Mitt Romney as a Rescue Dog.

    Even though Romney's prospects look dismal by virtue of today's polling matchups with the President, I would not count him out. And anyone who thinks this election will be won by more than a few points in the national popular vote is dreaming. Romney may look like a lost dog but he will be rescued by Karl Rove, Frank Luntz and the Super Pac money crowd, as well as the unlimited wealth of the Koch Brothers funneled into the election on his behalf.

    As was predicted on this site previously, the onslaught of negative advertising from both camps will reduce this election to a choice between which candidate one dislikes the least. Having said that, Romney's numbers (if you exclude what seems to be an outlier in Rasmussen's national polling) have deteriorated rather quickly. Whereas for the last three years Obama has been on the defensive, it is now Romney who must make a comeback---particularly with women and Independents. 

    Unfortunately for Romney the typical appeal of an overcoming adversity story stems from a sympathetic view toward the protagonist---and who can have sympathy for a guy who strapped a dog to the top of his car and who has said he likes to fire people? In trouble? Who you gonna call?

    As it is with a rescued dog after the the first visit to the vet reveals every dog disease known to exist---a successful dog rescue is in large part a story about how much money you're willing to spend. IMO, the financial crowd backing Romney is going to spend more money than anyone has yet envisioned---because the potential avoidance of tax increases on the wealthy under a Romney Presidency is huge, especially in relation to the mere $1 Billion it will cost to buy him the White House.

    I have been curious about the gaffe-prone nature of Romney's campaign, one would think that the problem would have been corrected through experience. But the man just continues to be tone deaf. I think the truth is that Romney himself thinks gaffes don't matter. He is simply betting that heavy negative advertising, supported by limitless campaign funds, will win the election. 

    And truly, based upon the manner in which Romney has upended his opponents by out spending them, it is tough to argue with his premise that the election will be won by negative advertising---even given the fact that he will have a more fair fight on his hands against Obama than he had with his Republican opponents. (Was this entire Republican primary a hoax with weak opponents staged to present the illusion that Romney is tough?)

    In addition, I think Romney's premise---which might be called "rescue me cause I'm the only dog you got right now"---explains why Romney moved to the "right" on social issues during the primary while every pundit in the country was warning against the potential result of his now low numbers among women and Independents. Again, in Romney's mind the current polls don't matter. He will be able, through unlimited Super PAC money, to buy back his favorable ratings much like a financial transaction in which one buys back stock from the public---while at the same time he can trash Obama's stock just like any hedge fund manager short Obama's stock would do. 

    To be sure, the traditional Karl Rove strategy of tarring the opposing candidate with the innate weaknesses of his own candidate will take its toll on Obama---especially given the money Rove will have through his Super Pacs. And word-smithing by Luntz, like re-labeling a Medicare "voucher"  a "consumer choice" will have more success against Obama than we think it should have. 

    One of the best things Obama has going for him is that the Republicans in this cycle seem to have consistently overplayed their hand. They seem blinded by sheer animosity towards him and assume that, based on the results of the 2010 election, for example, everyone else is like minded. With the revival of General Motors and the stock market it isn't believable that there aren't at least a couple of things laudable about the man. 

    I also think that Republicans are fighting yesterday's  economic and social wars. In my opinion, both the public's view on social issues and the bad economy as an election issue are morphing away from Republicans right now. For example, Santorum went too far out of the mainstream on things like contraception and people became alarmed. And, of course, the economy is in fact improving---witness the fact that the Fed is signaling that additional monetary easing will not be required.  

    Even though it would give Obama a hall pass, perhaps instead of rescuing Romney folks will decide to rescue someone else, or some dog, who in fact does deserve a helping hand. Maybe doing so would be a lot more rewarding than enabling Romney and his friends' capture of the White House for the purpose of continuing, and even increasing, their special tax privileges.   




    If I were a rescue dog, I'd bite you on the ankle for this analogy!

    I'd bite him even if I were not a rescue dog!

    Every dog has his Day.

    In fact my dog was snouting me in the ribs as I was trying to write this piece.

    Romney noted today that a lot of women and kids live in poverty. We were to assume the guy who 'doesn't care about poor people', has set up each of his military age chickenhawk sons with their own personal $10 million trust fund,  supports the 'marvelous' Ryan budget of cut food stamps, cut Medicaid, cut education grants, cut student loans, cut housing assistance, cut women's health care, raise taxes on the poor and give millionaires a $150K/year tax cut windfall gives a crap.

    No self respecting financiocrat would allow a son to serve in the military when the Harvard Business School was an option. 


       IMO, this is a brilliant analogy.  Couldn't agree more.

    You are too kind. Thanks, Aunt Sam.

    "I think the truth is that Romney himself thinks gaffes don't matter. He is simply betting that heavy negative advertising, supported by limitless campaign funds, will win the election. "

    Highly likely.  The one thing we have going for us is that, for the first time in his life, the President is a man of means.  The Super-PACs are a big deal, but Obama will probably have the larger direct campaign war chest (along with fewer maxed out donors).

    I hope you are right. And I wonder if there is a mathematical saturation point in negative advertising. 

    Psst: today's New York Times' print edition headline:



    Cash Set Aside to Aid Nominee -- Threat to Obama Edge

    Parenthetically, and only obliquely on topic, I understand that at dog shelters throughout New England, the personnel have a picture of Romney on the wall, not unlike (and for the same reasons) the way mom  & pop grocers post pix of bad check writers...don't deal with this person, he's a burn artist...

    I just came by a chart in which thirty different illustrations of dog "body" language were illustrated. But it doesn't include one like Romney's dog rejecting his fate by crapping on the back window of the station wagon.  That's an attention getter. 

    Dogs are really funny in the messages they send. Our dog has a signal when she thinks its time to turn in for the night. She goes in a closet in the bedroom, picks up a shoe and then comes back in and drops it in front of us, as if to say, "Do you all want to go to bed now or would you rather I chew up this shoe."

    Yes, every morning my dog illustrates his feelings towards me by shitting out on the lawn - the body language is unmistakeable. There's no other way to interpret a dog defecating in a kennel on a long trip cross-country.

    I'm sorry to hear about this--I take it that your dog always faces away from you when shitting.

    Try beef jerky.  Money can't buy you love, but it can.

    the guy is too much of what is wrong with americans...  stinkin' lousy sychophantish personality,  not a bit of personal grit, or sincerity,  nor would he ever stand up to anything,  he would run into the weeds and never stand.

    He is hated,  but he is just exactly what the school system has promoted...  kiss ass,  apple polishers...  remember that metaphore ?

    Hmmm, where to start - "gaffe-prone"? "I like firing people" referred to firing bad insurance providers - deliberately misunderstood. Romney didn't "strap his dog to the car roof" - he had a kennel on the roof with a windscreen - arguably nicer than being shoved on the floor in the back seat under the kids' feet - no matter how many times Gail Collins misstates the story.

    "Etch-a-sketch" is probably the only memorable item, and he didn't say it personally. And it doesn't matter - it's what every candidate does ("compassionate conservativism", anyone?) -  conservatives have nowhere to go except stay home - not likely when they understand the power of the Supreme Court and judicial branch better than Democrats.

    Romney's numbers have gone down from women voters - which could be influenced by Limbaugh and party's slut-shaming excesses as much as anything Romney's done. As of February, Romney led Obama for women under 50.

    In any case, Romney's been very consistent in polls - less drama than Obama.

    But I'm curious about your statement, "because the potential avoidance of tax increases on the wealthy under a Romney Presidency is huge" - has Obama shown any indication of tax increases on the wealthy? From all I've seen, he's all worried about deficits and cutting the budget, and has played along with the GOP's refusal of new tax revenues as offsets.

    Anyway, Romney can focus on Obama now, and the GOP support will consolidate around him - with 7 months to go, a lot to happen.

    You really do like being the turd in the punchbowl, don't you?

    Romney didn't "strap his dog to the car roof" - he had a kennel on the roof with a windscreen - arguably nicer than being shoved on the floor in the back seat under the kids' feet - no matter how many times Gail Collins misstates the story.

    Sure, it's arguably nicer than being shoved on the floor in the back seat under the kids' feet — if you've got no idea what you're talking about. Here's what physicist Douglas Osheroff has to say about the incident:

    "Beyond a certain velocity, the air flow becomes turbulent," said Osheroff. "The airflow isn't going to be laminar," which means it won't have a uniform distribution.

    Cumming said that's bad news for Seamus.

    "Chances are the windshield would only protect the front of the dog, but the air flowing around the windshield would buffet the side of the dog -- that would be tiring," said Cummings. "My wife's a vet, and she would be more worried by the dehydration of the dog's eyes under those conditions."

    And yes, it's true that terrified or not, if you're confined to a dog carrier for 12 hours straight, it's not unlikely that you're going to have to go to the bathroom. I can't believe even you would try to defend this. (I say "even you" not because I think you have horrible positions, but because I know that you like to take devil's advocacy to somewhat extreme levels.) When I was a kid in the '70s and '80s, we traveled with a dog. In the '70s it was a dachsund, but in the '80s it was a German Shepard mix, and that dogs loved being in the back seat with us kids (in a Toyota Corolla, no less). Dogs crave companionship. Furthermore, every time we got to a rest stop (which was every couple of hours), we put the dog on a leash and took it for a walk, letting it stretch its legs and do its business. The dog enjoyed the trip more than we kids did, I dare say. (I'm using "the dog" and "it" because I'm alternately referring to two different dogs, one female and one male.) I know that Romney is also claiming that his dog enjoyed the trip, but it's a little hard to believe, and I know that you're not just going to take his word for it.

    The dog wasn't confined to the carrier for 12 hours, and  you have someone analyzing wind turbulence of a device he didn't see. There was no indication the dog was hesitant about getting up, so it's really about deciphering why a dog might defecate between scheduled breaks.

    I've seen plenty of dogs that liked sticking their heads out the window going down the freeway, so overall I'm not worried about air damage behind a screen.

    Dogs crave companionship, but many people who work leave their pets at home alone while at work - so 10 hours or so.

    In summary, if we made a big deal about every time my dog or cat got diarrhea over some thing or other, we would have never had pets.

    Enough on Seamus. Is this really what the election is about?


    The election is not about Seamus, but it seemed you were defending Romney's actions on Seamus, even if only as devil's advocate. How long was the dog confined to the carrier? If not for a very long time, then it seems more likely that the dog soiled himself out of fear or other discomfort.

    I have a cat who will soil herself when we put her in a carrier inside of our car, even though the trip is only 10 minutes. She really, really hates traveling in cars, and will meow the whole time she's in the car, even if she's not inside the carrier. Once she's at the vet, however, she's happy. It's exactly the opposite of many dogs' behaviors.

    My point is, that unless the dog has some history of incontinence, or was ill, the behavior seems to indicate significant distress. I know you like to say, well, we don't know the full story, but Romney's silence on the matter speaks volumes in my book.

    I will capitalize upon the fortuitous involvement of VerifiedA, (my go-to-guy in the absence of Dr.Science) to raise the question of Seamus's post-hosing interaction with the 65 mph breeze (remember, he likes the fresh air, jumps right up there himself...) and his wet fur.

    My point is "why are we discussing this?" You really think Romney should talk about his dog of 25 years ago? You think a dog is the same as a cat? You think discussing Seamus will help win an election vs. discussing his gutting companies with Baine Capital?  Get. A. Life.

    Half of the reason we're discussing this is because you're discussing it. Only a lame-o keeps discussing an issue as unimportant as this. [Irony intended] Get. A. Life. wink

    Remedial reading exercise: read the title, scan for a 3-letter word for "canine". Count how many times the word repeats in the diary.

    Then note who author of diary is.

    Done. Now here's a remedial exercise for you: read what I wrote prior to this, scan for a 4-letter word for "50 percent" and figure out what it means in the context of this discussion.

    Ah, I gotcha. I could use ignore stuff that's written here, and then the problem goes away. Clever of you. And by me paying attention, well, I'm half to blame.

    Except you're responding to me. So now we're down to thirds. Why didn't you just ignore me? It's (1/3) your fault.

    I'm not ignoring you for the same reason you're not ignoring what Oxy wrote, and it has little to do with how important Seamus is to the election.

    Back in the day I used to teach ballroom dance (it helped pay my way through college), and my boss (who also taught dance) told me that if a customer gives you more than one reason why they can't or don't want to do something, more than likely the real reason isn't one they've mentioned. You've told us that the Seamus story isn't worth arguing about and argued extensively that the facts being reported are wrong or at least incomplete. I don't think either of those are the primary reasons you're really writing what you're writing.

    What exactly is the big problem you think Oxy's writing represents? I know you don't believe in a zero-sum game as for writing (i.e., that by talking about Seamus we can't also talk about Bain) because you've argued against it (correctly) in the past. As I've written before, I don't think you really find Oxy's writing that problematic, but you just enjoy the argument.

    "that by talking about Seamus we can't also talk about Bain" - of course you can. You just don't.

    Sorry if the psychoanalysis says I really am not bothered by obsessing on gossipy inaccuracies and petty complaints instead of the host of huge problems we have during an election year. Yes, you got me pegged - it's all about my mother. Named Seamus.

    I call it the Somerbyitis.

    A key to defeating Romney,IMO, is not to allow his character flaw, lack of empathy, to be smoothed over. A key to the Bain story is lack of empathy---i.e., likes to fire people.

    Romney's down, keep him down and rub his face in it---how's that for empathy? 

    Extended remarks on Bain are in the works. In the meantime, headed out to the prop-tee to dodge thunderstorms. 

    Right, people are going to step into the voting booth in November and choose the guy who's nice to dogs. Instead of the guy I'd like to have a beer with, it's the guy who'll pat my head and give me a Scoobie snack.

    And the key to the Bain story is so important that people can repeat the dog tale over and over - and forget to mention the Bain story.

    Even if they talk about Bain Capital, it's about Romney firing people after an acquisition - which is a normal business practice. Job churn in the US economy is huge - millions fired, millions hired each month - and until recently, most people laid off got new jobs relatively quickly. (wage stagnation and loss of medical benefits being the problematic parts of this picture)

    Rather than talk about his stealing their pensions and putting the obligations of the gutted company on the tax payer. Which could possibly alienate independent voters who think government's not there for corporate handouts.

    Even the "likes to fire people" anecdote is problematic - as it's a distortion of what he said (likes to fire gouging insurance agents if they do a bad job). So he gets to come back with an excuse for how you're being petty and misleading, rather than explain how few jobs he created and how much he cost taxpayers.

    And it bothers me that a New York Times columnist can decide she doesn't want to cover real events, and instead has to obsess on a dog story - mentioning it in 50 columns, several of them completely about the dog. 

    How many times did Gail Collins mention Bain Capital? 4 times since Nov 1, twice as a casual mention.

    Only twice - back in early November - did she note that Bain had left several companies on life support. Though she never notes that the government had to bail out their gutted pension funds. Some columnist. What a card. What priorities. And she likely gets paid a million dollars a year. That's our press covering an election. Frankly I think she's doing Romney a favor - no one with a brain can take her seriously, so her endless juvenile criticisms help valid criticisms disappear.


    It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, no?

    If you want to see more written at dagblog about Romney's involvement in Bain Capital…

    "....make a bunch of comments about Bain Capital on a thread about Mitt Romney."

    Thanks for the advice, just did it.


    Why yes, yes it is about what a phony, ramrod up the ass, twit Romney is.  A guy who mistreats his dog ain't shit for a president.

    Oh right. LBJ picked his dog up by the ears and brought us the Great Society.

    Too many people think they can read tea leaves dog stools.

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