Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dog Whistle Politics, Dem and GOP style

How do we know when folks are sending an underhanded message?

First I want to talk about dog whistle politics on the GOP side, since that's where we usually see it - with coded words and phrases, typically from the bible, and meant to tell listeners: "Don't worry, I'm one of you."

Mike Huckabee's newest ad has a big fat "I AM CHRISTIAN, SUCK IT ROMNEY" cross blaring out at you at the exact time he says Christ. Look at the way the lighting falls so that the "bookshelf" glows with an unearthly white, as he wraps up his homey, let's all play nice line: "Let's just remember what really matters this Christmas season is the celebration of Christ."
Look at how the Xmas tree cuts off the horizontal line and how the dark shadow shortens the horizontal line on the other side. It's a friggin cross! doesn't matter how much Huckabee "aw shucks"es it, claiming, "It is a bookshelf, people, a BOOK-SHELF" on Morning Joe, claiming that he was signaling in morse code a secret message to evangelicals. Here's a good dissection by the Young Turks, and they have a cute commentary at the end.

Reason 2999 to be afraid of Huckabee - guy comes across genuine and sincere and is wicked smart but craaaaazy.

Now for the Democratic side of dog whistle politics - when you say something that doesn't mean anything to the general audience, but for those in a special sub selected audience, have a far more significant and usually sinister meaning.

what am I talking about? None other than former Senator Bob Kerrey's poison kiss to Obama:

Jack and Jill has the breakdown.
"I have a very high regard for Senator Obama..."

Translation: In no way, shape or form therefore could anything I am about to say (or repeat) possibly be construed as racist...

"[...] As an African-American, he can speak in an authentic way to underperforming black youth who I think will follow his example."

The niggers are coming! The Niggers are COMING! NIGGERS!!! And they will be emboldened by Barack Obama (didn't he say he sold drugs? or maybe he just used them, whatever) to rob your stores, rape your daughters and generally run amok. Crime! Lowered property values! NIGGERS!

Merry Christmas, folks. Enjoy your under-the-radar language and subliminal messaging. Jeez, all I want for Christmas is a more intelligent level of discourse as opposed to one candidate's main pollster and advisor repeatedly screaming "Cocaine! cocaine! cocaine!" This shit is not okay.

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