Mitt Romney’s Olympic event

Mitt Romney not only organized the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, he has a horse in this year’s game.  He and his wife are part owners of a horse that will compete in the dressage competition.   Comedians, satirists, and Democrats in general are having a field day with this, calling it “ballet for horses” and an example of the effete decadence of  very wealthy people like the Romneys.  For example, this from a snarky column by Dana Milbank:

Rafalca, a 15-year-old Oldenburg mare owned in part by the Romneys, qualified as a member of the U.S. Olympic team and will compete in London in the dressage competition — a form of ballet for horses and their riders in which the animals do pirouettes and serpentines. They also do piaffes, which, according to the International Equestrian Federation, is a “highly collected, cadenced, elevated diagonal movement” in which “the haunches with active hocks are well engaged.” Rafalca, after qualifying, flew across the Atlantic on a FedEx jet (no, they didn’t strap her to the roof) and reportedly dined on an in-flight meal of watermelon.

Understandably, Romney was wary about discussing dressage when NBC’s Brian Williams asked him in London on Wednesday about his equine Olympian. “You actually have a horse in the race. What’s that gonna be like?”

“Well,” Romney replied. “It’s — a big — exciting experience for my wife and — and for the person that she’s worked with, the trainer of the horse who’s riding the horse. And — obviously, it’s fun to be part of the Olympics in any way you can be part of them.”

Williams followed up: “When is the event, and for those of us who don’t follow the sport, what happens? Are there rounds that — of competition? Is there just one chance? What happens?”

Romney pleaded ignorance. “I have to tell you, this is Ann’s sport. I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it, I will not — be — watching — the event. I hope — her horse does well.”

It was arguably Romney’s worst interview since Chris Wallace asked him about Seamus. The flustered candidate went on to disparage the British preparation for the Olympics, setting off an international incident.

It’s understandable that Romney would be reluctant to discuss dressage. Seamus may have made him look odd, or insensitive. Rafalca makes him look like a super-rich playboy.

John Kerry was made to look effete in 2004 by Republican mockery of his windsurfing, his Turnbull & Asser shirts and his French fluency. Now Democrats have a chance to do something similar to Romney, with his Swiss bank account, his Grand Cayman and Bermuda tax havens, his multiple homes, his $10,000 bet, his friends who own NASCAR teams, and now the six-figure horses his wife imports from Europe. Nothing says “man of the people” quite like horse ballet.

Ann Romney takes umbrage at the criticism, saying that dressage has helped with her multiple sclerosis. That was enough to get the Democratic National Committee to back away from a video campaign showing Rafalca spliced with Mitt Romney “dancing around” questions about his tax returns.

While it’s heartening that Ann Romney has been helped by the horses, most MS sufferers don’t have the luxury of importing $100,000 horses from Europe. And the candidate’s disavowal of dressage as “Ann’s sport” isn’t quite right.

In an interview with the Web site Chronicle of the Horse, Rafalca’s trainer, Jan Ebeling, said Mitt Romney selected the music for the horse’s routine at an international competition; Ebeling, in another interview, said the former Massachusetts governor, inspired by his wife, “really enjoys the horses.” Romney joined his wife at an Olympic qualifying dressage event in April 2008, and the couple declared a $77,731 loss on their 2010 tax returns for their share of Rafalca’s care.

via Dana Milbank: Prancing around dressage – The Washington Post.

Very funny, I admit.  But there is nothing wrong with the Romneys owning this horse!  Gymnastic floor exercises to music are very difficult.  Imagine getting a horse to do that.  Actually, dressage is described as gymnastics for horses.  And it isn’t effete. The word means “training,” and the sport grew directly out of the different moves,  motions, and maneuvers that cavalrymen taught their mounts.  Like other sports and other human endeavors, if you don’t know anything about it, it may seem silly, but the more you know about it, the more you can appreciate it.  Here is a good explanation.

I hope Rafalca, her rider, and her owners win a gold medal!  The dressage competition begins today.

Here is a video of the Romney’s horse and her rider Jan Ebeling:

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    I wonder if Milbanks would be so condescending to the horses and trainers who compete in barrel racing or cutting. Or to the men in Yabusame horse archery competitions. I also relish the irony of a media that trips all over itself in paying homage to the annual pageantry surrounding the Kentucky Derby suddenly getting all worked up about Romney owning part of a horse that is trained for dressage. There is plenty of effete condescension and 99% of it is coming from Milbanks’ corner.

    And having friends who own NASCAR teams is not exactly screaming effete, either.

  • SKPeterson

    I wonder if Milbanks would be so condescending to the horses and trainers who compete in barrel racing or cutting. Or to the men in Yabusame horse archery competitions. I also relish the irony of a media that trips all over itself in paying homage to the annual pageantry surrounding the Kentucky Derby suddenly getting all worked up about Romney owning part of a horse that is trained for dressage. There is plenty of effete condescension and 99% of it is coming from Milbanks’ corner.

    And having friends who own NASCAR teams is not exactly screaming effete, either.

  • Susan

    It would be great if the sneering left does for dressage what it did for Chick-Fil-A and Whole Foods (remember the boycott when it’s CEO opposed ObamaCare?). Resounding support for both companies from people who went out of their way to purchase their products. It will be great if people learn about the sport of dressage and support their local and state competitions.

  • Susan

    It would be great if the sneering left does for dressage what it did for Chick-Fil-A and Whole Foods (remember the boycott when it’s CEO opposed ObamaCare?). Resounding support for both companies from people who went out of their way to purchase their products. It will be great if people learn about the sport of dressage and support their local and state competitions.

  • Susan

    I am worn out by the sneering envy of leftists and their demonization of the rich. They seem to forget all the good that is done by those who have wealth. If it wasn’t for their philanthropic efforts there is much we would not have. I’m thinking of examples like the Kennedy family who started the Special Olympics, those who fund Ken Burn documentaries, and other such wonderful endeavors that benefit others. People like the Romneys do much good for those who have less than they do and in Anne’s case, she has helped bring more awareness regarding those who suffer from chronic health problems like MS and effective therapies.

    And lastly, how about those “rich” people who give money and volunteer in support of therapeutic riding for the disabled – the Special Olympics Equestrian Games and the ParaOlympic Equestrain Games? These events would not exist without monetary support from the wealthy. Check out the 2012 Special Olympics equestrian competition http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nopuiDF359o and the 2008 Beijing ParaOlympics Equestrians competing here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWh-lM1opkE Too bad NBC doesn’t cover their Olympic events! I would love to see Anne Romney become first lady and bring more awareness and support for those who suffer from health challenges and disabilities.

  • Susan

    I am worn out by the sneering envy of leftists and their demonization of the rich. They seem to forget all the good that is done by those who have wealth. If it wasn’t for their philanthropic efforts there is much we would not have. I’m thinking of examples like the Kennedy family who started the Special Olympics, those who fund Ken Burn documentaries, and other such wonderful endeavors that benefit others. People like the Romneys do much good for those who have less than they do and in Anne’s case, she has helped bring more awareness regarding those who suffer from chronic health problems like MS and effective therapies.

    And lastly, how about those “rich” people who give money and volunteer in support of therapeutic riding for the disabled – the Special Olympics Equestrian Games and the ParaOlympic Equestrain Games? These events would not exist without monetary support from the wealthy. Check out the 2012 Special Olympics equestrian competition http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nopuiDF359o and the 2008 Beijing ParaOlympics Equestrians competing here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWh-lM1opkE Too bad NBC doesn’t cover their Olympic events! I would love to see Anne Romney become first lady and bring more awareness and support for those who suffer from health challenges and disabilities.

  • Tom Hering

    Now we know why Ann has two Cadillacs. Pretty cool that ballet has made the horse flexible enough to sit in a back seat. I wonder, though, if Rafalca’s chauffeur has a green card?

  • Tom Hering

    Now we know why Ann has two Cadillacs. Pretty cool that ballet has made the horse flexible enough to sit in a back seat. I wonder, though, if Rafalca’s chauffeur has a green card?

  • Steve Billingsley

    When you view the entire world through the lens of partisan politics, the bad things that “your side” does are easily excused and the good things that the “other side” does are easily mocked.

    Dana Milbank is your garden-variety media tool. He’s not worth the trouble.

  • Steve Billingsley

    When you view the entire world through the lens of partisan politics, the bad things that “your side” does are easily excused and the good things that the “other side” does are easily mocked.

    Dana Milbank is your garden-variety media tool. He’s not worth the trouble.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Hmmmm. A candidate having part owner of an Olympic qualified horse? Yes that alone shows he is unfit to be elected! :P

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    Hmmmm. A candidate having part owner of an Olympic qualified horse? Yes that alone shows he is unfit to be elected! :P

  • Jon

    Better to coo adoringly at the Mittster’s Gatsby hobbies than to confront his repulsive comments about Palestinian ‘culture.’

  • Jon

    Better to coo adoringly at the Mittster’s Gatsby hobbies than to confront his repulsive comments about Palestinian ‘culture.’

  • PinonCoffee

    You don’t have to love an endeavor to be polite about it. There’s something to be said for becoming excellent at a thing even if it’s not immediately and pragmatically useful. Consider writing novels, for instance. Consider football. Consider astrophysics. ::insert paragraph about vocation::

    Incidentally, speaking as a newbie rider, the skill required to get a horse to do ANYTHING is pretty significant. I suspect anyone who mocks dressage hasn’t been on horseback.

  • PinonCoffee

    You don’t have to love an endeavor to be polite about it. There’s something to be said for becoming excellent at a thing even if it’s not immediately and pragmatically useful. Consider writing novels, for instance. Consider football. Consider astrophysics. ::insert paragraph about vocation::

    Incidentally, speaking as a newbie rider, the skill required to get a horse to do ANYTHING is pretty significant. I suspect anyone who mocks dressage hasn’t been on horseback.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Jon @ 7
    “his repulsive comments about Palestinian ‘culture.”

    You mean just like Bill Clinton’s?

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/08/01/clinton-and-palestinian-culture/

    You might want to actually have a clue as to what you are talking about before commenting. Just a recommendation.

  • Steve Billingsley

    Jon @ 7
    “his repulsive comments about Palestinian ‘culture.”

    You mean just like Bill Clinton’s?

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/08/01/clinton-and-palestinian-culture/

    You might want to actually have a clue as to what you are talking about before commenting. Just a recommendation.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Republicans: touchy.

    It’s nice to see every Joe Republican suddenly come out in favor of The Elites they were knee-jerkedly railing against before one of them became their 2012 presidential nominee. (Memo to Joe Republicans: Romney is not the first Elite Republican, by a long shot. Look into that, maybe?)

    It’s not that there’s anything wrong with being rich, owning horses, and all that. It’s just that it blows a hole in the tedious corn-pone nonsense that Republicans like to spin about themselves. You know, “Real ‘Merica” and all that hooey.

    In a very real sense, you guys have nominated a slightly reupholstered John Kerry for 2012, and it is, well, hilarious to watch you all pull the emergency break and try to do a 180 on the Real American Highway.

    If you don’t get that — if you can’t see the humor in that — then you really are, in a political sense, rooting for clothes. Because, trust me, if Obama had a horse in the Olympics, you’d think it was funny. If Obama’s house had a car elevator, you’d be talking about it. Come on.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Republicans: touchy.

    It’s nice to see every Joe Republican suddenly come out in favor of The Elites they were knee-jerkedly railing against before one of them became their 2012 presidential nominee. (Memo to Joe Republicans: Romney is not the first Elite Republican, by a long shot. Look into that, maybe?)

    It’s not that there’s anything wrong with being rich, owning horses, and all that. It’s just that it blows a hole in the tedious corn-pone nonsense that Republicans like to spin about themselves. You know, “Real ‘Merica” and all that hooey.

    In a very real sense, you guys have nominated a slightly reupholstered John Kerry for 2012, and it is, well, hilarious to watch you all pull the emergency break and try to do a 180 on the Real American Highway.

    If you don’t get that — if you can’t see the humor in that — then you really are, in a political sense, rooting for clothes. Because, trust me, if Obama had a horse in the Olympics, you’d think it was funny. If Obama’s house had a car elevator, you’d be talking about it. Come on.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also? Dressage, like all equestrian events, are kind of silly at best. I watch the Olympics to watch humans reach their athletic potential. Not sure if you noticed, but in dressage, there might be other animals involved. Last time I tuned into the Kentucky Derby, they weren’t spending a comparably great amount of time congratulating the jockey on his win and athletic prowess. I think they may have even said that it was the horse that won. So, you know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also? Dressage, like all equestrian events, are kind of silly at best. I watch the Olympics to watch humans reach their athletic potential. Not sure if you noticed, but in dressage, there might be other animals involved. Last time I tuned into the Kentucky Derby, they weren’t spending a comparably great amount of time congratulating the jockey on his win and athletic prowess. I think they may have even said that it was the horse that won. So, you know.

  • Joe

    Can we avoid all “Joe” references please? No more Joe Six pack, average Joe, Joe lunch pail, regular Joe, and even the new Joe Republican.

  • Joe

    Can we avoid all “Joe” references please? No more Joe Six pack, average Joe, Joe lunch pail, regular Joe, and even the new Joe Republican.

  • Tom Hering

    Has Mitt even tried to contact George W, to ask him who his brush-cuttin’ instructor was?

  • Tom Hering

    Has Mitt even tried to contact George W, to ask him who his brush-cuttin’ instructor was?

  • Joanne

    I’ll always stop and watch dressage; it’s so elegant and classy. I notice that this is a German breed, Oldenburg, I believe it said. At the Treaty of Wesphalia in 1648 Oldenburg, though on the extreme western German shore of the North Sea, was awarded to Sweden, and remained a Lutheran stronghold of orthodoxy longer than most of Lutheran Germany.

    And then the lovely surprise that Jan Ebeling is Yan Abeling, a nice German name, so I guess the comment about the green card. Is the horse trained mostly in America or Europe, I wonder? This equestrian event in this video is obviously in Germany, so I would imagine the horse may be bi-continental. And, um, anybody beside me notice how handsome Yan looked astride his steed. I’d give him a few points just for those matchless thighs and tight back. Tight control, seemed as though he only moved from his hips.

    Mitt was not my candidate so my dog lost in this fight. I’m not as displeased with Mitt as I thought I would be though. He’s a Westchester County Episcapalian in all but fact. A quite forseeable situation during the nominating process.

    But, one can be wealthy and tawdry or wealty and classy. Our nation’s founders were all men of wealth and class, yet they could produce a nation of opportunity for all, and yes there were wealthy and classy blacks in America before the War Between the States, in both north and south.

    Slavery was a legal status, not a race. Ask all those Europeans who were enslaved into Africa by the Barbary Pirates and the Turks and the African slave sellers. White slaves were highly prized in interior Africa and we have the writings of some who survived, usually through ransom though it could take decades. Everyone in the Mediterannian and in passage around Africa had to make every effort not to fall a victim to slavery. It was simply a business and a way to make money in Africa.

    Opportunity, do what you will with it. And the very last thing any less wealthy businessperson wants is for wealthy people NOT to spend their money. Ostentatious wealth and conspicuous consumption are two marvelous and positive ways for business folk to make money off the rich.

    Wealth is always invested, either by the owner, or his agents like banks and brokerage houses. Money works and it must work. Unless you dig a hole and bury it in your backyard, your money is at work somewhere building something.

    As my most favorite economist, Milton Friedmann, would mention, “perhaps your money is making pencils today.”

  • Joanne

    I’ll always stop and watch dressage; it’s so elegant and classy. I notice that this is a German breed, Oldenburg, I believe it said. At the Treaty of Wesphalia in 1648 Oldenburg, though on the extreme western German shore of the North Sea, was awarded to Sweden, and remained a Lutheran stronghold of orthodoxy longer than most of Lutheran Germany.

    And then the lovely surprise that Jan Ebeling is Yan Abeling, a nice German name, so I guess the comment about the green card. Is the horse trained mostly in America or Europe, I wonder? This equestrian event in this video is obviously in Germany, so I would imagine the horse may be bi-continental. And, um, anybody beside me notice how handsome Yan looked astride his steed. I’d give him a few points just for those matchless thighs and tight back. Tight control, seemed as though he only moved from his hips.

    Mitt was not my candidate so my dog lost in this fight. I’m not as displeased with Mitt as I thought I would be though. He’s a Westchester County Episcapalian in all but fact. A quite forseeable situation during the nominating process.

    But, one can be wealthy and tawdry or wealty and classy. Our nation’s founders were all men of wealth and class, yet they could produce a nation of opportunity for all, and yes there were wealthy and classy blacks in America before the War Between the States, in both north and south.

    Slavery was a legal status, not a race. Ask all those Europeans who were enslaved into Africa by the Barbary Pirates and the Turks and the African slave sellers. White slaves were highly prized in interior Africa and we have the writings of some who survived, usually through ransom though it could take decades. Everyone in the Mediterannian and in passage around Africa had to make every effort not to fall a victim to slavery. It was simply a business and a way to make money in Africa.

    Opportunity, do what you will with it. And the very last thing any less wealthy businessperson wants is for wealthy people NOT to spend their money. Ostentatious wealth and conspicuous consumption are two marvelous and positive ways for business folk to make money off the rich.

    Wealth is always invested, either by the owner, or his agents like banks and brokerage houses. Money works and it must work. Unless you dig a hole and bury it in your backyard, your money is at work somewhere building something.

    As my most favorite economist, Milton Friedmann, would mention, “perhaps your money is making pencils today.”

  • Susan

    Too funny. If one doesn’t demonize or envy the rich and can see the good that many of them do, then the person must be Republican (and not an Independent). We’re supposed to be outraged at how the Romneys spend their own money and give Obama a pass on how he spends taxpayer money (eg: Michele’s numerous ritzy vacations at taxpayer expense). The arguments against Romney based on his wealth have no substance. The hypocrisy of Obama is that he demonizes the rich in class warfare tactics and wants to take their money away from them simply because they have money while living the high-life he demonizes. Obama doesn’t put his personal money where his mouth is.

    As for giving the horse all of the credit in equestrian sports, it shows a lack of understanding of skill in horsemanship by the rider and the trainer – especially in dressage. If done right, it looks effortless. It might be good to understand more about the subject before slamming it. A study of horse owners conducted by Deloitte and Touche a few years back found that horse owners come from all economic backgrounds, own all types of horses for various purposes and live in a variety of places from tiny towns to large cities. “The largest group of horse owners (45%) are drawn from the middle class with an annual household income between $25,000 and $75,000. Only 9% of the population earns greater than $150,000 yearly and a full 11% of horse owners have an annual income of less than $25,000.”

    Nah… why bother with facts – let’s demonize whatever we don’t understand, sneer, and kill the golden goose so it’s wealth can be redistributed.

  • Susan

    Too funny. If one doesn’t demonize or envy the rich and can see the good that many of them do, then the person must be Republican (and not an Independent). We’re supposed to be outraged at how the Romneys spend their own money and give Obama a pass on how he spends taxpayer money (eg: Michele’s numerous ritzy vacations at taxpayer expense). The arguments against Romney based on his wealth have no substance. The hypocrisy of Obama is that he demonizes the rich in class warfare tactics and wants to take their money away from them simply because they have money while living the high-life he demonizes. Obama doesn’t put his personal money where his mouth is.

    As for giving the horse all of the credit in equestrian sports, it shows a lack of understanding of skill in horsemanship by the rider and the trainer – especially in dressage. If done right, it looks effortless. It might be good to understand more about the subject before slamming it. A study of horse owners conducted by Deloitte and Touche a few years back found that horse owners come from all economic backgrounds, own all types of horses for various purposes and live in a variety of places from tiny towns to large cities. “The largest group of horse owners (45%) are drawn from the middle class with an annual household income between $25,000 and $75,000. Only 9% of the population earns greater than $150,000 yearly and a full 11% of horse owners have an annual income of less than $25,000.”

    Nah… why bother with facts – let’s demonize whatever we don’t understand, sneer, and kill the golden goose so it’s wealth can be redistributed.

  • Robert Smith

    Mitt Romney is a disengenuous cretin. He is buying the presidency. C’mon what kind of patriot invests his money in a Swiss bank account. This guy is what stinks about America. I work and pay 35% of my wages in taxes. My tax money subsidizes wall street cause most of those guys pay a much smaller percentage

  • Robert Smith

    Mitt Romney is a disengenuous cretin. He is buying the presidency. C’mon what kind of patriot invests his money in a Swiss bank account. This guy is what stinks about America. I work and pay 35% of my wages in taxes. My tax money subsidizes wall street cause most of those guys pay a much smaller percentage

  • Joanne

    Robert,
    Government is where the money is. If you want to start up a green subsidiary that has no chance of success in price competition with cheap Chinese solar panels, you go to the government. Why, because they are the only people with mountains of money who have no idea how to invest it. You get your 550 billion green grant from the government green buracracy on blind faith and then you make the money disappear and excoriate those zippy Chinese for making much cheaper solar panels and selling lots of them in the U.S.

    The government is collecting huge masses of money and investing it in specially chosen businesses on blind faith in what they earnestly believe in, and what we all think would be nice, if we could do it yet. It would be like someone building a nuclear power plant in 1910 and the government giving lots of believers lots of money to do it. Only in 1910, no one can make that technology work yet.

    But please don’t blame those businessmen who play the game and get the government grants. The government is begging them to do it. And, in case you think it’s only billions in not-ready green tech, we are far from out of the woods yet with Government Motors. The loss from that investment in Labor Pension survival, is creaky and walking very slowly these days.

  • Joanne

    Robert,
    Government is where the money is. If you want to start up a green subsidiary that has no chance of success in price competition with cheap Chinese solar panels, you go to the government. Why, because they are the only people with mountains of money who have no idea how to invest it. You get your 550 billion green grant from the government green buracracy on blind faith and then you make the money disappear and excoriate those zippy Chinese for making much cheaper solar panels and selling lots of them in the U.S.

    The government is collecting huge masses of money and investing it in specially chosen businesses on blind faith in what they earnestly believe in, and what we all think would be nice, if we could do it yet. It would be like someone building a nuclear power plant in 1910 and the government giving lots of believers lots of money to do it. Only in 1910, no one can make that technology work yet.

    But please don’t blame those businessmen who play the game and get the government grants. The government is begging them to do it. And, in case you think it’s only billions in not-ready green tech, we are far from out of the woods yet with Government Motors. The loss from that investment in Labor Pension survival, is creaky and walking very slowly these days.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@15), you managed to pack quite a number of straw men into your opening paragraph there! I hope you don’t mind if I ignore them all.

    As for giving the horse all of the credit in equestrian sports, it shows a lack of understanding of skill in horsemanship by the rider and the trainer

    Well, there’s another straw man: “giving the horse all of the credit”. I’ll ignore that one, too. Still, just because there’s skill involved doesn’t mean it’s a worthy Olympics event. There’s skill involved in driving a car, as well, but I don’t hear anyone clamoring for Formula One racing to be in the Olympics.

    It’s not just equestrian events that are problematic. There are any number of events where the non-human element has far too much influence over the final results (bobsledding comes to mind). A really great rider wouldn’t medal in dressage with a lousy horse. So why should I care about the rider as an athlete at the Olympics?

    As for the “study of horse owners” you mentioned, that too is irrelevant. We’re not just talking about people who own some kind of horse, any kind of horse. We’re talking about elite horses — the kind that have a shot at winning a medal in the Olympics in dressage. I’m pretty certain the people who own such horses aren’t making $50,000 a year.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@15), you managed to pack quite a number of straw men into your opening paragraph there! I hope you don’t mind if I ignore them all.

    As for giving the horse all of the credit in equestrian sports, it shows a lack of understanding of skill in horsemanship by the rider and the trainer

    Well, there’s another straw man: “giving the horse all of the credit”. I’ll ignore that one, too. Still, just because there’s skill involved doesn’t mean it’s a worthy Olympics event. There’s skill involved in driving a car, as well, but I don’t hear anyone clamoring for Formula One racing to be in the Olympics.

    It’s not just equestrian events that are problematic. There are any number of events where the non-human element has far too much influence over the final results (bobsledding comes to mind). A really great rider wouldn’t medal in dressage with a lousy horse. So why should I care about the rider as an athlete at the Olympics?

    As for the “study of horse owners” you mentioned, that too is irrelevant. We’re not just talking about people who own some kind of horse, any kind of horse. We’re talking about elite horses — the kind that have a shot at winning a medal in the Olympics in dressage. I’m pretty certain the people who own such horses aren’t making $50,000 a year.

  • Susan

    Too funny, tODD. Apparently, anything that does not measure up to your approval becomes a straw man, problematic, or irrelevant. It looks like you are projecting and only interested in disparaging what you consider to be elite whether human or not. Your arguments against the so-called elites and Olympic sports sound vain. My comments stand on solid ground whether you like it or not.

  • Susan

    Too funny, tODD. Apparently, anything that does not measure up to your approval becomes a straw man, problematic, or irrelevant. It looks like you are projecting and only interested in disparaging what you consider to be elite whether human or not. Your arguments against the so-called elites and Olympic sports sound vain. My comments stand on solid ground whether you like it or not.

  • http://www.cloudshorsetackblog.com Orville

    Personally as an American, I’m proud we have such talented riders and horses to represent the United States of America at the Olympics. The reason why this horse Rafalca is in the news, is not because of who owns it.

    What makes Rafalca a new story comes from a track record of failure. Record spending and debt with nothing but record unemployment to show for it. The Obama care that was passed with the corn husker kickback, The Louisiana Purchase, the procedural changes in the Senate, so the newly elected Scott Brown would not be able to vote against it.(to keep from passing)

    Then there are the presidential executive orders that do a end run around the Constitution and Congress, then there is the Attorney General Eric Holder. I’ll leave it at that, if you need the details contact me at http://cloudshorsetackblog.com/ .

    The whole point of all this is there is a factual record, that some don’t want to talk about. Class warfare is much easier to talk about, it’s emotional. The top 5% of American taxpayers, pay for 80% of America’s yearly expenditures. I think they already pay their share. I’m ashamed to say there’s a slice of Americans that don’t educate themselves to find out what the truth really is, and unfortunately there’s a slice of the media that doesn’t report the truth.

    God bless America
    Orville

  • http://www.cloudshorsetackblog.com Orville

    Personally as an American, I’m proud we have such talented riders and horses to represent the United States of America at the Olympics. The reason why this horse Rafalca is in the news, is not because of who owns it.

    What makes Rafalca a new story comes from a track record of failure. Record spending and debt with nothing but record unemployment to show for it. The Obama care that was passed with the corn husker kickback, The Louisiana Purchase, the procedural changes in the Senate, so the newly elected Scott Brown would not be able to vote against it.(to keep from passing)

    Then there are the presidential executive orders that do a end run around the Constitution and Congress, then there is the Attorney General Eric Holder. I’ll leave it at that, if you need the details contact me at http://cloudshorsetackblog.com/ .

    The whole point of all this is there is a factual record, that some don’t want to talk about. Class warfare is much easier to talk about, it’s emotional. The top 5% of American taxpayers, pay for 80% of America’s yearly expenditures. I think they already pay their share. I’m ashamed to say there’s a slice of Americans that don’t educate themselves to find out what the truth really is, and unfortunately there’s a slice of the media that doesn’t report the truth.

    God bless America
    Orville

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@19), ironically, nearly all of your reply was also a straw man. Have fun with that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@19), ironically, nearly all of your reply was also a straw man. Have fun with that.

  • Susan

    tODD, someday you might think about taking logic 101. As Orville has pointed out, and I and others have pointed out, there is no excuse for the class warfare. Unfortunately, progressive types seem to be allergic to reality.

  • Susan

    tODD, someday you might think about taking logic 101. As Orville has pointed out, and I and others have pointed out, there is no excuse for the class warfare. Unfortunately, progressive types seem to be allergic to reality.

  • Susan

    Hi Orville, I checked out your link and see you are in Loveland. Do you know if CeCe Green is still showing her Morgan horses?

  • Susan

    Hi Orville, I checked out your link and see you are in Loveland. Do you know if CeCe Green is still showing her Morgan horses?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan, you don’t appear to know what a straw-man argument actually is. Let’s turn to the dictionary:

    a weak or imaginary opposition (as an argument or adversary) set up only to be easily confuted

    Thanks, dictionary! Now for some examples of straw men:

    If one doesn’t demonize or envy the rich and can see the good that many of them do, then the person must be Republican (and not an Independent).

    Nope. If this is in reference to my referring to Republicans, you might notice that I didn’t say this only applies to Republicans. That said, it’s probably mostly Republicans who are defensive on this point. But then, I’m not even demonizing or envying Romney or his money myself (it doesn’t appear Milbank is either) — and I’m an independent, as well.

    We’re supposed to be outraged at how the Romneys spend their own money…

    Nope. You’re supposed to note the incongruity between the typical Republican rhetoric on rich candidates (cf. Kerry in 2004) and the candidate the GOP is running this year. Republican rhetoric frequently used to rail against the “elites”. You don’t hear so much about that this time around. Makes it all seem a big disingenuous.

    The arguments against Romney based on his wealth have no substance.

    I don’t see anyone here making an argument against Romney’s candidacy merely on the basis of his being rich. What I see is an article pointing out how Romney himself is trying to distance himself — unsuccessfully — from his obvious wealth, doubtless because of the aforementioned typical GOP rhetoric.

    Also, the D&T study you refer to makes it clear that horse owners are wealthier than the general population (as one would expect; horses aren’t cheap). You said, “11% of horse owners have an annual income of less than $25,000″, whereas 28% of the general population makes less than that. Similarly, while “9% of the [horse-owning] population earns greater than $150,000 yearly”, only 6% of the general population is in that bracket.

    Again, not that this tells us anything about the income distribution of those owning world-class dressage horses.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan, you don’t appear to know what a straw-man argument actually is. Let’s turn to the dictionary:

    a weak or imaginary opposition (as an argument or adversary) set up only to be easily confuted

    Thanks, dictionary! Now for some examples of straw men:

    If one doesn’t demonize or envy the rich and can see the good that many of them do, then the person must be Republican (and not an Independent).

    Nope. If this is in reference to my referring to Republicans, you might notice that I didn’t say this only applies to Republicans. That said, it’s probably mostly Republicans who are defensive on this point. But then, I’m not even demonizing or envying Romney or his money myself (it doesn’t appear Milbank is either) — and I’m an independent, as well.

    We’re supposed to be outraged at how the Romneys spend their own money…

    Nope. You’re supposed to note the incongruity between the typical Republican rhetoric on rich candidates (cf. Kerry in 2004) and the candidate the GOP is running this year. Republican rhetoric frequently used to rail against the “elites”. You don’t hear so much about that this time around. Makes it all seem a big disingenuous.

    The arguments against Romney based on his wealth have no substance.

    I don’t see anyone here making an argument against Romney’s candidacy merely on the basis of his being rich. What I see is an article pointing out how Romney himself is trying to distance himself — unsuccessfully — from his obvious wealth, doubtless because of the aforementioned typical GOP rhetoric.

    Also, the D&T study you refer to makes it clear that horse owners are wealthier than the general population (as one would expect; horses aren’t cheap). You said, “11% of horse owners have an annual income of less than $25,000″, whereas 28% of the general population makes less than that. Similarly, while “9% of the [horse-owning] population earns greater than $150,000 yearly”, only 6% of the general population is in that bracket.

    Again, not that this tells us anything about the income distribution of those owning world-class dressage horses.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    To continue, Susan (@19):

    Apparently, anything that does not measure up to your approval becomes a straw man, problematic, or irrelevant.

    Nope. Again, I’m using the actual definition of “straw man” here. You’re mischaracterizing a lot of what I’ve said, for whatever reason. You seem quite sensitive on this topic. Care to tell us why? Is it because you own a horse? Do you also have MS?

    It looks like you are projecting and only interested in disparaging what you consider to be elite whether human or not.

    Nope. I’m just interested in the incongruities. Romney appears to be trying to play down his wealth. Which is a fairly ridiculous tactic to attempt. I would find this story every bit as ludicrous and entertaining if it were Obama’s horse. But it’s not.

    As for “elites”, I only used that word because right-wingers were all up in arms over the “elites” up to just a few years ago. Now that talk seems to have disappeared. Huh.

    Unfortunately, progressive types seem to be allergic to reality.

    It’s also ironic that you earlier tried to excoriate me for pigeonholing Republicans (I didn’t) and then you try to pigeonhole me as a “progressive”. Well done, there, Susan. You might want to ask yourself what kind of “progressive” didn’t vote for Obama in 2008, and likely won’t do so in 2012. How about that reality?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    To continue, Susan (@19):

    Apparently, anything that does not measure up to your approval becomes a straw man, problematic, or irrelevant.

    Nope. Again, I’m using the actual definition of “straw man” here. You’re mischaracterizing a lot of what I’ve said, for whatever reason. You seem quite sensitive on this topic. Care to tell us why? Is it because you own a horse? Do you also have MS?

    It looks like you are projecting and only interested in disparaging what you consider to be elite whether human or not.

    Nope. I’m just interested in the incongruities. Romney appears to be trying to play down his wealth. Which is a fairly ridiculous tactic to attempt. I would find this story every bit as ludicrous and entertaining if it were Obama’s horse. But it’s not.

    As for “elites”, I only used that word because right-wingers were all up in arms over the “elites” up to just a few years ago. Now that talk seems to have disappeared. Huh.

    Unfortunately, progressive types seem to be allergic to reality.

    It’s also ironic that you earlier tried to excoriate me for pigeonholing Republicans (I didn’t) and then you try to pigeonhole me as a “progressive”. Well done, there, Susan. You might want to ask yourself what kind of “progressive” didn’t vote for Obama in 2008, and likely won’t do so in 2012. How about that reality?

  • Susan

    tODD, nope, I did not mischaracterize you. You made your character clear when you substituted for Dr. Veith as moderator, looked up Grace’s location, assumed and accused her of being wealthy and holding the views she held because of your assumption of her being wealthy. Similarly, the sneers at dressage and competition level horses. Your prejudices are easily exposed and refuted for what they are, your rebuttal doesn’t support the charges of straw men, and the usage of ad hominem questions is uncalled for. Your replies underline the point that taking Logic 101 is worth your consideration. If Romney doesn’t advertise his wealth to your satisfaction, that is your problem. If you have a problem with people who have equine interests and/or equine businesses, again, that is your problem. If you can’t handle the fact that horses are like cars in the sense that they come in all shapes, sizes, utilities, and prices tags, then once again, it is your problem. Whether bashing people for having Cadillacs or Olympic level competition horses, it invites the vices of envy, greed, and covetousness to reign. That is class warfare. But as I said, not all live in reality. The Romneys are being smeared simply because they have wealth and are able to invest in an Olympic level horse. Why not shame all of the Olympic athletes since so few have the talent and money to train, travel, compete, qualify, and so forth? Your complaints regarding the Romneys, horses, and me are petty, illogical, and substanceless. Give it a break.

  • Susan

    tODD, nope, I did not mischaracterize you. You made your character clear when you substituted for Dr. Veith as moderator, looked up Grace’s location, assumed and accused her of being wealthy and holding the views she held because of your assumption of her being wealthy. Similarly, the sneers at dressage and competition level horses. Your prejudices are easily exposed and refuted for what they are, your rebuttal doesn’t support the charges of straw men, and the usage of ad hominem questions is uncalled for. Your replies underline the point that taking Logic 101 is worth your consideration. If Romney doesn’t advertise his wealth to your satisfaction, that is your problem. If you have a problem with people who have equine interests and/or equine businesses, again, that is your problem. If you can’t handle the fact that horses are like cars in the sense that they come in all shapes, sizes, utilities, and prices tags, then once again, it is your problem. Whether bashing people for having Cadillacs or Olympic level competition horses, it invites the vices of envy, greed, and covetousness to reign. That is class warfare. But as I said, not all live in reality. The Romneys are being smeared simply because they have wealth and are able to invest in an Olympic level horse. Why not shame all of the Olympic athletes since so few have the talent and money to train, travel, compete, qualify, and so forth? Your complaints regarding the Romneys, horses, and me are petty, illogical, and substanceless. Give it a break.

  • Susan

    P.S. tODD, my original comment that your knickers are in a knot over wasn’t addressed to you nor did it address only things in your comments. Consider the idea that it’s not all about you even though you seem to be tempted to think so.

  • Susan

    P.S. tODD, my original comment that your knickers are in a knot over wasn’t addressed to you nor did it address only things in your comments. Consider the idea that it’s not all about you even though you seem to be tempted to think so.

  • Robert Smith

    Joanne, You can’t dispute the fact that R stashed his vast fortune in foreign accounts. In my minds eye this shows a lack of concern and confidence in America. This guy was a draft dodger. He has changed his position on every issue at least once. He won’t release his tax returns probably because he sought amnesty for taxes he didn’t pay and while it’s legal it certainly is not ethical in my book. Sad he has gotten this far.

  • Robert Smith

    Joanne, You can’t dispute the fact that R stashed his vast fortune in foreign accounts. In my minds eye this shows a lack of concern and confidence in America. This guy was a draft dodger. He has changed his position on every issue at least once. He won’t release his tax returns probably because he sought amnesty for taxes he didn’t pay and while it’s legal it certainly is not ethical in my book. Sad he has gotten this far.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@26) said:

    tODD, nope, I did not mischaracterize you.

    You know, it takes a special kind of arrogance to insist that you know better than someone else what their intent was. As many times as you’ve mentioned “taking Logic 101″ in this thread, you must realize that there’s simply no way to rationally deal with someone who thinks they know your thinking better than you. Have fun with that.

    You made your character clear when you substituted for Dr. Veith as moderator, looked up Grace’s location…

    Ho. Ly. Cow. Did you pay an extra fee for all that baggage you’re carrying?

    First thing, this blog isn’t moderated in any meaningful sense.

    Secondly, I no more “looked up Grace’s location” than you just looked up Orville’s (@23). Grace not infrequently discusses the fact that she lives in Southern California. It’s called reading comprehension + memory.

    …the usage of ad hominem questions is uncalled for.

    Based on that phrase, I think you don’t know how “ad hominem” should be used any more than you do “straw man”. Yes, I asked clarifying questions based on what appears to be the case.

    Ironically, you appear to be following Romney’s pattern here, getting all prickly at someone suggesting that something obvious is true about you. Even if you, for whatever reason, refuse to answer whether you have some affiliation with horses, your reply to Orville (@23) makes it clear. “Do you know if CeCe Green is still showing her Morgan horses?” Gosh, I wonder if Susan is involved in the horse world, which explains why she’s so sensitive (I guess) on this topic.

    If you have a problem with people who have equine interests and/or equine businesses…

    Straw man.

    If you can’t handle the fact that horses are like cars in the sense that they come in all shapes, sizes, utilities, and prices tags…

    Straw man.

    The Romneys are being smeared simply because they have wealth and are able to invest in an Olympic level horse.

    You’re still missing the point.

    Why not shame all of the Olympic athletes since so few have the talent and money to train, travel, compete, qualify, and so forth?

    Wow. And you called me “illogical”? Really?

    It seems like the only point you have to make here is to scream “class warfare”, regardless of what’s being said. Keep screaming it. Maybe it’ll suddenly become true. You never know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@26) said:

    tODD, nope, I did not mischaracterize you.

    You know, it takes a special kind of arrogance to insist that you know better than someone else what their intent was. As many times as you’ve mentioned “taking Logic 101″ in this thread, you must realize that there’s simply no way to rationally deal with someone who thinks they know your thinking better than you. Have fun with that.

    You made your character clear when you substituted for Dr. Veith as moderator, looked up Grace’s location…

    Ho. Ly. Cow. Did you pay an extra fee for all that baggage you’re carrying?

    First thing, this blog isn’t moderated in any meaningful sense.

    Secondly, I no more “looked up Grace’s location” than you just looked up Orville’s (@23). Grace not infrequently discusses the fact that she lives in Southern California. It’s called reading comprehension + memory.

    …the usage of ad hominem questions is uncalled for.

    Based on that phrase, I think you don’t know how “ad hominem” should be used any more than you do “straw man”. Yes, I asked clarifying questions based on what appears to be the case.

    Ironically, you appear to be following Romney’s pattern here, getting all prickly at someone suggesting that something obvious is true about you. Even if you, for whatever reason, refuse to answer whether you have some affiliation with horses, your reply to Orville (@23) makes it clear. “Do you know if CeCe Green is still showing her Morgan horses?” Gosh, I wonder if Susan is involved in the horse world, which explains why she’s so sensitive (I guess) on this topic.

    If you have a problem with people who have equine interests and/or equine businesses…

    Straw man.

    If you can’t handle the fact that horses are like cars in the sense that they come in all shapes, sizes, utilities, and prices tags…

    Straw man.

    The Romneys are being smeared simply because they have wealth and are able to invest in an Olympic level horse.

    You’re still missing the point.

    Why not shame all of the Olympic athletes since so few have the talent and money to train, travel, compete, qualify, and so forth?

    Wow. And you called me “illogical”? Really?

    It seems like the only point you have to make here is to scream “class warfare”, regardless of what’s being said. Keep screaming it. Maybe it’ll suddenly become true. You never know.

  • Susan

    @tODD

    I did not invent the incident nor did I invent your words. Anyone can look at that thread and see what you wrote to Grace. I am not the only one who called you on it. You gave an exact location and you admitted that you looked up her location and you accused her of holding her view because it was a wealthy neighborhood. Trying to deny it only digs the hole deeper. The arrogance is not mine but yours – the suggestion of Logic 101 was in response to your accusations of straw men and your misapplication of the fallacy. That you still can’t tell the difference in your further replies and don’t understand rhetorical questions proves the point.

  • Susan

    @tODD

    I did not invent the incident nor did I invent your words. Anyone can look at that thread and see what you wrote to Grace. I am not the only one who called you on it. You gave an exact location and you admitted that you looked up her location and you accused her of holding her view because it was a wealthy neighborhood. Trying to deny it only digs the hole deeper. The arrogance is not mine but yours – the suggestion of Logic 101 was in response to your accusations of straw men and your misapplication of the fallacy. That you still can’t tell the difference in your further replies and don’t understand rhetorical questions proves the point.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@30), well I guess you’d rather talk about me and a month-old thread than the topic of horses (about which I guess you know nothing more than I). Fine.

    Anyone can look at that thread and see what you wrote to Grace. … You gave an exact location and you admitted that you looked up her location and you accused her of holding her view because it was a wealthy neighborhood.

    Indeed, Susan, anyone can. And if anyone’s still reading this off-the-rails thread and actually cares, I invite them to do so.

    No, I did not “admit” to “looking up her location”. Here’s the comment where I referred to her own past comments — past comments where she told us where she lives. If you use Google, you can find the same posts. Or, you know, you could just remember what Grace has said about herself.

    If you can’t understand that, why even bother trying to explain anything else to you?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@30), well I guess you’d rather talk about me and a month-old thread than the topic of horses (about which I guess you know nothing more than I). Fine.

    Anyone can look at that thread and see what you wrote to Grace. … You gave an exact location and you admitted that you looked up her location and you accused her of holding her view because it was a wealthy neighborhood.

    Indeed, Susan, anyone can. And if anyone’s still reading this off-the-rails thread and actually cares, I invite them to do so.

    No, I did not “admit” to “looking up her location”. Here’s the comment where I referred to her own past comments — past comments where she told us where she lives. If you use Google, you can find the same posts. Or, you know, you could just remember what Grace has said about herself.

    If you can’t understand that, why even bother trying to explain anything else to you?

  • Susan

    @tODD

    The link you provided is not to the thread where you looked up G’s location and accused her of holding her views because of wealth.

  • Susan

    @tODD

    The link you provided is not to the thread where you looked up G’s location and accused her of holding her views because of wealth.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@32), then I don’t know what thread you’re talking about, and I’m quite certain neither do you. But please, go ahead, why don’t you post a link to the thread yourself instead of making me guess. Because otherwise it would appear that you’re telling lies about me just to smear me, wouldn’t it?

    But, really, no, that is the thread you were referring to. It’s one of the few threads you’ve participated in, it’s the one where you got all upset at our criticisms of Grace’s falsehoods, it’s the one where, yes, I suggested that Grace must be living in a “bubble” if she thought the things she was talking about were true for the average person, and, as I have already demonstrated in my link, it’s the one where I pointed out Grace’s approximate location based on her own comments on this blog.

    Prove me wrong. Show your evidence.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@32), then I don’t know what thread you’re talking about, and I’m quite certain neither do you. But please, go ahead, why don’t you post a link to the thread yourself instead of making me guess. Because otherwise it would appear that you’re telling lies about me just to smear me, wouldn’t it?

    But, really, no, that is the thread you were referring to. It’s one of the few threads you’ve participated in, it’s the one where you got all upset at our criticisms of Grace’s falsehoods, it’s the one where, yes, I suggested that Grace must be living in a “bubble” if she thought the things she was talking about were true for the average person, and, as I have already demonstrated in my link, it’s the one where I pointed out Grace’s approximate location based on her own comments on this blog.

    Prove me wrong. Show your evidence.

  • Susan

    @tODD

    I have been unable to find the thread via Google, so I will have to concede. Nevertheless, the link you provided did highlight yet another thread of your boorish behavior to a T and while not upset, yes, I did attempt to defend G.

  • Susan

    @tODD

    I have been unable to find the thread via Google, so I will have to concede. Nevertheless, the link you provided did highlight yet another thread of your boorish behavior to a T and while not upset, yes, I did attempt to defend G.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@34), yes, I can from your own comments here how boorish behavior must really be anathema to you.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Susan (@34), yes, I can from your own comments here how boorish behavior must really be anathema to you.


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