One of the current Caucus Front-Runners on The New York Times Politics Blog is entitled ‘The Search for the First Puppy.’ Obviously, in view of the response (approaching 800 comments at this hour), this is a subject that is top of mind for many readers. And with good reason.
Consider the following comment from ‘Dan,’ which appears on today’s front page:
“In the interest of reaching across the aisle, they should seriously consider also getting a kitten. Our nation is deeply divided on the dog/cat issue.”
Now you might say this is irrelevant. The campaign promise was for Mom and Dad to get the girls a puppy. In his acceptance speech, President-Elect Obama reiterated, among other outstanding issues, his determination to accept and fulfill this promise. The jubilant onlookers at Grant Park went wild. Here was the new government in action. Making good on its promises. Looking forward. Overcoming the obstacles of the status quo and heralding a transformative era of hope and change.
Dan’s comment, however, struck a chord with me, both for its simplicity and its depth of perception.
Let me say (full disclosure) that I am a confirmed dog lover. I have a deep respect for the beauty, intelligence, and independent spirit of the cat, but anybody who knows me knows that the dog comes first with me.
But even in the first flush of triumph and relief we should not lose sight of both parties’ oft repeated and fervent determination to bring our country together. After all, this is a moment in history when unity is seemingly (if only temporarily) possible.
So let us, indeed, put aside our differences, ‘reach across the aisle,’ and welcome a first cat as well as a first dog to the White House in January.