By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
"Dog whistle politics" rearing its ugly head in Arizona. Yet again.
From RationalWiki -
Dog whistle politics usually refers to the use of certain code words or phrases that are designed to be understood by only a small section of the populace. Generally speaking, these are phrases that have special meaning to that subsection entirely independent of its meaning to others, and represent a particularly insidious use of loaded language.
The term alludes to the sound of a dog whistle, which can only be heard by the intended audience (the dog). In theory at least, dog whistle terms are only noticed and understood by the people they are intended for.
During the era of the civil rights movement, and even today, the anti-civil rights crowd liked to use "dog-whistle" euphemisms to talk about their support for institutionalized bigotry, unfettered hatred, and outright lynchings.
They used words and phrases like "states' rights", "elitism", and "heritage" to put a "civil" mask to cover their hatred of minorities and to impugn their critics in ways that weren't overtly offensive but would rouse their base.
Starting in 2008, when America elected its first African-American president, Barack Obama, there has been a rise in "dog whistle politics" nationally, and in every state, particularly those that were part of or sympathetic to the Confederacy in the Civil War.
One example: Birtherism.
This week's Arizona example was State Rep. Brenda Barton's comparison of President Obama to one of history's biggest monsters, Adolph Hitler.
Now, her statement was probably too overt to be considered "dog whistle", but the response of one of Barton's colleagues in the AZ House is most definitely "dog whistle".
Rep. Adam Kwasman (R-LD11) is a candidate for Congress in CD1, and he is facing a primary battle with AZ House Speaker Andy Tobin and Gary Kiehne, a rancher from rural Arizona.
He tweeted this about Barton on Saturday morning -