Since we are heading into the RNC conventions this week, you may wish to gird your loins for a raising of the rhetorical stakes over the next few days.
I long ago became inured to the Left and their incessant, mindless charges of “racism” at all who disagree with them. This is who they are; one may as well scream at the rain for being wet.
The odd thing is, that in 99% of the cases their evidence of “racism” is …things only they can hear:
“In politics, a dog whistle is a rhetorical device–an oral expression susceptible to two interpretations, one straightforward and one, metaphorically speaking, at a higher frequency.”
I just did a quick search, and YouTube is loaded to the gills with examples. Actually, I now assume Rachel Maddow, Touré and Chris Matthews each receive some sort of “Racist-Dog-Whistle performance bonus”, based solely upon their usage.
And now, after almost 4 years of their BFF at the country’s helm with absolutely bupkis to show for it other than horrifying debt and record-setting unemployment, they really have no card to play other than this one. Thus, everything is (or can magically become) a racist dog whistle.
James Taranto in the Wall Street Journal pulled all of this into sharp and ironic focus yesterday. This is only part of the essay, so be sure to read it all:
Here’s what Romney said on Friday, as reported by The Atlantic’s Molly Ball: “Now, I love being home in this place where Ann and I were raised, where both of us were born. Ann was born at Henry Ford Hospital, I was born at Harper Hospital. No one’s ever asked to see my birth certificate. They know that this is the place that we were born and raised.”
You can tell this was a dog whistle because different groups of people heard it totally differently. CBS’s Jan Crawford noted on Twitter that there were “two reactions to his birth certificate joke: reporters gasped–and a crowd of thousands laughed and cheered.” The crowd heard the straightforward meaning: It was a joke and an applause line. The watchdogs of the press heard the whistle, and so did other lefties. To judge by this MSNBC clip, and this one, it drove them into a mad and wonderfully entertaining frenzy.
Ball, who decrees, contrary to the human crowd’s reaction, that “as a ‘joke,’ it isn’t very funny,” attempts to translate the dog whistle into man talk:
“…The most troubling part of Romney’s statement is the implication that Obama is somehow to blame for the birthers’ conspiracy theorizing — that there are some people you can look at and tell they were “born and raised” here, and others who make you wonder, for some reason.
This implication of a certain hazy foreignness about Obama isn’t new for Romney . . .”
The thing we adore about these dog-whistle kerfuffles is that the people who react to the whistle always assume it’s intended for somebody else. The whole point of the metaphor is that if you can hear the whistle, you’re the dog.
Line of the YEAR, right there.
Keep it in mind, especially if you decide to view the RNC convention on MSNBC this week. You’ll need it.