Enemy of the Week

Who Let the Scurrilous Dogs Out?

Whole lot of woofing going on.

By 1.19.06

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In its day Enemy Central has seen everything. But this is the first time it's had to serve as dogcatcher, deputized to snag all the mangy mutts and muttesses traipsing along our country's streets and back alleys in rabid packs and deep in political heat. Once Uncle Teddy finds himself impounded with the rest, he'll be relabeling them scurrilous curs.

We are nonetheless grateful to Ted for his one unscripted moment in the Alioto hearings (we'll take his-hard-of-hearing name for their subject). Because as he accused his colleagues of scurrility, he happened to be looking Chuck Schumer straight in the eye, to the extent that one can eye-ball the Senate's cross-eyed Doberman. It was a happy moment. Teddy appeared to chortle. So pre-Chappaquiddick.

Nobody's laughing now, unless it be Democrat-at-large Osama bin Laden, who barked out a closing tune after earlier howls this week by Al Gore and Mrs. Bill Clinton (yes, we know, calling her that sounds as funny as it looks in print). At least OBL didn't yelp -- he left that to attention-starved Patrick Leahy, who was first out of the Senate kennel to announce he's not going to lift his paw for Judge Alito.

Just think. Unlike Dick Cheney, Alito didn't even have to tell Leahy to go feed himself to earn that honor. Plus Mrs. Alito will have one fewer reason to resort to her hanky. Now to figure out the correlation between baldness and moral manginess.

The Hon. Bin Laden has proposed a "truce," a staple of the Demodog lexicon. The word is borrowed from "trus" (pronounced "troos"), the Russian term for "coward." Of course, the word today has different connotations. In Moscow, a coward is someone who declines to go snorkeling in an ice-covered lake. In Washington, it is someone who questions Rep. Jack Murtha's bona fides.

Returning to our best in show, Sen. Joe Biden remains expert at chasing his own tail. All the while he pants and begs, on the assumption that the sweet Patti Page song, "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?" was all about him. His act has suckered more than one pundit, including a conservative canine lover who wrote a column entitled "In Praise of Joe Biden" in which he argued that pal Joey is a "thoughtful" creature capable of an "immense emotional range." Where are the conservatives of yesteryear who insisted on obedience school for unruly pets?

Are we forgetting anyone? The runt of the litter? That would be Sen. Russ Feingold, at least in his own estimation, so let's move on to Illinois' borderline collie, Sen. Dick Durbin. His mug is pleasant, his demeanor calm, his coat smooth -- but who would want to depend on him for rescue? For all his outward positives, something deep down suggests Dick is disturbingly unsettled. There may be no precedent for his odd behavior. We wouldn't recommend overturning him to scratch his tummy.

Pack leader Harry Reid, on the other hand, is a mongrel we can trust. What else can be said about a critter who accepted tasty bones from Jack Abramoff's hounds and now refuses to return them on the grounds that the givers weren't registered with the American Kennel Association? Harry's nobility came through coyote clear when he compared Congress's handlers to John Gotti and other experts in bone burial along dog-beaten paths. And at the end of the day, like the craven creature dogs are said to be, Harry apologized to Republicans for growling at them.

We suspect needy Harry is still hoping to be stroked and petted, of course when no one is looking. Every animal has his pride. Out of respect for all these creatures, large and small, we've left out an EOW prize for Harry -- on the assumption he won't want to share it with his fellow barkers, who'll then proceed to tear into each other until the real winner is determined.

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