“Dog-whistle,” “code word” politics is not about what the politician says, it’s about what the listener hears.
Mitt Romney says this:
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.”
Paul Ryan says this:
“We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with,” he said.
Ryan also cited Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes African-Americans are, as a population, less intelligent than whites due to genetic differences and that poverty remains a national problem because “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”
The Listeners Hear This
Cliven Bundy (and of course many other listeners) hear this:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro … because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
A Bunch More
Rick Santorum says this: (emphasis added)
“What President Obama wants to do, his economic plan is to make more people dependent upon government. To grow the government, to make sure we have more food stamps, and more SSI, and more Medicaid. Four in 10 children are now on government-provided health care. It just keeps expanding,” Santorum said.
He talked about how Iowa is going to get fined if more people don’t sign up for Medicaid and then said, “They’re pushing harder and harder to get more and more of you dependent upon them so they can get your vote. That’s what the bottom line is. So I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money and provide for themselves and their families.”
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) says this:
“The Democratic Party promises groups of people everything,” Walsh, a conservative freshman from suburban Chicago, said during a Schaumburg, Ill., speech caught on video provided by CREDO SuperPAC, an anti-tea party group. “They want the Hispanic vote, they want Hispanics to be dependent on government, just like they got African Americans dependent on government. That’s their game.”
Ken Cuccinelli says this:
“Sometimes bad politicians set out to grow government in order to increase their own power and influence,” he writes. “The amazing thing is that they often grow government without protest from citizens, and sometimes they even get buy-in from citizens — at least from the ones getting the goodies.”
John Sununu says this:
“They aggressively got out the base of their base, the base of their base that’s dependent, to a great extent economically, on government policy and government programs,” Sununu said during a forum with two other Republican former governors, Steve Merrill and Craig Benson, at Concord’s Grappone Conference Center.
Bill O’Reilly says this:
“…the Democrats moved in and gave them [African-Americans] all kinds of entitlements, making them dependent on the Democratic party and the state, which is not a good thing.”
Newt Gingrich calls President Obama the “Fodd Stamp President” and says this,
The fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.
And Cliven Bundy hears this:
Famous Republican Campaign Consultant Explains
Lee Atwater (advisor to Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and former chairman of the Republican National Committee) explains how Republicans can win the vote of racists without sounding racist themselves:
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”