Robert J. Elisberg

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Robert J. Elisberg

Robert J. Elisberg
Los Angeles, California,
December 31
Robert J. Elisberg has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post since 2006. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, and Los Angeles Magazine, and served on the editorial board for the Writers Guild of America. He has contributed political writing to the anthology, "Clued in on Politics," 3rd edition (CQ Press). Born in Chicago, he attended Northwestern University and received his MFA from UCLA, where he was twice awarded the Lucille Ball Award for comedy screenwriting. Most recently, he wrote the comedy-adventure screenplay, “The Wild Roses,” for Callahan Filmworks, and had published his comic novella, "A Christmas Carol 2: The Return of Scrooge."


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Editor’s Pick
APRIL 20, 2012 10:19AM

Good News! Mitt Romney Never Ate a Dog

Rate: 10 Flag

May God love and protect the tone-deaf and clueless.

The Republican world was all a-twitter Tuesday with a story on the far-right website, Daily Caller.  It quoted President Barack Obama's autobiography about his stepfather having served him dog meat when he was nine in Indonesia.  The article hoped to divert ridicule from Mitt Romney for strapping the family pet dog, Seamus, to the roof of a car on a family trip.

The problem is…well, you see, the problem is many.  And it all centers around the blind, giddy glee with which Jim Treacher attempted to put his Great Find into perspective.

"So what? It was a long time ago," you say. "He was a lot younger. Customs are different there. He was just doing what his stepfather told him. And hey, you can't even prove that the dogs were ever left on top of a car, you racist."

Hey, whatever you have to tell yourself, libs. Say what you want about Romney, but at least he only put a dog on the roof of his car, not the roof of his mouth. And whenever you bring up the one, we're going to bring up the other.

It's no fun when we push back, is it? That's why it's so much fun.

No fun???   No fun?!!  It's so freaking fun it makes a sun-filled day at Disneyland seem morose.

Oh, my, not only is it fun when people push back like that…it's otherworldly joyous.  You read that and realize how incredibly, stultifyingly stupid that was.  On levels heaped on boneheaded levels.

No fun?  This was more fun than listening to a Ted Nugent rant as his brain cells fly away.

It was fun because you read it and realize that these giddily self-pleased Republicans, and the Romney campaign itself, just don't have a clue.  Not a clue.

"It was a long time ago," Treacher writes, trying to be sarcastic.  Well, no, the issue isn't that it was "a long time ago."  Most of life was "a long time ago."   The point is that Barack Obama at the time was…nine-years-old.

Oh, but "He was a lot younger," Treacher writes next, continuing his wink.  Well, again, no, it's not that Barack Obama was "a lot younger."   It's that he was only nine-years-old!

They are making fun of a little, nine-year-old child.  Who was indeed doing, as Mr. Treacher thoughtfully explains, what his parent was telling him to do.

But that's not how stupid this was.

You see, Jim Treacher goes on to write, "Say what you want about Romney, but at least he only put a dog on the roof of his car, not the roof of his mouth."

It's like watching a car crash in slow motion.  The article takes a story that the Romney campaign dearly, achingly wants forgotten…and swaggeringly crams it in your face again!  Clearly Republicans must think that what a child once did makes their own problem magically disappear.  But all it does is remind everyone that Mitt Romney strapped his Irish Setter to the roof of his car on a family vacation.

And yet, in the very next sentence, the author makes it even worse.  Because he writes, "And whenever you bring up the one, we're going to bring up the other."

You want to shout for joy, "Oh, please do!  In fact, don't wait for others to bring up that Mitt Romney strapped his family dog, Seamus, to his car - bring it up whenever you like.  Because every time, it will just remind everyone that Mitt Romney strapped…" well, you know.

And for some bizarre reason, even the Romney campaign thinks this train wreck is a winner.  Romney campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom sent out a tweet with a photo of the Obama pooch safe in a limousine.  "In hindsight, a chilling photo," Mr. Ferrnstrom wrote, thinking he was being clever - when he had just reminded people that Mitt Romney strapped his own family dog to a car.

But the thing is - that's not how stupid this was.

What was most stupid about this article, and the Romney campaign keeping it alive, is this -

Republicans and the Romney campaign are all comparing the decision-making prowess of a mature adult running for President of the United States to a nine-year-old child.

Mitt Romney wants to impress Americans how good his decision-making is, how smart he'll be when dealing with the economy, national health care, women's issues, foreign leaders and terrorism - and the standard he's holding himself to that's he's better than a nine-year-old boy.

(Side note:  how many of you have a nine-year-old boy?  Or know a nine-year-old boy?  Would any of you ever hold a nine-year-boy as a standard for…well, anything?  Nine-year-old boys would eat a live frog on a big-enough dare.)

But let's go further.  For the sake of argument, let's even accept the worst.  Let's  say it doesn't matter when the story took place, or that it's another culture.  Or that doing what one's stepfather says is no excuse.   Let's accept all that.  

This story still compares Mitt Romney's decision-making expertise for being Leader of the Free World to a nine-year-old boy.

And whenever anyone brings up that rich, entitled Mitt Romney strapped his family dog to a car roof, Republicans vow to compare him to a poor, hungry child?!

Oh, dear Lord, who art in heaven, please let them liveth by their promises.

While the story might play grand to far-right reactionaries with a blind hatred for the President, none of them were voting for Barack Obama anyway.  For everyone else, it only serves to do one thing - remind people that when Mitt Romney chose to strap his family's pet dog to his car, it wasn't something a nine-year-old boy did.

"It's no fun when we push back, is it?," Republicans swagger.

It is more fun than a barrel full of Romneys.


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I watched Ann Romney say that Mitt only put the dog on the roof that one time -- because was sick.

Until then, I thought it was just preseason fodder. But the way the two of the clucked and nodded about how it was OK to put the dog on the roof -- BECAUSE IT WAS SICK -- told us everything we need to know about the general cluelessness of this family.
Ri--OT! At first I thought, "Wait, Elisberg writes for Huffington Post?!?" And then I realized there was a shifted perspective, as if writing from the mentality and mindset of the Republican Ultra Right (which is just so wrong on so many levels -- I used to be a Republican leaning voter when it meant being truly fiscally responsible with the People's money.)

Wonderful concept and something we would all do well to be aware of: You're comparing the Decision Making Prowess of a Fully Mature Adult to that of a Nine Year Old Child.

Obama at age nine was only 26 years shy of being old enough to run for President and when Mitt lashed Seamus to the roof of the car, he was already more than old enough to run for President.

What's that tell ya?

That a nine year old boy, in general, has more compassion and common sense than a man who insists that, "Corporations are People, my friend." And while, if the dare is large enough, a nine year old boy might just eat a frog, a Corporate Raider like Mitt won't do it unless there's a sufficient amount of income involved without a tax bite.

And yet, the Right pretty much sucks it all right up, wholesale and implies that Barack Obama is some sort of monster on par with the Evil Chinese, Vietnamese, Koreans, Filipinos and others of the Southeast Asian Region who eat dogs(!) fer cripes sakes!

In the words of Gary Busey as his character in "Let's Get Harry!" I ate that on a stick!

When the staff leaves the insane asylum and allows the patients to run the place, the "crazy" people are the ones who insist the crazy people are not sane. Much like current US Political Discourse. We have had the Right skew so far off centrist and reasoned debate that, as long as the Left continues to be placatory and conciliatory in order to appear reasonable to them, we can place the Insane Asylum analogy squarely in the seats of the House and Senate and everywhere on down their effect is felt.

Great piece of writing, but you don't need me to tell you that.

@Jimmy - they change their stories. I heard a clip with Ann saying the dog LOVED riding on the roof - they did it alla time. It had got sick cuz it snatched some turkey from the counter.

I read another cute bit from Kos where Romney arrived at a friend's place and immediately scooped up THEIR dog's ball and tossed it...and it landed in the water. The dog spent the rest of the day diving for it, whimpering and wailing.
The funny thing though is that it's Romney who told that story about himself.

He was proud of his creativity in the situation.
If Anne Romney thinks riding on top of the car is so terrific, SHE ought to try it, sometime!

I'm not a fan of eating animals that are popular as household pets, but I'm pretty sure Obama hasn't continued the practice in adulthood. When you're nine years old, you're pretty dependant on the adults in your life.

If a dog had its druthers, it would hang its head out the window for the entire car ride, anyway. It may have been a little more dangerous for Mitt to pull the Clarke Griswold on his dog than it would have been to allow it to ride in the car, but given the dog was puking all over the place, better that than a reenacting of Stand By Me with Mitt, Ann and the kids.

This story, and many others from both President Obama and Candidate Romney, are being test-driven this week in an attempt to find something that resonates with "Low Information Voters."

I'll call up the pres and let him know that this one, especially when paired with the idiotic use of his actions as a child by Romney, is causing the desired amount of outrage in those same people who ignored that The President ordered a hit on an American citizen (and, I've eaten dog as well, though I didn't know it at the time, and it was delicious).

I have no idea what Romney would do as president, though based on his record as Governor, I can't imagine it much different than what Obama has done, but I know exactly what President Obama has done, and will continue to do, and as he continues to kill and torture Americans (as an adult), I'll take a shot with whomever else ya got. Romney? Well, Santorum almost won, so I suppose it could be a lot worse.
The good news is Romney never ate a dog. The bad news is that a dog never ate Romney.
What was the Romney camp thinking?
You are aware that this whole dog thing started with Obama's #2 guy, David Axelrod, Tweeted a photo of Bo riding in the car with Obama and wrote:

How loving owners transport their dogs.

Please write an article on the maturity of that.
In general there seems little doubt that public sympathy about the Romney-dog incident is solidly on the side of the dog. Considering the general public appeal of all political candidates from both parties and their demonstrated exhibition of presidential qualities, there would, no doubt, be a landslide victory for the party who ran the dog.
So funny! The first line is priceless.
Omigod this is hilarious. There are dog kennels with covers that you strap outside of your car. But Mitt never ate the dog; the dog actually lived, unlike the one Barak ate. If the Obama White house thinks they are going to win an election whining that Mitt Romney had his dog outside of his car 30 years ago, of course you're going to get: "well, at least he didn't EAT it." Obama has 3 years of failure to run on, so go ahead and focus on stupid stuff like that. There is a lot of stuff to push back with. And the whole Mitt Romney is rich stuff is annoying the whole country: you loved your John F. Kennedy and Jackie; you love your rich Dem's; we all see the double standard.

Well said! Don’t forget the movie stars, billionaires (Buffet, Soros and Zuckerberg to name a few) and personal injury attorneys.
This *family* trying to connect with voters is like watching...well, Seamus keep from crapping on the back window.

It ain't gonna happen.

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