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Watching Ted Cruz foaming at the mouth, it's clear that we need to do a better job of inoculating the Right-wing fringe. Running amok having slipped the collar of reality, they are humping the leg of anyone unable to outrun them. They bark incessantly without provocation. Never content with their own food, they scarf up the food of the young, the poor, the disabled, the elderly, even our veterans. These are some very bad dogs.

By contrast, my recently adopted shelter dog is a paragon of canine virtue:

Evening sun

Dogs embody many fine traits and live by a simple, cooperative code that makes pack life a possibility, whether the pack contains other dogs or humans... or even cats. The Tea Party also lives by a simple code: self above others, and the answer's always "NO!!"

Until a "Tea Party Whisperer" emerges to tame these miscreants, my dog Logan and I offer the following behavioral suggestions, recognizing that they may fall on ears deaf from barking "Benghazi!! Benghazi!! Benghazi!!":

If it's not your yard, it's not your problem: Within a few days of joining our pack, Logan was able to grasp that activities on other people's properties are not a reason to bark. Someone's cutting down a tree? Mowing the lawn? Riding by on a bike? Walking their dog on a leash? Interesting, but not an excuse to freak out. Observe and report. Live and let live. Don't be a dick.

Leave other people's food alone: Chances are, you're getting plenty of food. Some of you are eating great, high-protein, gourmet meals, all you can eat, any time you want. Don't swipe food out of other people's dishes. Don't beg at the table. If you have a nice home, plenty of food, a comfy dog bed, and cool toys and you still whine, you're a very bad dog.

Don't crap on other people's lawn: Everybody poops, but nobody likes to encounter your poop. If you can't keep it in your own yard, make sure you contract with someone to pick up after you and keep our environment livable for everyone.  The world is not your bathroom.

Nobody wants to hear your barking: Sure, if there's something serious going on and you need to warn people, it's okay to bark. But if you do it 24/7, you're a moron and a public nuisance. Your bark won't mean a thing, and we'll just tune it out and consign you to the doghouse.

Be a good pack member: Your loyalty to the pack is a cornerstone of civilized living. Sinking your fangs into another pack member is the worst sort of behavior. Steve King? Ted Cruz? I'm talkin' to you. If a politician will throw their closest allies under the bus, it's for sure that they'd do the same for their constituents.

Try a little tenderness: Chances are, you're better off than many folks in your district or state. It's okay to show some compassion, lend a helping paw, and share your food, home, or toys. You might win some new friends and build your pack... or PAC. Remember, nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

Wag your tail once in a while: Sure, it's fun to growl, bark, jump up on people, mark your territory, and otherwise behave like an alpha male prick. We get it: you're rough and tough, but you're no fun. You've lost your sense of humor. You're just a doggie downer. Surprise us all by embracing the joy in your life. If nothing else, you'll get us to pay attention and wonder whether you might be human after all.

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