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Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Doggone Days of the Election Year: Some Advice For The GOP

My wife chose the title for this one, so I have to give credit where credit is due. It's kind of funny since the main reason I started this blog was so I could bark politics online and not at her. There is a connection, trust me. The reason she chose the title: the following subject/rant got me so upset I started barking out loud at home, so naturally she heard about it and chose the title for today's post.

If you haven't heard about this new "dog war," here are some updates:

ABC News:

CBS News:

Twitter tags #ObamaDogRecipes and #ObamaEatsDog are going wild. Let me be out front with this (and if this gets me in trouble with some on the right, so be it).

STOP IT! Don't go down this path.

This all started when the left took issue with the Romney family saying they put their dog Seamus in a kennel carrier on the roof of their car while traveling from Massachusetts to Canada. My take on that: so what?! What does this have to do with Romney being the potential leader of the free world? It's not on his resumé, and I'm sorry, it doesn't show a "character issue" as some liberals tried to claim (it's the thinnest of stretches, at best). In my opinion, this was a desperate attack. Democratic strategist David Axelrod, as shown in the ABC News link above, even weighed in on Twitter. Many on the right wrote this off with, "the left can't stand by Obama's record, so this is how they distract from it while attacking Romney." The way I see it... they were 100% right.

But now, since the issue of Obama eating dog meat as a child came up, many on the right are talking out of the other side of their mouths, shamefully. I wish I could say this is isolated to a select few "fringe" Twitter uses, but  Mitt Romney's chief strategic Eric Fehrstrom sunk to Axelrod's level.

Why?! What good does this do? I'm not a campaign manager, but if I was in charge, I would have stuck with the "they can't stand by Obama's record" position. It's a good position. It's the high road. It's sensible. It says, "that's what you got?! Millions of people are out of work and getting kicked out of their homes, and you're attacking the former governor about a dog?"

When I think about it, the issue the republicans are attacking is a stupid point to attack. Obama ate dog as a child. A CHILD. He more than likely didn't have control over this situation. End of story.

But no. Instead of taking the high road, instead of strengthening their positions, republicans have weakened them. They have stooped to the democrats' level. They have decided to engage in a childish game that resembles, "I know you are, but what am I?"

Please, fellow conservatives... stop stooping to this level. We are better than this. We have great economic ideas. We are great political party. I believe we are the party that can put this country back on track. But it doesn't do ourselves any good to try to distance ourselves from the democrats by acting just like them. Rise above this baloney, together, and we can all move forward... together.


  1. Coudnt have said it better myself

  2. LME -

    Good morning! Though I agree with your sentiment, I do disagree with your position on Romney. I do find this to be a HUGE flaw in Romney. I find it repugnant that one would strap their dog to the roof of their car. Most people (those who love their pets) consider their pets members of the family. I can't even imagine ever entertaining the idea of strapping him to the roof of my car. As a leader, Romney should be making sound decisions, including about people he doesn't particularly care for. If he is willing to take a chance on the life of a family member, albeit a pet, that says alot to me about his sensibility or lack thereof. Defending the position of strapping the dog to the roof is indefensible, in my opinion and I, quite frankly, find it disgraceful. I don't necessarily think it should be a topic of discussion but I think it is fair game as it speaks to his judgement which is a critical issue in any election. Obama eating dog meat as a child is a ridiculous issue because, as you mentioned, he likely had no control and perhaps no knowledge of what it was.

    What Romney did is about his judgement and what he and his wife are doing trying to justify it rather than admitting a mistake shows me that they don't have any better judgement today than they did when they were strapping the dog to the roof and zooming down the highway.

  3. Good morning to you LME, and happy to say I couldn't agree with you more on this issue!

    The amount of time and effort wasted on these silly non-issues is disgusting. If only we spent as much time and passion discussing actual policies, numbers, and plans... we might not be in the economic mess we are now.

  4. Good morning LME. I can't help but laugh at this whole story.

    First, it is my opinion that Mitt has run a negative campaign through the primary process from the beginning. Why would you expect him to keep it out of the gutter now?

    Second, I think the eating dog is just another fine example of the hypocrisy of 0bama. For instance we hear about a "war on women" from 0bama then we find out he pays women in the Whitehouse less than men and the 0bama Secret Service doesn't want to pay for their $47 hookers. 0bama talks about diversity and has the whitest of white campaign staff. Now 0bama wants to criticize Romney over the dog. I would much rather have been Romney's dog than 0bama's dog since it lived and didn't end up on the dinner table.

    Let's be honest, the 0bama campaign with their attack on Romney and his dog is trying to appeal to their base--the not so smart (that's as nice as I can say that).

    If I were Romney, every time they brought up my dog, I would say "That means so much to me coming from the guy with dog on his breath".

    IF you think this campaign is going to be about any issue you may be disappointed. 0bama doesn't walk to talk about the REAL issues. Of course if my record sucked like his, I guess I wouldn't want to talk about them either.

    I think it will only get worse as the summer heats up. It has to, 0bama can't point to any of his policies that work.

    1. Hey there slim32, hope all is well.

      In all fairness though, the President doesn't personally decide who staves the entire White House nor how much they get paid. This is what the White House Chief of Staff does, who by the way tends to remain consistent through the presiding parties. As in, up until his recent resignation, the same Chief of Staff under Bill Clinton held the position under Obama.

      Additionally, regardless of that the entire staff of the White House isn't changed every time a new President enters the office (regardless of if the political party changes). Very few positions (if any) are changed, moved, or added. Same applies for salaries.

      And the same applies for the secret service.

      So really, IMO that is also a non-issue topic.

    2. RKen, yes, all is well. I hope the same is true for you.

      While I see your point that 0bama may not personally hire all the staff, I have to ask you; as President don't you think he could ensure equality in pay and maybe even should insist upon it? Especially since he said this at the signing of his first bill, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act:

      "Equal pay is by no means just a women's issue -- it's a family issue. It's about parents who find themselves with less money for tuition and child care; couples who wind up with less to retire on; households where one breadwinner is paid less than she deserves; that's the difference between affording the mortgage -- or not; between keeping the heat on, or paying the doctor bills -- or not. And in this economy, when so many folks are already working harder for less and struggling to get by, the last thing they can afford is losing part of each month's paycheck to simple and plain discrimination.

      So signing this bill today is to send a clear message: that making our economy work means making sure it works for everybody; that there are no second-class citizens in our workplaces; and that it's not just unfair and illegal, it's bad for business to pay somebody less because of their gender or their age or their race or their ethnicity, religion or disability; and that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory, or footnote in a casebook. It's about how our laws affect the daily lives and the daily realities of people: their ability to make a living and care for their families and achieve their goals.

      Ultimately, equal pay isn't just an economic issue for millions of Americans and their families, it's a question of who we are -- and whether we're truly living up to our fundamental ideals; whether we'll do our part, as generations before us, to ensure those words put on paper some 200 years ago really mean something -- to breathe new life into them with a more enlightened understanding that is appropriate for our time."

      According to the 2011 annual report on White House staff, female employees earned a median annual salary of $60,000, which was about 18 percent less than the median salary for male employees ($71,000).

      Yes, I agree that the media sees this as a non-issue but the guy running around shooting his mouth off about "war on women" seems to be waging the war on women.

      Once again, the dear leader is telling us to do as he says not as he does. How is it that his idea of "fair pay" and "equality" will work just fine in our businesses but not in his White House?

    3. I appreciate the link to the source.

      I actually went ahead and processed the results myself, since it allowed exportation into excel/access and that just happens to be a strong suit for me.

      I found that the numbers were similar to whoever processed them for your source, though slightly different.

      Median Female: $64,719.5
      Median Male: $72,000
      (10% difference)

      Average Female: $78,401.4
      Average Male: $84,634.98
      (7% difference)

      Analyzing it further though, it's pretty easy to see that many job titles are paid exactly the same salary with very few exceptions (which seems to be from seniority, and has no relation to sex). And the job titles that do have a spread in salary, have a very small one with no real difference between male or female.

      Ex: All 14 Analysts make $42k/y with one exception (a female making 66k), all 19 staff assistance are paid $42k/y with one exception (a male making $45k), all 22 highest level assistants make $172k/y with just 3 exceptions (all males that make less than $172k).

      The only reason that females earn less on the median/average is because they tend to hold slightly less advanced positions (which are also more popular among females), and because there are 36 less females than males on total staff (14% less).

      Males are much more common as analysts, specialists, information services operators, records management, and directors while females are much more common as staff/press/policy assistants.

      That's where the pay difference comes from; the differences in positions held by males to positions held by females. Not because Female A gets paid less than Male A for working the same exact position.

      So whoever analyzed those numbers just tried to make the numbers look how they wanted them to look without looking into the actual details and information.

    4. Oh wow.

      I ended up deciding to break my analysis down further, just because it really would only take another few minutes and I'd have a concrete answer.

      I categorized every job title into groups. I eliminated all of the major outliers (positions that had a salary of 0$, unique job positions with only one person in the group, and positions where only females or only males worked).

      I then averaged the salaries of these positions, for both males and females. Then, averaged the overall male and female salaries for each of these positions.

      Turns out, females _actually_ are paid more in the White House.

      Normalized Average Female Salary: $71481.35
      Normalized Average Male Salary: $69176.01
      (females earn 3% more)

      Normalized Median Female Salary: $63501.35
      Normalized Median Male Salary: $54542.14
      (females earn 14% more)

      I welcome anyone/everyone to double check this, and if required I'll even upload the excel sheets with all the calculations. There no doubt is always chance for error.

      But based on the numbers provided by the White House and the figures I see, this proves that the sentiments of 'Obama paying woman less' is 100% FALSE.

  5. Morning all!

    Got 9 minutes between meetings, so I had to chime in.

    Whatsamattausa - I respectfully disagree. My reason is that if I look at Romney's intent, I don't think he was malicious. A "bad move," maybe, but that's a matter of opinion. I can see being upset at the notion, but in my opinion, I couldn't carry it all the way through to his leadership capabilities. We have a dog. He is our son in many ways. I wouldn't strap him to the roof, but that's just me. I don't think Romney tried to hurt the dog, and perhaps, since we don't have the entire story, it wasn't so bad for the dog. Maybe isolated from the wind. Maybe it was a very controlled crate. Either way, to me, and I know you disagree and that's totally fine, using this as a character stab isn't something I would do. I wouldn't do it if it was Obama who did it, and I don't think either side should be going down the path of dog wars.

    RKen - It's rare that we agree fully... but I guess this is one of those times. Perhaps we should take the 32slim32 approach and go buy a lottery ticket ;-). In all that has been said, I too wish the candidates would stick to relevant issues. To me, eating a dog and treatment of a dog on a car is like 1,459,490,060th on the list of crucial, relevant things right now. But again, that's just my opinion. Some people might view either of these cases as automatic disqualifiers for Obama and Romney, and that's fine. That's everyone's right.

    32slim32 - I completely agree on the negative ad part. To me, I wonder if it's a necessary part of the game or not. Could a candidate just not stoop to that level? Newt tried, but then got sucked in. I wish candidates could just say, "say all the negative things you want... while you scream and look bad, I will put forth solutions." I wish Romney wouldn't venture down this path.

    As far as Obama's staff and the SS issues, I haven't looked into them much aside from news postings. Could be something interesting to write about.

    I hope all is well. My schedule is going to start to get sticky soon. As far as the daily upkeep of the blog, it won't change. There are 3 of us to help. I might not be able to debate and bark and comment back and forth as much :-P. But I will try my best. This blog wasn't meant to be me barking at people, and people barking at me (no pun intended with barking, trust me... it's just my fav word for chatting back and forth, lo) because I'm definitely not the golden standard of social/economic/political opinions. I certainly hope that IF I'm not able to keep up with comments and debates (a big if, I'm going to try my best) that people still come by and express their views and debate.

    Have a great day, all! I hope to be back on later.

    1. LME -

      I don't disagree with you that he wasn't trying to be malicious. To me it is about judgement. I think you said you are in your late 20's yet your wouldn't put your dog on the roof. I am 39 and I wouldn't do that. It's not that he was trying to be malicious so much as he lacks the judgement to know that doing something like that puts the animal in danger. In my opinion, that judgement is severely flawed and the fact that they (Mitt and Ann) continue to justify it makes me think they, and Mitt more specifically, are just flat out screwed up people (recently Mitt said he wouldn't do it again because of all the attention it's gotten, not because it's wrong or dangerous. It's not an issue that would necessarily make me vote against a candidate bu, in my opinion, it no doubt casts a cloud over his ability to use proper judgement.

  6. 0bama would never strap his dog to the roof of a car. No way. He would have the taxpayers fly another jet to bring his dog along.

    12th paragraph

    1. Slim - You always amaze me with your ability to find that diamond in the rough article or paragraph to back your point.

    2. Thanks, MN 4 Rick, but I would just be loudmouth idiot if I didn't back it up, or an avid MSLSD viewer.

  7. Greta Van Susteren's BeardApril 19, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    This is a good write up. I'm liberal and I agree with this article and Ken's thoughts. I can still see where whatsam is coming from. But I'm glad I stumbled upon this.

    We all need to work together.

  8. Great write up! I have to say I loved all the back and forth - over DOGS - while our national debt hovers at 16 Trillion, entitlements grow more out-of-control daily, Iran sits over there sabre-rattling and thumbing their nose at us, etc, etc, etc,/sarc

    Personally, I wouldn't strap any of my pets to the hood of my car - heck - our HORSE trailer has 'air ride' suspension and 'even flow' ventilation ... when the story came out I DID look into those types of kennels (depending on the climate, they're comfortable and safe.)

    Most Americans have a problem with dog as human food... MANY other countries see them as just another meat source... so long as he didn't/doesn't eat MY DOG - I don't care.

    This type of schoolyard 'I know YOU are, but what am I?' nonsense is s-o-o typical of the left. That Conservatives are now engaged in the same stupid tactic sickens me.

    If THESE are the best arguments EITHER side can come up with - we're doomed!