Monday, March 26, 2012

The Romney/Seamus Incident: Just Ordinary?

I wrote last Sunday that the Romney/Seamus incident mattered. Three days later, Kevin Drum wrote on his blog:
Give me a break. I would guess that nearly every family that's ever taken a long road trip has tried to stick to a schedule and keep stops to a minimum. Was Romney a little stricter than average? Maybe. Does this offer a glimpse of Romney's "rigidity"? Please. The Seamus story came from Tagg Romney, and he doesn't suggest that any of the Romney kids felt especially downtrodden during the ride. Romney was just an ordinary guy trying to cram a 12-hour trip into a single day and he didn't want it to turn into a 14-hour trip. Shapiro had it right when he said this story has "no larger presidential significance." He should have stopped right there.
Initially I couldn't tell if Drum was being sarcastic, and frankly I remain befuddled.

Kevin has been my favorite blogger for many years, offering lucid posts with an obvious liberal slant but without going overboard. However, I've always felt that from time to time, he tends to poo-poo topics getting heavy airplay on the left as if to take some higher ground and rise above what he portrays as pointless gnashing-of-teeth chatter. He likes to come off as a "keeping it real" progressive, agreeing with most of the larger and more cerebral lefty positions of the day, but making sure to smack down what in his mind are excessively idealistic dust-ups that any right-minded (or left-minded?) person would do or believe.

In this case, if I'm not mistaken, Kevin's advising we back off the Romney dog incident, that it's been blown way out of proportion. I mean c'mon, any person would've done what Romney did, with a family and all, trying to make good time on a long drive.

Really? Any 38-year old father would've put the beloved family dog in a box, strap it to the car rooftop where it would withstand 60+ mph wind for 12 hours, and when the dog shits and it runs down the car window, said father pulls the car over at a gas station, quickly hoses the dog off, puts dog back in box, and speeds off, hoping to make back those lost precious minutes, pronto.

Oh yeah, that's normal, "ordinary" behavior. Did we ever find out if Romney hosed down his car to rid his window of the dog shit streaks? Or would that have taken too much time, possibly stretching a 12-hour trip into 14??

I standby my blog post that this incident does matter and says at least a few things about Romney (nothing good, obviously). I encourage everyone to Google away, read up about the awful episode, then draw your own conclusions. I know I didn't embellish anything, and Romney himself admits to it all (another political gaffe?).

It's troubling to hear those who implore that what he did with Seamus was no big deal, and that nothing meaningful can be gleaned about our potential next President. (What if it were cats instead of a dog, Kevin? Make a difference?). And mind you, I still come across people who have never heard of this incident and after hearing a quick summary are disturbed by it. It has impact. Also, a disclosure: I'm not a raving, I-wanted-Michael-Vick-executed pet lover.

But then again, as I said I may have completely misread Kevin's post. It happens. He may have laced the entry with wink-wink stuff and I'm too dense to notice. Let's hope anyway.

1 comment:

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