Eventually the protest got going. A dozen or so protestors milled about, carrying signs reading "Dogs Aren't Luggage," "Mitt Is Mean," and "I Ride Inside."
"It's a little hard for me to understand -- I'm not a dog owner. But it's a perspective that needs to be put out there," added Charney.
Veronica Cedeno of Weehawken, N.J., owner of a Scottish terrier, agrees that what happened to Seamus speaks quite poorly of his owner. "I'm just so strongly against what he did," she said. "If we know that he has so much money, why did he have to resort to putting his dog outside and his luggage inside? He couldn't have gotten some sort of mobile carrier, or another car, even?" So, your being here isn't tongue-in-cheek? Not even a little bit? "No," she replied, all sincerity. "What he did is just not very thoughtful. If he doesn't care about the goodness of dogs, is he going to care about the goodness of humans?"
Dogs Against Romney dates back to 2007, and digital political strategist Scott Crider claims founder's rights. In a way, today's event is a test of list strength. The Dogs Against Romney Facebook group has grown to 26,000 members. Some two dozen people RSVP'd their intention to attend, and, is normal with these sort of things, about half turned out. "I'm happy three dogs showed up," said Charney.
Behind me, I overheard a passerby say, "I don't know...does Mitt Romney hate dogs?" I turn to explain to two female onlookers Seamus's en plein air voyage north. "Was it recent?" Early eighties, I said. "That wasn't the right thing to do," said one. "But...that's really digging." They continued on their way.
There's stronger dissent, too. Joe Munna, raised in Queens, has happened upon the scene. Spying my notebook, he explains how New York City has some of the worst dog owners on earth. "Their dogs are depressed because they're not allowed to be dogs." He demurs on the Seamus issue. But Munna will diagnose the bigger problem: the country has gone too far, and now neither dogs nor people are allowed to roam free.
"These people have got to have something better to protest than Mitt Romney's dog," he said. His alternative: go after the corrupt fools over at the Port Authority, another transportation hub in midtown.
Charney made a final attempt to put the essence of Dogs Against Romney in perspective. "The right likes to talk about character," he said. "They're always talking about integrity. Well, their presumptive nominee has a character flaw. They started it. We're just bringing it back to them." He smiled, then shrugged.
Image credit: DogsAgainstRomney.com