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Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
But I didn't mean for you to figure out what I really meant
dog whis·tle
[dawg-hwis-uhl, -wis-, dog-]
Politics. a political strategy, statement, slogan, etc., that conveys a controversial, secondary message understood only by those who support the message: His criticism of welfare was a dog whistle appealing to racist voters.
My dad who saw racism at its worst in the segregated Navy of WWII always said that it is a man's character we should judge; not his color.

When Paul Ryan said,

“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 to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”
His true character showed. He is a racist, using the same dog whistles that have been used since reconstruction in the south and probably even before then. When he says inner cities and generations of men not learning the culture of work—it is quite obvious that he he talking about African-American males. A dog whistle of the highest order. The only difference in the way Ryan said it and how it was said fifty years ago is that Ryan was not wearing the robes of the Ku Klux Klan to hide behind. He is a U.S. Congressmen from my home state and he has embarrassed the state of Wisconsin once again.

Like my father, I am judging a man by his character and Paul Ryan is not someone I would invite into my home. Nor is he someone I want representing any part of my beloved Wisconsin. Attitudes like Ryan's are prevalent in today's Republican Party. He is not an exception, he is the norm. Instead of judging people by their character instead of color or taking the time to actually understand the causes and effects of poverty—Paul Ryan takes the same road we have seen taken time and again. Attacking the weak, attacking those that do not have the means to defend themselves in the political arena. Not only is Ryan a racist, he is a bully.

Paul Ryan and I are the about the same age. Unlike him I did not use Social Security survivor benefits to pay for my education. My family did not own a construction company. For me to have any hope of going to college I had to join the Army. While he was in his senior year of high school, I was standing watch on the East/West German border at OP Alpha. When he was starting college I was an non-commissioned officer and was a team leader in the 101st Airborne Division. I worked, dined, and lived side by side with all races and never once did I judge anyone by where they were from or what color their skin was.  

Paul Ryan, I do not know where you came by your beliefs and values. What I do know is that your way of thinking, your values are horribly out of place in our world. As one of your parties leaders you should be taking the lead and educating your party members about the true causes of poverty in the United States—not making speeches using the same racist dog whistles that we have heard time and again. You are not a leader—and based on your most recent speech, you are not fit for office. You were elected to represent all of your constituents; not just the constituents that voted for you. You have embarrassed Wisconsin for the last time—it is time for you to resign.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 04:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And He's Supposed To Be The Smart One? (8+ / 0-)

    Paul keeps stumbling.  First he told that lie about the little kid & the brown bag lunch.  Now this.

    I genuinely think he's surprised that he finds himself in the upper echelons of his party.  I suspect deep down he knows
    he doesn't belong there.  He keeps sabotaging himself.
    Either that or he's just a stupid low brow.

    The question is......why do I start thinking about Eddie Munster every time I see his face?    

    •  I odn't know why he (or we) (5+ / 0-)

      should be surprised he is in the  upper echelons of his party.  What's the expression?  In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.  In his party, he actually is one of the smart ones.

    •  This is not a new statement from Ryan (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      viral, bearsguy, nadd2

      He's said it before in Wisconsin to adoring Republicans in the districts surrounding Milwaukee and in rural areas.

      The only thing new here is that national media actually called him on it where Wisconsin corporate media never does.  

      Ryans national outing is helping.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:29:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It makes me practically nauseous when he speaks (0+ / 0-)

        The number of people on Welfare is just 4% of the population and that includes WHITES as well. If he wants to speak about this then he ought to include everybody, not just blacks. But the fact is that Welfare IS NOT A BIG PROBLEM right now and there is no "generational Welfare" Why doesn't he talk about trying to help the thousands of people who need good paying jobs, whether they are black, white or purple?

        The "Welfare bums" are a Red Herring to stir up hatred against minorities, the poor, women, the disabled and all the other citizens that they have decided to scapegoat and abandon.

    •  Lyin Ryan (5+ / 0-)

      He lies so much and flips and flops around with his volume of B.S. & lies every time he appears with that crow face; he ought to change his name to Mittler Romney.

      I agree the guy must be surprised the RWNJ's and Teabigots hold him in such upper echelons but think of it, he fits right into the thugs circle of GOP enrich me self-serving hawks, plus at this point they have so few future candidates who are even human in that party.  Stumble away Liar - nothing new with Eddie Munster.

    •  The question is......why do I start thinking about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      drdarkeny, Damaged262

      Eddie Munster every time I see his face?

      My thought exactly.

      I for one, don't think old people without car elevators need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied to determine what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use. - Mitt Romney

      by luerwulf on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 01:42:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The doubletalk is too much for anyone (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When virtually everything you're trying to say has to be translated into code language, it's easy to get confused sometimes and say what you mean using plain language.

      Or maybe he just forgot he was on the radio, and thought he was just talking among friends. Then there would have been no need to use code words to disguise mutually (and widely) shared racial biases.

      You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.

      by mstep on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:33:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Snapples Sees Eddie Munster (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I always see Alfred E Neuman, but then I chastise myself for denigrating Alfred E.

    •  All repubs are either racist or are enablers (0+ / 0-)

      of racism. The Clarence Thomas' and Condi Rices are simply opportunistic bootlickers and greedmongers.
      My father was a lifelong repub, until his last election, then he abandoned the party..
      So even the WWII vets can see that the spirit of Ike is dead and gone.

    •  competition (0+ / 0-)

      His competition for "upper echelons" of the Republican party is equally guilty of foot-in-mouth disease -- especially if they're talking about women or anyone else that is not a rich white male gun toting bible thumper.

  •  Mark, (8+ / 0-)

    I was also in the Military, I was raised to treat all People with respect, dignity and not to judge by looks or what may appear to be messed up without actually finding out the Truth. We all know what happens by just assuming without facts. My parents , My DI's always said that Yes there will always be some who are just rotten people. But until you Talk with someone and find out WHY they may be having a hard time or issue, Don't judge. I live in Ryans district, Remember the Tone of the Walker E-mails? That attitude is rampant. Disgusting isn't the word for it. So I can only hope that Rob Zerban  wins.

  •  if so many people (3+ / 0-)

    see through it; then isn't it, by definition, not a dog whistle?

    that conveys a controversial, secondary message understood only by those who support the message:
  •  Ryan said what he said because it works. (5+ / 0-)

    If, as he claims, he is not personally a racist, then his use of that clear message--stirring up race resentment in order to get votes for his party and cruel budget plans--is so cynical that it clearly shows him to be a man of no principles.

    What kind of people are Republicans pushing forward as leaders? To me, they seem like the worst sort of human beings: callous, greedy, dishonest, narrow-minded, bullying, irresponsible and utterly heartless.  Sociopaths.  And the shallow Ryan is a perfect example of the type.

    "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

    by SottoVoce on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 07:13:07 PM PDT

  •  So you're not voting for Ryan based on this? (0+ / 0-)

    Were you ever voting for Ryan?  If not, what difference does it make?

    Is there anyone who was voting for Ryan before who wasn't after this remark? I'm thinking "no."  Anyone who'd believe this was a "dog whistle" remark wasn't going to vote for him in the first place.

    •  It HAS made a difference (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bearsguy, nadd2

      Wisconsin corporate media is very friendly to Republicans, hiding their failings and promoting their memes (how else could these assholes get elected in the first place?).

      His national outing in 2012 had an impact.  He can no longer go to his home district and pretend to be a moderate.  Despite huge money in a Republican area which has been further gerrymandered for him, he won re-election by the lowest percentage ever and LOST the vote in his own home town.  

      Yes, voters were awakened from their Wisconsin media induced coma.   And Ryan will face the same opponent again in 2014 (hopefully he'll get some support from the National Dems this time).

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:34:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Paul Ryan, like Newt Gingrich, should be described (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, Kangaroo

    as a dumb (and ignorant and mean-spirited) person's idea of what a smart person sounds like.

    Dog Whistles were not prevalent during slavery, when Southern slaveowners felt no need to hide their aristocratic pretensions or their White Supremacist Curse of Ham theology. There was the habit of referring to slavery indirectly as their Peculiar Institution.

    There was some Dog Whistling during and right after the Civil War, which they pretended was Mr. Lincoln's War or the War of Northern Aggression or the War Between the States. That last was because calling it a Civil War admits that they were in the same country at the time, as the North contended. The South also pretended afterwards that the war was fought over State's Rights and not slavery, even though the Secession declarations of several states were quite explicit about slavery being the cause. This developed into an elaborate Lost Cause mythology.

    The Klans and related organizations Dog Whistled their purposes as protecting the Purity of Southern Womanhood (against Blacks, naturally) and enforcing morality more generally, and not about economic domination and White Supremacy. White men, of course, could go on enjoying Black women as much as they liked.

    Dog Whistles really took off in the 1960s, during the Civil Rights Movement and the beginnings of the Southern Strategy that derived from Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat Party of 1948. Thurmond's strategist, Harry Dent, Sr., became a strategist for Goldwater in 1964, and then Nixon in 1968. He taught Lee Atwater, Reagan's strategist, who later explained how it worked.

    As to the whole Southern strategy that Harry Dent and others put together in 1968, opposition to the Voting Rights Act would have been a central part of keeping the South. Now [the new Southern Strategy of Ronald Reagan] doesn’t have to do that. All you have to do to keep the South is for Reagan to run in place on the issues he's campaigned on since 1964 and that's fiscal conservatism, balancing the budget, cut taxes, you know, the whole cluster.

    You start out in 1954 by saying, "N*****, n*****, n*****." By 1968 you can't say "n*****"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "N*****, n*****."

    Reagan's earlier domestic issues were all Dog Whistles about denying social services to poor Blacks and keeping them (and other minorities, women, gays, young people, immigrants,…) in "their place"; and so were his later issues, such as the Dog Whistle "Starve the Beast", which Grover Norquist carries on to this day. Another of Norquist's best, which he admitted to explicitly, is
         Date rape
    I have collected hundreds of examples of recent Dog Whistles on dKosopedia.

    This one is particularly appropriate now that Ryan and others are crocodile-tearing about poverty, and claiming that the way to cure it is to cut government assistance:

    Compassionate Conservatism
         Kinder, gentler rape
    Perhaps you think you detect a theme in my commentary about Republican plans for the people of the United States. You would be correct.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 10:39:42 PM PDT

  •  Wrong Ending (0+ / 0-)

    Ryan won't resign - he has no shame.  Better he be humiliated at the polls where his fawning acolytes in the corporate media can't save him.  

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 08:29:31 AM PDT


      on the ballot is a mistake due to voting machine slight of hand, fraud ballot adjustment, buying votes with endless money, buying ads with endless money.  Some of us are not so smart anymore.  i.e.: we can be bought by propaganda the likes of which has never been seen in these United States.

  •  It's no secret where he came by his values. (3+ / 0-)

    Ayn Rand, "Atlas Shrugged." It's not a very far step from believing that a few superior individuals are entitled to rule the world and owe nothing to lesser men, than to believing that one race is superior to another.

  •  Ryan's dog whistle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's the best statement about Ryan and the GOP that I've read in a long time. Kudos to the writer.

  •  Paul Ryan Irishman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManOWords, raspberryberet, Damaged262

    Does Paul Ryan realize that the same thing was said about the Irish in the 19th century? Clueless

  •  The scary part about Paul Ryan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManOWords, raspberryberet, Damaged262

    is that so many people think the same way.  I'll never forget, when at my high school reunion, a "friend" told me Obama could never be president because, "he's black!"  He thought it incredulous that I would even consider a "black" man capable of becoming president.

    Needless to say, I never went back to another reunion.

  •  Mr Andersen (4+ / 0-)

    Sir, you are what American stands for.

  •  apology? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Of course he is back stepping saying that isn't what he meant!  Geezus, he can only hope that everyone is that stupid!!

  •  Maybe he can come up with a jobs program for them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that involves washing already-clean dishes.

    Recommended by:

    we lost the sink election in florida cause enough dems did not come out to vote!!!!

  •  It's "strategic" racism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You don't even have to assume Ryan has deep racist feelings when he says stuff like this. These messages are strategically calculated to reach people with whom they resonate -- often subconsciously. Also, the reference is "coded", and if you accuse them of racism for using it, they will try to turn the accusation back at you! After all, THEY didn't use any overtly racist words...but YOU said "racist".

    Politicians and parties that do this have to be called out on it. And once this divisive propaganda technique becomes well-known, the Tea Partyers will have to evolve something else. Of course they will, but at least they will have lost a weapon.

    Strongly recommended: Read Ian Haney Lopez's new book. "Dog Whistle Racism". Then pass it around.

  •  Gawd, His lips are so supple (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know what he wants, what he craves... I will sacrifice my whatever it is to so Paul can polish my knob and move on. Wouldn't you?

    "You think this is bad. This ain't bad.," said the hobo to Billy Pilgrim on the train to Auschwitz in Slaughterhouse Five.

    by drfaustroll on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:18:40 PM PDT

    •  Having Paul Ryan on my knob, oof… (0+ / 0-)

      It would make me feel like a pedophile.  His resemblance to Eddie Munster is too profound, I can't help but think of him as a child.  I just can't stomach the Tea Baggers any longer.  Smaller government this, hate the poor that, starve the poor children there, God is good because he made AIDS here, but Jesus can heal death on yonder.  Is there anything there any fairytale that they don't believe?  Maybe Peter Pan can give the head starters their morning meal and Tinker Bell can educate them afterwards.  Not to mention, don't take a dollar away from the any aspect of the defense department.  F*ck the poor and the food they don't have, f*ck the poor who don't have health coverage, f*ck the veterans and active duty personnel who are struggling to make ends meet.  But GOD DAMN, make sure we keep making tanks that the military don't want, make sure we keep throwing good dollars after bad at Afghanistan.  That's just fine.  

      Our country is primarily populated with people who lean politically towards the center (because the majority of American's are f*cking SANE!), but we're being sold a bill of goods by extremists.  Too bad the only people that run these days can only get elected by spewing extremes.

      I'm damaged and I like it, it made me what I am! BTW, my avatar is as stollen as my father's retirement fund, the old man died almost penniless. Bankers don't go to prison for breaking our laws, they buy bigger yachts.

      by Damaged262 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:41:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Paul Ryan (0+ / 0-)

    would be better served to listen to Mr. Andersen's message here and learn some truths about himself and about life.

  •  Paul Ryan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sendtheasteroid think you aren't racist?  Look in the mirror.  You are! How does it feel to know that you are a laughing stock? People don't work, because other racists like yourself don't give them a chance to prove they can be the best. I have known hundreds of worthy candidates that should have been hired, but never were.  NEVER.  I have known husbands of women I worked with who were arrested simply because they were black.  I have known more people that were never given the opportunity to prove how absolutely brilliant they were for the simple reason they were black. The Paul Ryan's of this country need to ask themselves where they would be if they were black.  Would you have even been considered for the job? For the rent?  For the car loan?For the mortgage?  No you were a loser and you were Mr. White. Your grades were pathetic and you were generally a loser, but because you were white, and your mom or dad knew someone, you got the job, not the really smart Black man or woman. So now, how do you feel.  Special , I'll bet, really special.  You are still the jerk of a kid that happened to be lucky enough not to be black.  Enjoy it, the world is changing and you will always be just a lucky loser.

  •  I'm afraid that you're wrong. (0+ / 0-)

    I suspect that Ryan will continue to embarrass the good people of the US.  I would think that the sensible people of Wisconsin would be immune to embarrassment by now, inasmuch as you have Scott Walker and his administration.

  •  Or from Shakespeare.... (0+ / 0-)

    "Me thinks thou doth protest too loudly".

  •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for this post and thank you for your service to our country

  •  Not Just a Racist (0+ / 0-)

    he is dangerously out of touch with society.

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