Sunday, October 14, 2012

Romney's Dog-on-Roof Story as Enacted Parable

We like to have some fun here at Dogs Against Romney, but the truth is our message is serious. Mitt Romney strapped his family pet to the roof of his car for a 12-hour drive. He admits it. He continues to defend it.

Over 95,000 members of our Facebook “Super Pack” - and hundreds of thousands of readers of this blog - believe it was an act of animal abuse. Just a few days ago, a poll conducted by Public Policy Polling showed that the overwhelming majority of Americans (68%) agree.

But to me, this story is about more than just Romney’s inhumane treatment of his family pet. It is also about what this inhumane act says about Romney’s character – and what it might mean for citizens living under a Romney administration.

Yesterday, as I read through my large backlog of articles, I came across a diary on Daily Kos by “Wee Mama." It was written months ago - long before it became known how Romney feels about the 47% of Americans he considers "un-willing to take responsibility for their lives" - and it just ... nails it. 

Wee Mama considers the dog-on-roof incident an “enacted parable,” a story told through actions, rather than words, possibly illustrative of Romney’s view of others (humans and canines alike). She explains it eloquently:
A brief recap of the story brings out how many, many points of contact there are between this short, sad story of Seamus and how Romney has treated thousands of people (and by extension, would treat the American public).
Seamus was one of "the least of these"; he was a family member but one without any power of his own. Romney included him when it was useful and convenient, but had no concern for the experience from Seamus's point of view. The parallel is to the many employees of companies that Romney bought out who were fired. They were useful fodder but disposable at Romney's convenience.The roof top carrier kept Seamus out of the way; Romney didn't need to face or endure what Seamus suffered for those twelve hours. Similarly Romney has never had to experience what the employees in the raided companies endured.Seamus's diarrhea was a wholly natural response to an intolerable situation. Romney did not pay attention to Seamus, though, only to the impact Seamus had on the car. Romney hosed the car and Seamus down, and rolled on down the highway. In the companies that Bain Capital raided, employees suffered the loss of pensions and health care, but that was irrelevant to Romney and the vulture capitalists; they went ahead with their profit taking.The hardest part of this story is that Romney told it as a light hearted family anecdote. He continues to have no shame about it, and to claim that Seamus preferred twelve hours in the slipstream over time inside with the family.If the Seamus story had been a one off mistake, regretted and apologized for, it would have ended. It gains its force from the many parallels to the way that Romney has treated "the least of these" in the companies that Bain Capital has raided. It should legitimately be taken as a warning for how Romney would treat the American people if (God forbid) he were President.
Indeed. Wee Mama "gets it."





Anonymous said...

Too true.

Barbara said...

It's not only Romney's lack of compassion or empathy that this incident demonstrates. It's also his lack of leadership skills - any good leader constantly assesses and re-evaluates both objective conditions and the efficacy of his or her policies, re-formulating as necessary. Romney's handling of this shows a stubbornness and failure of leadership that is most dangerous in one holding any position of power, but especially the most powerful one on earth.

Mihoshi W. said...

There are a few stories floating around about what happened to Seamus and why he didn't make the return trip home. I think this is also something important that needs to be investigated. Mrs. Romney has said that Seamus "went to stay on a family farm" and there have been reports that the Romney boys were told that Seamus "ran away"...Either way those are terms that many parents have used over the years to tell their children that the animal has passed on. Did the ride cause Seamus so much stress he died, or did he truly run away and find a nice Canadian family who wouldn't make him ride on a roof? Only the Romney's know...and now America needs to know.

Anonymous said...

James D Miller credited the actual quote under the puppy to Johann Wofgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Hoop de hoop said...

Romney says he shouldn't have to apologize for "success," but it is a curious definition of success that he personally pocketed almost half a million dollars from being a board member of a company Damon Corp. that defrauded Massachusetts of millions in bogus Medicare claims; and he profited even more from running a company, Dade International, which went bankrupt after he diverted the loans Bain arranged for the company's operations to pay off Bain Capital and himself. The lenders were so affected that they accused Bain Capital (Romney) of "unjust enrichment" in court documents. Being sent to run the Salt Lake Olympics saved him from having to answer for that donnybrook. Nonetheless, he has cash in the bank, which makes him a "success" which means any criticism of him is criticsm of "success" itself. Nice work if you can afford it, to be the very definition of the abstract concept of success!

Anonymous said...

Aw, I'm blushing! So glad it spoke to you. I hope it will register with many, many people.

Wee Mama

Anonymous said...

especially an Irish setter.
and seamus was truly a beauty

L3 said...

Lately, I've noticed an attempt by the Romney campaign to use Ann Romney as a means to humanize Williard, but has anyone wondered about what kind of person she must be to not have interceded on Seamus's behalf. She took that 12 hour ride also and allowed her young children to witness their father's cruelty to the family dog.

I know she isn't running for president but how can she humanize her husband when she may be missing
a little humanity hersef?

blondie said...

i think you make a very good point there