Killer On The Run
I am not a hunter and as an animal lover I wish that nobody hunted for sport. However, I accept that it is a revered, human ritual and for many Americans a test of manhood and skill.
So, why is it that right wing leaders like to show off their manly kill skills with lame, hunting shortcuts like Dick Cheney's pre-captured birds and now Tim Pawlenty's killing on the run:
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has taken a drubbing from hunters for not tracking down a deer he shot on opening day of Minnesota's firearm deer season.
A headline on deerhuntingchat.com calls the possible presidential candidate a "slob hunter" for wounding a deer on Nov. 7 and then leaving for a Republican fundraiser in Iowa before the animal could be found.
One contributor wrote: "What kind of slob hunter goes out opening morning and shoots a deer knowing full well you won't have time to retrieve it or tend to it? One whose presidential ambitions override his hunting ethics, that's what kind."
The-deer-hunting-guide.com says: "A responsible hunter, who is also an ethical hunter, will be prepared to spend hours trailing a wounded deer; even come back the next day if needed. You must make every effort to retrieve a wounded animal. It's the right ethical thing to do."
Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association and an organizer of last weekend's hunt, said Pawlenty and his hunting party did everything they could to find the animal.
After the governor shot the deer at 7 a.m. from more than 200 yards away, he and his brother Dan, an accomplished hunter, went to where they last saw the animal.
Finding blood but no deer, they returned to base camp for breakfast and to consider their next move.
Due in Iowa that night for a fundraiser, Pawlenty left while others took up the search. By dusk they had found nothing and stopped. There has been no sign of the animal since.
I always wondered why John Kerry made such a big deal out of the fact that he always ate what he killed, but I figured it was part of some hunting ethos that would speak to other hunters. Obviously, wounding a deer and then rushing off to a fundraiser is a breach of such ethics, as it should be. It's horrible to wound an animal and let it suffer. In fact it makes me sick to think about it.
If you are going to play the macho game you really need to play it right. Hunters are very serious about what they do and I'm glad to know that they are serious about not torturing animals. But it sounds like Pawlenty is more of a Dick Cheney type who doesn't give such ethical concerns a second thought.
I'd think twice about hunting with either of these guys, myself. And I'd certainly think twice about putting someone like him in charge of national security. We know what happens when these people who care nothing for the suffering of others get hold of an imperial torture apparatus.