Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Compassionate Conservatives Don't Staple Live Dogs

USA Today follows up on yesterday's near-unbelievable NY Post story about Judith Giuliani, wife of presidential hopeful Rudy, and her career as a surgical-staple sales representative who demonstrated her products on live dogs that were then destroyed.

A few days after GOP presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani announced that his wife, Judith, would be welcome to attend cabinet meetings at the White House, the New York Post reports this morning that the registered nurse worked as a traveling saleswoman for a company that killed dogs to demonstrate surgical staples to potential clients.

"It was a horribly cruel, outrageous program," Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said, according to the Post.

According to the tabloid, a Giuliani spokesman said "only that Judi had not been involved in procuring dogs for sales demonstrations - but did not comment on whether she participated in demonstrations involving dogs."

In a 1988 story about a woman who was accused of plotting to blow up the offices of U.S. Surgical Corp, Time magazine reported the company "uses hundreds of dogs a year to train doctors and the company's own salesmen with the high-speed surgical staplers it manufactures. The trainees practice by stapling multiple surgical incisions on anesthetized dogs, after which the animals are destroyed."

Okay, so the campaign spokeman says Ms. Giuliani didn't actually go out and kidnap from neighborhoods seize from pounds and shelters procure dogs for demonstrations. But he doesn't deny or confirm that she participated in the actual stapling of live, healthy dogs or the subsequent destroying of them.

Dear God in Heaven, is it too much to ask that our top-tier presidential candidates be at least somewhat representative of us?

I don't give a rat's bottom about the six marriages between the Giulianis (hey, we've all had iffy relationships--not everyone is able to predict impending disaster before signing on the dotted line, um, six times over), and I actually kind of love Rudy's adventurous taste in clothes (as long as he doesn't ask to borrow any of my really good vintage gowns).

And yes, there are questions about some of Rudy's dealings while Mayor, and his police commissioner (ex-commissioner, rather) is facing indictment. I'm willing to let the legal chips fall where they may before judging Rudy's judgment.

But this...this use of live, sentient beings as sales props--and then killing them!--is beyond the pale. It speaks to a type of person who views the world, and all its living residents, in a very different way than my family and I do. A person capable of coldness. Cruelty. Materialism. Something I can't quite identify, though it's nonetheless disturbing.

Behold the shining stars of the GOP: Darth Cheney shoots ducks and lawyers, MC Karl Rove admits to "tearing the tops off small animals", and now, we learn, Rudy G's wife actually stapled live dogs.

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