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Friday, October 24, 2008

Pitbulls and hockey mums

FROM OUR AMERICAN CORRSPONDENT

Just in case you couldn’t tell, that’s a pitbull underneath all of those quills. Pit bulls aren’t known to be the smartest animals at the dog pound. These dogs are known to have only one overwhelming instinct for their MO and that is to attack anything that moves. This unfortunate canine came across a porcupine, and the dumb animal just didn’t have enough smarts to quit on the first lunge. This doggie-dog looks like it didn’t stop on the second or third lunge either. By the time this unfortunate Scooby-Don’t was through, he had more than thirteen hundred quills imbedded in his muzzle, his head, his chest, his neck, his legs, and his back. The way this dog is covered in quills, I would not be surprised if there was a quill or two in the dog’s tail.

The strategy of constantly attacking the opposition isn’t a very smart one. Attacks can backfire. And when an attack starts to backfire, the attacker needs to stop and reassess the situation and reevaluate options. It is not a sign of intelligence when one is constantly in attack mode, just because that’s what they are programmed to do. It would be a sure sign of intelligence to see an attack dog stop long before irreparable damage is done. Fortunately for this feisty Fido, a veterinarian was able to put it under and painstakingly pull each quill away. But somewhere around here there is a porcupine walking around that is prematurely bald and in some serious need of some Rogaine.

Almost from the moment Governor Sarah Palin was selected as Senator John McCain’s running mate, she has been fiercely attacking her political opponents. She truly meant to make good on her claim that, other than lipstick, she is no different than a pit bull. And if that’s truly the case, it appears that Ms. Palin is ready to take much more than her fair share of political quills in a useless attempt to take her opponent down.

In the last presidential debate, moderator Bob Schieffer asked Mr. McCain and his opponent, Senator Barack Obama, about their opponent’s choice of running mate. Mr. Obama was gracious and had nothing but praise for Ms. Palin despite the perpetual accusations from Ms. Palin that Mr. Obama is a tax and spend liberal, that Mr. Obama is a man who is unpatriotic and willing to closely associate with terrorists, that Mr. Obama is little more than a community organizer without any real responsibilities, that Mr. Obama has no executive experience at any level of government, and that Mr. Obama is everything other than anything good for America.

When it was announced that the Governor of Alaska was to be the Republican vice presidential nominee, the Republican Party received a phenomenal bounce in the polls. The bounce the Democratic Party got from their national convention was quickly neutralized with Ms. Palin’s selection. She was female and fervently conservative and that was all a lot of people needed to hear. The fact that she is willing to make abortions virtually a thing of the past didn’t hurt her appeal to the right winged Republican faithful.

Ms. Palin claims that she is more than qualified to be the vice presidential nominee to a man who, if elected, will be the oldest man to become the President of the United States bar none, and with a history of cancer to boot. Ms. Palin doesn’t do interviews without having weeks of advance notice and without having the topic of discussion submitted in writing so she can study in advance. The few interviews that Ms. Palin finally acquiesced to do have been painful to watch. Ms. Palin claims Alaska’s proximity to a handful of Russian islands gives her credibility on the global scale. Ms. Palin reads all and every magazine and newspaper, and claims that each case that goes before the Supreme Court is so important that she can’t focus on a single one when asked to name a legal challenge that made it to the highest court. And yet, she’s comfortable calling Mr. Obama inexperienced.

Ms. Palin’s political highs have become political lows. A lot of independent voters recognize her as a one trick doggie. People can make a claim that she’s a reformer and ready to bring unity to Washington. However, take an honest look at this woman’s record for the past couple of months. Correct me if I’m wrong but Ms. Palin has yet to make a single politically unifying statement anywhere. If this is someone’s idea of political unification I’ll take a divided aisle any day of the week. The only time a pit bull unifies people is when everybody come to the understanding that the dog needs to be put down.

The only difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull is lipstick. When I first heard that rhetoric that quickly became a nationwide cliché, I rolled my eyes and thought how stupid. These days I’m singing a different tune. I have to admit that these days I’m not so quick to dismiss the quip outright. These days, I have to ask which hockey mom and which pit bull are we talking about. It’s quite possible that a hockey mom might be just as fierce as the meanest pit bull. And it’s quite possibly, just as intelligent too.

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