Just a quick hit here: the default argument against Romney’s dog-on-the-car stunt seems to be a combination of “it was 30 years ago” and “he’s admitted it was a mistake”. Now, I’m not saying that the incident disqualifies the man from consideration for office, but if these are the best arguments his supporters can muster, I wonder if it shouldn’t disqualify them from participating in the voting process.
First of all, yes, 30 years ago was a long time ago–but it wasn’t another era, I mean, the 1980’s weren’t some kind of strap-your-dog-to-the-roof-and-hit-the-gas kind of free for all. PETA was founded in 1980, for crying out loud. The most ridiculously militant group of over-the-top of animal rights activists in American history came together before the vacation took place. Animal rights were a well known issue already. Second, ask yourself this: how old were you before you were aware that strapping an animal to a roof was the wrong thing to do? Because Romney is 65, which means 30 years ago he was 35, and goddamnit if your moral compass isn’t pointing to “bad” when you’re facing a decision like that by age 35, it’s never going to function properly. The “young and stupid” defense expires at midnight the night before your 30th birthday; everything after that, you do as an adult, like it or not. We’re not talking about something he did in his teens, or even twenties, but rather something he did well past the age of “should know better”. He was old enough to run for president, he damn sure should be old enough to recognize that the roof of the car is not a goddamn passenger compartment.
As to the second point, that Romney has admitted it was a mistake, no he didn’t. He said he wouldn’t do it again because of the “attention it’s received“. Note that he laughs as he says it; just a side note, but why does Romney laugh every time he recalls bad things he or his dad did to other living beings, and should that worry us? Seriously, does this guy find anything funny besides the suffering of others? That’s not going to make for a good photo-op if he gets elected and tours a VA hospital.
I haven’t gotten any comments submitted to the site thus far arguing either of these, but I figure they are inevitable so I thought I’d just point out: shut up. When Abraham Lincoln said
“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
He might as well have been giving advice to anyone about to offer up either one–or both–of these half-assed excuses. Any time I make a dog joke around a Romney supporter they get highly incensed and blurt these two things out, so I figure it’s only a matter of time before some Mittbot shows up and regurgitates these. Let me save you the time: heard ’em, and they’re both weak.
Lately, they’ve added one more weapon to the arsenal: When he was 10, living in Indonesia, Obama ate dog meat. Let’s just take a minute to ponder how many kinds of stupid there are in a Romney apologist bringing this up. Maybe a couple of minutes, there is a whole lot of stupid to cover. First of, the obvious idiocy of comparing the actions of a ten year old child versus those of a thirty-five year old man should be glaring enough. From an ethical standpoint, one source of meat is no better than any other, so if your argument is that eating dog was wrong, you are either a vegan or a raging idiot. While I realize that a huge number of Americans have never traveled to other countries and many are only vaguely aware that they even exist, the fact remains that culinary choices are primarily cultural and that many of the staples of the ordinary American diet would be considered every bit–if not more–repugnant and immoral in other parts of the world as dog is here. Knocking someone for sampling the local cuisine when they are abroad is simply a testimony to ignorance, and blatant ethno-centrism. Knocking them for sampling the local cuisine in a culture they were living in when they were ten years old is a special kind of stupid.
To summarize, it doesn’t matter that it was thirty years ago. If Romney admitted it was wrong I can’t find any evidence of it. And what someone served Obama when he was a expatriate pre-adolescent is taking the fallacy of moral equivalence to new and ludicrous heights. If there are any other, not-stupid explanations for why Seamus Romney’s Wild Ride doesn’t cast serious doubt over Mitt Romney’s sense of propriety and empathy, I’d love to hear them. As it stands, I am still trying to figure out why anybody making under a million dollars a year thinks this guy should be in charge of their general welfare for an hour, let alone a minimum four years.