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Air Bud is the last hope for #NeverTrump Republicans

'Yup, nothing in the rulebook says a dog can't be the nominee.'


Aaron Sankin

Internet Culture

Posted on Jun 18, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 2:19 pm CDT

In the five stages of the Republican party’s grief over having its massive field of potential 2016 presidential nominees beaten by a short-fingered vulgarian, the denial and anger stages have clearly already passed. While some have made it all the way into the acceptance phase, others are still unable to move past the twilight horrors of bargaining and depression.

For Republicans despondent about their party’s Donald Trump-led future, yet physically unable to fill in the little bubble next to the name Hillary Clinton in November, there’s only one option: stage a coup at the Republican National Convention next month ousting the former Celebrity Apprentice host from the ticket in favor of a more palatable candidate.

To that end, as the Washington Post reports, a growing number of GOP convention delegates are concocting a scheme to force a contested convention in order to boot Trump from the ticket.

But who among the #NeverTrump army of haters and losers could prove a life-imitates-art Marty McFly to Trump’s Biff Tannen? Conservative commentator Bill Kristol attempted to recruit another conservative writer, David French, to run but that effort quickly fizzled before anyone had enough time to type “Who is David French?” into Google.

As it turns out, the best man for the job of replacing Donald Trump isn’t a man at all. It’s a dog.

For the uninitiated, Air Bud is a golden retriever who has starred in a series of films highlighting his athletic prowess in situations typically related to organized athletics. Most sports aren’t conducive to canine participation and yet Air Bud breaks that canine glass ceiling.

In the original movie, released in 1997, Air Bud played basketball. In 1998’s Air Bud: Golden Receiver, he played football; in Air Bud: World Pup, released two years later, soccer. There was also the heart-pounding baseball drama Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch and Air Bud: Spikes Back, which delves in the cutthroat world of volleyball.

From this wellspring flowed an empire. A series of Air Buddies films followed Air Bud’s puppies as they vacationed in Alaska, voyaged into outer space, saved Christmas, discovered hidden treasure, and become super heroes. There is also a spin-off series spun off from the Air Buddies spin-off about the adventures of Santa Paws and his pups.

All in all, there are exactly twice as many entries in the Air Bid franchise as there are volume’s of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time series, its closest historical antecedent in chronicling the emotional rhythms of quotidian existence filtered through an endlessly examined lens of nostalgia and uncontrollable barking upon catching a fleeting glimpse of a squirrel.

The core of Trump’s argument as to why the American public should entrust him with the keys to the Oval Office lie in publicity stunts. He’s someone whose closest approximation of public service was shaving WWE CEO Vince McMahon’s head at Wrestlemaina XXIII; a man with little to offer the world other than his “you’re fired” catchphrase, which McMahon had used far before the Donald ever grabbed hold of it. In contrast, Air Bud’s resume is simply bursting at the seams with public-spirited accomplishments.

More importantly, Trump’s appeal to much of the Republican base is how his status as a political outsider allows him to tell hard truths about the Washington stalwarts who came before him. Is Trump really as much of an outsider as a candidate like Air Bud, who isn’t even the same species as the low-energy cucks the Trump train crushed on its track to the nomination?

Conservative pundit Ben Shapiro has been talking up the GOP giving Air Bud the presidential nod since President Obama’s first term.

Air Bud’s ability to break barriers, such as playing baseball without thumbs, shows he has the creativity and tenacity to get America out of its economic rut while also standing up to ISIS. Even Air Bud’s policies are more cogent than the Donald’s flip-flopping stances.

Trump’s views on cybersecurity have been incoherent, like when he advocated shutting down portions of the Internet to combat the spread of terrorist propaganda online. However, when the Daily Dot asked Air Bud about cybersecurity issues, the pup was more than willing to chase that ball into the weeds.

On social media, people have spent months tweeting about Air Bud’s potential as a dark horse dog.

There’s even been some speculation as to exactly how Air Bud’s nomination could play out on the convention floor.

There’s a chance Trump could get out in front of an impending challenge from Air Bud by inviting the pooch to curl up in his VP slot.

There’s even evidence that Trump is a fan of Air Bud. In a video posted to Trump’s YouTube account in 2011, a tour of Trump’s private plane—which, of course, features 24-karat gold-plated seatbelts—revealed a list of some of Trump’s favorite movies. Included on that list: the original Air Bud.

A request for comment sent to Air Bud’s official Twitter account was not immediately returned.

He was presumably too busy forming an exploratory committee to consider running for president to respond.

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*First Published: Jun 18, 2016, 4:30 pm CDT