family’s Irish Setter. There were five Romney children, parents Mitt and Ann, and a single station wagon. Not many cars have room for seven people, luggage, and an Irish Setter. The future presidential candidate decided to secure the dog’s kennel to the station wagon’s roof for a four hundred mile drive. The dog either because of the rigors of riding on top of a car moving at sixty plus miles per hour or due to some preexisting intestinal condition came down with diahrrea much of which wound up on the back window of the car.
Tagg Romney explained that his father coolly pulled over to a roadside gas station, got a hose, washed off the car, the dog kennel, and the dog, put everyone back in their place, and the family got to their vacation destination in Ontario. After an outcry from animal activists and others, Ann Romney insists that the media has completely twisted the story. She points out that the kennel was not open sided, but close-sided. In addition, the dog lived a long time after that trip and in fact loved to ride on the roof of the family car.
Mmmmm…. I feel better already. There have been times when my wife has suggested after I failed to open the window after certain uncontrolled bodily emissions that she do something similar with me. I’ve since learned to just deny that it was me. After years of seeing other people’s dogs in the back of pickup trucks, I happened to rent a pickup truck some twenty plus years ago and thought I’d give my own dog, Nathan, the opportunity to enjoy the open air. No, we didn’t rent the truck for the dog, it was to move a gas kiln from Sonoma to Petaluma (no we never put pets inside the kiln). The dog was terrified even at ten miles an hour. A year or two later, the state of California made it illegal to let your dog ride in the back of a pickup without a harness. Apparently dozens of dogs every year were dying on sharp corners, sudden attempts to brake, and when they got excited at the sight of cats or mail carriers on the roadside. As much as those dogs enjoyed open-air rides, it wasn’t safe.
Obviously, dogs are different from one another just like some people crave roller coasters and others avoid them even at the risk of embarrassing themselves in front of their own children. Still, Nathan was a fierce enough dog. A few years later, he took control of an upstairs bedroom of a house that was still under construction and turned it into his personal domain. He held off the workers for two weeks by growling at them until someone tipped them off that it was my dog. I think it may have had something to do with the fact that most construction guys drive open pick up trucks. I imagine Nathan was afraid they were trying to give him a ride.
The problem for me with the Romney family defense is the diarrhea. I suspect that Seamus’s body was sending a message of its own. In addition, I looked at models of close-sided kennels. If it had a solid back wall, how did the diahrrea wind up spreading across the back window of the car? I know that's not up there with the magic bullet from the JFK assassination, but the logistics of the flying diarrhea are sort of perplexing to me. Also, does it make sense to you if your dog got that sick to just stick him back in the kennel on top of the car? Personally, I'm not big on being locked into an enclosed space where I just fouled myself.
I'm also not sure about Ann Romney’s insistence that Seamus continued to enjoy riding on top of the car after that. Some animals just learn that that’s the way things are if they want to go along with their families. Irish setters in particular are known for being both very tractable and extraordinarily loyal. I'm no dog psychologist, but I have heard that Setters tend to be more steadfast in their positions on social issues than Mitt Romney. The story did cause me to wonder about Governor Romney’s capacity for empathy.
Some things I wonder about.
1) If Seamus could vote for president, would he vote for Mitt Romney? Ann seems to think so.
2) Does Tagg Romney (would you vote for anyone who calls one of his sons Tagg?) now have to ride on top of the car in a kennel when the family goes on driving vacations?
3) Will there be a special episode of Law and Order with Fred Thompson asked to prosecute a prominent politician for cruelty to animals? I could see a scene where Fred Thompson and the prominent politician’s wives go shopping for brassieres together and discuss the difference between serial monogamy and polygamy.
4) A generation ago, Mitt Romney’s father George’s chance to be president ended when he told an interviewer that he had been “brainwashed” about Vietnam. Fascinatingly, it happened in a speech when the Republican Romney was explaining why he had decided to oppose the War in Vietnam.
Is it some sort of Carma that his son’s presidential bid may end because of a dogwashing story?
5) Does anyone else remember the photo of LBJ picking up the beagle by its ears? It was one of thsoe turning points in LBJ's popularity. btw, I did see one poll that suggested that Romney could fix whatever hits he's taken for the dog, by promsising to strap Anne Coulter to the top of his car. Imagine if Mitt Romney happened to be a Democrat, what names would she be calling the guy on some cable news show near you?
6) When was the last time you saw a kennel strapped to the top of a moving vehicle on the freeway with a living animal inside? Even Borat kept his chicken inside that ice cream truck.
6) Why is it okay to brag about how willing you are to torture people in a Republican presidential debate, but if you possibly mistreat a dog people suddenly think you’re not fit for the presidency?