The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Did Somebody Hear a Dog Whistle?

Posted on | March 16, 2012 | 33 Comments

Far be it from me to go around willy-nilly accusing people of anti-Italian prejudice, just because they don’t support Rick Santorum for President, as all intelligent, honest and courageous people must.

It would be an unfair accusation to imply that Santorum’s critics are prejudiced against Italians, you see, so long as we acknowledge the obvious possibility that they may be stupid, dishonest or cowardly. . . .

Why insist on having arguments laid out like PowerPoint presentations, clubbing people over the head with obvious 1-2-3 simplicity, rather than having confidence in the reader’s intelligence?

Isn’t it possible that if everything we write is Rhetoric for Dummies™ we will drive away more intelligent readers with our repetitive implicit suggestions that they’re in need of lecturing, as if they were a roomful of ignorant 19-year-old college freshmen? Why not attempt to attract an erudite readership by having the humility to assume that our readers may be as knowledgeable as ourselves? But I digress . . .

Dr. Rusty Shackleford is intelligent, honest and courageous, and so I was therefore shocked to learn of his anti-Italian prejudice:

The real explanation here, I think, is that nobody really took Santorum’s presidential bid that seriously until recently.

Huh? Santorum won Iowa (Jan. 3), Missouri, Colorado, Minnesota (Feb. 7), Tenneessee, Oklahoma and North Dakota (March 6) and Kansas (March 10), but “nobody” took him seriously until he beat Newt in Mississippi and Alabama this week?

Michelle Malkin endorsed Rick Santorum on Jan. 30.

Ed Morrissey endorsed Rick Santorum on Feb. 5.

Do you mean to suggest, Dr. Shackleford, that Malkin and Morrissey are “nobody”? Or maybe that their endorsements of Santorum were a reflection of their inferior knowledge and judgment?

Perhaps I am mistaken in discerning such possible implications of Dr. Shackleford’s argument. I’ll have to consult Jeff Goldstein and see if “intentionalism” has any insights on this problem. Or maybe Da Tech Guy is onto something here, despite his being just another stupid dago.

Sometimes, one may best instruct by example.

And I never heard of such a thing as a “fair fight.”

Because He’s Not a Gutless Punk Like Those Other Guys


33 Responses to “Did Somebody Hear a Dog Whistle?”

  1. Scarlett_156
    March 16th, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    Haha!  You ethnic types crack me up!!  (Why did I get an earlier message that I was blocked from commenting when I visited this page?  I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!)  

  2. Adjoran
    March 16th, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

    Shackleford is exactly correct.  Most of the vote “for” Santorum is a protest vote – “we wish there were a more reliable conservative in the race.”  If people were so in favor of Santorum, why did he not gain traction until all the lesser-known potential conservative options burn out?  His fortune was to be the last “Not Romney” Flava of De Month left standing.  That hardly says anything for the depth of his support.

    And, as I said in an earlier thread, the closer he gets to actually being the nominee, the more seriously voters will have to ask themselves, “Santorum?  REALLY? WTF?”

    Except all those whose medications are strong enough to let their votes be influenced by Malkin or Morrissey, of course.  All five of them.

    Reality bites.  Buck up.

  3. Dave
    March 16th, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    the closer heXX ROMNEY gets to actually being the nominee, the more seriously voters will have to ask themselves, “ROMNEY?  REALLY? WTF?” 

    There, fixed it for you.  

  4. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 16th, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    Was St. Patrick an Italian?  Discuss! 

    I will link this Santorum post to this. 

  5. Mike Rogers
    March 16th, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    Yeah, my dog, Dago, pricked up his ears as soon as I opened this article!
    Besides, the most attentive readers will have discerned that one particular all American, gonzo, Southern, journalist predicted the impending Santorum surge around Decomber 5th, presaging all the others by almost two months

  6. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 16th, 2012 @ 3:54 pm
  7. proteinwisdom
    March 16th, 2012 @ 4:12 pm

    They aren’t anti-Italian.  It’s that they hate the Papists.

    You need to look at the subtext, now.

  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 16th, 2012 @ 4:15 pm
  9. robertstacymccain
    March 16th, 2012 @ 4:16 pm

    Adjoran, can you please remind us who you’re for? Because that might help to contextualize your attitudes.

  10. tranquil.night
    March 16th, 2012 @ 4:28 pm

    I love how this debate comes down to who ultimately gets the blame for making it an issue in the public forum.

    There’s a lot of mocking and hand-wring going on over Rick, but does anyone want to argue that unobstructed access to the Church of Dionysus has gotten out of control, specifically related to how easy it is for kids to acquire?  That said, I think some of Santorum’s policies might being going far, but I don’t know what the laws are.

    It is also correct that this is a small political wedge issue compared to everything else relevant right now.  But Santorum isn’t initiating the discussion; he just isn’t hiding his position, or ever was.  It seems like some journalists – with an agenda – love to be the first ones to throw the chair for their team, and point at someone else, then watch and report on the brawl that follows.

  11. CCR
    March 16th, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

     I think he’s for trash talking and attitude copping without offering any genuine alternative.

    MSNBC should be calling him any day now.

  12. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 16th, 2012 @ 5:45 pm

    However, they like hippie Catholics and folk masses.  They miss those folk masses. 

  13. Bob Belvedere
    March 16th, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    Hey!  You stole my suck-up!

  14. Bob Belvedere
    March 16th, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

    And Mr. Santorum seems to understand the connection between the corruption in government / Big Business and the undermining of The Culture.

  15. Bob Belvedere
    March 16th, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    …Or maybe Da Tech Guy is onto something here, despite his being just another stupid dago.

    This is some in-a-side-a base-a-ball-a, but: Pete is Sicilian, therefore, he is NOT Italian.

  16. EBL
    March 16th, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    Don’t pick on Adjoran, Rick Santorum was not your first choice either. Rick is hardly the perfect conservative, you just think him better than the other choices.

  17. Testor
    March 16th, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

    Oh please, have you ever in your life heard “I’m not voting for that guy because he’s an Italian.”?

    I’ve heard it PLENTY of times for the Mormon example.
    It was DRILLED into me by my Southern Baptist upbringing that Mormons are cult members.  I’m not surprised in the least that Romney performs well everywhere but the South.

    Outside of Dixie and small caucses that are almost exclusively Evangelicals, Santorum gets slaughtered. 

  18. richard mcenroe
    March 16th, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

    Would YOU pay $2.50 for a slightly shop-soiled candidate?

  19. Charles
    March 16th, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

    I’m sorry but Santorum still has to prove he should be taken seriously. He has 12 weeks.

  20. Pathfinder's wife
    March 17th, 2012 @ 12:06 am

    Those are different — not all icky and papist-y and junk — you can almost forget you are doing something…err, icky and papist-y.

  21. Pathfinder's wife
    March 17th, 2012 @ 12:16 am

    I’m kinda digging this.  Always wanted to play identity politics (let’s face it, Ferraro was not conducive to doing this — although I probably would have picked her over ORD).  As a person who had to suffer through numerous, mind numbing Fonzi impersonations by my (non-paisan) classmates (and even a couple of teachers, even then the handwriting was on the wall with education) I have awaited the day when I could wreak some subtle, nuanced, and probably ineffectual revenge…so, cry havoc! and let slip those puppies!

  22. Adjoran
    March 17th, 2012 @ 2:44 am

     Well, I’m for that, too . . .

  23. Adjoran
    March 17th, 2012 @ 2:50 am

     I’m resigned to Romney, and have been for a while.  You may recall I was an early Pawlenty guy, before he fizzled.  Early.  Then I had high hopes for Perry.  They didn’t have time to get very high, though. 

    Cain had the resume, although I was never a fan of “999” or any consumption tax without repeal of the 16th first, but he never really acted like a serious candidate – he’d cancel campaign events but stuck to his book tour dates in later states.  When he tried to lie his way out of the scandals, he was scratched as well.

    That left Romney as the last viable candidate with some minimal qualification.  Awful campaigner, but he does know how to cut costs and lay off unneeded employees.  I see that as a useful skill for the Executive.

  24. Adjoran
    March 17th, 2012 @ 2:52 am

     Thanks, but I take plenty of shots at Stacy, so I can’t kvetch about the occasional blow-back.

  25. Adjoran
    March 17th, 2012 @ 2:54 am

     If he’d let it go at that, he’d have been recognized as genius.  But when you’re breaking the Pulitzer story on Jonestown, you have to remember NOT to drink the Kool Aid.

  26. Adjoran
    March 17th, 2012 @ 2:55 am

     So, who’s been consistently winning the Catholic vote?

  27. Adjoran
    March 17th, 2012 @ 3:01 am

     When I was sales manager for a small twice-weekly rural paper with a strong printing business, the owner decided to spend a bunch of money upgrading the press to get more jobs, so he hired a paper salesman to pitch our services in the region.  The guy was Italian, dressed far sharper than any of the rest of us, smooth operator but a nice guy.  After coming on board, he spent a couple weeks learning what our presses could do, then he struck out selling.

    On his first day out, I was in the outer office late that afternoon when he returned.  I called out to him, “Hey, how’d your day go?”

    He shot back, “Who you calling a dago?”

  28. Pathfinder's wife
    March 17th, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    I rest my case…

  29. Pathfinder's wife
    March 17th, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    Ace, is that you?

  30. ThePaganTemple
    March 17th, 2012 @ 9:53 am

     I want to go on the record here as saying that one should need no medication to be influenced by Michelle Malkin, unless its a prescription for Erectile Dysfunction.

  31. The Addiction to Dreams…and Nightmares « Taxes, Stupidity, and Death
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    […] to America getting its rocks off. Stacy McCain also has asked the follow-up questions regarding the coverage of this “story” that in days gone by  might have been asked by a good reporter, which makes me believe I should […]

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  33. droidist
    March 20th, 2012 @ 5:42 pm

    We must travel in different circles. I’m LDS and on the road trip to here in Western Taxachusetts Massachusetts (a temporary relocation), I found that in general the people in various Wards were less likely to vote for Romney.

    The specific reasons were varied, but boiled down to a perception that he was of a strongly statist bent. I’m not saying he does, but his actions seem to support this view.

    Many older members I’ve talked with feel Romney’s statist views don’t reflect well on the Church, but the younger members don’t have that view. This is especially common among converts and their children, b/c the Church isn’t allowed to run the study groups on The Constitution, The Founding, Civics & Citizenship it developed in the late 1950s.

    An example of what I’m getting at is illustrated by a pair of Missionaries who were working in our area. They thought Communism was a secular equivalent of something the Church did called “The United Order”. They thought this because they’ve not had the opportunity to read the many writings detailing the vast differences – b/c any such discussion will necessarily involve a discussion of the nature of Freedom.

    In the late 1950s the Church ordered prepared, and in the 1960s using its Stakes and Wards in the U.S. ran seminars & home study on The Constitution, Civics & Citizenship. You didn’t have to be a member to attend. This was done b/c the Church states that Good Citizenship is a obligation placed on us by Heavenly Father and The Lord.

    Near the end of the 1960s the Church was forced to stop these classes in American History, Civics and Citizenship by the IRS.

    You have to remember, a president of our Church wrote books called “The Constitution: A Heavenly Banner”, “An Enemy Hath Done This” (Ezra Taft Benson). His speeches and written works are replete with warnings about statism, making the point that only by teaching (and learning) about the Founding could we reverse the slide we’re in. This was in the 1960s & ’70s. One of the last General Conferences that President Benson spoke to (shortly before passing on) he gave a talk stating we (members of the Church specifically, but all Americans generally…) were in a race against time to reverse the damage done to our culture and institutions – or we would lose that most precious gift from God: our Liberty.

    Another example is Skousen, a prominent member and BYU professor who chaired the creation of the study course I spoke of, doing the bulk of the research and writing himself. The book Five Thousand Year Leap (you know, the one Beck’s always referring to…) came from the condensation of the study materials after the IRS shut the study groups down.

    So, my thought us that while you might have judged the situation correctly – Mormons for a Mormon – I’m not as sure the voting will break that way. I keep recalling the arguments I had w/a group of women members who were determined to vote for Prez!Stinky™ (and perhaps they did…).

    Sometime, if OT, I’ll explain the “reasoning” they gave for that.