James Taranto, on why certain members of the Left keeps pointing at various non-racist statements and calling them secretly racist; and why certain members of the Right keeps snickering at the Left’s unintended self-revelation:
The thing we adore about these dog-whistle[*] kerfuffles is that the people who react to the whistle always assume it’s intended for somebody else. The whole point of the metaphor is that if you can hear the whistle, you’re the dog.
And not a wild dog, either.
*Actually, Taranto describes the ‘dog whistle’ concept pretty well:
In politics, a dog whistle is a rhetorical device–an oral expression susceptible to two interpretations, one straightforward and one, metaphorically speaking, at a higher frequency. In his 2004 speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination, John Kerry* asserted: “Let’s never misuse for political purposes the most precious document in American history, the Constitution of the United States.” A platitude to the ordinary ear was an endorsement of same-sex marriage at 30 kilohertz.