But kittens do enter into the best paragraph I’ve read today. The context for it is the New York City mayoral race. Apparently the NYC subway was recently shut down for 90 minutes to protect two little kittens that were on the tracks. The candidates were subsequently asked if they would shut the subway down for this reason – with all of the candidates except one falling overthemselves trying to appeal to cat lovers (and show their kind hearts to the rest of us): “Christine Quinn said she would. Bill Thompson said he would “work” to save the kittens. Anthony Weiner said he wouldn’t just shut down the subway, he’d personally crawl across the third rail to rescue them. John Catsimatidis submitted a few noncommittal lines of poetry.”
This provoked this wonderful paragraph from Slate writer Josh Barro:
It’s a microcosm of this whole campaign, in which the candidates run around making big promises with no apparent acknowledgment of the city’s tight finances, or of the fact that policy choices involve trade-offs, or even of the mayor’s lack of control over certain policy areas, like income taxation, rent control, and anything the MTA does. Yes, the candidates say, I’ll save the kitties, I’ll make the Wall Street fat cats pay for it, and I’ll give you a middle-class tax cut while I do it. Only Lhota gave the correct answer: No, you do not strand thousands of New Yorkers for 90 minutes in a futile effort to herd two cats whose lives we are inexplicably prioritizing over the rats who are run over, or drowned, or exterminated in the subways every day.
Josh Barro for mayor of NYC?!?
* BTW, Jason and I both respect the lives of animals. I think I can speak for Jason and say that we do not think the concerns of animals should be entirely subjugated to the needs of human beings. Moreover, I will not take the life of an animal without good cause. However, this does not mean that animal control is unnecessary or inhumane (especially to protect the lives of other animals, especially birds and reptiles).