Charles Schumer and the “Dog-Whistle” Democrats

January 15, 2017 in News by RBN Staff

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In a recent interview with Rachel Maddow on the MSNBC network, Sen. Charles Schumer, who is the Minority Leader in the U.S. Senate, recently hinted darkly that the federal intelligence agencies could decide to harm Donald Trump. He told an approving Maddow:

Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you, So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this.

The article continues:

Schumer said he didn’t know what agents would or could do to Trump. “But from what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them,” he said.

The Left often likes to speak of “dog whistles” put out by Republicans when they speak, leftists claiming what is said seems to have one meaning, but actually, is said in order to “signal” other groups covertly about what the politician really believes about a certain subject. For example, if a Republican politician says he believes in “states’ rights,” or a federal system of government in which individual states have delegated powers not given to the federal government, the Left claims he actually is letting white supremacists know that he supports oppression of black people and wants whites to lynch blacks. It doesn’t matter that a federal system which gives state governmental bodies the opportunity to resist federal policies is a bulwark against tyranny. To oppose the federal government is to endorse racist violence, period, according to the Left.

Except when Democrats look to resisting the federal government. Interestingly, the Left is silent now that California and other Democratic-run states are looking to resist federal policies, California having gone as far as to hiring former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to lead the state’s legal resistance. The irony of Democrats now appealing to “states’ rights” is thick, to say the least.

(I would add that neither party actually looks to “states’ rights” out of principle, but rather appeals to the doctrine as a way of holding onto their own power. For example, Republicans seem eager to enforce the federal prohibition of marijuana against states where pot is legal, clearly ignoring any principles of federalism.)

The Left claims that an appeal to “states’ rights” is a “dog whistle,” something that only certain people can hear and understand the actual meaning of the statement. However, it seems that Democrats now are putting out “dog whistles” of their own. As I see it, Schumer put out a “dog whistle” with his statements to Maddow, calling for the CIA at least to politically harm Donald Trump, if not to assassinate him.

First, and most important, Schumer was endorsing the intelligence agencies like the CIA and the NSA as “shadow governments” of this country. If he did not approve of such “shadow government” activities, it seems he would have stated his opposition emphatically. Notice that he did NOT say: “Trump has decided to take on the intelligence agencies and, in turn, they are going to try to undermine him. While I do not support Trump, nonetheless, I believe the intelligence agencies are under the authority of the President and Congress and I will not stand for those agencies to subvert our constitutional system of government.”

Instead, his comments – and the look on his face when he makes them – demonstrate that he approves of whatever the CIA and NSA might do to Trump. He is not signaling alarm at the behavior of agencies that supposedly are under authority; instead, he seems to relish the prospects of the secret police doing away with the Democrats’ political opposition.

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