Peter Cavanaugh

Poodle’s puddle

By Peter Cavanaugh

There are established predictors.

When a Pope seeks signs of divine selection in nominees for Catholic Sainthood, he demands a minimum of two confirmed miracles.

As Napoleon Bonaparte would review junior officers for elevation to higher military status, he would ask of their superiors - “Are they lucky?”

And in considering candidates for managerial promotion in our radio group when I was chief operating officer, I would always openly wonder if those offered for selection were “housebroken.”

By this I would hope to determine whether the parties under consideration had that certain indefinable, instinctive grace to behave properly with acceptable decorum and effective action when confronted by surprising, often unpredictable, even unsettling situations - achieving a positive outcome without embarrassing themselves or the company in the process.

Using that word came into my head early on. I always found “housebroken” easily understood and awesomely functional.

In evaluating our recent vice-presidential debate between Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike “The Poodle” Pence, I must suggest this poodle is not housebroken.

For purposes of full disclosure, I herein admit that I watched the proceedings with supremely subjective bias, screaming at my flat screen with wild invectives every time Poodle offered yet another lame defense of the indefensible and hoping in each instance that Kaine would simply reach over and soundly, savagely slap him.

See? This whole election process has me passionately out of control. I offer no apology. Any other response would seem disgustingly irrational and wholly inadequate, yet I do promise to externally behave much more than not with professional propriety, desiring to break no houses myself in offering an admirable adult example to 12 impressionable grandchildren and any number of their small domestic pets.

As my own Irish grandfather, William McClaskey, once warned - “Never trust a man with not a hair out of place” - I suppose that’s when my own instinctive dislike of Pence first started. This judgment has been consistently reaffirmed ever since.

The embarrassing doglike loyalty Pence unapologetically offers in his relationship with The Donald earns Mike his Poodle nickname and was evidenced once again only hours after the debate.

Concerned that Trumpty was infuriated with reports that Pence had pulled off a better and more distinguished performance than his excellency, Pence proclaimed, “Some people thought I won, but from where I sat, Donald Trump won. His vision to make America great again carried the day.”

This fawningly confirmed Trump’s instant public declaration after the sparring concluded that he was “getting lots of credit” for choosing Mike Pence as his running mate and that was his “first hire.”

This attempts to erase memory of Donald’s initial campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who was fired for general incompetence just before Pence’s selection. The Trumpster’s second organizational chief, Paul Manafort, was dismissed only days later for receiving multi-million dollar payoffs from pro-Russian clients. Some relationships offer more in immediate compensation than eventual comfort.

Although remaining calm, cool and collected during the proceedings, particularly when compared with his master, Pence’s puddle became dramatically self-evident once fact checking was underway. Keeping faith with Trump campaign culture as he displayed a perfectly straight face and ramrod straight composure, Poodle lied his tail off. This splashed down smoothly without the slightest hint of personal embarrassment.

Abundant evidence easily available to the contrary, Pence repeatedly denied almost everything both he and Trump have said during the course of the campaign. A true indictment of the currently bewildered state and sadly unpredictable future of the Republican Party can be found in a new, widely held popular opinion in GOP land.

The whispered word is that even if Pence didn’t really do Trump that much good in the debate, at least he brilliantly got a leg up over future competitors, setting himself up as Trump’s inevitable successor.

Voices of darkest desperation thus ring with hollow hope. Lasting shame, thy name is Trump.

Thy pooch is Poodle Pence.

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