Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Dog's Tale

As effective a political video the "Forward" video is (see the post below), the fake campaign ad President Obama unveiled during his White House Press Association Dinner stand-up comedy is more subtle (and of course funnier) in registering the political differences.  It starts at 12:14 of this video of his entire speech, and it is ostensibly from a Romney-supporting independent group ( the Woofpac) criticizing Obama for how he treats his dog Bo and praising Romney for allowing his dog to ride on top of the car where he has the freedom to feel the wind in his fur.  Beneath the jokes, and with a pitch perfect imitation of actual GOPer attack ads--including footage they haven't yet used taking out of context President Obama's gestures while telling a children's story on the White House lawn-- the political metaphors are almost perfect.

 The ad criticizes Obama for coddling his dog, for government mandates, socialism, etc., while Romney supports a dog's freedom.  The last image shows what that freedom means--the dog in a pet carrier strapped to the top of Air Force One.  It is exactly the difference between the phony catch-all image of "freedom" as Romney uses it (freedom from taxes for the wealthy, freedom from government, its benefits and protections for everyone else, plus the freedom to pay the price for the consequences of what the greedy 1% does to steal wealth from everyone else.) It's the difference in the result for the 1% (the freedom to ride in luxury) versus what this brand of "freedom" means for the 99%--confined inside a kennel and strapped to the fast-moving vehicle, where--as everyone knows by now--Romney's actual dog got sick.  Get sick with Romney and you're on your own in your spacious kennel.  Don't bother the Romneys--they're going places, on a schedule, and everything else be damned.

 Not only does the fake ad draw this contrast--it brings out a little of why this story of Romney and his dog resonates on its own.  There's the clueless selfish disregard and lack of compassion for dependent companions, first of all. But there's also that feeling of separation, between the wealth winners (by any means necessary) and everybody else, the people that John Boener characterized Monday as "the losers."  That's a Romney word--a Richie Richney word--for the 99%.

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