Frankly, I think this has gone too far.
Dogs should have no say in politics. If you have just greeted me by attempting to impregnate my leg, I do not care what the person holding your leash thinks your political priorities are. I have nothing against dogs. But if we could eliminate from politics just one interest group with a demonstrated responsiveness to pork, I would be all for it.
Besides, if I don’t want to hear your political opinion, what makes you think I’d like to hear from your schnauzer? We have enough trouble herding all those cats in Congress as it is.
There are all kinds of problems with this. I could start with the fact that Dogs Against Romney is a “dogs optional” group. But that’s not even the heart of it. Look, there are so many better grounds on which to object to a candidate, grounds that don’t make me worry that you’re only voting for Rick Santorum because he’s emitting a series of high-pitched dog whistles at all times.
It is not that I think Mitt Romney has been the paragon of pet ownership — “Crategate,” the incident when he traveled across country with the family dog on top of the car, has been often bemoaned and well-documented. I’m not saying Romney was nice to Seamus the Retriever. But maybe that was Mitt’s typically deft way of saying he was a cat person.
But is this really how we choose our presidents? I know Lyndon Johnson was proverbially cruel to light bulbs — or at least he denied them the right to work — and we didn’t have Light Bulbs Against Lyndon rallies. And I might trust a light bulb. They seem bright, and one has never eaten any of my shoes. I hear Grover Cleveland used to startle parakeets. I’m told that cats mistrusted Nixon. All right, I made that up. But at any rate they never came when he called. Calvin Coolidge had a bobcat at the White House — a rough environment for any self-respecting creature — but apparently the alternative was just as bad; Harry Truman gave a dog away and he didn’t hear the end of it either.
But we’re approaching this from the wrong end, as dogs so often do. If your Lhasa Apso wanted to sway my vote, he should have considered that when he was jumping my leg. If your Pomeranian wanted to impress me with his keen and penetrating intellect in choice of candidate, he should not have eaten my shoelaces and vomited them onto my rug with a reproachful expression. The way to get my vote is not to chew through my shoe and defecate into my tulips. It’s bad enough that there is a Portuguese Water Dog in the white house. Bo has, no doubt, been responsible for a great deal of the messes this administration has left us.
Look, we already go way too far anthropomorphizing our pets. The last thing I want is a dog dressed in a tiny sweater vest trying to urge me to vote values. Sit, boy. Stay. If I wanted the opinion of a yappy, self-important puffball, I have Newt Gingrich already.