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Gail Collins, Please Shut Up. Period.

An article on Newser offers the headline, "Why I Won't Shut Up About Mitt Romney's Poor Dog".

We've all heard the story. The poor dog strapped to the top of a car, messing itself in terror and being cruelly hosed off. The anti-Romney faction has latched on to this story and is milking it for every drop of viciously-spun negativism that they can squeeze out. So here's my take, if only so I can get my feelings out and stop fretting about this massive logical fallacy.

  1. The incident happened in 1983. That's almost 30 years ago, for people who have trouble with the math. Mr. Romney was 36, a young family father on a road trip. They want to take the family dog with them rather than leave it at home alone, or in a kennel. Take the dog in the car with you, and what would it do? Spend most of its time with its head out the window anyway. So if you fix up a carrier for the dog, and even shield it from the airstream, it should be pretty comfortable. At least that was the thinking, and I can easily see how they came to that conclusion. I might have made the same choice myself.
  2. Guess what? Things didn't quite work out. The dog got scared and soiled itself. Or was it really scared? Fear might make a dog evacuate its bowels, but it won't necessarily cause diarrhoea... what if the dog was simply ill? Did the pundits interview the dog to ask it what it was really feeling? At any rate, now you have a soiled dog, a soiled carrier and a soiled car. What's more cruel, continuing on the trip allowing the dog to lie in its filth, or to hose it off? Anyone who's ever watched a dog go bananas trying to bite a Rain-Bird knows that being sprayed by water is not cruelty, it's (under most circumstances) a game.
  3. Where's the story about the return trip? Apparently the dog did fine for the rest of the journey, instead of ejecting everything it had eaten for the last six weeks. I haven't heard anything about that in the news.

What bothers me most about the feeding frenzy is the unconscionable level of unjustifiable conclusions drawn by the opposition.

To quote the Professor of Logic:

Universal affirmatives can only be partially converted... For example, given the premise, "all fish live underwater" and "all mackerel are fish", my wife will conclude, not that "all mackerel live underwater", but that "if she buys kippers it will not rain", or that "trout live in trees", or even that "I do not love her any more." This she calls "using her intuition". (Monty Python)

In the same way, given the premise that "Mitt Romney made a mistake," (assuming it even was a mistake, but allowing this for the sake of argument,) the anti-Romney faction concludes not that "Mitt Romney made a mistake," but rather that:
  1. Mitt Romney is cruel
  2. Mitt Romney hates animals
  3. Mitt Romney will treat everyone in the country the way he treated that poor dog.

This also I call "crap", and it gets me very irritated because it is not logical. Furthermore, from everything I have learned about Mitt Romney, it is absolutely untrue and borders on libel. If I had to choose between the Romney family and Gail Collins for the family next door, I'd take Mitt in a heartbeat, and that has absolutely nothing to do with his faith - it has to do with what kind of a person I understand him to be at his core.

You may not agree with the man's politics: wonderful. That's what the process is about. Vote for someone else. But this kind of unwarranted character assassination is, as far as I am concerned, the abomination of desolation and demonstrates not political savvy but rather unbridled shallowness and the absence of a moral center.

So yeah, Ms. Collins. You need to shut up.

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Mar. 8th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the info. But your link to Newser is broken.
Mar. 8th, 2012 10:00 pm (UTC)
Had forgotten to put the link in.

Thanks for the heads-up!

Edited at 2012-03-08 10:00 pm (UTC)
Mar. 9th, 2012 05:30 am (UTC)
That explains why it was recursing to this page. :)
Mar. 8th, 2012 07:51 pm (UTC)
Huh. I actually hadn't heard the story.
Mar. 9th, 2012 10:13 am (UTC)
Surely it would have been better exercise for the dog to attach it by its leash to the car bumper and then drive where they were going at a speed that the dog could manage? Dog carriers are so confining.
Of course if the dog chose not to keep up perhaps they would be better getting a different dog anyway.

There was a man who called his dog Woodbine.... it had no legs so he took it out for a drag in the evenings.....

j/k? or ;-) by choice.


The Old Wolf

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