Note to Stefan: it’s time to embrace a new scandal.
While the WA state GOP’s favorite conspiracy theorist has tirelessly devoted himself towards uncovering fraud and corruption in King County Elections (I’m sure he’ll find that smoking gun any day now,) he’s totally missing out on a raging controversy that threatens to bring county government to its knees: Mooie the acid-washed puppy.
Of course, I expect the media to pile on this story: it was a horrific, heart-wrenching crime, and… well… everybody loves puppies (except, I suppose, the person who immersed the poor, four-month-old pitbull in muriatic acid.) But I was nonetheless surprised to see my inbox fill with puppy-related news releases nearly two weeks after the incident. If there’s ever a sign that Puppygate threatens to explode into a full fledged political crisis, it’s the elected officials tripping all over themselves trying to prove who is more strongly opposed to dipping puppies in acid.
Yesterday, KC Executive Ron Sims office released a somewhat defensive sounding “Puppy investigation update,” which of course prompted Council Chair Larry Phillips to go on the offensive… lest the executive steal the anti-animal cruelty high ground. Phillips apparently had no choice but to send a letter to Sims urging a “prompt and thorough investigation of this tragic and shocking case” — a letter that somehow managed to make its way onto an animal rights website before it reached Sims desk. Imagine that.
So I asked Sims spokesman Sandeep Kaushik… “what the fuck?”… to which he replied that they’ve never seen public reaction like this before. More than with the 2004 election controversy, I asked incredulously? “Magnitudes greater,” he said.
Spurred on by websites like Dogster and Pasado, animal lovers (or as the FBI calls them, “terrorists”) have been inundating (i.e. “terrorizing”) government officials with impassioned pleas for action. The Executive’s Office, the County Council, Animal Control, the Federal Way Police… they’re receiving thousands of animated and sometimes angry emails and phone calls… some even threatening vigilante action if the authorities do not apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice. No other controversy has come even close to generating such an outcry… not the election contest or the Southwest Airlines deal or any number of issues that impact the daily lives of the region’s citizens.
Which makes me wonder… is the American public so jaded by man’s inhumanity to man, that nothing short of dipping a puppy in acid compels compassion these days? Are our politicians wasting their money on media consultants and handlers, when the secret to shaping public opinion is… puppies? Is the anti-war movement making a huge miscalculation by focusing attention on the human tragedy of the conflict, when the one thing that could finally provoke the American people to stand up and demand an end to the war would be grainy pictures from the Baghdad pound of hooded, shackled puppies with electrodes attached to their testicles?
Now, don’t get me wrong… I love animals (i.e. I’m a “terrorist”,) and what happened to this dog was truly horrible. It’s an appalling, saddening crime, and the pictures made me cringe. I even made my own puppy look the other way. I sure hope they catch the guy.
But it’s a dog, for chrisakes!
I dunno… just thought we might want to readjust our priorities.