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 and General Counsel of CATER. His anti-corruption work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, leading them to work with the Democratic Party of Orange County Chair and other co-conspirators (who had long detested the internal oversight his presence provided) to remove him from the position of DPOC North Vice Chair of in violation of party rules and any semblance of due process. He also runs for office sometimes. Unless otherwise specifically stated, none of his writings prior to that lawless putsch ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Beautiful Bountiful Brea, but while he may brag about it he generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for candidates including Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and (except where noted) without compensation.