In abusing his dog, did Mitt also abuse his kids?

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Romney not only put a dog in a carrier on his car roof for 12 hours, but he made his wife and sons complicit in the act.

A good Monday to you all.  Here’s a little something to set the mood.

Someone has made a video with about 100 seconds of a dog (actually a fake model of a dog, with lifelike floppy ears) riding in a carrier on top of a car.  This is a re-enactment, of course, of Mitt Romney’s 2007 story of how he drove his family to a vacation cottage in Ontario, Canada with his Irish Setter, Seamus, in the summer 1983.

Here’s a question for you all — and it’s not the standard “what sort of empathy-challenged person would do this?” question. It’s about Romney’s wife and sons, the non-canine passengers in that station wagon.

The oldest of them, Tagg, would have been about 13. Matthew would have been about 12; Joshua 8, Benjamin 5. (Craig, at 2 or so, would probably have been riding in mom’s lap in those pre-car carried days.) At least the two oldest sons, and probably one or two more — as well, of course, as his wife Ann — would have been old enough to exhibit some empathy and moral reasoning.

I have come to believe that Romney is seriously damaged, lacking in empathy, in a way that so far as I know neither of his parents seem to have been. (I won’t bother trying to prove this to anyone; you probably understand without my doing so.) But let’s say that it’s genetic. The chances are that at least one of these older boys would have been spared the anti-empathy mutation.

Did any of them say “Dad, it’s OK — let Seamus ride in the car with us. He can sit on my lap.”

Now maybe they did ask him and he said “no”; maybe they were too cowed to ask. I can’t imagine being even eight years old and not objecting to this. So the question is not merely what kind of animal owner Romney was. It’s what kind of parent was Romney, that he could have kept a dog on a roof for a twelve hour highway drive and no one tried to stop him (or the tried and he didn’t care)?

Romney seems to have lived a life without consequences. That’s not what I want in a President. Until today, when I saw this video, the “Seamus on the Roof” story led me to roll my eyes at Romney. Now, helped along by this visual aid, it seems darker and more serious.

(By the way, for those who didn’t click the link, Romney supposedly gave Seamus to his sister while in Canada, but two of his sons have leaked word that Seamus ran away — though it could of course be worse. Good doggie.)

About Greg Diamond

Prolix worker's rights and government accountability attorney. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Runs for office sometimes, so far to offer a challenge to someone nasty who would otherwise have run unopposed. Someday he might pick a fight intending to win it rather than just to dent someone. You'll know it when you see it. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. A family member works part-time as a campaign treasurer. He doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he hated. He does advise some local campaigns informally and generally without compensation. If that changes, he will declare the interest. He also runs a less frequently published blog called "The Brean," for his chosen hometown, where he is now fighting with its wealthiest and most avaricious citizen-donors. This just seems to be his way.