Thursday, May 03, 2007

First they came for the ferrets...

As those who know me will tell you, I will admit to being "obsessed" with my pet chinchillas. (That's Baby at the left.) I'm also a dog owner, so our apartment boasts an always lively menagerie of happiness and enjoyment. Having pets is one of the things that calms me each day after the hustle and bustle of working in New York City.

That's why Rudy Giuliani has always scared me: It's not that I couldn't live without chinchillas (or even a dog). Rather, it's that I couldn't begin to live with an authoritarian leader dictating to its citizens how they should live their lives.

There are, of course, valid reasons to prohibit the ownership of certain types of animals in certain types of environments. Nevertheless, I'm glad to see that Herr Rudy's infamous two-minute tirade against a ferret owner is getting a new life in the news:
This conversation is over, David. Thank you. [Mr. Giuliani cuts him off.] There is something really, really, very sad about you. You need help. You need somebody to help you. I know you feel insulted by that, but I'm being honest with you. This excessive concern with little weasels is a sickness. [...]

There's a lot more, but you can get the gist. First of all, as Greg Sargent notes, the conversation is funny--in a scary sort of way. What's scary is Giuliani's insistence that there can be no debate once his "heavy-handed government" (Greg's term) has made its decision. And it's clear that the person who needs "help" here is not the ferret owner but the presidential candidate himself and his anger management issues.

We shouldn't be surprised Giuliani feels the way he does. After all, this is a man who leaves pet wives and pet children far more easily and callously than most of us would ever discard an animal.