A dog starved at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
William Blake, Auguries of Innocence, 1803.
The story of Mitt Romney once forcing his dog to travel a long distance in a hutch tied to his car roof has been getting traction. Rightly so, as it encapsulates something peculiar about him. Contrast Newt Gingrich, plainly a very unpleasant man, worse than Romney on most moral dimensions. But consider. Newt is arrogant, selfish, greedy, priapic and hypocritical. But then so am I, and so are you – hypocrite lecteur, mon semblable, mon frÃ¨re – and our worst in-laws, up to a point. We trust that we all either have a weaker temptation to these vices, or better brakes, from our entourage, conscience, prudence, self-awareness or common sense. Still, I can see myself as Newt on a very bad day.
Romney arouses a different reaction. There is simply no way most of us could ever have treated a dog like that. It raises horrid echoes of the childhoods of psychopaths like Ian Brady and Jeffrey Dahmer.
Romney has been getting less popular as he campaigns. Some of this is no doubt due to his relentless opportunism. But isn’t there also a feeling that something was left out of the box when he was assembled? Even Tea Partiers may feel some reluctance to hand over the keys to the football to a high-functioning sociopath.
So: a doggerel competition. Doggy epigrams and verses please, no longer than a limerick (5 lines).
To get you started:
. . . . . . . But that was long ago
And in another country; and beside
The dog is dead.
Marlowe, The Jew of Malta; orig.”wench”
I was his Highness’ dog at Bain.
A puzzled ghost now; please explain.
(from Alexander Pope:
I am his Highness’ dog at Kew.
Pray tell me. Sir, whose dog are you?
The perfect teeth, the handsome crust:
A smiling death to canine trust.
A thrusting young partner at Bain
Drove his wife and five kids through the rain.
When the dog on the roof
Of its terror gave proof
He hosed crap and shame down the drain.