Before beginning the drive, Mitt Romney put Seamus, the family’s hulking Irish setter, in a dog carrier and attached it to the station wagon’s roof rack. He’d built a windshield for the carrier, to make the ride more comfortable for the dog.
I echo Chris’ sentiment of “WTF?” Who the heck puts their dog on the roof of their car? And we’re supposed to be all “Wow, he’s so caring about his dog!” when he builds a windshield for the carrier?
Here’s some news for Romney: dude, your dog isn’t a piece of luggage. If the family were to get into a car accident, the dog wouldn’t stand a chance. At least inside the car he has the protection of the vehicle’s frame. What if the carrier came loose and fell off the car? Again, the dog has no chance.
This is just another example of “animals as property” that so pervades our lives. To Romney, the family dog isn’t worth space in the car. Having him dangerously perched on the roof as they fly down the roads at 65mph is a risk that’s reasonable to him. Would he consider that same risk with his kids? Of course not.
Want another example of how Seamus gets treated as property? OK.
A brown liquid was dripping down the back window, payback from an Irish setter who’d been riding on the roof in the wind for hours.
As the rest of the boys joined in the howls of disgust, Romney coolly pulled off the highway and into a service station. There, he borrowed a hose, washed down Seamus and the car, then hopped back onto the highway. It was a tiny preview of a trait he would grow famous for in business: emotion-free crisis management.
Animals rarely get much respect from the oval office. Sure, President Bush’s dog Barney gets a nicer home page than most people have, but he’s also used to create stupid White House promotional videos. Then, of course, there’s the debacle that is the presidential turkey pardon at Thanksgiving. But if Romney were to become president, Seamus would be the worst-treated First Dog since Warren G. Harding’s lab named Seat Cushion. (That last sentence was said in a manner imitating Jon Stewart. Imagine me looking coyly at the camera.)
How you treat animals is usually a good indicator of how you treat people. Perhaps we should keep that in mind when looking at presidential candidates.