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Joni Ernst Came for Her Opponent’s Pet and Now the Iowa Senate Race Has Gone to the Dogs

And Ringo is his name-o!

theresa greenfield and her dog ringo

The Iowa senate race between incumbent Republican Senator Joni Ernst and Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield has gotten seriously bitchy. We mean that quite literally. It’s not a battle over policy or the poll numbers that have started to favor Greenfield that have seen things get off the leash. No, Ernst drew fire on social media today because she aimed her biting remarks at Greenfield’s … dog?

Yes, Ernst threw the Twittersphere a real bone when comments caught their attention where she derided Greenfield for “hiding in her basement” taking selfies with her dog, Ringo. Here’s the audio complete with some dog whistles about “leadership.”

It seems that Ernst really barked up the wrong tree with these comments, because “Ringo” began trending in Iowa, then nationally, along with #IStandWithRingo, bringing more attention to this very close race.

In response to Ernst’s tongue-wagging, we should note that Greenfield probably likes to hang out with Ringo at home because there’s still a freaking pandemic going but also LOOK AT THIS GOOD GOOD BOY???

But the GOP has become so heartless and neutered of any sort of kindness or compassion that people like Joni Ernst object to dog selfies. Which are, by the way, the best kind of selfies! And dog pictures are the best kind of treat, as evidenced by the abundance of very cute little fluffers in the #IStandWithRingo tag.

Attacking someone’s pet and bringing terrible national attention to yourself feels a lot like chasing your own tail, Senator Ernst. And it seems like this dog of an attack has had the opposite impact intended by making you into more of a villain, which is hard to do when Donald Trump is president. And wouldn’t we want a responsible dog owner as a senator, considering they know how to pick up and dispose of crap, which will be essential if Democrats retake Congress?

But the dog pictures were a real treat, so thanks for that, and I’m sure Theresa Greenfield and Ringo appreciate all the love and support.

As for the way Senator Ernst came off in all of this … woof.

(image: Theresa Greenfield for Iowa)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.