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 Texas : Features : Humor : Column - "A Balloon In Cactus"

Why Can’t Congress Be
More Like a Dog?

by Maggie Van Ostrand
Maggie Van Ostrand

Pretty nearly everybody, even cat lovers, know what dogs are like. They greet each other by circling, touching noses, and generally giving each other the once-over until they’re satisfied with what they find. Such friendly activities supply enough information to decide whether they want to play together or keep on walking.

 Why can’t politicians be more like a dog? Wouldn’t it better serve the country if, when politicians met other politicians, they’d do the same things dogs do?

We don’t care to count as dogs those congressmen from the Democratic Party who are called Blue Dogs. That’s just Washington spin. What are we, stupid? If they were real blue dogs, they’d be a painting by George Rodrigue, ads for Absolut Vodka and Xerox, and have their picture hanging in a Cajun café in New Iberia, Louisiana.

A real dog communicates by wagging, barking, or snarling, and you pretty much know exactly what they mean. Unlike the U.S. Congress, in the entire history of the world, there has never been a hypocritical dog. However, there have been congressmen and women who must think they are a dog because they keep on digging holes for themselves.

When a dog sniffs fire hydrants, telephone poles and trees, it’s like he’s reading messages. He knows who’s been there before him, he knows how tall they were, and he knows what they had for dinner. This certainly beats reading books by politicians whose autobiographies are hawked by their daughters and written by someone else, or having dinner with one and wondering how much such a fancy meal is costing the taxpayer, or the wordless message of sticking a paw under the partition to somebody else’s bathroom stall. So what if it’s true that a dog is lower on the food chain than a human, no dog has ever done anything so covert.

Further, no dog has ever stiffed the taxpayer by taking government planes to a golf game, raided taxpayer coffers for personal make-up and hair stylist, or failed to disclose something on their tax returns. There is honor among dogs, and dogs have ethics, whereas Congress, as a whole, is an ethical midget with neutered morals.

When the top dog suffers a set-back, the other dogs do not stand around giggling and gasbagging to the media how happy they are over the pack leader’s misfortune. They rally round in a show of unity to the rest of the world. That includes Honduras.

The remedy is this: we must educate our politicians the same way we educate our dogs. They must attend Obedience Class and master these few commands:

  • SIT, STAY: This command is solely for South Carolina Republican Senator DeMint, who, defying U.S. government policy, flew to Honduras to interfere in their politics. DeMint will need more than one lesson and should be leashed.
  • OFF: Get your paws off that woman, you’ve got a wife.
  • HEEL: No need to teach Congress about heel; many have already earned that title.
  • FETCH: Bring jobs back to the U.S.
  • BEG:   Quit obstructing progress or you can sit up and beg to get reelected.
  • DOWN: This does not refer to a pillow under the head of your Argentinian tango partner. It means get off your high horse.

    Congress will not graduate from Obedience School unless they first figure out that butt sniffing and ass kissing are not the same thing.


    Copyright Maggie Van Ostrand
    "A Balloon In Cactus"
    October 7, 2009 column

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