Why #DoggyGate Matters, or, the Politics of the Dog-Whistle

Food, politics, and cultureImage are three of the Prick’s great loves, so a story which hits the trifecta – such as Barack Obama’s youthful forays into dog-eating, and, more importantly, his bragging about it in a memoir written before he’d ever accomplished a damn thing – is, around these parts, a bit of manna from heaven .

Or as they say in the Oval Office, “Mastiff From Heaven”. Boom-tish.

About the only line of defense Obama’s people have managed to come up with in his defense is “youthful indiscretion”, and isn’t it unfair to attack the man for something he did as a child, unlike Mitt Romney strapping his dog to the top of the car when he was in his thirties? But the point is not just that he did it, but that he wrote about it, and what that says about the man. Even if he was a kid at the time, Obama’s dog-eating matters, and matters far more than whatever damn fool thing Mitt Romney did taking his pooch on vacation.

Here’s David P. Goldman, nailing a key issue: how the dog-eating is a symptom of Obama’s bigger problem, i.e., his visceral dislike, hatred, and resentment for America, something that was inculcated in the future president from a very young age. Writes Goldman:

What a careful reader will take away from Barack Obama’s memoir Dreams from My Father is not only that the president used to eat dog meat, but more importantly, that he identifies with dog-eaters. He wants us to understand that he is one of them. Obama’s most severe critics on the right think of Obama as a socialist, for example, Dinesh D’Souza, or Stanley Kurtz in his exhaustively-researched book Radical-in-Chief. Obama used to attend the annual “Socialist Scholars Conference” in New York, which was a hard-core affair; I went to a couple of them, and they weren’t for the curious. But there is something far more visceral, more existential to the president’s dislike of the United States, and that arises from his early residence in the Third World, and his identification with the people of the Third World whose lives are disrupted by the creative destruction that America has unleashed…

It really isn’t unfair at all to bring Obama’s canine consumption to public attention. The president isn’t really one of us. He’s a dog-eater. He tells the story in his memoir to emphasize that viscerally, Obama identifies with the Third World of his upbringing more than with the America of his adulthood. It is our great misfortune to have a president who dislikes our country at this juncture in our history.

Absolutely, and “read the whole thing” as they say. Goldman’s point reminds me of the time when, back in 2008, I sat on a “Politics in the Pub” panel with former NSW Upper House member and fairly radical lefty Meredith Burgmann to discuss “the meaning Obama” or somesuch. She had just come back from a stint doorknocking for the Obama campaign in the dark heart of America somewhere and enthused to me, “Isn’t Obama wonderful? I mean, he’s not really American, is he!?” Not “not really American” in the crazy-birther sense of “not entitled to hold the presidency under the rules set down in the Constitution”, but in the polite-company, bien pensant sense of, “he’s not like those bovine Americans who waddle through Wal-Mart and buy guns and think Red Lobster is a decent restaurant.”

This whole sorry affair has me longing for the days of Bill Clinton, something I find myself increasingly doing lately. Somehow I preferred it when the phrase “a hard dog to keep on the porch” didn’t mean “trying to keep dinner from escaping”. Back then, if you heard that the president “liked a bit of tail”, it didn’t mean that the Secret Service was off on a covert mission to the DC Dog Pound, nor was the phrase “It doesn’t matter where you get your appetite so long as you eat at home” ever once uttered during the telecast of the Westminster Dog Show.

And looking back, who couldn’t love the guy?

Did Somebody Say Colombian Prostitutes?

In any case, if this whole episode manages to shut down one line of personal attack against Mitt Romney, well, too bad for the Democrats. But hey, they can always go after Mormon polygamy, right? Right?

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6 Responses to Why #DoggyGate Matters, or, the Politics of the Dog-Whistle

  1. gwjd says:

    We bovine Americans enjoy Red Lobster. But President Obama prefers Red Rover.

  2. soberhorsethief says:

    The new upcoming chain is Beagle Seafood.

  3. phoebe53 says:

    Reblogged this on Phoebe's Detention Room and commented:
    This is just way too funny!

  4. timt says:

    Pshaw, everyone knows that the real Red Lobster is a poetry program on community television…

  5. shoe1000 says:

    As a true libertarian, I think this whole piece is nothing but an ad hominum attack that is neither necessary nor productive. I disagree with much of the President stands for but an attack on his eating as a kid? I ate cat once when I was a labor camp for migrant farm workers. Does that make me anything less than people who havent.
    Making a criteria of quality our eating habits means no Indian-American, where they dont eat cows, could ever be president.
    So a vegetarian lacks the necessary qualities to be President?
    Please, any attack on his policies is fair, but his eating habits as a kid is not.

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