Republican Senator Sasse: A Kinder, Gentler Dog-Whistler

So Serious Solon and Republican Senator Ben Sasse who seems to be inheriting the Very Serious Grownup Conservative (Who Still Votes With All The Batshitloonitarians Anyway) mantle from John McCain has written another op-ed. Given the idiocy of his previous work, you would be pretty safe in thinking it’s awful.

As Paul Musgrave notes, it is a doozy. To paraphrase, what Sasse is doing isn’t really a dog-whistle–since a dog whistle is only aimed at one group. What Serious Solon Sasse is doing is known as multivocality, speaking such that your remarks can be interpreted differently by various people–often very differently. In this case, kinda sorta liberals think Sasse is referring to Nazis, while the conservative base hears him assailing the left (as we’ve noted elsewhere, both the firefighter and the arsonist are passionate about fire, yet they are not morally equivalent).

So Serious Solon Sasse gets to have it both ways: respectable moderates think he’s a swell guy, if a bit conservative, while simultaneously throwing red meat to the Republican Uruk-hai base.

I’m pretty sure that our pundit class, including the editorial board of the New York Times, will never figure this out. Because they are stupid people.

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